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Designed for the ultralight backcountry adventurer who needs both light weight and serious comfort under serious loads, the Divide bridges the gap between traditional UL backpacking packs and the load hauling external frames of yore. The Evolution articulating suspension rides close to the wearer and moves under light loads, yet is vertically rigid, enough that when sized correctly load carriage is limited only by the users physical fitness. Other 2.5 pound packs do well with 20-30 pounds, and struggle above. The Divide thrives with 30-50 pound loads and is capable over 100 pounds if properly fitted for the load. With a proven feature set tailored for backpackers, packrafters, and backcountry skiers, the Divide also delivers on hunting trips where weight is of utmost importance.
Despite what you've heard, all straps that can be bar tacked are in fact bar tacked. Any straps that are not are left unstitched for a particular reason.
Handmade in Grand Junction, Colorado, USA.
Rain Cover / Seam Sealing:
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 on 1st Jan 2017
Now at 2400 PCT miles on the green Divide with 2" extensions this year. Except for scratched paint on frame there is no obvious wear. With a magnifying glass you can see fuzzing of the fabric near the waist belt and on the bottom. And the top fabric has subtlety bleached in the sun. And the padding in the shoulders has flattened a little bit. I'd guess the pack has at least 80% of its life left (~10,000 miles) which realistically will probably take me to my grave.
I have decided the bachelor buckles on the bottom are fine, but the ones on the sides are annoying, would rather have normal buckles there. They have a tendency to unhook when not tight, which seems to happen whenever I stop and take something out of the main compartment. And then I inevitably don't notice until I have my pack on. The one on the bottom don't seem to come accidentally off unless you completely empty the pack which isn't a problem.
Only semi-complaint I have overall is that some of the reviews I read online made it seem like this pack was nearly waterproof and wouldn't benefit much from a pack cover. In my experience in Washington, aside from the fact that the material won't soak up/retain a ton of water this pack needs a liner and/or cover just as much as any other. The water just wicks straight through the seems. Really, more a problem with incorrect expectations on my part than a problem with the pack. To be clear, I have not seem sealed.
I still give the pack 5 stars and consider the money well spent. I see no reason that I would shop for another pack unless I go crazy and go super ultra light. Thanks for making an awesome pack seek outside! Caps on 8th Nov 2016
roll top, water proof, durable, reachable side pockets. Amazing frame great load transfer, pack will touch your hips and lower back leaving your upper back with some air flow. Mesh is rough enough to take off some of your skin, I doubt it will rip. Very nice wide shoulder straps and comfortable hip padding. Good bag shape, smaller at the bottom and wider at the top makes for easier to put things in. Bag is huge, easily fit my 30 degree kit; excited to try it out this winter. Unknown on 24th Oct 2016
After trying (and suffering through) numerous internal and external frame packs, I am in awe of how well this pack carries a load. I only have about 30 miles on it so far, so I can't comment on long term durability, but the materials and construction leave little doubt it will last a long time.
The hip belt is amazingly comfortable, and the way it actually sits around my hips, I don't have to tighten the waist strap as much as other packs.
The frame and hip belt distribute load very well. My max so far is ~45#, and likely won't carry much more than this. But it worked great from 45# down to 15# on day hikes.
Wasn't sure about the bachelor buckles when I bought it, but I now love them. Much easier to access things that are lashed than traditional ones.
The stash pocket and water bottle pockets work great and are are big enough to carry things I need to access during the day. Got caught in a downpour hiking in Glacier NP and the inside of the pack was bone dry. I haven't seam sealed it, though I may just for peace of mind.
Prior to getting the Divide, the pack I had the best luck with was an older Gregory. But after 10 miles or so my hips and back would get sore, even with 35-40#. I cruised along with 45# in the Divide and the only thing that didn't keep up and feel great were my lungs.
I honestly have nothing negative to say about the Divide 4500. A roll top bag isn't big on organization, but I knew that going in. It's lightweight, rugged, waterproof, adjustable, and carries a load like nothing I've encountered.
Thanks for making such a great product! Dennis on 18th Jul 2016
Setup: Divide 4500 in Olive with multi-lid. Used 2" extensions to the frame for my longer torso length. Adjusted belt height so that the pack rides as high as possible. Added belt and shoulder strap pockets from another vendor.
I've VERY pleased with the way this pack carries. I have over 70 mile on it so far, with pack weights from 19 #'s (short hike) to 35 #'s on several longer hikes. The weight all comes down on my hips; just as everyone said that it would. I like it! Admittedly this may be partially because I have paid more attention to learning about pack adjustment than I did with my old pack. The various videos available were helpful. When I tighten the load lifters they actually work.
The material is very rugged. I could probably have gotten the lighter material and saved the weight. But this material is great.
The mesh pocket is also very rugged and works for many of my items that I need easily accessible. The bottle pockets do the job as well. I like that they actually have a shape so that the bottle does not have to take up volume from the pack.
The multi-lid was a later purchase. I felt I needed a bit more volume for some scout camping when I don't have as much control over all of the gear I carry. It works well. I like the internal zippered pocket for my valuables. I likely will not use the lid all of the time.
I felt I wanted more pockets so I added some aftermarket ones on the belt and straps. Makes the pack more user-friendly for me.
I agree with with another reviewer that the lower side compression straps could have been an inch higher but they work OK where they are.
Again, I'm more than just a bit happy with this pack. Don S. on 14th Jun 2016
I've had the pack on the pct for 650 miles so far and I am very happy with it. It isn't magical (a heavy pack is still heavy) but I can put the load entirely on my hips when desired. I refuse to use water caches and have carried up to about 50 pounds for dry sections without regret. Almost everyone with different ultralight packs cannot realistically do that and so they have to mitigate the water requirements via what I consider to be less ideal methods. I have my bear can now and it was easy to strap to the top and loads my hips not my shoulders -- while most everyone else has spent the past weeks dreading getting their bear cans because of how poorly most packs carry them.
I'm not crazy about the bachelor buckles, but I understand why they are used. And the routing of the lower side compression strap is a bit annoying (raising it an inch would fix this problem). But those are relatively small issues.
Overall I am happy with spending a little more cash to get something that is rock solid that can carry anything I throw at it with only moderate weight and cost penalities. A weight conscious lightweight backpacker can love this pack. Caps on 14th Jun 2016
A friend and I, both 75 years old and both had Osprey Aethers. He bought a Fortress and got me to try it. I opted for the Divide as most of my overnights are 2-3 days and and I wanted the outside net storage. Along with the pack I purchased extenders, accessory pocket set, and a multilid.
The waist belt and shoulder straps carry the weight (at or under 40#) better than any pack I have owned-very very satisfied.
The numerous adjustments can, for the most part, be made while moving which is way better than stopping, adjusting, then finding you are still not comfortable.
There is plenty of room. I carry the tent strapped to the back, and the multilid and net pocket are great for miscellaneous and frequently used item. I also use a flexible bear canister which fits easily into the pack.
There are numerous straps and fittings. It takes a while to get everything set up as you like. Take your time and soon it all works very well. Also, I have loosely tied the ends of the straps so that clips/fittings do not fall off.
The grey lighter material seems plenty rugged to me and saves weight.
Really like it. It has taken me awhile to adjust things so that the lid stays in place and does not move forward toward my neck and hat.
Accessory packet set:
Again, I like it, very handy for keeping things organized.
2 " Extensions:
I have never been fitted so maybe I do not need them? They were very easy to install.
Hope this helps someone make a decision. I have no regrets purchasing these products and recommend them to friends.
Birdman on 8th Jun 2016
First off I am a 65 year old guy who just started backpacking last year. I have looked at various packs for over a year to find something a little more comfortable than my Osprey Aether but with that carrying capacity. Because I was concerned about buying sight unseen I was very hesitant about buying it. I contacted Kevin by email and explained that I would be testing the pack by carrying about 40LB in it on a local trail here in the midwest and then decide if I would keep it. He said fine. I also contacted another company named K and he emailed back and basically said if I took it out of my house I couldn't return it because it probably would be damaged, so they were eliminated immediately. I then ordered the pack and got it. I put about 40LB into it and carried it and it felt uncomfortable. I watched the set up of the pack video again and then went to work adjusting the pack. It was stupid of me to think that it wouldn't need adjustment. Next time it was great after the fine tuning. I then carried it weekly about 8-10 miles with about 35-40 LB and alternating with the Osprey. Because I was going to the Isle Royale I wanted to make sure that I would be taking the right pack. The Divide was the most comfortable for me. Before I left I seamed sealed the pack. I got to the Isle and it started to rain which continued for the next 6 days. My gear stayed dry and I used no pack liner or pack cover. I was worried about the durability of the pack but that was of no concern. It carried well and did the job riding up at the correct height on my hips. When I was preparing to leave a person who works on the Island saw the pack sitting on a bench and wondered who owned it, I thought it was in the way. He then said he always wanted to see one and then asked if he could try it on. I told him yes and he felt it was the best pack he had ever worn or seen and considering how many people who come to the Isle every year that was impressive. What works for me isn't what works for everyone else, but what I like is that It carries higher on my iliac crest then my Osprey. I bought the 2 inch extensions and they made a big difference for me. I understand that they probably are not needed for my pack weights but for my comfort it is what works and this is the only pack in this weight class that does this. I always felt that no matter what pack I tried on it was always too low on my iliac crest. I have previously returned 3 packs and spent hours trying on packs. I also added a lid cover from another company and belt pockets. I plan on taking this to the PCT in July for a section hike. At first I was concerned that it didn't have a water bladder compartment, but during my hikes it was of no concern and have no plans to use one. All in all I think its a well thought out product with all of the daisy chains on the pack, it gives you a lot of options for attachment points and the mesh pocket on the outside worked great for carrying my camp shoes. This is the only pack where I can actually reach my non limber arms back and pull out my one liter water bottle from the pockets without feeling like I am going to separate my shoulder. The color is great, but that is insignificant to me, comfort is more important. If it came in lime yellow that would just fine as long as it does the job. I don't see any concerns after this trip about wear points and anticipate getting good use out it. I ordered the cobra buckle and the extensions and would recommend that if you order the pack order the accessories at the same time to save shipping charges. Unknown on 2nd Jun 2016
Defects in manufacturing and material for the practical lifetime of the product. Damage due to wear and tear or misuse will be repaired for a reasonable charge.
|Internal Volume:||4500 CI (73 Liters)|
|External Volume:||1200 CI (20 Liters)|
|Base Weight:||Alpine Gray 2 lb 12, Olive 3 lb|
|Torso Range 24:||14 - 19|
|Torso Range 26:||16 - 21|
|Access::||Top Loading Roll Top / Stuff It Pocket / 2 Bottle Pockets|