13
Apr
2013
jloomis

HMK Summit V16 Pack Review

Brand: 
HMK
Model: 
Summit V16 #HM4SUMB
Price: 
$116.96
Product Rating: 
5
Picture of HMK Summit V16 Pack
Picture of HMK Summit V16 Pack - Right Side
Picture of HMK Summit V16 Pack - Left Side
Picture of HMK Summit V16 Pack - Inside

Features:

The Summit V16 is the largest pack in HMK's line of snowmobile-oriented backpacks. It's big on features and even bigger on durability. The Summit V16 sports individual compartments for a shovel, probe, and hydration bladder. It features a fully adjustable sternum strap and waist belt for added support and comfort, padded shoulder straps, padded shoulder blade and lumbar area, load compression straps, and a rugged scuff and moisture-resistant bottom. Organizing any snowmobile adventure is easy with the HMK Summit V16 pack, with its multitude of internal pickets, soft poly-lined goggle pocket, and dual zippered hip pockets. Glove friendly zipper pulls and embroidered logos finish off this workhorse of a snowmobile pack.

Specifications:

Size: 1600 cu.in. (26 L)
Material: Rip stop & Ballistic Nylon
Weight: 2 lbs 14 oz. (1.3 kg)

Initial Thoughts (04/06/13):

This is my second season snowmobiling and while all my other packs work fine, I have been eager to try a pack tailored specifically to the sport. HMK is a local Hood River, Oregon based company that offers a plethora of snowmobile gear and apparel. The Summit V16 is one of their snowmobile specific backpacks designed to take some heavy abuse. One of the features that immediately drew me to the pack is the ultra-rugged scuff and moisture resistant bottom. It is the most burly I have seen on any pack and perfectly suited for the wet and/or icy conditions snowmobiliers are often in. While the seams are not sealed, the bottom fabric itself appears to be completely impervious to water.

Another feature on the HMK Summit V16 that I really like is the dedicated shovel pockets. There is a sleeve on the right side for the handle with a buckle to secure it in place. The shovel blade then has its own pocket in the front of the pack with drainage holes. It's a great design that fits my generic shovel well.

A complaint I have often heard from other adventurers is the internal color of their packs. Many packs use a single layer of fabric with the inside the same - often dark or drab - color, making it hard to find packed items. Not with HMK's Summit V16. It is lined with high visibility orange fabric, making the contents really stand out. This is a great touch and good illustration of the thought and time that HMK puts into all its gear.

Construction appears to be top notch on the Summit V16 pack. Critical seams are double stitched and there are no loose threads common in cheaply made gear.

The pack is lightly padded (shoulder straps, waist belt, etc.) which is perfect in my opinion for smaller packs not designed for significant loads. The Summit V16 has adequate space for essential/safety gear, some extra clothes, food, and beverages. I like the arrangement and number of internal and external pockets. I often end up bringing way too much gear, but it is nice having a way to keep it all organized. The soft lined goggle pocket is a nice feature for those of us who wear snocross helmets. There are also places to lash more gear onto the front of the pack in the event even more space is desired.

At first look, the HMK Summit V16 appears to be the perfect snowmobile pack for riding the demanding terrain encountered in the West. There are enough features integrated into the pack that it could easily double for other sports as well. There are multiple ways to attach an ice axe, for example, for those of us that have vertical pursuits beyond the limits (or legal boundaries) of our snowmobiles. And HMK built the Summit V16 pack with a removable waist belt for use with a climbing harness.

Initial Field Test (04/13/13):

The HMK Summit V16 pack was the best part of my recent snowmobile trip to Mt Adams. Unfortunately I wasn't able to use the Summit V16 pack until near the end of the snowmobile season. The snow is melting fast and opportunities limited for future snowmobile trips. My favorite feature of the pack is still the rugged bottom. I can set it down anywhere and not worry about moisture or abrasion. We had wet snow fall most of the day and the Summit V16 remained completely dry inside.

The pack was very comfortable with my light load of around 12 pounds. I hardly noticed it was even on my back most of the day. I think it will do well with heavier loads as well. Due to the design, I was able stash the extra lengths of strap out of the way for a very clean appearance. I always hate straps that flap around in the wind, but that was not an issue on the HMK Summit V16.

After just the first trip, I am very impressed with the Summit V16 pack. It'll be my goto pack on every snowmobile day trip, so I'll be interested to see how it holds up over time. Unfortunately I won't know until next year when the winter snows return.

See Mt Adams adventure where the HMK Summit V16 pack was used.

Available from amazon.com.

Special thanks to HMK USA for providing the Summit V16 pack for review.

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Disclaimer: You are responsible for informing yourself of the hazards of backcountry travel and taking the necessary precautions. Loomis Adventures may not be held liable.