GoLite Terrono 70 - internal frame pack

12:14 p.m. on September 25, 2011 (EDT)
REVIEW CORPS
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I've been toying for some time now with the idea of trying out an internal frame pack for backpacking.  One reason I haven't made the move is that I haven't found just the "right" pack.  The ones i like are all way heavier than I want.  I'm tempted by the Osprey Aether, but even it is over 5 lbs, and I don't care for the thin strips they use for the belt & shoulder straps.  The Gregory Baltoro looks great but it's over 6 lbs.  It seems most of the pack makers feel that "heavier is better".  My internal frame Kelty D4 is 4 lbs 12 oz and I'm not interested in increasing that weight.

One that caught my eye is the new GoLite Terrono (http://www.trailspace.com/gear/golite/terrono-70/).  It's 8 oz less than my current pack, and seems to have some nice features.  For example it has a nice wide waste belt (though I'm not sure how well the wide belt works in practice).

Since it's new there aren't many reviews yet.  I've seen good and bad comments about GoLite packs in general (including a few horror stories about straps pulling apart while on the trail, buckles breaking, etc).  But I've heard a few things like that about Osprey too.  I guess I have high standards seeing I'm using the same pack I bought in 1978 and nothing has failed (except, recently, a couple seems that require some attention, but, hey, it's over 33 years old).  Unfortunately the newer Keltys I've looked at are all afflicted with the "heavier is better" syndrome.

It's difficult to evaluate the Terrono because there doesn't seem to be a retailer near here that carries this particular model.  So I'd have to order online and hope I like it (and that it fits) or deal with a return, ugh...  Oh, and it's *very* pricey, though a couple online retailers have it on sale...

So TS members, if you've dealt with GoLite packs, how has your experience been?

3:18 a.m. on September 26, 2011 (EDT)
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2,285 forum posts

The D4 and all the Kelty packs fitting the “Mountaineer” frame style were sweet.  I still own and use my late 1970s era Sonora (Kelty’s largest pack designed to lash the sleeping bag on the frame below the pack, like the D4).  I also own an expedition size Trailwise internal frame pack, from about the same era, which can carry a heavier load than virtually any contemporary internal frame pack.  I have tried a variety of packs, but only a few – including a Camptrails pack with a unique flexible pivot mounting waist belt – were as comfortable, IMO.  Like you, I prefer the old gear.  But I digress.  Just curious, Bill, why do you want an internal frame pack?  If you intend to stay on trail, the consensus among those own both pack styles is the external frame pack is more comfortable, especially when shouldering a heavier load.

Ed

3:11 p.m. on September 26, 2011 (EDT)
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Hey, Ed, I've been contemplating trying an internal frame pack for a while now.  There are several reasons.

- the D4 is very uncomfortable.  The newer packs have nicer more contoured waist belts and contoured shoulder straps, instead of the utilitarian straight ones on the D4.  I haven't found any newer ones that look like they would fit the D4 frame without extensive modification (I don't really want to turn this into a big DIY project).

- the D4 / external frame style is fine, as you said, for trails, but I'd like to have a more stable pack for taking off trail.  On a recent trip I considered a bit of offtrail, but didn't because the D4 isn't all that stable.  Also the same is true when crossing creeks ... it feels unstable when I am trying to balance on slippery rocks :).

- I'd like to be able to do more in the winter, walking on snow etc, and have the same concerns re: stability.

- the D4 is barely large enough to hold all my stuff in the summer.  In colder weather when I need to carry more clothes etc there just isn't any space left to pack it.

This one (seems like sort of a hybrid) caught my eye:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Vintage-KELTY-Radial-Frame-Pack-Backpack-LARGE-/400241890668?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item5d3046956c#ht_7894wt_889

I'm not crazy about the color scheme (with the red/yellow bands/stripes) but overall the pack seems intriguing ... especially the nice contoured straps & cushioned waist belt.

August 27, 2014
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