Designed for the ultralight backpacker and backcountry adventurer who needs both light weight and comfort under serious loads, the Divide bridges the gap between traditional ultralight backpacking and load hauling external frames.
Other 2.5 pound packs do well with 20 - 25 pounds, and struggle above. The Divide thrives with 30-50 pound loads and is capable over 100 pounds.
With a proven feature set tailored for lightweight backpackers, pack rafters, and backcountry skiers, the Divide also delivers on ultralight backpack hunting trips where weight is of utmost importance.
Tapered main bag adapts to large loads, and rolls down to hug smaller loads. When rolled down to the top of the frame the Divide is little more than 3000 cubic inches, but at full capacity balloons to 4500.
Dimensional side pockets with shock cord closure. Uncinch, access a bottle or snacks, and recinch with one hand on the fly. Shock cord is user replaceable for long service life.
Rear mesh pocket for storage of wet or quick access items.
Movable / Removable compression straps. The Divide ships with an over the top strap, three side compression straps on each side, and two bottom compression straps. The most common compression scheme used by most people is two side straps, an over the top strap, and the bottom straps only if needed for a bear can or sleeping pad.
Main pack bag is made of X-Pac™ waterproof material and features a waterproof rolltop closure. Seam sealing the outside seams is recommended for exceptionally wet environments.
Waterproof stuff sacks are recommended for exceptionally rainy conditions, and drybags for submersion or severely wet conditions such as bushwacking or canyoneering.
All bear cans will fit horizontally in the upper 2/3 of the bag
Bear cans may be strapped on with lower compression straps
Bear cans may be carried under the top strap
Suspension is 500D Cordura and 3D spacer mesh. Hypalon and 500D Cordura reinforcements
Pack bag is made from X21RC xpac (grey) or X42 xpac (olive). X21 represents an excellent balance of durability and weight for on trail or lighter duty uses. X42 easily stands up to all but the most abusive of applications.
I bought this pack earlier this year. Previously I've used an old Kelty Tioga external frame that I love, but I've been looking for something a bit lighter and sleeker. The Divide looked like it would be an improvement on both fronts. I've taken it on several day hikes loaded up with typical backpacking weights to test things out. While it is definitely lighter and sleeker, I've had some personal fit issues that I haven't been able to resolve. But those things are just as much a function of my body type as they are the pack, so I'll give my review with that fact in mind.
Build Quality and Materials - All the stitching, straps, frame are very well put together. The X42 material definitely inspires confidence. Having experience with other "ultralight" products in my kit, this pack feels nigh indestructible. It feels like it can take anything short of a knife blade.
Frame - The frame is outstanding. Load transfer to the hips is very good, and yet it is lower profile and more mobile than most external frame packs. It has a simple, yet adjustable shoulder strap setup.
Ventilation - The ventilation is pretty good. Not as good as my Kelty, but I've yet to try a pack that compares to the ventilation on that thing. I've gotten a little sweaty wearing the Divide, but it was on a hot day and was manageable.
Pockets - The mesh back pocket seems pretty durable, and the shock cord closure lets you tighten things down well to secure them. The side pockets are also pretty good, though might be a little loose some of the time if you're storing something slim in them. I think the only way to deal with that would be to make them out of stretchy material, but I prefer the durability of the X42 in this spot. I like the webbing on the hip belt allowing me to add some hip belt pockets.
Service - I want to thank Seek Outside for a great service experience. I called prior to ordering and got friendly and helpful responses. I also asked for an extra sternum strap and they included it free of charge.
This section looks worse than it is - most of these are just minor issues. I just want to cover them for completeness.
Over-weight - Mine came in a few ounces over the spec'ed weight. Not a huge deal, but a lot of ultralight folks can be very picky about small weight differences.
Compression straps - I've had varied success with the compression straps on this pack. The main issue I've had is that the space between the two levels of compression is prone to bulging. The bulging is mostly just cosmetic - it doesn't really hamper the handling of the pack. Depending on what you're hauling, the bulging can also be mitigated with careful packing.
Strap clips - The compression strap hook clips aren't terribly secure when they're not under tension. Often times my compression straps come undone when I remove a few things from the pack. I think this has been resolved in more recent iterations, as it looks like the new hardware includes a small "gate" that keeps the strap from coming out of the hook. Good improvement.
Fitment - This is the real deal killer for me. It feels like both the shoulder straps and the hip belt aren't really made for my body type.
The shoulder straps don't really conform to my shoulders very well. Ideally they would lie "flat", which would allow them to utilize all the padding for even pressure. I've fiddled with the various fit straps and couldn't really ever achieve this.
With the hip belt, I have similar issues. Ideally I'd want the belt to apply even pressure and hug my iliac crest (my Kelty external frame does this perfectly). With the Divide, the pressure feels concentrated on the boniest part of my iliac crest, and I actually got some light bruises from day hikes. Keep in mind that I'm a very skinny guy, so I have next to no "natural" padding.
I think the Divide is a good pack with some minor issues (some of which have been resolved!).
Unfortunately, the design seems to clash a bit with my body type, and despite trying to adjust things, I can't really get it to feel comfortable enough to use over another pack. I am going to look into selling mine, as I'm well outside of the return period at this point. Jeff
22nd Aug 2017
I tried the Zpacks Arc Haul, ULA catalyst, Gregory Baltoro, Osprey Atmos and none of them felt comfortable for me. Finally, after lots of desperate searches, I stumbled upon a thread that talked about Seekoutside bags and I ordered the Divide with great excitement and anticipation. And it has lived upto the hype. I can comfortably carry 35 lbs. The hipbelt, shoulder harness, load lifters are awesome. I was worried that I may never be able to do the PCT till I found this bag! It is a great design! My base weight is around 16.5 lbs and with 6 days of food (4000 calories per day) and 5 liters of water, my total weight comes to 36.5 lbs. With Bearikade blazer, 38 lbs! I am able to the carry the weights effortlessly and have started enjoying the hikes with 35 lbs! The side pockets are great for carrying 2 liter Platy water bags - this is a must for me. Side pockets need to be big enough to hold 2 liter Platy bags - I am not sure where else one can keep the water if not in the side pockets. It is not practical to carry the 4 liters inside the backpack as it takes space away from the rest of the stuff. And you don't want to keep opening the backpack to get to your reserve water. The mesh pocket is sturdy and big enough to keep your rain gear/cold gear. I did add side pockets from a different bag so that I can keep my toiletries and electronics on the side. The frame is very strong. I like the floating waist belt as it attaches beautifully all around your waist and doesn't provide pressure points which make your waist belt move like the other bags. Some backpacks stand upright when filled up - this one doesn't not because of the external frame - not a big issue.
Here is what I found with the other bags so that others can learn from my experience of finding a good backpack! Zpacks Arc Haul is second favourite bag - but, unfortunately, the bag does slide down with 38 lbs or so. I don't use the Arc for ventilation as I got collarbone pain which some of have reported with arched bags like Arc Haul or Osprey Atmos/Exos bags. Luckily unlike the Osprey bags, you have the option of not having the Arc in the Zpacks bags. If the frame was a little sturdier, then the Zpacks bag may have worked out great!
ULA Catalyst was a huge bag and I never could feel comfortable with that bag and it seemed like it doesn't pack as well as the Zpacks bag. Also, I could never get hold of the loop for placing the bag down from my shoulder as it was someways down from the top of the bag once filled up fully.
Zpacks/ULA have huge side pockets just like Divide!
Osprey Atmos and Gregory Baltoro are really odd ball bags. Both of have idiotic side pockets where one cannot keep 2 liter Platy bags. Osprey Exos 58 does have space - but it doesn't have the adjustments for torso length. Osprey Atmos's belts are also crazy stiff and always swing inwards making it difficult to put on the bag and it is just too narrow and too tall.
Overall, I am very happy with the bag and I am glad I found it - though by chance. Seekoutside needs to do better advertisements. One thing I will point out is the hit or miss customer service experience I encountered. I got my bag 3 weeks after I ordered it and it was sent via ground which is weird after charging 18 dollars or so for delivery. The least they can do is send it via air. I cannot think of anyone else who does this. I received the wrong bag - the one with bachelor buckles after I was told that I will get the June 2017 updates. When I contacted them, they said they had the new bags in stock and sent it immediately within 3 days which was nice. But, in both deliveries, I did not get the horizontal cross stay. They then sent it separately after pointing that out. I had also ordered the waist belt pockets which they could have sent it with the bag - but chose to send it to me via air even before I got the first bag with bachelor buckles which was un-necessary and they could have saved some money. Lastly for the bizzare part - they had sent me a return label to return the bag with the bachelor buckles. I sent the bachelor bag back to them and guess what happened! They refused to take the bag and returned it back to me! So, now I have an extra bag - maybe it is a gift for all the screwups! They really need to revamp their delivery mechanisms - have a single point of contact or at least take notes on every customer interaction on their billing system so that they do not keep screwing up. I will just wait for them to realize that they made a mistake in sending me back the bachelor buckle bag and ask for it!
12th Aug 2017
Another 1000 mile review
I just finished the last half of my AT thru, over 1000 miles, with the Divide and I would like to share some impressions I've formed about this outstanding pack.
I only saw one other S.O. the entire hike. Osprey were in the majority with ZPack not too far behind. I talked up my Divide, particularly the virtues of the rather unassuming hip belt, at every opportunity. Some got it some didn't.
My Divide is Alpine Grey X21 with S.O. belt pockets and Multilid.
The belt pockets are great wouldn't change a thing.
My hat is off to who ever designed the Multilid. Absolutely spot on for my needs; just the right size, shape and adjustable to keep it tight to the bag. The "hidden" zipper was were I keep my money and ID. Good Job. The blaze orange wasn't very colorfast, I don't care but someone else might complain. I don't see them listed on your site, hope they are still offered.
I loved the pack bag and suspension it exceeded all my expectations. It was comfortable, even with resupply loads or humping extra water into a dry camp. Everything worked as it should! You guys really know what you are doing.
However, I had issues with the triglides on the shoulder straps that attached the load lifters. When it was wet (it rained a lot) they would slip up the shoulder strap and lose adjustment. One of the triglides must of had a burr or a rough spot and it nearly sawed all the way though the load lifter strap. The other side was damaged too but not enough to need repair. I wound up tying the lifters to the shoulder strap daisy chain with a piece of string and that worked ok.
I did a crappy job seam sealing and water would wick into the seams and through were the webbing and net were sewn on. Like I said it rained a lot. I solved that problem when I got a Packa.
Other than really just one problem that was easily repaired the Divide and your accessories worked great. Kenneth Charles
18th Jul 2017
1000 Mile Review
I bought this pack less than a month before starting the PCT and have no regrets. I've been living out of it for 2.5 months and I can say that it is bombproof. I ordered the x42 with the multi lid. The pack consistently carries between 30-50+ pounds with ease. The side pockets of the pack are perfect. They easily fit 2 water bottles on each side and allow you to access and put back while walking. The mesh pocket is amazing, the mesh does not stretch much but it is very durable. I max out the mesh pocket daily and there has been no sign of wear or tear. The stitching on the pack is just as bombproof as the x42 itself. I could go on about things I love about the pack but I must provide some criticism as well. I wish the horizon stay had a way to be more permanent, it stays in place better than you think it would and like having it but would like a posible hardware attachment alternative. My only other critique is that the shoulder harness could be more robust, don't get me wrong it is not weak or showing signs of wear but compared to other packs it could handle a little more padding and rigitity. That is it, if you want a pack with lifetime reliability you can't go wrong with the Divide. Oh yeah, it's pretty cool looking as well.Andrew K
8th Jul 2017
pull the trigger on the 4500 divide
I have written a review on here before but feel I must do another one. I just returned from a week long hike where I really got to see how much better this pack is the others are here are just a few points. It rained like hell and my buddies packs where soaked and they carried around wet heavy packs for days mine was bone dry and everything thing in it was bone dry. One buddy had a rain cover but between the cover coming on and off and the wind issues while it was just a pain we called it his parachute he hated it but I got a great laugh about it. My pack was very comfortable and I carried some larger loads then I had to but with water food and gear I was still comfortable they were not. To be nice I took my turn with there packs and wow what a difference they loved mine I hated there packs. This pack is not cheep but I bet if I sold them 5 miles into your trip you would pay twice the amount and be happy.I looked for a month online and in stores and was hesitant on getting a pack online so for me it was a step of courage but the right move for sure. With all the thru hikers and lightweight gear being made from everything like tents sleeping pads sleeping bags pots ect ect I would LOVE to see a smaller volume pack made as well something around the 50 liter area as there are so many pack in that range but all are not comfortable when you add the water and food weight.
The system these guys have is not only comfortable but easy to carry and I have owned 20 packs in my days. The day they sell I smaller lightweight pack I will order another pack and I will be set with the two packs and I know others will buy them too. As far as I am concerned the x pac material is the best for the outdoors period nothing else covers all the bases I have one Cubin fibre backpack but they are like a bic lighter you use them for a short period of time and they get tossed there are worn thru worn out I cant see ever getting something that lasts a season or long thru hike and its done. BUY THIS PACK YOU WILL NOT REGRET ITDARRYL
6th Jun 2017
Best packrafting backpack out there
I just love this backpack. My main use for it is packrafting. The Divide got everything you're looking for in a packrafting backpack; It's light, it's comfortable, it's as waterproof as any cuben backpack available, it can carry heavy, it's great looking, it sits perfect on the bow of the raft, it's durable, it can carry big volume, it's got a dedicated packraft/barrel "holder", it's adjustable for any torso length, load lifters that's actually useful, huge hip pockets that you can open with one hand, NO hydration port (which is a good thing for packrafters)... I could go on, but these are the important facts that makes this pack so much better than previous hyped "packrafting backpacks" like HMG Windrider (why is this even considered to be a packrafting pack?).
Thank you Seek Outside for making the best packrafting pack available.Martin from Sweden
9th May 2017
Im a hunter, bushwacker, plane traveller, trail maker, car camper, bike rider, snowboarder and more. Ive BOUGHT and OWNED gregory, ULA, Granite Gear, Military ILBE bags, foreign molle bags from the dutch army, kelty, and KUIU.
This is the one. After 3+ years of trying everything to find my fit - short of ordering a Mchale (and I would have if this didnt work) im finally satisfied with my pack.
Lightweight, well designed, WATERPROOF (at least for western washingtons standards) spacious yet collapseable.
I am 6'1 220lbs and I can fit my backpacking gear into my bag with room to carry our older dachsund in the outside mesh pocket when she gets tired, 55lbs no issues long distance.
I use my bag for smaller bikepacking trips and am able to accurately compress the bag . The mesh pocket works well to get mushrooms during the spring and fall. Carries wood well.
ONE THING TO NOTE - top lids slide around and dont work well with this bag when not full. I cut and resewed my buckles to use the lid on the upper half of the back of the bag, but it doesnt come this wayCasey
24th Apr 2017
Tried and tested
First of all i spent a ton of time looking for a backpack that has a balance of durability and is lightweight but still able to haul a load when needed.I looked at the curcuit and other pack from ula and tons of others but decided on the divide for the following reason.FIrst I had my seams sealed by seek outside and my pack has been in a lot of rain and my pack has been bone dry.Love the idea of not haveing a backpack cover that will be caught in the wind or having to look for it all the time.
Pack is a great size super comfortable and very adjustable.I wanted a pack for longer hikes but wanted one that will last for years not a cuben pack I need to replace each year..
I chose the x42 material and I would rate it heavey duty strength and maybe even overkill but for two ounces more I am okay with that.The fact it's water proof is HUGE for me nothing is wet and don't carry a wet heavey bag.I was very hesitant on ordering a backpack not seeing it but in every way it's better than I thought it's unreal.My friends all have seen it now and are so impressed.I am pretty picky and can count on one hand how many times things have been much better than I thought but this in one of those times.The staff have been excellent from start to finish.The cost is a little more than other but this is one of them things you get what you pay for and in this care more than I payed for. Pockets are awesome and bag locks down a load super well.The straps come super long so they can be trimmed almost everywhere to save more weight.I can't tell you the difference with this pack compared to other when you have 25 pounds or more and when you get 35 and more you can't even compare.I am in Canada so for me it's another 30 percent on top of the price and I still feel great about this pack as I know I will have it for years and years.I can't comment on the x21 but for me and adding 3 oz for the x42 I know this pack will take what I give it and keep me happy for years and years.I am convinced that if this was in the local REI it would be the best seller hands down.
In conclusion I am sure I can get this pack under three pounds with trimming of straps and removing the over the top strap the horizon stay ect and I have a full framed durable pack able to carry small and larger load with comfort and be happy for years.My money does not come easy so I try to make smart purchases and go by the thought of buying the right thing once not the wrong thing two or three times and this was the right purchase.I don't think buying a pack a pound lighter that wears out in a year and is hard to carry with all gear and food makes sense ever.Best backpack purchase ever.Darryl Haison
28th Mar 2017
Delighted with my Divide 4500
I believe that the Divide 4500 may be the "do everything" pack that I've been looking for.
I'm a "lightweight" backpacker and also a Scout Leader who takes lots of scouts on overnight trips. When I'm backpacking solo or with a small group of capable hikers, I rarely have over 25lbs in my pack including consumables and my ULA Catalyst or GG Mariposa work just fine. I like both of these packs and they work well with loads under 30 lbs. However, I'm also a Scout Leader who takes new scouts on trips and I invariably end up carrying extra gear - troop first aid kit, extra food, etc just in case. Recently, I hauled 45 lbs on an overnight scout trip to a dry camp using the ULA pack and was miserable as the suspension jus't cant carry that much weight comfortably.
I am also taking 2 scout crews to Philmont and know that I will end up with over 40 lbs due to the way the trips are outfitted with crew gear and food. So, after reading all the reviews (particularly "Section Hiker") about the Divide 4500, I decided to take the plunge and add a pound or so to my pack weight in order to get the load carrying capability I need.
I've taken the Divide 4500 on two overnight trips so far with about 30 lbs total weight so have not yet tested it at my upper weight limit. Here's what I can say about it at this point:
1. The hip belt and harness are the most comfortable I've ever used. The hip belt is wider and a better "wrap" than my other packs and way more comfortable. I'll still have to see how it does at higher weights but I expect it to be great. Since the torso is fully adjustable, I've been able to "dial in" a perfect fit .
2. The pack body has all the features I wanted (expandable front mesh pocket, roll top, large side pockets) plus the ability to compress and use as a day pack - Important to me for use in ascending "Baldy" at Philmont.
3. The material and construction is best in class. The quality of workmanship is superb.
The one area that I was concerned about was the ability of the side pocket to hold two 1L "Smart Water" bottles. After receiving the pack and loading it, the side pocket did not seem tall enough to secure two of the bottles on one side. However, after using the pack on two trips, I can say that the side pocket held the two bottles securely. The water bottles were accessible while hiking and held the bottles securely in place when bending over. That was a key concern that has now been alleviated. If you carry the tall 1L water bottles, you won't have any problem with securing them.
Finally, I like the pack so much that I bought one for my "soon to be" Eagle Scout for the trip to Philmont.
16th Mar 2017
I received my Divide 4500 on Wednesday, December 21st. Unfortunately, someone had forgotten to include the sternum strap. I called Seek Outside and after a chat with Luke, a sternum strap was being sent my way. They also kindly allowed me to exchange my medium hipbelt for a small. NOTE: I have a 32" waist (measured with a seamstress's tape), and the small hipbelt fits perfectly.
The strap and belt arrived on Thursday, December 29. Just in time! I had a trip planned for an off-trail wander in the Ojito Wilderness with my longbow and a few buddies. We spent the night on a high bluff under the glow of the Milky Way. Coyotes serenaded us and the piñon smoke was the smell of wildness.
In the morning, we shouldered our packs and headed across the badlands on a compass guided ramble. My Divide 4500 carried like a dream! (Almost...see note below) I was able to shoot my 72lb draw-weight bow while wearing it. I carried about 35lbs in the pack and had no problems with discomfort other than when a cookpot was poking me in the spine. (My careless packing; soon remedied.)
The flexibility of the suspension allowed me to leap across gulches and bend over to pick up arrows. It rested lovingly on my hips and was stable, supporting the load well. I had no problem with the rigid framing impeding freedom of movement nor did the frame base scrape my tailbone.
I do have a bit of a feeling that the pack drifts backwards somewhat at the top. This is despite packing it properly, adjusting the sternum straps, etc. Perhaps I need to bend the frame slightly? Any feedback would be appreciated.
As noted by Philip Werner, the shoulder harness is wide. I am not a tiny guy, (6'1", 185 lbs.) and it works for me, but just barely.
Sometimes I like to backpack shirtless, and the mesh on the hipbelt and shoulder straps seems rather abrasive. Not a deal breaker, and perhaps it will soften up after use.
It would be nice if at least one hipbelt pocket was included instead of only being available as a $25 add-on.
All in all, a great experience, and if the pack ends up carrying the 50 lb load that I plan to carry in the snow at 12k feet in February, it will enter the pantheon of backpack divinity! I should add that due to the rather hefty price tag, It will have to last for at least a decade for it to enter that exalted state! We shall see.
Keep in mind that all of the above is only an initial impression after one outing. I often find that it takes me up to a year of use with gear before I have concrete opinions based on sufficient experience.
I do, however, have good vibes and high hopes for my Seek Outside Divide 4500!Tree
1st Jan 2017