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Daypack fit??

1:06 a.m. on March 10, 2008 (EDT)
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Hello,

I just picked up a Patagonia Catalyst daypack, and it's really my first well-fitting smaller pack. I've got all my suspensions dialed-in on my larger packs, but I'm wondering exactly how this one should fit.
It's a smaller (1500 C.I.) daypack that has no torso adjustments, but does have an auto-fit, split webbing hipbelt. Well, the hipbelt, when buckled, sits an inch above my belly-button, far above what I'm used to. I can only assume this is how it's supposed to fit, as being a daypack of that size just prevents such a long pack length. Still though, it feels kinda weird...kinda like I'd imagine a monkey might feel clung to my back; secure, but strange at first.
My torso length is just under 19" and I'd blow over in a stiff wind, so I don't expect much weight transfer to my hips, but I'm just wondering if this is how the pack is supposed to fit. I guess my question is, how do all of your daypacks fit?

8:06 a.m. on March 10, 2008 (EDT)
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It's been my experience that the hip-belts on most daypacks are really just there to stabalize the load more than anything else, not for weight transfer.

11:22 a.m. on March 10, 2008 (EDT)
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I agree with Fred. Daypacks are not intended to carry much of a load, just your lunch, maybe rain jacket and a fleece layer, some water, and maybe a tiny P&S camera. Look at the hydration packs that have a tiny space to put a couple items in, but mostly are a hydration bladder with shoulder straps.

Some daypacks also have a sternum strap. But at best all the extra straps are for when you are jogging or running to keep the pack from flopping around. A lot of them are less than a inch wide, which would cut into you if you had any kind of load.

As long as the shoulder spacing of the straps is not too great (doesn't slide off the sides of your shoulders) and you don't try to carry more than you absolutely need for a day hike, there isn't much to fitting a day pack. Fitting is needed when you get up to overnight-sized loads, or like me, carry a bunch of camera gear (in which case, look for a purpose-designed camera pack with proper compartments and tripod attachment straps, and if it is enough camera gear with your "super-birder" long telephoto, a proper back length and proper waist strap).

4:18 p.m. on March 10, 2008 (EDT)
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Thanks for the tips...the pack does have a sternum strap as well, and when everything is tightened down, the pack is very secure--even when stuffed to the brim. I did a short run with it today, about half-packed, and it still doesn't flop around at all. I'm very happy with the fit, but I thought the hip belt would fall a little lower; it's no big deal, though, as long as that's the way it's supposed to be.

2:32 a.m. on March 25, 2008 (EDT)
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I am no pro by any means, but I haven't found anything wrong with buying a larger pack (I have Osprey Atmos 50) and just putting in it what you would put in a smaller hydration pack. I bought this pack sheerly for comfort and for the possibility of going on longer outings in the future (see my other post) Pretty much all the other packs I tried on felt very uncomfortable on my back, whereas, the Osprey just seemed to hug it as if it was designed for my back! For me that's just water, some lunch and small first aid kit and the pack itself is very light.

2:27 a.m. on March 27, 2008 (EDT)
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But the Atmos 50 has a frame, and a molded hipbelt, right? Mine has none, just some webbing. Your hipbelt sits on your hips, right?--mine sits about at my belly button.

1:21 p.m. on March 28, 2008 (EDT)
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Yes it has an internal frame, with a comfortable hipbelt, with zip closable mesh pockets on the belt itself. They do come in sizes, you just have to make sure to get the right size so the hip belt is in the right place. For me this was a large, otherwise the hip belt was above my hips too much. I think empty it's less than 3 lbs. You can see some pics of my pack here:

http://picasaweb.google.com/dax702/MagicMountain2232008

10:04 p.m. on April 7, 2008 (EDT)
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I've never thought about fitting a day pack.... My Kelty Redwing has always been comfortable up to 30 pounds, so never really thought about it or expected to find a day pack that allows you to adjust the torso fit (which could be nice...)

3:37 p.m. on May 5, 2008 (EDT)
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Daypacks are just that and nothing more.They are not designed to carry more than about 15lb with any degree of comfort or stability.If you are looking for a "day" pack that will do more but very light look at the Black Diamond Speed 40liter pack.2lbs 5oz or strip it down to about 1.5 lbs.Has a hip belt,aluminum stay,plastic back sheet and all are removeable for your altra light days.I use this pack for light overnighters and summit bids.

5:29 p.m. on May 5, 2008 (EDT)
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Skimanjohn--I was looking at at that exact pack!! It was perfect, just a bit too big for my needs. My catalyst is right around 2000ci., and clocks in at 1lb 4oz, with a very thin, unremovable foam pad and no stays. I can fit 2, 3-liter hydration packs in the slot, with a separate thru-the-strap insulated access port on each shoulder strap. Add a Nalgene in each side webbing pocket, and I can carry 8 liters with food and supplies for 2 nights. The hip-belt pockets are perfect for trail bars and GPSs, but could be pressed into service holding the lightest of rain shells and pants.

Well, thanks for the tips, and recommendations on gear. If I'm looking for a pack on the cheap in 15 years or so, when this patagonia wears out, I'll snipe one of those Black Diamonds off E-bay...I had a Bullet for a while, and it was sleek! (Before the bottom seam broke out...I'm sure it was just a faulty thread, though.)

I threw some Freesole on the bottom of this one, so even the everyday 20lbs. of books load it sees doesn't phase it. The shift-layer (2 layers of 420 denier rip-stop with sewn-in slack, to prevent friction) fabric--waterproof, with water-tight zippers--hasn't so much as scuffed after a semester of twice-a-day 2-hour train rides, and the Freesole still wipes clean, even after constantly using it as either a head or foot rest. If course, it shines the best with an ultralight weekend load...a tarp, a quilt, and a torso-length Luna later, and life is good! (+2 points for Alliteration!) With two simple tugs, the auto-fit harness (fixed torso length, 19") wraps down on the bottom, the widest part of the pack, pulling the pack in and up at the same time, and compressing the load using the tension on the buckled hip-belt. It's pretty damn ingenious. All things considered, I was still worried about the height at which the webbing rested on my abdomen...about 2 inches above my belly button. I've since realized this is just where it needs to be, and have come to realize this backpack as one of the best purchases I've made in a great while.

April 17, 2014
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