Whippa Overland 60L Pack Review

Aussie made ultralight hiking pack

At the top end of Katoomba Street, there’s a serious-looking post-war building anchored to the Blue Mountains retail landscape. It’s home to local outdoor retailer, Summit Gear, staffed by trail runners, climbers, and canyoners, it stocks the usual suspects of Icebreaker, Patagonia, La Sportiva, Mont, Outdoor Research, Salomon, etc.

At first glance, you could be forgiven for thinking Summit Gear is like every other gear shop. But look around and you might start to notice something different. Listen harder and all will become clear…

Local Design and manufacture

What you won’t find in this shop are walls laden with backpacks from Osprey or others. THIS is what makes this little-Mountains-business-that-could, different. Oh and when I say listen, I mean it. In a quiet moment in this former bank building, you might hear sounds leaking from above of sewing machines, room-filling cutting machines and the scratching of chins of passionate outdoor folk trying to design better, smarter gear. Or as the tagline of their new sub-brand, Whippa, reads:

Lighter, Stronger, Better.

Whippa, 2024

Pack Design + Bespoke to order

Summit Gear has been making its bomber cordura packs for yonks. Popular with hard-core-ish, off-track, crusty bushwalkers and canyoners, they have a reputation for near-indestructible construction in a paired-back, no-frills design.

Look closely at the packs worn by NSW Ambulance, CareFlight, NPWS and other emergency services and you’re likely to see the Summit Gear logo behind their designed-for-task smarts. Summit Gear have worked direct with agencies and other industries designing fit-for-task packs, satchels, pouches and various accessories for the workplace.

The Overland 60L has a streamlined narrow profile, which allows for free arm movements

Their operation is agile enough to sketch up ideas, run together mock-ups and test n’ tweak for a diverse range of clients with very particular needs.

Recognising a changing market, the need to produce lighter weight and ultralight packs and the legal challenges they might encounter if they tried to register the Summit Gear brand internationally, they launched a new sub-brand, Whippa, in May 2024. I’ve been testing their Overland 60L Ultralight hiking pack for two months.

User testing in takayna/The Tarkine, Tasmania

Overland 60L Ultralight

First Impressions

Visually, the Whippa range draws on the simple, streamlined design of Summit Gear’s traditional packs: one large top load compartment and an uber-generous front pocket. The bells and whistles of this baby aren’t obvious on the outside, but humble, well thought out design and use of modern, lightweight yet robust materials and a frame sheet mean the song and dance is in the 940 grams and a comfortable carry under load.

The large back pocket is one of my fave features
Hydration hose can be fed down either shoulder strap


What it says on the box

Design & Construction

I love a roll-top pack and this is no exception. The approx 26 cm of throat is just one of the choose-your-own-adventure* elements in the 60 litre ultralight style I tested. Add or subtract to your load, shrink down as you eat food or expand to carry unexpected extras (like taking on additional water for dry stretches), I tested the pack in a variety of ways, including as a day pack when guiding (40L would been enough for substantial group first aid kit, thermos, poo kit, radio, personal gear, etc) and overnighters.

Fit and Adjustment

The 10mm closed cell foam padding (with sneaky weight-saving and breathing holes) provides just the right amount of comfort for the 6cm shoulder straps and 9.5 cm hip straps. I like the choice of a forward-tightening belt buckle and snazzy minimalistic buckles that work fine when wearing gloves. Load Lifters, teamed with the full frame-sheet are key to getting a comfy and well-distributed carry with the Whippa Overland. Check out the BTS video with Rob Inshaw as he describes how this works.


In weight and load tests, I found (oddly) that it was more comfortable when packed as a full, streamlined load, instead of a half-empty day pack. When half empty, it felt as though it pulled away from the body, regardless of adjusting load lifters, shoulder straps and hip belt. It was as a full load, around 12-14 kg, that it really felt evenly distributed and was at its most comfy.

Side compression straps use G-hooks

Hip Belt Pockets

Generous hip-belt pockets were designed to hold even the biggest smartphone (circa 2024), giving easy access for photos or navigation apps. The use of the tough UltraStretch fabric is smart with its 4-way stretch and tear/abrasion resistance. That and the extra pleats means there’s still space for all those snacks, lip balm and hanky (yes, hanky people).

Hip belt pockets generous enough for largest smart phone + snacks, etc

Back Pocket

The back pocket of the Whippa Overland is one of the obvious places the design strays away from the classic stretchy mesh outside pocket, as seen in ultralight competitors Z-Packs, Hyperlite or Durston. I’ve walked behind many friends carrying these (and what’s left of the mesh those brands use) testament that they weren’t designed with hauling packs through thick banksia, hakea and other wonders of the Aussie Bush.

Doing away with that issue, Rob’s team have used the same main fabric (either Dyneema or Ultra 200x), with a snug fitting storm flap, providing a generous (about 27 cm x 15 cm x 37 cm) stow all, fast-access pocket.

This adds significantly to the overall capacity and is perfect for wet items like rain jackets or tent fly. Oh, and it fits a 14″ laptop (not that I take one of those with me into the bush!).

Generous back pocket in Dyneema or Ultra 200x

Side Pockets

UltraStretch fabric (which was so tough their machines struggled to cut it and they needed to use graphite shears to finish the job properly) and partially hidden compression straps (with G-hook attachments) ensure your 1L bottle stays snug. Placement and stitching meant I didn’t have to dislocate a shoulder to take a swig.

Webbing (Straps)

It’s important to note that the webbing (straps) they’ve used throughout are particularly tough and don’t slide through the clips like traditional webbing can. This might take a bit of getting used to as you need to put some oomph into tensioning them.

Stretch side pockets that don’t dislocate your shoulder to remove a 1L Nalgene

Behind the Scenes with Whippa

I headed above the shop in Katoomba for a BTS chat with Rob Inshaw to learn more about Whippa and the Overland 60.

YouTube video

Optional Extras*

I didn’t test them, but Whippa offer a few fries with that if you’re after extra capacity with an 8 litre Ultralight Expedition Hood (detachable brain) with weatherproof zipper. There’s also a helmet net that works with the 35L and 55L versions of the pack and unsurprisingly, Whippa’s Canyon pack series. Made possible through the small attachment loops, you can also use these for your own DIY attachments.

Top down view of rolltop G-clip, bladder hose point, webbing, attachment loops and load lifters

Under Testing – My experience

How I tested it – I used the Whippa Overland 60L for 2 months before writing this review. I used it for at least 2-3 short hikes (1-3 hrs) each week with <7 kg, 4 full-day walks (8 hrs, 8 kg) and an overnighter (12 kg). To test comfort under weight, I also over-loaded it with 20 kg for one of the short walks.

What I liked

  • Tough lightweight fabrics that appear to be as robust as they claim
  • Back pocket – the feature I thought I wouldn’t like… but loved. It held everything that I’d normally put into a pack brain/hood and more. I like that I didn’t lose things in it like I sometimes do in the awkward shape of a zipped brain pocket due to how it wraps/bends around the top of a pack.
  • Weight – <1kg for 60 litres in a robust package
  • Structure – the internal frame sheet gives the pack structure that often isn’t found in ultralight or lightweight packs. Nobody likes a floppy pack ;).
  • Simplistic Big Bucket top loader roll-top with G-clip
  • It’s a tidy pack with streamlined good looks
  • Exceptional customer service from local Australian small business
Pull forward tension for hip belt

Things to consider

  • Even though the fabric is waterproof (Whippa describe the pack as ‘weatherproof’) and the seams have been taped sealed (what does that mean?), when using it in Tassie drizzle I found that while the items inside stayed mostly dry, moisture got in around the base when I put the pack on the ground during breaks. In future I’d simply use a waterproof pack liner or dry bags (as I do with my other packs).
  • The stiff webbing straps took a bit of getting used to
  • Cost – As at June 2024, the pack costs $619 AUD
Glove friendly clips for chest strap and back pocket
Trusty UltraGrid is used against the body.


If you’re looking to lighten your multiday pack and venture into the land of ultralight gear (and have the budget), the comfort delivered by the framesheet and load lifters, will make an easy transition.

Offering the choice of Ultra200x (instead of Dynmeema) for the main fabric is a great option for folk who do a lot of off-track/scrub or rock scrambling.

It’s important to know that it’s still an investment and like all gear, you need to take care of your kit, not actively trash it.

This is a sponsored review. You can buy my time (to test, research, write, photograph, edit, video, edit, distribute), but you can’t buy my opinion.

Writer, producer and content creator by trade, search and rescue volunteer by passion, Caro Ryan started LotsaFreshAir.com to inspire, teach and encourage people to get into hiking and the outdoors safely.

It’s all about connecting people to wild places in meaningful ways, so they can look after themselves, their mates and these precious places we visit.

She teaches wilderness navigation, authored the book, ‘How to Navigate’ and hosts, ‘Rescued - an Outdoor Podcast for Hikers and Adventurers.

In the bottom of her pack you'll find coffee grounds, instant noodles past their used by date and an insatiable curiosity.

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