I know you've heard it many times before but I'm amazed at the weight distribution to my hips of the LBP 38 you built for me. Love it! I had just short of a 30 lb load on my trip this past weekend, so I didn't need to use the P&G. There was essentially no weight/stress on my shoulders. I've never felt anything like it. I think I took it off 3 times in 11 hours of hiking. Amazing difference.
Thanks very much and I hope all is well with you.
I finished the JMT on 9/7/11started on 8/19/11. The pack worked very well! I used the short frame with the bayonets since my load was usually between 30-35 lbs. the only heavy load was after my resupply at the MTR when the pack weighed over 40 lbs8-9 days worth of food. This pack felt the best of any other pack I have worn on either short or long trips.
Jerry G, Cincinnati, Ohio
We just finished our Mt Sanford climb and I just wanted to thank you
Best Wishes, Jim
Got to spend some quality time with the new pack this weekend! Really
Thanks for making such a great piece of gear!
I still find it amazing how well my Critical Mass II carries 70-80
I can't wait to try out this other pack with 50-60lbs. My gear runs
I'm not sure what it takes to make a quality testimonial, but I have
I took the pack out this weekend for an overnighter and was very, very pleased. I know you hear it all the time but this was quite literally the first hike where I just enjoyed the terrain and scenery and wasn't constantly struggling to make my pack comfortable. Who knew shoulder pain didn't have to be part of the journey?
Hi Dan, Great speaking earlier.
You asked my which packs I purchased, and they are:
From summer 1997: 0 SARC pack, with the Critical Mass frame and the Alpineer belt, junior ballistic, periwinkle upper, black lower, with silver/blue straps
From winter 1998: Critical Mass Alpine # 1, junior ballistic, navy top, black bottom, silver/black strapping
The packs I purchased from you are still holding up very nicely. Wish I had a story to contribute to your web site how one of your packs helped me fend off a mountain lion attack. Absent that, perhaps I can contribute a story how I spilled peanut butter on the pack, and it came off the fabric when properlry wiped, beautifully.
Would love to get one of your vhs tapes my wife got that in the divorce it was the subject of a hotly contested debate let me know what the cost is and I will send it to you.
Dan, I love my pack! David Murphy
Dan, me too! Helen Murphy
I just finished 135 miles of the John Muir Trail, California, from Bishop
Pass trail to Tuolumne Meadows with the Super-Sarc and V-Zip option. The added
volume for the pack was perfect for my expedition model of the Bearicade bear
canister which weighed about eight pounds filled with supplies, the heaviest item
in my pack. The canister rides horizontal on the two internal pack stays and off
my back. I Packed it about 1/3 down the pack bag and it was balanced well for
the pack's center of gravity. It was a comfortable ride the entire trip. I noticed
other hikers with canisters and gear strapped on the outside, on top ( or swinging!!
) on the bottom of their packs. I was happy for the extra pack volume to handle
such a bulky item. For shorter trips I leave the large canister at home and I
can zip up the pack bag to a normal volume. Thanks Dan for helping with a successful
and pleasurable trip.
Thanks again for the absolute
Well I am back from a week on
the AT and the 0 SArc performed
an aside I remain impressed with your commitment to the customer,
Thanks, Roger B
April 22, 2006
Hi Dan. The S-Sarc P & G is amazing. I took 50 lbs. up Granite Mt. in 2:17 on Friday. No strains no pains. When Im wearing it its like I start to doubt its 50 pounds, like is my scale wrong or did I take some weight out and forget about it. Then I take it off at the summit and when I lift it again off the ground with my arms its like, oh yeah this certainly is 50 lbs. - Thanks much, Eric
I received my Subpop/Popcan
pack just before X-mas and was very
Ivan Phillipsen 2/2/05 Below with a Subpop/Popcan - See Customer Gallery also.
Below: An all McHale Packs backpacking family!
One of our favorite Big Daddy Pack shots below: Photo by Mommy. These pics are Pre-UL mid 90s.
-Brad J. E. (10/4/04)
February 3, 2005
Im writing to express my enthusiasm for the SARC you crafted for me in 03. Actually, the term enthusiasm does not do justice to my affection for this 4 lb masterpiece of design and execution. True Love might be a better descriptor.
My SARC has been used to carry loads ranging from the typical
summer weekend magnitude to loads that might well have rendered both pack and
wearer asunder if carried in one of the off-the-shelf wonders that dominate the
current backpacking/climbing scene. But my SARC has easily handled them all, the
toughest and most durable lightweight pack Ive ever owned (and believe me,
I have logged much mileage with high-end, mass-marketed packs). More importantly,
my considerable experience with the SARC in question convinces me that the packs
design and quality combine to minimize fatigue and optimize comfort, and not just
with heavy loads, but also with the more modest loads associated with a sunny
summer weekend excursion.
Karl J. Kaiyala, Ph.D.
want to say THANKS again for the great pack, I don't want
"I carried more than I should have, but absolutely nothing on planet Earth can carry a load better than a McHale pack. Thank you Dan for making the best packs, and also providing customer service second to none." Joe Rice, Idaho ( 1/28/04)
Dan: The Subpop is a very comfortable pack. To tell you a funny story, I went up to the Shenandoah, first morning I had 37 lbs. loaded in it, threw it on my back started out before 7 AM, didn't take a break until after 12 Noon. When I went to take it off, I reached down to unbuckle it.....what's this? ......I hadn't fastened the waist belt or chest strap when I started out! I didn't even notice, guess I should of had some more coffee.
I ordered a pack from you that was delivered back in July. I just wanted to tell you that it is working out great! My husband and I have been travelling since November in South America. The pack has accompanied me on the Torres del Paine circuit, Dientes circuit (Chile), Mt. Fitz Roy Circuit and Nahuel Huapi Trail (Argentina). It's going to do the Inca Trail in Peru next week, and then on into Ecuador. It's the best pack I've ever had. I've had no problems at all, and it's exactly the right size with the right features for what we are doing - thank you so much!
My husband is so impressed with the pack that he is interested in ordering one himself!
I just got back from the trip that my MB CM II was built for. Before the trip, I made a few minor adjustments to the stays, and after that no fiddling was necessary. The pack performed above and beyond my expectations. With my old pack, carrying anything above 50 lbs would wreck my shoulders by the end of the day. In contrast, I was able to carry 80+ lbs (3 bear cannisters, camping gear and climbing gear) in the MB CM II for up to 13 hours in heavy brush and through lots of talus without any shoulder pain or collarbone soreness. After living out of the pack for more than 3 weeks, it becomes very clear how well thought out your design is, and the attention to detail is appreciated.
I purchased one of your packs 9 years ago. It has since
slogged through South American rain forests, South American Andes including ascents
of Chimborazo after the eruption in Ecuador, the tibetan Plateau and Leaping Tiger
Gorge, the hill counties of the Golden Triangle in Thailand, Laos, China ( with
it's sweltering temperature and voracious leeches ) and even snuck medical supplies
into Burmese refugees in the outlawed Shan state as well as the rugged streets
of Hanoi Vietnam. Not to mention inumerable hikes here in the southeast USA. I've
got more pictures and memories than I originally imagined. I've hung from, been
drug in, slept on, stepped on, watched it tumble off a bus into a busy street,
Thwarted attempted street theives, even practically swam with my pack on and it's
performance has been flawless, never faltering never slipping. |
It even carries some of my most precious gear along for some of our trips and my daughters dolls, it's clothes and any stuffed animals for those long weekenders ( as well as all of her hiking gear, bags, well, you get the picture). Thanks for the great pack, a great design. I'm off to Yunan Province in China for another hopefully rewarding medical mission trip with my pack again. I just wish I neede a new one - this one still has another 10 years or more in it. I'll write back then, I guess.
Geoff Martin, MD - Father, Adventurer, Kayaker
"Without a doubt, my McHale pack made climbing Denali more comfortable. The fit stayed consistent with big loads,and the massive volume took the pain out of packing. Because of all the room,I could get a bigger stuff sack for my forty-below sleeping bag and didn't have to struggle with it every morning.
contstruction took all the worry out of putting stress on the pack and detailing
right down to the waist buckle which could be used with mittens on,made this pack
an excellent piece of gear and a pleasure to use."
|Anya Zolotusky on Denali at about 17,000' on the West Buttress just above Washburn's Thumb with Mount Hunter in the background.|
Subject: Utah-Az hike. Pack: Super CMII
Dan - I just wanted to let you know that the pack performed wonderfully on my trip. We went about 45 miles over 5 days carrying about 50-60 pounds and I am extremely pleased. Obviously that kind of weight never feels good but I must say that at times I wasn't even aware of the pack.
I had confidence in the pack, it's rock solid and just a wonderful piece of equipment. Its funny how much more stamina you have when you lessen the discomfort and distribute the weight. Between overcompensating for imbalance and stressing out from pack related "pain" I believe the other gear I've had burned up energy needlessly.
NO doubt I'm preaching here to the choir but I just wanted to add my name to what is certainly a long line of satisfied customers. I sort of felt guilty seeing my wife walking around in her ill fitting low performance pack.
Anyway, here's a photo I took of the pack right before I hoisted it up one morning after sleeping at Judd Hollow. In the picture is an old water pump ["Adam's Pump"] which some ranchers carried down to the Paria River in 1936 with the intention of bringing water for their cattle up 700-800 feet to the plateau. It never worked and sits there today, a piece of historic litter. Don't think that this is a catalog quality picture but I wanted you to see the pack sitting there, with me, in the middle of nowhere as it was designed to go.
Marty, Philidelphia, PA
a brief report on the special lightweight expedition Super Inex you made for me.
It worked very well. I did some fourth class rock with it and survived.
Everything fit (as you remember, I could not fit my synthetic sleeping bag into
any other pack) and was easy to organize and access. The colors were right
(bright), and I did not lose it. Of course, it is impressively light for
its size. So, thanks again. We did manage the east summit of Logan
by the east ridge. Fourteen days of high anxiety on the ridge but a spectacular
Have done 2 extended trips with the new pack. It's great! First pack I've
owned in 30 years of backpacking that doesn't slide off my hips all the time.
And by far the most comfortable as well. Love the various tricks like the Bayonet
have carried your pack proudly throughout South America to 17,000 plus feet. And
in January of 1996, I left for a four month trip in Eastern and Western Europe.
I submitted many and wondrous place. But I am proud to have had an Inex for this
travel which included a successful ascent of the north face of the Eiger (1938
route.) So, many thanks for the help in carrying the load and for many successful
August 8, 1997
50 year old Peter Vacco just got home from an end to end trek of the Entire length of the Brooks Range in Alaska and the Yukon. Thanks again for a great tool. This trek might be a first - another record for McHale packs. oh boy....will call soon. The ridiculous 70 knot winds on the last day were so strong they ripped off the vent pad and launched it into the Pacific Ocean. Jesus I was pissed/humbled, but I guess sometimes the hills demand a sacrifice. I could never last but a day or two in a gale like that. Overall the trip was great, the caribou and bears awesome, the hills too beautiful to even remember properly. I love Alaska and my Dan pack let me cross it one last time.
a NOLS instructor for 7 years, I've seen a lot of gear come and go. McHale packs
are made to last.I also attribute a measure of my success at 8,000 meters to the
comfort factor this pack afforded."|
[Mt. McKinley in Alaska]!!! May 30th, 1993 with my McHale Alpineer pack. Absolutely,
a perfect bombproof piece of equipment. It was everything I hoped it would be.
Keep it up."|
a million for the update on my pack. I brought it to the top of Mt. Rainier this
weekend.It performed flawlessly (unlike several of the other packs along). Anyway,
great pack. I'm all smiles!"|
I'm dropping you a line to thank you for being the only one to make a pack that actually carries an enormous load without crippling its wearer. I've been abusing my bayonet extensively since 1995. Major miles with heavy loads have been logged guiding extended backcountry alpine rock climbing trips for Exum Mountain Guides in Jackson. The pack really saved my ass on 2 particular personal trips. After soloing Cho Oyu ( 27,000'), I was able to pack up both of my high camps on the way down, including 2 sets of sleeping bags, tents, stoves, extra food, etc...., which saved me from having to make an extra trip. It's difficult to express how important that was at the time. The other savior was when I soloed Denali, as I flew onto the glacier with 170 lbs. of super light gear. Being able to hump a ridiculous amount of gear with your pack kept the weight on the sled manageable enough to get from camp to camp without having to make multiple carries, which saved days of monotonous glacier slogging. Of all the super fancy high tech gear I own, your pack is the one piece that has reduced the suffer factor the most on exceptionally grueling adventures.
Thanks a million, Brian Prax ( 6/21/03)
a note to tell you I am very happy with the pack you made me. I have been backpacking
for 40 years and am amazed at the difference in comfort and performance between
your equipment and that I've used in the past."|
completed the Haute Route and the SARC you made for me worked perfectly."|
base camp at Mt. Everest]Your packs are the best things since plastic boots!"|
|"Your pack is fabulous! I've been hiking the Appalachian Trail now for 30+ days. My pack has been the best I've seen so far. The hip belt is a marvel!"|
you and your staff for the Critical Mass Alpine II Bayonet that I received this
spring. I have never owned a pack that has performed as well as it. I guess I
missed out in the past (never again). I used it so much this summer that I know
I got my money's worth. I will probably never wear it out but if I do, I'll be
back to buy another one. I guarantee it! I spent 9 days on the Ptarmigan Traverse
and it performed the way I wanted it to. I started out with 65 pounds and couldn't
have felt more comfortable. The Bayonet System was great for minimizing my pack
for short trips from camp. When people ask me what is the best pack on the market,
I tell them: "Do what I did." Try on as many packs as you can, find
the one you like the best, and then go try on a McHale Pack. There's no doubt
that you'll find out that McHale & Company makes the best packs!Never let
the equipment reviews judge your packs. Let the people that own them, use them
and swear by them do that.
The story with these two happy McHale customers is; One is not a lot shorter, one is much taller! Jim on the right is 6'10" tall. Jim on the left is actually 5'8" tall. You can sometimes see Jim and Jim on their home page at http://www.clubtread.com
for sending the new hip belt so quickly! It's perfect, as is the rest of the pack!
I've been "working out" with it, in preparation for one upcoming trip
to Alaska. I can't believe how comfortable it is, even with an 80 lb. load (about
twice what I hope to carry on our trip!) Thanks for a super product! I've been
recommending this pack to anyone who will listen to me!"|
returned from my first trip since getting my pack. I spent 4 days up in the Guadalupes,
and had a great time. The pack performed better than I could have imagined. 4
days and 45 pounds, and no discomfort!"|
just returned from Denali a little while ago. My climbing partners descended at
different times. On the descent, I was carrying all my gear that I had double
carried up, plus some of their gear. I had well over 100 lbs. on my back. Despite
my small body size (120 lbs.) the pack was very stable. I could not have carried
that weight down the mountain safely without your pack. I wish you made sleds.
Thanks for a great pack,
Dan, Here are a few pics of me on the summit of Mt. Baker with the pack I just got from you a couple of months ago. One of the pics is crossing that crevasse field on the way up. Jumping those 4' crevasses with a 65 lb pack is fun. We camped overnight on the summit! Pack worked great. Thanks, Mike Malone
Dan, ( 4/2/07 )
Well - Matt and I went to the Smoky Mtns
for a few days and just got back
The pack just plain ROCKED! We had a variety
of conditions - including
Thanks again for everything......Randy
A hard act to follow: Dan Mazur, Avante Garde 8,000 meter guide makes the cover of Pacific Northwest Magazine in the Seattle Times wearing his McHale Pack. Click image for blowup. See Dan's services at: http://www.SummitClimb.com