I first learned about Six Moon Designs while doing research on Fastpacks for a 2019 trip around Mont Blanc. For those who are unfamiliar with them, they have been making packs and shelters for thru-hikers, fast packers, and other outdoor enthusiasts since 2002. Located here in Oregon, it only made sense to reach out to them and see if they would be interested in me reviewing their Flight 30 Fastpack. I have been testing it out for the last few months, mostly on run commutes with about 10 to 12 pounds of gear packed in it, and now it is time to provide my impressions of the pack
The Flight 30 is a very versatile pack when it comes to fit. For this review, I received and tested both the small and large vest harness, as well as a medium hip belt. The pack has four different slots that run along the center back of the pack allowing you to adjust the height of the vest harness depending on your torso length. You can also choose three different locations to pass the side straps through which secure the bottom of the vest harness to the pack. Take a look at the video to get an idea of what I am talking about. The versatility of all of these options does mean that getting the initial fit dialed in will take some time. I started out with the small vest harness and was able to get the fit fairly well measured with it in slot 2 or 3 on the back depending on whether I want to use the hip belt. No matter what I did with the small vest harness though, the water bottle pockets were up by my ears making them not usable for that purpose. Moving to the large vest harness fixed that, but caused the pack to sit just low enough as to cause chaffing on my lower back, both with and without the hip belt, unless I placed the vest harness in slot number 4. That placed the sternum straps over my belly, and there was way too much space between my shoulders and the straps. For reference, I am 5 foot 10 inches with a 37-inch chest measurement.
The pack has one main storage compartment and two large pockets on either side of the pack. The main storage compartment uses a classic roll-top closure. This, combined with the compression on either side and the strap that comes from the bottom middle of the pack over the top, gives you a lot of flexibility. Additionally, on the back of the pack, there is a crisis crossing bungee that is easy to adjust and can carry a wide range of gear. Take a look at the video to get an idea for how all of these functions. Inside the pack, there is a small zipper pocket, a place to hang a sleeve for a hydration bladder, and then the main storage for the rest of the gear. There are openings over either shoulder for the hydration bladder hose to snake through. The pack feels solid yet light, and the two large side pockets, the roll-top closure, and the compression are my favorites things about this pack. In fact, I would go so far as to say that Six Moon Designs has set the bar for me on these design features, and all other packs will be judged accordingly. This should not come as a surprise given how long they have been making packs for thru-hikers.
Moving to the front of the pack, the vest harness has three pockets on either strap. Two water bottle pockets, two open mesh pockets, and two zipper pockets. The two water bottle pockets have a bungee that you can cinch down to keep the bottles in place. The mesh pockets do not stretch much but do hold a good amount of gels or other food items. The zipper pockets will hold an iPhone XR, and probably a plus size phone as well. Other than the pockets, there are two sternum straps, as well as adjustments on the top of the shoulder, and on the sides, which I show in the video.
I have five feature requests to put forward, but at least two of them are already being considered for the next iteration of the pack. So let’s start with the two that are already in consideration: adjustable sternum straps and larger/deeper front water bottle pockets. The other three are a medium size vest harness, wider material for the sternum straps, and a larger, expandable, waterproof internal zipper pocket. That said, I would take the medium size vest harness over the pocket if I had to make a decision between the two.
It is probably clear at this point that it is the vest harness that keeps the pack from being perfect for me. Until the vest harness is updated, I do not feel comfortable recommending the pack in the configuration I tested it in particular if you are planning to run more than a power hike with it. I did use it recently to carry supplies to the University Falls aid station at the 2019 Tillamook Burn 50k and I found it worked quite well for that. I will continue to use it for this function while I wait for a better vest harness, hopefully in the not too distant future.
16″ – 22″ | 38 – 56 cm
11″W X 7″D X 17″T
20 lb – 9 kg
9 lb – 4 kg
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