HMG Windrider Backpacks Review

Hyperlite Mountain Gear Windrider 2400 and 3400 Ultralight Backpacks

I purchased my first HMG backpack in December 2015. It was the Windrider 3400 model.

My 3400 backpack specs are:

  • size large
  • 55 liter
  • 908 gram

The 2400 model was purchased in March 2017.

It’s specs are:

  • size large
  • 40 liter
  • 799 gram

Both are made from waterproof (DCF) Dyneema Composite Fabric 50d (formerly Cuben Fiber). They have:

  • a roll-top closure
  • Y-strap top compression
  • four side compression straps
  • an internal mesh hydration net
  • hydration port
  • removable internal aluminium stays
  • sternum strap
  • three external mesh pockets
  • fully sealed side seams for water resistance
  • and a double-reinforced 150d pack bottom

The below is a guide from Hyperlite Mountain Gear’s web-shop:

How to Choose a Pack Size

Your torso length, not your height, determines your pack size. We recommend the following to determine yours:

Tilt your head slightly forward to locate the bony bump at the base of your neck. (This is your 7th cervical (or C7) vertebra).
Using a flexible tape measure, have someone measure starting at that spot and running down along the curve of your spine.
Place your hands on your hips so you can feel your iliac crest, which serves as the “shelf” of your pelvic girdle. (It’s the first hard thing you feel when you run your fingers down from the sides of your ribcage.) Position your hands so your thumbs are reaching behind you.
Have your friend finish measuring at the point where the tape crosses an imaginary line drawn between your thumbs. This distance is your torso length.
Small (15.0” – 17.0” torso)
Medium (17.0” – 19.0” torso)
Large (19.0” – 21.0” torso)
Tall (21.0”+ torso)
If your measurement falls right in between sizes (for example, if you have a 17.0” torso, so you are right on the line between a Small and a Medium), we suggest you choose the larger torso size.

My torso length is 49cm = 19.29”  or size Large 19”-20” for HMG backpacks

I removed the internal mesh hydration net on the 3400 pack as I don’t have the use for it. I didn’t remove it from the 2400 as I sometimes use it to store flat items like a passport or a map. I use the 3400 in the colder seasons and the 2400 the rest of the year or when I don’t require the extra capacity.

The outer mesh pockets are great for drying wet items. I’ve never had any issues with the mesh being snagged on any bush, trees etc. and so the netting is complete with no holes on both packs. There is also a lot of room in the outer pockets where you can shove in all the items you want through the day. If I want to store an item that I don’t want to get wet then I use a DCF stuff sack.

The white coloured fabric dirties with use, but you can clean it easily if you want to. I’ve never bothered to do that. I like how easy it is to find items in the packs due to the semi-translucent nature of the DCF. The black coloured packs might look good but I prefer to be able to locate items in my pack easily with the white colour.

Both packs look used but defiantly not worn. They still look good and are smart looking backpacks. I like how easy it is to open and close the packs. The compression straps work for me.

On my 2400 model the hip belt buckle is sometimes a little hard to engage, but I think that I slammed it in the car trunk once by mistake. I’m sure that is why it gives me some trouble.

If you want you can remove the internal aluminium stays to save some more weight. I have never done that as I like to shape them to suit my back’s natural curve. The curve produces a little gap between my back and the pack so I get a little air-flow.

I often get asked: “Doesn’t it bother you that you sweat so much between your back and the pack and then your back gets all wet?”. No matter what backpack you have, if it is a with fancy air-flow system or not you are still going to work up a sweat unless you are staying still. So, of coarse, my back gets sweaty, and maybe some more than if I had a fancy air-flow system, but at the end of the day we are all going to be dirty and sweaty. So no, it doesn’t bother me at all that I don’t have a larger gap between my back and the pack. I am also used to packing a 4-5 kg base weight so it is a pleasure, most of the time, to carry my packs.

The sternum strap buckle has an emergency whistle built in to it. I had to use it recently when I was stampeded by a large herd of cattle. It worked great too!

I use the HMG packing POD’s with my Windrider backpacks. In the photo below you can see that my sleeping bag fits in a (L) size POD. I use a (S) size POD for my sleeping pad and some extra clothes and ditty bag for essentials and lastly a (L) size POD for my food and cooking pot. My puffy jacket is stored in the HMG pillow-stuff sack. There is also a HMG XL DCF11 Cuben Stuff Sack that I stored in the outer net. I’ll do another post on the packing POD’s and stuff sacks later. The pack below is the 2400 Windrider.

If I have anything negative to say about the backpacks, then it is the hip belt pockets are a little on the small side. Although they have addressed this issue in the latest versions recently by increasing their size.

I don’t think that the HMG Windrider backpacks are expensive, although they defiantly shouldn’t be priced any higher.

I love using these backpacks and I would highly recommend them to anyone looking for a high quality, reliable and long wearing ultralight pack.

Product(s) discussed in this article were purchased by myself from a retailer or manufacturer. I do not accept compensation or donated product in exchange for guaranteed media placement or product review coverage without clearly denoting such coverage as an “ADVERTISEMENT” or “SPONSORED CONTENT.”

4 Replies to “HMG Windrider Backpacks Review”

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