Boreas Buttermilks 55 Pack

Priced: $128.73 - $185.00 Rated:   - 5 stars out of 5 by 7 reviews.
Boreas Buttermilks 55 Pack
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Color: Golden Gate
Available Colors:
REI (2013) (closeout)
(close out from 2013)
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Regularly: $184.99 $174.95
5% off
Regularly: $184.99 $184.95 $184.95
REI $185.00
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Boreas Buttermilks 55 Pack -
The Boreas Buttermilks 55 backpack is simple, straightforward and light on your back - perfect for backpackers who don't need extra bells and whistles.
Winner of 2012 Backpacker Magazine's Editor's Choice Award.
One main top loading compartment can swallow multiple days of gear and food without any extra zippers or compartments to add weight or complication.
A stretchy kangaroo pocket on the outside is perfect for a tent, tarp, or wet rain gear you want to keep separate.
A small zippered pocket at the top securely holds essential items and keeps them easy to access.
Large hipbelt pockets are perfect for carrying snacks, a camera and other stuff you want to be able to grab on the go.
A Z foam back panel and hipbelt, both covered in mesh, breathe incredibly well to keep you cool while you're walking down the trail.
A removable frame sheet is ergonomically designed to match the curvature of your back for all-day comfort and excellent load transfer from shoulders to hips.
Ergonomic shoulder straps have highly breathable areas on top of the shoulders.
Two compression straps on each side of this Boreas pack keep your pack taught so it doesn't swing or bounce as you hike, and open up to lash extra gear to the outside.
Innovative hidden daisy chains down the back and on the shoulder straps stay tucked away until you need to fasten things down.
Large water bottle pockets swallow 1-liter bottles and let you grab your bottles without taking the pack off.
Hydration reservoir-compatible for hands-free drinking.
Comes with a pack cover to keep the rain off when the sky opens up.
Tough, silicone-impregnated fabric is designed to last while still being light weight.
Top can either be used as a cinch-style closure for quick access, or as a roll-top to better keep the elements out.
Named for the Buttermilk region of the Eastern Sierra.
From the quick overnight trip to ultralight multi-day thru-hikes and even hauling climbing gear to the crag, this Boreas backpack is a versatile performer.


  • Full-length front stretch pocket, 2 side stretch pockets and 2 hipbelt pockets let you organize and easily access gear, clothing, water bottles and snacks
  • Light, no-nonsense hipbelt and shoulder straps with sternum strap are made with resilient foam that maintains its volume and helps distribute pressure evenly


  • The Boreas Buttermilks 55 pack features tuck-away daisy chains, raincover, hidden gear loops on the shoulder straps and hydration compatability (reservoir sold separately)


  • Simple Clean design with daisy chains that tuck away when you don’t need them
  • Clean, uncluttered pack body features a lightweight polyurethane rib cage design that adds structure
  • BACKPACKER 2012 Editors’ Choice Award winner! The April issue states, “Get everything you need and nothing you don’t in one of these ultralight, ultracomfortable packs.”
  • Simple, zigzag foam back panel and removable framesheet are shaped to match the curve of your back and pump fresh air through the channels as you walk
  • Closeout
  • Compressing foam allows air to flow across your back as you move
The Boreas Buttermilk 55 is a pack designed for those who want to move fast and light, without being bogged down by weight. This pack weighs in at 3lbs 1 oz and can be stripped down to 2lbs 7oz. This pack is top-loading with a roll-down closure and has a top compression strap and two compression straps on each side. The material is ultralight, silicone impregnated, 140D ripstop nylon, for lightweight waterproofing. The z-foam backpanel and removable framesheet provide lightweight stability and the backpanel moves dynamically to pump air across your back. For lightweight trekking without the bells and whistles, the Buttermilk pack has it all.

The Boreas Buttermilks 55 Pack is light and uncomplicated with a z-foam back panel and a removable frame sheet that is shaped to match the curve of your back. The super-light 140D ripstop nylon pack fabric is impregnated with silicone for waterproof strength that won't wear out or rub off over time.

REI (2013) (closeout)

The Boreas Buttermilks 55 pack offers an ultralight and adaptable solution for fast-moving, multiday trips. If you think it's crazy to lug heavy things around the woods, this may be the pack for you!


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Average Price History: Price History
Review RatingNumber of Reviews
Adjustable torso:3,412 cubic inches
Backpack Features:Top Loader
Backpack Style:Multi-Day Pack
Capacity:3417 cu in / 56 L
Color(s):Marina Blue, Truckee Green, Farallon Black, Golden Gate Red
Fits torso:3,412 cubic inches
Fits waist/hips:3,051 cubic inches
Frame material:3 lbs. 1 oz.
Frame type:Backpacking
Gear capacity (L):Lightweight
Gear capacity (cu. in.):Lightweight
Hydration Bladder Included:Not Included
Hydration Compatible:Yes
Laptop Sleeve:None
Large torso length:20 inches + (51 cm +)
Material:140D ripstop nylon body with UTS impregnated silicone coating and a tough 420D nylon bottom
Medium torso length:17-20 inches (46-51 cm)
Minimum Weight:1,105g / 2lbs 7oz
Number of exterior pockets:No
Number of stays:3 lbs. 2 oz.
Pack Size:3000-3999 cu in
Pack access:No
Pack loading:1.43 kilograms
Padding:Z-Foam Back Panel
Raincover included:More than 20 inches
Sleeping bag compartment:Up to 20 inches
Stock Weight:1,420g / 3lbs 1oz
Suspended mesh back panel:1.42 kilograms
Torso:17 - 20 in / 46 - 51cm (M); >20 in / >51cm (L)
Torso Size:(M) 46-51cm / 17-20", (L) >51cm / >20"
Volume:55 liters (3,051 cubic inches)
Weight:3 lb / 1364 g (M); 3 lb / 1364 g (L)
Weight - metric:No
Weight, minimum:2 lbs 7 oz (1,105 g)
Weight, stock:3 lbs 1 oz (1,420 g)
Compare specifications to related products.

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Boreas Buttermilks 55 Pack Reviews:

Positive Reviews:

Fantastic Bag!

Fit: This bag has a superb fit that places more pressure on your lower back, which distributes weight to the hips and keeps your upper back cool. I was impressed with how well this pack vented, even when I was climbing hard.

Durability: After an accidental foot placement had me skidding 30-40 feet down coarse rock, I was sure I'd cut a hole in the bottom section, but the tougher material in the base held up without a scratch. I expect the bag to last a long time, and Boreas backs repairs.

Function: The top-loading is something I'm comfortable with. I found the removable frame sheet to be a great feature. The front pocket swallows a lot of miscellaneous items, and the hip-belt pockets open wide to swallow cameras. The bag doesn't strap closed tightly unless it is completely full, but the included raincover should be enough to keep things generally dry. The top compression strap is useless unless you are at near-capacity, but the lower one works great. The stretch pockets all over the bag feel very durable.

Overall: The roll-top closure isn't perfect, but it's hard to find much of a flaw with it beyond the aesthetic. It's certainly a welcome change from heavy zippers and top lids. My number one concern with the pack before ordering was whether 40L would be enough for multi-day hikes, and with the cavernous main section, I'm delighted to say I'd thru-hike confidently with this pack.

I would be heartbroken if a mesh pocket ripped, since the material is so clean and nice-looking.

Would buy again? YES
Max the Backpacker at REI on 02/02/2013

Hands Down

I wasn't sure because these bags are so new and you can't find too much in depth reviews because of that. But I took the risk and turns out might be the best purchase I've ever made only competing with the hammock I picked up a couple months ago.

It is insane how comfortable this feels on your back, the lack of internal compartments not only cuts down on the weight but it enables you to get more out of the space within the bag. Whether you are winter or summer camping you will always be able to fit your equipment in this bag.

Also I forgot to mention how down right sexy this bag is. It looks nice while at the same time including everything you would want in a pack, the hip pockets... perfect.. The adjustment buckles and straps even look like they got just as much attention in the design process as all the other parts. The rain cover that it comes with fits perfectly, and they don't make you purchase it on top of the bag. The quality on everything is astounding.

I would argue that this bag is probably the best one you can purchase on the market right now.
Jim Jams at REI on 11/11/2012

More like thunder for your dollar

This bag is a black hole that you drop gear inside. The bag works great in warm weather because of the venting on the back and shoulders. Pockets on the hip are the perfect size to hold items like a smart phone, camera, multitool, snacks and more. The shining quality of this bag is the simplicity. The main pocket is large enough to hold all your gear for a weekend trip while the small pocket on the outside is great for those small, quick items. I have used the pack regularly since April of 2012 and it has not disappointed yet. The only flaw with the product is the compression strap on the outside of the side stretch pocket. The strap goes outside the pocket making it impossible to fit a bottle inside of with the strap synched down. The fix is easy; just insert a small cut for the strap to pass through the pocket. I am 5'10" and 150lbs and the pack fits great to the frame, just don't overdo the weight as the hip belt probably can only "maybe" comfortable distribute 45-50lbs. I have only gone up to 30lbs and could definitely feel the weight more than say an Osprey Aether.
Jay Rod at REI on 09/09/2012

Lightweight, simple-pack, backpack

Taking this bag anywhere I travel or hike really puts its benefits to use. In the woods, on airplanes, or in the backyard trails, this backpack is so lightweight it hardly feels as if anything is weighing you down. The adjustments for the weight distribution are obvious and make the load spread out easily over the hips and shoulders. For lighter packers, I would not suggest this to long excursions due to a lack of clip-on straps or compression sides, however, experienced hikers could make it happen.
Danandtheden at REI on 05/05/2012

Clean, lightweight design

Love the backpack so far. Super clean design means travelling on airplanes carrying on is a breeze since there are no straps hanging off everywhere. Pretty roomy and tapered design makes it easier to load than a lot of other packs. The only thing I wish it had was a front pocket or small pouch on top to make something like a guide book or map easily accessible without adding all the bulk of the other Boreas 65L backpack.
benpchandler at REI on 06/06/2012

Great Pack!

This is a perfect pack for snoeshowing. It has plenty of room for emergency gear and extra layers.
Gene Parmesan at REI on 01/01/2014

Negative Reviews:

Great concept, poor quality

I first used this pack on a 5 day AT trip in mid March. I always take good care of my gear, but as I expected, the stretchy front pocket developed a small hole along with a minor scuff on the front pocket design. The second time I used this was air travel. I took this as my only luggage and was able to fit all I needed in it to carry on. Nothing that I packed seemed to have ripping ability, but none the less, a tear formed on my way back on the top of the main compartment.

This pack has a great concept, great suspension, and the back panel felt great. Boreas has potential as a company, but with this pack, they need to make adjustments as far as fabric, maybe a little heavier. The side compression straps need to be able to route inside the side pockets, this is a very aggravating missing feature. The front stretchy pocket is great for stuffing wet or frequently used items. I also like the fact that the frame sheet can be removed. This pack has only a few zippers which is kind of nice.

Overall, great pack, it just needs some heavier fabric and the compression straps need to be able to route through the pockets. I sent it back, because I don't want to repair a pack after every outing or worry about my gear falling apart.
NomNom at REI on 05/05/2013