MLD Prophet CF : Thoughts a year later
In the quest to lighten my load over the years in 2017 I ended a lifetime of mental and physical punishing trial and error by making the choice to purchase a Mountain Laurel Designs Cuben Fiber (CF) Prophet. Over the years I have been trending at a glacial pace towards ultralight backpacking and with this backpack I may have arrived. Now I wonder what advantages I might have enjoyed as a much younger man when I was hiking, backpacking, and scrambling, I am sure I would have saved some wear and tear on my body, but I am here now enjoying wild places with a super-light load just when I need it the most.
An acquaintance of mine who just happens to be an ultra long distance trail runner, hiker, and backpacker gave me some insight into the dyneema and cuben pack line when I saw a photo of him when he fast-packed a trip deep into Washington’s Pasayten Wilderness and after some reading on the pack specifications I took the plunge, once again, on gear, hoping for the best. Once the pack arrived in a large cardboard envelope via the U.S. Postal Service I was somewhat skeptical, but after loading it up and using my foam sit pad as a makeshift frame I was exceptionally pleased with the fit, form, and function. At 14.5 oz. it was a work of art in my mind. I have vivid memories of carrying packs weighing 5 -7 lb. each loaded with equally bulky and heavy contents. The times, they sure have changed.
Since my purchase I have used the Prophet CF on many day hikes, overnighters, and multi-day trips fishing and peakbagging in the North Cascades comfortably though one has to remember that super-ultralight backcountry travel is a package deal so the UL pack is coupled with other UL gear which is compressible, low volume, and low weight. My pack weight last year while varying based on trip and activity was 3 lb. 5 oz. for the big three items of pack, tent, and sleeping bag while my total weight for an overnighter to three day trip was 10 – 12 lb. including food and water. My daughter who was thru-hiking the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) last year stopped at home on her way through Washington and assimilated the pack which she used to finish the final sections of her trip. I don’t think I would want to carry more than 15 – 20 lb. in a pack anymore, ultralight gurus say you can carry 25 lb. comfortably in a frameless pack, yet my daughter carried a bear canister and 35 lb. in it on the PCT at times. I will list some reasons I like the pack along with some helpful links and videos. Happy Trails !
WHAT I LIKED
1. The weight, or rather the weightlessness !
2. The extremely comfortable cushioned shoulder straps and belt.
3. The seam taped cuben fiber material which is bomber and water proof.
4. The external pockets and bungee cord system.
5. I like the idea of having a large stuff sack to easily access and protect all my gear and carry it around the campsite as well as hiking.
6. It makes a great day pack at 14.5 oz. to use for side trips from camp.