Need help picking out a weekend pack.

1:47 a.m. on May 7, 2012 (EDT)
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Hey all!

I'm looking to get a new pack and I figured this would be a good spot for suggestions.

I want something in the range of around 2800-3200 cc's.

Something that is comfortable, lightweight and tough. And also cheap.

I do a lot of exploring and adventuring rather than just straightforward hiking, so it's got to be a pack that isn't going to get torn up too quickly.

I was thinking about something like this. I love Osprey packs and this looks about right, but would also like to entertain suggestions from others who might know. Anyone got any suggestions for brand or specific pack for my situation? Thanks!

Oh, I just got a notification saying I'm not allowed to link to external sites, but the pack I am considering is an Osprey Exos 46.

2:41 a.m. on May 7, 2012 (EDT)
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7:02 a.m. on May 7, 2012 (EDT)
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3100 cu in Day Pack

http://www.alpsmountaineering.com/alps/products/packs/day-packs/solitude-plus 

3300 cu in Internal Frame.

http://www.alpsmountaineering.com/alps/products/packs/internal-frame-packs/orizaba-3300

You won't find tougher packs at the same price anywhere. 

8:07 a.m. on May 7, 2012 (EDT)
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if you like osprey backpacks, i assume you have used them before and found them comfortable.  if it were me, i probably wouldn't look any further.  it's a solid brand.  i haven't heard their backpacks are prone to getting easily torn up or damaged, and they fit you.  so far as i know, they stand behind their products.  

to the extent you want to look at other options in that lightweight space, you could think about the brands that tend to specialize in that: granite gear, ULA, Golite, or a relatively new brand (to me), Boreas.  if you like the suspensions that have a mesh back panel to allow air circulation, Deuter and Gregory both make backpacks that size w/that kind of suspension, too.  

 

8:26 a.m. on May 7, 2012 (EDT)
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It is best to make sure that a given pack fits you well and holds everything you want to take, and is comfortable under that load. There are alot of good brands, and I personally use Osprey for my main pack. However, i don't think I would go Osprey if I was looking for a pack that was gonna see alot of abuse. The Osprey material is pretty tough, but still not what I would want to drag around and its fairly weak compared to say a cordura.

The Camelbak Big Jump linked, is a solid pack, however it may have been a joke? The public cant buy that particular pack very easily.

However, I would recommend getting a camelbak pack if your looking for a beater pack that is super tough, comfortable, and excellent quality. They are by far the toughest packs I have ever used. I have a Motherlode and a linchpin from my time in the military.

So you said your looking for lightweight, tough, and cheap. Well sadly you can't have all 3, you need to pick two. Well you can have all 3, but your gonna be shelling out some really big bucks for dyneema or spectra material.

Kelty packs are made of a cordura material typically, and next to camelbak, they are my second choice for a tough pack. And they are far cheaper than their competitiors. Check out the Kelty Redwing, there is a 3100ci version and a 28 or 2900ci version I believe. I have the 3100 and am very happy with it. Normal retail is like 90-100, but its fairly easy to find a coupon and get it for much less. I bought mine from an EMS a few years back for $75 i think. Best pack ever for that price IMO.

8:39 a.m. on May 7, 2012 (EDT)
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Sounds like you will put more wear and tear on this pack than most hikers would. I would go with a pack that weighs more that fits your needs. I second the Camelbak or Kelty as they will hold up to abuse.

 http://www.ebay.com/itm/Kelty-Redwing-Backpack-/251055643043?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3a741519a3

8:58 a.m. on May 7, 2012 (EDT)
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I guess I should be a little more specific with the Camelbak packs, their military/tactical packs are bombproof. However not so much for their normal/civilian packs.

10:16 a.m. on May 7, 2012 (EDT)
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10:22 a.m. on May 7, 2012 (EDT)
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Look at the Lowe Alpine Walkabout 35. It's a good pack that might just work for you.

10:52 a.m. on May 7, 2012 (EDT)
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The Op is looking for a 45-55L pack.

Rob, thats a nice looking pack. That would certainly fit the bill. I forgot all about cold cold world, they make some pretty decent kit.

11:43 a.m. on May 7, 2012 (EDT)
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My bad. Sometimes I get confused by CC vs L

12:30 p.m. on May 7, 2012 (EDT)
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i love cold cold world's backpacks, i have the ozone.  keep in mind that they are a different breed from the osprey exos & similar products, though.  on the plus side, cold cold world's backpacks are super-durable, well-made, and the chernobyl is comparable in cost to the exos.   

on the downside, the chernobyl is about a pound heavier than the exos.  It doesn't have a suspension to speak of; it's an alpine climbing pack whose only "frame" is a folded piece of foam and whose features are best suited to rock and ice climbers.  no frame sheet, no metal stays.  also, cold cold world backpacks don't ventilate your back at all, a significant departure from the exos. 

it depends on what the OP is looking for, i'm sure. 

12:50 p.m. on May 7, 2012 (EDT)
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Westbrook0 said:

Hey all!

I want something in the range of around 2800-3200 cc's...

...the pack I am considering is an Osprey Exos 46.

Just to clarify, are you looking for a pack that is 28-32 litres, or one that's 46 litres, like the Exos? Or did you mean 2800-3200 cubic inches?

2:08 p.m. on May 7, 2012 (EDT)
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Like Rambler said, your want everything & you want it cheap too...?

In fact Rambler was spot on with everything he said so I won't repeat it except that for your needs, the Kelty would definitely be my recommendation as well.

I've got a smaller Kelty daypack that I've been dragging around and abusing for some twelve years now, up & down the East coast and just came back from it's third trip to the rainforest in Puerto Rico, and it hardly looks used. Solid gear.

In other words, give up on the light weight, or at least the Uber light weight, it won't hold up under the conditions your talking about.

2:24 p.m. on May 7, 2012 (EDT)
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peter1955 said:

Westbrook0 said:

Hey all!

I want something in the range of around 2800-3200 cc's...

...the pack I am considering is an Osprey Exos 46.

Just to clarify, are you looking for a pack that is 28-32 litres, or one that's 46 litres, like the Exos? Or did you mean 2800-3200 cubic inches?

 

Whoops! So sorry for the confusion! By 2800-3200 cc's I totally meant cubic inches. I was watching a movie earlier with a hospital scene and accidentally had the phrase "cc's" stuck in my head.

But yes, 2800-3200 cubic inch type of range, So yes I guess that would be high 40s low 50s type range as far as liters go.

Thanks for all the responses, I will have to go through and start looking some of these up.

I know several people recommended the Kelty Redwing 3100, and believe it or not I actually do have one of these right now. It does seem tough, but my problem with it is it seems very wide. Like when I pack it it puffs out at the sides and seems to throw the balance off. I much prefer narrower packs where the weight is distributed more up and down rather than getting puffed out at the sides.

If you guys would still recommend Kelty though, what about something like a Pawnee 3300? That appears to distribute the weight more vertically rather than getting wider when you pack stuff into it.

2:26 p.m. on May 7, 2012 (EDT)
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JerseyWreckDiver said:

Like Rambler said, your want everything & you want it cheap too...?

In fact Rambler was spot on with everything he said so I won't repeat it except that for your needs, the Kelty would definitely be my recommendation as well.

I've got a smaller Kelty daypack that I've been dragging around and abusing for some twelve years now, up & down the East coast and just came back from it's third trip to the rainforest in Puerto Rico, and it hardly looks used. Solid gear.

In other words, give up on the light weight, or at least the Uber light weight, it won't hold up under the conditions your talking about.

 Yeah, if I'm going to ditch one of the three (lightweight, cheap and tough) I guess I would want to ditch the light-weight aspect. I don't want to pay through the roof, so I would be willing for the pack to weigh a half pound more to keep cost down, haha.

2:49 p.m. on May 7, 2012 (EDT)
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Hey Westbrook0, ya may want to take a look at the listings here on GearTrade. 

Definitely a way to get a decent pack and save some coin:

http://www.geartrade.com/browse/weekend-packs-3000-4500-cu-in-#b

6:53 p.m. on May 7, 2012 (EDT)
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Golite Jam 50L weekend pack. 1lb 14oz - extremely light. Made of Dyneema. Super strong. can handle up to 30 pounds, but you need to have a capable core and shoulders, as it is not an internal frame (There are lots of things you can do to create more support in these things, however. It functions best up to 25 pounds. It also cinches down into an ultralight day pack. Very flexible and well reviewed over the years. It is half price for $80 right now on Golite.com.

If you need a full frame, then the Exos is great (my brother has one and is traveling to Kyrgyzstan with for the next 30 days, with a weekend trip into the Pamirs planned (yes, color me green with envy). A golite Pursuit 50 L, weighing under 3 pounds, is another great internal frame option. A little harder to find, but is a narrow profile with tons of features for the weight.

 

 

7:38 p.m. on May 7, 2012 (EDT)
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Golite makes some nice gear, however, they are a little misleading in their marketing. Their packs contain only a small amount of dyneema, but they make it sound like the whole pack is. Bottomline is the Jam is definitely a nice and popular pack, but it is definitely not a super durable one designed to take extreme abuse. Having some dyneema threads make it withstand normal wear alot better, but that's about it. It is by no means a solid 100% dyneema pack... those cost some serious $$$.

8:21 p.m. on May 7, 2012 (EDT)
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Agreed and duly noted - many pack makers market their packs with Dyneema this way. My apologies.

The more accurate description would be Dyneema reinforced grid-stop nylon, 210D. Pretty strong stuff, but not like 500D cordura for sure. Still a heck of a pack, with a proven track record for some looooong hauls (Andrew Skurka comes to mind).

8:40 p.m. on May 7, 2012 (EDT)
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I much prefer narrower packs where the weight is distributed more up and down rather than getting puffed out at the sides.


orizaba-3300.png

Alps Mountaineering Orizaba 3300. Tall and narrow.   Overstock.Com $77.99.  Don't like it? Sell it on ebay for $95 and probably break even. My wife's pack has the same suspension and it is well padded, easily adjustable and comfortable. 

Yeah, if I'm going to ditch one of the three (lightweight, cheap and tough) I guess I would want to ditch the light-weight aspect. I don't want to pay through the roof, so I would be willing for the pack to weigh a half pound more to keep cost down, haha.

It's 200 cu in larger and the same weight as the Kelty Red Wing 50 (3lb 9oz),  it's an ounce lighter than the Pawnee 3300 and that's including a built-in rain cover (I think it's removable) and removable fanny pack (8oz?).  Toss in an adjustable suspension and you've got a winner.

 

11:12 a.m. on May 8, 2012 (EDT)
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TheRambler said:

The Op is looking for a 45-55L pack.

Rob, thats a nice looking pack. That would certainly fit the bill. I forgot all about cold cold world, they make some pretty decent kit.

 

I bought one for winter hikes when I go to the mountains.  It's right at 50L and I don't think It will ever wear out.  The Cordura really toughens it up.  It might be a bit more than what the OP wants to spend.

9:57 p.m. on May 8, 2012 (EDT)
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I have a marmot eiger 35 I use for bushwacking/bouldering/scrambling. It has held up awesome over the years. It's designed to give you maximum movement of your legs and hips maintain good control over your load. I don't think this model is available anymore, but their Drakon 45 is very similar. The 210d/420d fabric on the marmot will far outwear the 70d that comes on the exos.

5:43 p.m. on May 9, 2012 (EDT)
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I did a lot of research on all the suggestions here. I also went to the local store and tried a bunch on.

I ended up going with the Osprey Exos 46. It felt amazing! So ergonomic, perfect fit. It was a joy to wear.

I will write down all the other suggestions here just in case the Exos doesn't work out for me or I end up returning it.

Thanks for all the help!

5:57 p.m. on May 9, 2012 (EDT)
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I like Osprey packs, very comfortable and functional. However, i thought you were looking for a pack that could really take abuse? If that is what your looking for I fear you may be let down by Osprey. But I hope the Exos works out for you.

9:47 p.m. on May 9, 2012 (EDT)
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Agreed, that fabric really won't stand up well to bushwacking.

9:39 p.m. on May 10, 2012 (EDT)
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thin is good but I prefer a lower center of gravity

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