Haglofs L.I.M. Strive 50L Review
Cons: Heavy, fabric lacks durability, lacks pockets and external carrying options
Our Analysis and Test Results
Haglofs, a small company out of Sweden, has recently provided a new contribution to the growing list of ultralight backpacking options in the L.I.M. Strive 50. This pack is simple in design, versatile, and sleek for those who are looking for a simplified model that performs well carrying both heavy and lighter loads. Its large mesh side pockets and substantially sized waistband also make the pack comfortable on long days. With and without the frame, it holds its form and provides support, more so than the lighter contenders that we tested. The L.I.M. Strive shines in its ability to adapt and can be used in a range of situations, from longer backpacking trips to the summit bid on a peak.
Though more widely available in Europe, Haglofs products are still sold online at various U.S. retailers. Some specialty outdoors shops may carry Haglofs products in the U.S., but the company is still relatively small and unknown.
Get it online at: Haglofs.com
Weight to Volume
The L.I.M. Strive receives its lowest scores in the weight to volume metric. Compared to your average mountaineering pack, it's undeniably lightweight, but when tested head to head to the highest-ranking competitors in the ultralight backpacking world, the Strive comes up short. Because it has a simple design with very few external pockets, the Strive has a lower overall carrying capacity than packs like the ULA Circuit or the Gossamer Mariposa.
Total weight with all modular components = 2 lb 9.6oz
Pack stripped of components =2 lb 8 oz
Lid = 2.1 oz
That aside, we did find that the Strive had a larger capacity than the manufacturer claimed-with a total volume of 63 L when measured, as opposed the 50 L capacity claimed online. When fully packed, we noticed that the Strive carried just as large a load as packs with similar volumes, such as the Gossamer Mariposa. The Strive still managed to beat out The North Face Phantom 38 when it came to its weight-to-volume ratio.
Total Volume = 63 L
Main Bag = 55 L
Pockets = 3 L
Lid = 6 L
Load Carrying Comfort
When the Strive is stripped down to its lowest overall weight, the pack carries very well with both light and heavy loads. In fact, at the beginning of our testing period, we removed the frame and didn't feel the need to replace it, even when carrying heavy loads. The waist belt is comfortable and wide, providing plenty of support (part of the reason why the pack is so heavy is this hefty, supportive band). Even with the frame removed, the back is stiff and provides support, though adds weight. The Strive 50 has one of the more supportive backs– similar to the two Gossamer models.
The L.I.M. Strive 50's most striking feature is, ironically, its distinct lack of features. The pack is sleek and simple, making it easy to trim down. Its top-loading design works well with the full-length, waterproof zipper down the outside of the pack. This feature makes it easy to access items that are at the bottom of the pack without unpacking everything. The pack also has a hydration sleeve compartment and a hose clip on the chest strap. In addition to the removable lid, the pack only has four other pockets: two mesh pockets on the side, and two on the hip belt. If you are looking for more small compartments for storage, this pack is not the pack for you. It is a simple pack, with enough support in the back (with a removable frame) to carry heavy loads with ease.
Packs that are comparable to the L.IM. Strive include the Hyperlite Windrider and The North Face Phantom 38. These competitors are simple in design and great options for light and fast peak-bagging or mountaineering missions.
The L.I.M. Strive 50 scored highly in the adaptability metric due to the ease of removing its frame, and its ability to carry both light and heavy loads. That being said, the waist belt is not removable, and it does not have compression straps on the side to slim down its profile when carrying less. The lid is easy to remove and makes the pack even more simplified and slimmed down when carrying smaller loads.
The Strive is decently compatible with a bear can; however, since the pack is narrower at the base, it is difficult to get the can down at the bottom of the pack without awkward spaces, which can be a substantial detraction for those planning on traveling through bear country. Alternatively, the Gossamer Gear Mariposa works quite well with a bear can as it is widest at the bottom of the pack.
Much of the lightweight nature of this pack comes from the material used in its construction. The lightweight Robic nylon fabric is thin, light, and DWR treated. Combined with the thin mesh side pockets and delicate elastic cord that makes up the front compression straps, the pack is not the most durable in the fleet of ultralight packs. Compared to the burly design of the Hyperlite Windrider, ULA Ohm 2.0, and ULA Circuit, the L.I.M. strive is made of considerably less durable materials. All that aside, during our three-month test period with this pack, the Strive did surprisingly well and did not sustain any major wear and tear.
The L.I.M. Strive 50 is a great lightweight climbing pack or summit pack for the ultralight mountaineer. It carries well under heavy loads, can cinch down to a small pack if need be, and is made of lightweight, durable materials. For shorter missions into the mountains carrying heavy loads, the Strive shines. Packs that performed similarly in these conditions were the Mammut Creon Light 45 and the Hyperlite Mountain Gear Windrider. All of these packs are lightweight, waterproof, and durable for alpine endeavors.
Often selling online for less than the list price, the Strive is an excellent deal. Though it is void of all the bells and whistles that many of the more expensive packs have, the Strive is thoughtfully designed. Similarly priced packs are the Granite Gear Virga 2 and the Mammut Creon Light, both of which are also similarly designed.
Overall, the Haglofs L.I.M. Strive is a great pack and a contender for the best lightweight mountaineering or summit pack out there, falling into a similar category as the Mammut Creon Light 45 or the Hyperlite Windrider 3400. All of these packs are simple in design, with few excess pockets or frills, perfect for ultralight, fast mountain missions. Though the Strive is heavier than many other specifically ultralight packs, it performed well in all other metrics, making it a great option for those looking for a lightweight pack that is versatile, durable, and simple.
— Jane Jackson