Sassafras Fastpack
Sassafras Fastpack
Sassafras Fastpack
Sassafras Fastpack
Sassafras Fastpack
Sassafras Fastpack
Sassafras Fastpack
Sassafras Fastpack

Sassafras Fastpack

$265.00

NOTE:
I'm working on Version 3 (V3) of the Sassafras to improve comfort and function at a lower weight. I do not have an ETA for the the release of V3 yet.

Designed for Movement

The Sassafras is designed for activities demanding stability and freedom of movement. It syncs with your motions, comfortably sticking to your body and minimizing 'bounce' over a wide range of loads. Storage options up front provide on-the-go access while the pack's tapered profile keeps the pack out of the way of your arms. Every pack is hand built in our small workshop in Montana.

  • On-the-fly trekking pole stash.
  • Variable volume for a variety of loads and activities.
  • Running vest inspired shoulder straps provide comfort and stability.
  • Dual sternum straps provide adjustable securement.
  • Numberous shoulder strap pockets hold a variety of items.
  • Load stabilizers let you tweak weight distribution on the fly.
  • Zippered sleeve accommodates hydration bladders and keeps other items closer to your back.
  • Hydration bladder hanger for better security.
  • Zippered side pocket provides a secure place to store keys and wallet.
  • Removable hipbelt to adjust to your varying activities.

Versatility

We like to mix up what we do outside. A great weekend for us might mean backpacking to camp on Friday night, then spending Saturday trail running out from camp to work up our appetites. For the runs, we just cinch the Sassafras flat to use it as a hydration pack. We use the zippered sleeve in the back panel for a hydration bladder or to store a jacket closer up against the back. Click here to see a video.

Design change notice! (V2)

I've decided to omit the secondary pockets on the shoulder straps for upcoming production runs. These are the black pockets placed on top of the main [colored] pockets (one of the pictures shows them with glove fingers sticking out). Though useful, they can get in the way of easily slipping a water bottle into the main pocket.

Proudly made in the USA.

Weight: 22.3 oz | 632g

Itemized weight:

  • Pack Body: 18.9 oz | 536g
  • Hip belt: 3.4 oz | 96g
  • Stuff : 0.3 oz | 9g
  • Total: 22.3 oz | 632g
  • Note: This is the weight for most packs. Your measurements may affect this weight by varying degrees, ranging from approximately 21.5 - 23.8 oz (610 - 675g).

Materials:

  • Pack body: VX07 Xpac
  • Primary pockets: Schoeller Dynamic
  • Secondary & hip belt pockets: Lycra mesh
  • Note: VX21 Xpac (black) is also available by request and typically adds about 2 - 3 oz. We recommend this option if you plan to do a lot of scrambling where the pack may scrape up against sharp rocks.

Capacity:

  • Overall Max. Volume: 34L
  • Pack Body (typical): 20L
  • Pack Body (max.): 26L+
  • Pack Body (min.): ~6L
  • Main Shoulder strap pockets: ~.7L x 2
  • Secondary Shoulder strap pockets: ~.2L x 2
    (We have decided to omit these pockets from the pack)
  • Side pockets: ~1.2L x 2
  • Back pocket: ~3L
  • Hip belt pockets: ~.5L x 2
  • Gel style pockets: ~.05L x 4
  • Note: All external pockets are stretchy. Volumes given are with the pockets about maxed out.

During the backorder period, custom sized packs are available for order.
Use the guide below to measure your torso length, waist, and chest. I'll use these to build your Sassafras pack to best fit your body. Note that custom sized packs may be subject to a 10% restocking fee if returned.

Packs are also available in standard sizes: Short, Medium, or Long

  • All standard hip belts fit natural waists from about 28" to 42", but will perform best in the 28" - 35" range.
  • The Short size is for torsos from 15.5" to 16.5" and chest sizes from 33" to 41".
  • The Medium size will fit most torsos from 17" to 22" and chest sizes from 33" to 41". The Medium size may also fit larger chest sizes if the torso length is in the lower range (eg, 43" chest with 18" torso).
  • The Long size will fit most torsos from 23" to 24" and chest sizes from 35" to 42". The Long may also be a good option for those with a 22" torso and chest measurement over 43".

How to take measurements

You'll get the best measurements with the help of a friend, but you can still get decent measurements on your own. Just take your time and take the measurements a few times to average the results.

Torso Length:

The distance along your spine from the C7 vertebra to the level of your iliac crest.

  1. Tilt your head forward and find the bony protrusion at the base of your neck. This is your C7 vertebra.
  2. Place your hands on your the top of your hips (iliac crest) with your thumbs pointed horizontally toward your back.
  3. Run a string along your spine from the level of your thumbs to the C7 vertebra.
  4. Measure the length of the string to determine your torso length.
Chest:

The distance around the fullest part of your chest.

  1. Stand up straight with your arms by your sides.
  2. Wrap a string or fabric tape measure around your chest at its widest point, a little below your armpits. This is usually over the nipples and across the shoulder blades.
  3. Breathe normally and try to keep the tape parallel to the ground.
  4. Measure the string or note the distance on the tape measure for your chest measurement.
Natural waist:

The distance around your torso at its narrowest point.

  1. Bend side-to-side to see where your body creases. This should be above the hips but below the ribcage.
  2. Measure the distance around your body at this level to determine your natural waist.

What to expect

As a fastpacking pack, the Sassafras may behave a bit differently from more traditional packs.

  • As a fastpacking pack, the Sassafras is designed to distribute weight evenly on the body rather than transferring weight to the hips. Transferring weight to the hips would create a pivot point about the hips and throw off your balance when running. When hiking with a fully loaded Sassafras, you should get limited load transfer to the hips resulting from the structure provided by the contents of your pack.
  • You may find that the Sassafrass has a tendency to ride higher than you're used to. This is most prevalent when the pack is fairly empty (used as a hydration pack) and/or when you're running with it. In the former case, it's because you've tightened down the shoulder straps to snug up the fit. In the later case, it's because during running, the pack unweights which causes the hip belt to lift off the hips. You tighten the hip belt to compensate, and it will naturally nest in the waist rather than on the hips. While users tend to notice this, it doesn't seem to bother them and should be expected with any pack (with a hip belt) when running. The hip belt's primary function is for load stabilization and extra storage capacity.
  • Most people find that the Sassafras's ideal use case is found when it's fairly well loaded (maybe 12ish - 22lbs) with a mix of hiking and running. This sweet spot is where the pack truly excels. When the pack is fairly unloaded, there have been some instances of chafing at the neck due to the pack riding higher and further forward. As such, we don't recommend using the Sassafras as your primary running vest; it's better thought of as a higher volume vest for slightly bulkier/heavier carries. Discomfort can also come from the load stabilizers touching the neck when the pack is fairly unloaded. In such a case, make sure to loosen up the stabilizers.
  • A less obvious method for dialing in your pack's fit is to loosen the sternum straps so that you can tighten the shoulder straps. This can slightly increase the distance between the shoulder straps around the neck and might be something to try if you do happen to experience chafing there. Inversely, if you feel that the pack is riding too high, try loosening the shoulder straps and tightening the sternum straps to compensate.
  • Don't forget the load stabilizers! Adjusting these in conjunction with other tweaks will affect how the pack feels. Start with them loosened, then tighten them as desired after you've made other adjustments.
Cinching down the Sassafras

Trekking pole stash

Product Availability

NOTICE: Due to equipment failure, we are currently unable to manufacture Silpoly tapered tarps, Silpoly Cirriforms, and the Swiftline. For now, our focus will be on other products, primarily DCF Tarps (tapered and Cirriform) and Silpoly Bug/Wind Bivys (and perhaps the Sassafras!). We do not have an ETA on when we'll be fully operational.

Unless otherwise stated, if the item is available to add to your cart, then it is in-stock and available to ship. Please see the shipping tab for expected fulfillment times.

If the item is marked as "sold out" or "available to backorder" then please refer to the production calendar and the FAQ below for more information.


Q: Why is so much stuff sold out?!

A: Our capacity is very limited, and we can't make products nearly quickly enough to meet demand. We only sell what I have in-stock, and don't typically take backorders. I know this can make it hard for you to plan, but in the longer term, it should help us to grow and to serve you better in the long term. See the last question for more info about this.


Q: When can I expect the item I'm interested in to become available?

A: For most items, please refer to the production calendar at the bottom of this page. This calendar shows when I expect to work on more substantial products. For some accessory products, production may not always be scheduled in advance and availability may be unpredictable.

FYI: If you do not see the item that you are interested in, then I do not know when it may become available (I don't have a private schedule beyond what's shown!).


Q: Can I pre-order, back-order, or reserve an item?

A: I'm afraid not. Out of fairness to everyone, I don't make special arrangements to reserve products. On rare occasions, I may open a product up for back-ordering to everyone (or a new product for pre-ordering). When this happens, it's made available to order on the website. If you are signed up for the stock notification, you will receive a notice that the item is available to order.


Q: Can you let me know when the item becomes available?

A: Yes. On the product page, enter your email address in the space provided to be automatically notified when inventory becomes available. If you don't see where you can do this, please let me know; sometimes there's a fluke in the settings and the field doesn't show. Please note that the email notification could get filtered out as spam. You can try to 'whitelist' info@yamamountaingear.com to make sure the email comes through.


Q: Why do you do things this way, and what are you doing to improve the situation?

A: For years I followed the more common back-order model, basically making everything to order. This approach made it challenging to increase production, limited time available to design new products or refine existing ones, impacted my personal/outdoor time, and meant long waits to get your gear delivered. I changed my approach when I moved to Montana in 2019. Offering only what's already made allows me to work and plan more efficiently, and opens up hiring opportunities.


NOTES ON USING THE CALENDAR

- For products shown on the calendar, you can typically expect the item to be made available towards the end, or soon after the period shown on the calendar. Sometimes, however, some items may be listed earlier in the period. For example, if the calendar shows that I'm working on tapered tarps, certain sizes may become available earlier within the period with other sizes coming later.

- Items that specify "ongoing production" mean that we are continually working on these items and doing our best to maintain inventory. If the item or a particular size is sold out, you can expect it to likely become available soon.

- Please note that you can change the month shown on the calendar using the arrows at the top.

Shipping Information


While most orders ship out within 1 - 3 business days, please allow up to one week for us to ship your order. This gives us some scheduling flexibility for getting out on the trail!*

*If you select seam sealing services with your purchase, please allow a few extra days for us to seal the item(s) and ship your order.


Domestic Rates

Order Total Shipping Fee Shipping Method Typical Transit Time
(business days)
under $50 $3.25 USPS First Class 2 - 5
$50.00 to $99.99 $5.15 USPS First Class 2 - 5
$100.00 to $199.99 $6.95 USPS First Class / Priority 2 - 3 for Priority
2 - 5 for First Class
$200.00 to $349.99 $9.95 USPS Priority 2 - 3 for Priority
$350.00 to $499.99 $12.95 USPS Priority 2 - 3 for Priority
Over $500 $15.95 USPS Priority 2 - 3
Note: Stickers and DCF Patches ship for free

International

I'm sorry, but for the foreseeable future, I'm not able to offer international shipping.

The Pack

Designed for Movement

The Sassafras is designed for activities demanding stability and freedom of movement. It syncs with your motions, comfortably sticking to your body and minimizing 'bounce' over a wide range of loads. Storage options up front provide on-the-go access while the pack's tapered profile keeps the pack out of the way of your arms. Every pack is hand built in our small workshop in Montana.

  • On-the-fly trekking pole stash.
  • Variable volume for a variety of loads and activities.
  • Running vest inspired shoulder straps provide comfort and stability.
  • Dual sternum straps provide adjustable securement.
  • Numberous shoulder strap pockets hold a variety of items.
  • Load stabilizers let you tweak weight distribution on the fly.
  • Zippered sleeve accommodates hydration bladders and keeps other items closer to your back.
  • Hydration bladder hanger for better security.
  • Zippered side pocket provides a secure place to store keys and wallet.
  • Removable hipbelt to adjust to your varying activities.

Versatility

We like to mix up what we do outside. A great weekend for us might mean backpacking to camp on Friday night, then spending Saturday trail running out from camp to work up our appetites. For the runs, we just cinch the Sassafras flat to use it as a hydration pack. We use the zippered sleeve in the back panel for a hydration bladder or to store a jacket closer up against the back. Click here to see a video.

Design change notice! (V2)

I've decided to omit the secondary pockets on the shoulder straps for upcoming production runs. These are the black pockets placed on top of the main [colored] pockets (one of the pictures shows them with glove fingers sticking out). Though useful, they can get in the way of easily slipping a water bottle into the main pocket.

Proudly made in the USA.

More Photos

Specifications

Weight: 22.3 oz | 632g

Itemized weight:

  • Pack Body: 18.9 oz | 536g
  • Hip belt: 3.4 oz | 96g
  • Stuff : 0.3 oz | 9g
  • Total: 22.3 oz | 632g
  • Note: This is the weight for most packs. Your measurements may affect this weight by varying degrees, ranging from approximately 21.5 - 23.8 oz (610 - 675g).

Materials:

  • Pack body: VX07 Xpac
  • Primary pockets: Schoeller Dynamic
  • Secondary & hip belt pockets: Lycra mesh
  • Note: VX21 Xpac (black) is also available by request and typically adds about 2 - 3 oz. We recommend this option if you plan to do a lot of scrambling where the pack may scrape up against sharp rocks.

Capacity:

  • Overall Max. Volume: 34L
  • Pack Body (typical): 20L
  • Pack Body (max.): 26L+
  • Pack Body (min.): ~6L
  • Main Shoulder strap pockets: ~.7L x 2
  • Secondary Shoulder strap pockets: ~.2L x 2
    (We have decided to omit these pockets from the pack)
  • Side pockets: ~1.2L x 2
  • Back pocket: ~3L
  • Hip belt pockets: ~.5L x 2
  • Gel style pockets: ~.05L x 4
  • Note: All external pockets are stretchy. Volumes given are with the pockets about maxed out.

Sizing

During the backorder period, custom sized packs are available for order.
Use the guide below to measure your torso length, waist, and chest. I'll use these to build your Sassafras pack to best fit your body. Note that custom sized packs may be subject to a 10% restocking fee if returned.

Packs are also available in standard sizes: Short, Medium, or Long

  • All standard hip belts fit natural waists from about 28" to 42", but will perform best in the 28" - 35" range.
  • The Short size is for torsos from 15.5" to 16.5" and chest sizes from 33" to 41".
  • The Medium size will fit most torsos from 17" to 22" and chest sizes from 33" to 41". The Medium size may also fit larger chest sizes if the torso length is in the lower range (eg, 43" chest with 18" torso).
  • The Long size will fit most torsos from 23" to 24" and chest sizes from 35" to 42". The Long may also be a good option for those with a 22" torso and chest measurement over 43".

How to take measurements

You'll get the best measurements with the help of a friend, but you can still get decent measurements on your own. Just take your time and take the measurements a few times to average the results.

Torso Length:

The distance along your spine from the C7 vertebra to the level of your iliac crest.

  1. Tilt your head forward and find the bony protrusion at the base of your neck. This is your C7 vertebra.
  2. Place your hands on your the top of your hips (iliac crest) with your thumbs pointed horizontally toward your back.
  3. Run a string along your spine from the level of your thumbs to the C7 vertebra.
  4. Measure the length of the string to determine your torso length.
Chest:

The distance around the fullest part of your chest.

  1. Stand up straight with your arms by your sides.
  2. Wrap a string or fabric tape measure around your chest at its widest point, a little below your armpits. This is usually over the nipples and across the shoulder blades.
  3. Breathe normally and try to keep the tape parallel to the ground.
  4. Measure the string or note the distance on the tape measure for your chest measurement.
Natural waist:

The distance around your torso at its narrowest point.

  1. Bend side-to-side to see where your body creases. This should be above the hips but below the ribcage.
  2. Measure the distance around your body at this level to determine your natural waist.

What to expect

As a fastpacking pack, the Sassafras may behave a bit differently from more traditional packs.

  • As a fastpacking pack, the Sassafras is designed to distribute weight evenly on the body rather than transferring weight to the hips. Transferring weight to the hips would create a pivot point about the hips and throw off your balance when running. When hiking with a fully loaded Sassafras, you should get limited load transfer to the hips resulting from the structure provided by the contents of your pack.
  • You may find that the Sassafrass has a tendency to ride higher than you're used to. This is most prevalent when the pack is fairly empty (used as a hydration pack) and/or when you're running with it. In the former case, it's because you've tightened down the shoulder straps to snug up the fit. In the later case, it's because during running, the pack unweights which causes the hip belt to lift off the hips. You tighten the hip belt to compensate, and it will naturally nest in the waist rather than on the hips. While users tend to notice this, it doesn't seem to bother them and should be expected with any pack (with a hip belt) when running. The hip belt's primary function is for load stabilization and extra storage capacity.
  • Most people find that the Sassafras's ideal use case is found when it's fairly well loaded (maybe 12ish - 22lbs) with a mix of hiking and running. This sweet spot is where the pack truly excels. When the pack is fairly unloaded, there have been some instances of chafing at the neck due to the pack riding higher and further forward. As such, we don't recommend using the Sassafras as your primary running vest; it's better thought of as a higher volume vest for slightly bulkier/heavier carries. Discomfort can also come from the load stabilizers touching the neck when the pack is fairly unloaded. In such a case, make sure to loosen up the stabilizers.
  • A less obvious method for dialing in your pack's fit is to loosen the sternum straps so that you can tighten the shoulder straps. This can slightly increase the distance between the shoulder straps around the neck and might be something to try if you do happen to experience chafing there. Inversely, if you feel that the pack is riding too high, try loosening the shoulder straps and tightening the sternum straps to compensate.
  • Don't forget the load stabilizers! Adjusting these in conjunction with other tweaks will affect how the pack feels. Start with them loosened, then tighten them as desired after you've made other adjustments.

Video

Cinching down the Sassafras

Trekking pole stash

Availability

Product Availability

NOTICE: Due to equipment failure, we are currently unable to manufacture Silpoly tapered tarps, Silpoly Cirriforms, and the Swiftline. For now, our focus will be on other products, primarily DCF Tarps (tapered and Cirriform) and Silpoly Bug/Wind Bivys (and perhaps the Sassafras!). We do not have an ETA on when we'll be fully operational.

Unless otherwise stated, if the item is available to add to your cart, then it is in-stock and available to ship. Please see the shipping tab for expected fulfillment times.

If the item is marked as "sold out" or "available to backorder" then please refer to the production calendar and the FAQ below for more information.


Q: Why is so much stuff sold out?!

A: Our capacity is very limited, and we can't make products nearly quickly enough to meet demand. We only sell what I have in-stock, and don't typically take backorders. I know this can make it hard for you to plan, but in the longer term, it should help us to grow and to serve you better in the long term. See the last question for more info about this.


Q: When can I expect the item I'm interested in to become available?

A: For most items, please refer to the production calendar at the bottom of this page. This calendar shows when I expect to work on more substantial products. For some accessory products, production may not always be scheduled in advance and availability may be unpredictable.

FYI: If you do not see the item that you are interested in, then I do not know when it may become available (I don't have a private schedule beyond what's shown!).


Q: Can I pre-order, back-order, or reserve an item?

A: I'm afraid not. Out of fairness to everyone, I don't make special arrangements to reserve products. On rare occasions, I may open a product up for back-ordering to everyone (or a new product for pre-ordering). When this happens, it's made available to order on the website. If you are signed up for the stock notification, you will receive a notice that the item is available to order.


Q: Can you let me know when the item becomes available?

A: Yes. On the product page, enter your email address in the space provided to be automatically notified when inventory becomes available. If you don't see where you can do this, please let me know; sometimes there's a fluke in the settings and the field doesn't show. Please note that the email notification could get filtered out as spam. You can try to 'whitelist' info@yamamountaingear.com to make sure the email comes through.


Q: Why do you do things this way, and what are you doing to improve the situation?

A: For years I followed the more common back-order model, basically making everything to order. This approach made it challenging to increase production, limited time available to design new products or refine existing ones, impacted my personal/outdoor time, and meant long waits to get your gear delivered. I changed my approach when I moved to Montana in 2019. Offering only what's already made allows me to work and plan more efficiently, and opens up hiring opportunities.


NOTES ON USING THE CALENDAR

- For products shown on the calendar, you can typically expect the item to be made available towards the end, or soon after the period shown on the calendar. Sometimes, however, some items may be listed earlier in the period. For example, if the calendar shows that I'm working on tapered tarps, certain sizes may become available earlier within the period with other sizes coming later.

- Items that specify "ongoing production" mean that we are continually working on these items and doing our best to maintain inventory. If the item or a particular size is sold out, you can expect it to likely become available soon.

- Please note that you can change the month shown on the calendar using the arrows at the top.

Shipping

Shipping Information


While most orders ship out within 1 - 3 business days, please allow up to one week for us to ship your order. This gives us some scheduling flexibility for getting out on the trail!*

*If you select seam sealing services with your purchase, please allow a few extra days for us to seal the item(s) and ship your order.


Domestic Rates

Order Total Shipping Fee Shipping Method Typical Transit Time
(business days)
under $50 $3.25 USPS First Class 2 - 5
$50.00 to $99.99 $5.15 USPS First Class 2 - 5
$100.00 to $199.99 $6.95 USPS First Class / Priority 2 - 3 for Priority
2 - 5 for First Class
$200.00 to $349.99 $9.95 USPS Priority 2 - 3 for Priority
$350.00 to $499.99 $12.95 USPS Priority 2 - 3 for Priority
Over $500 $15.95 USPS Priority 2 - 3
Note: Stickers and DCF Patches ship for free

International

I'm sorry, but for the foreseeable future, I'm not able to offer international shipping.