As we turn the page to a new calendar year, we look back on 2012 with fond memories.  We couldn’t be happier with our re-launch of the Mountainlight line of backpacks and their reception with our customers.  While the 2012 line of Mountainlight packs carries the same name and ideology of Mountainlight we knew and loved in the early-2000s, this new school of backpacks is certainly a departure from the old pack line.  Combining Mountainsmith heritage technology and current trends in the ultralight category, new innovations take Mountainlight in a truly progressive direction.

2004 Mountainsmith Ghost backpack
The old 2004 Ghost provides inspiration for the new line of Mountainlight.

Taking a look at the flagship of the line, the Ghost 50 and comparing it to the 2004 model of the pack, some stark contrasts will be noticed.  The new Ghost is a product of modern innovation, with an emphasis on a pronounced trampoline suspension system known as the Breezeway.  “We’ve just seen too many trampoline suspensions rendered ineffective when the pack’s load negates the space behind the wearer’s back,” says Jay Getzel, Sales & Marketing Director of Mountainsmith.  “We wanted to create a product that allowed air to cool the hiker even when fully loaded,” he says, “and the Breezeway does just that.”

Ghost, 50, backpack, mountainlight, mountainsmith, ultralight, trampoline suspension
A side view of the Ghost 50 shows the pronounced trampoline suspension known as Breezeway.

While trimming weight from each pack for the Mountainlight line, Product Manager Luke Boldman, has maintained Mountainsmith’s heritage in a solid connection and support from the waist belt.  Using some of the brand’s original technology from the lumbar pack line, Boldman has kept with the Mountainsmith philosophy of loading as much weight on the lumbar section of the lower back and waist, rather than hanging much of the weight off the shoulders.  “We aim to carry 70% of the pack’s weight on the waist belt,” says Boldman, “while we observe the industry averages a 60/40 waist belt to shoulder strap ratio.”

A trio of waist belt technologies allow this to be done more effectively by Mountainsmith packs.  First, the Lumbar Control Point pad, provides an oversized connection of comfortable EVA foam to the wearer’s lower back.  Next, the Iliac Crest Shelf Cup waist belt hugs the hip bone with a dual-webbing waist belt that utilizes the entire width of the belt.  It’s shape mimics the curve of the Iliac Crest Shelf bone, running up along the rim of the bone rather than running a straight-line around the waist.  Finally, the Delta Compression Strap pulls the weight of the pack in close to the body, with a piece of webbing running from the waist belt to a point on the side of the suspension.  The total system of the Ghost allows hikers to carry the 50 liter load primarily on the waist belt.

It is especially exciting to combine 30+ year old waist connectivity technology with the latest in ultra-light materials and suspension concepts.  Building on this success; the 2013 All-Terrain line of packs takes many cues from its newest siblings in the Mountainlight line.  The newly inspired All-Terrain line will carry its trademark features and conveniences while mimicking the clean design and waist belt support of the Mountainlight line.

Mountainsmith, Lariat, Anvil, Airway, Suspension, 65 liter, all terrain, back pack
The 2013 All-Terrain takes a page from the Mountainlight book.

Looking forward to 2013, we are very excited with the direction of the Mountainsmith product line.

Click to see the new All-Terrain packs, and the latest from Mountainlight.

See our next post for more on the 2013 All-Terrain line.

sunset, mountainsmith, golden, co, colorado, table mountain
Another beautiful sunset from Mountainsmith headquarters in Golden, CO.


  1. Love Mountainsmith packs. After years & years & LOTS of money, I finally have a great fitting backpack!! Thanks Mountainsmith

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