New Pack-I'm Sad :(

9:48 p.m. on December 28, 2011 (EST)
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I just found out my Mountainsmith backpack I've had for years has, well, fallen apart.  It was a nice internal frame pack.  I dunno what the size was but it hauled a lot of stuff.  We had a flood in our basement few months ago, it got soaked and for whatever reason is now destroyed.  Before I even think about venturing out for a new pack I guess my question is what size should I be leaning towards?  I'm going to use this pack for no more than 2-3 overnight backpacking trips.  I'd like to carry all my gear with some room to spare.  I know Osprey makes some nice packs as does Gregory.  I'll hit my local REI along with Campmor to really sink my teeth more into this but just looking for a good starting point and being you all are more "expert" than me on this I'm trying to see what size pack I should focus on.  Thanks again.

10:16 p.m. on December 28, 2011 (EST)
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Buy a Mystery Ranch G-5000 and it will last the rest of your life and give you a level of comfort under load that is simply superb. I have packed these packs since 1978 and they are the best available other than a custom from McHale.

10:49 p.m. on December 28, 2011 (EST)
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Skibum- Dewey is right if you want an extream pack to last mystery ranch. Just get your torsi measured then figure what you need for volume count. I dont own a mystery ranch my brother does and it's comfy and roomy.FWIW

10:54 p.m. on December 28, 2011 (EST)
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Measure yourself with McHale's system to get an accurate torso measurement.  Go to eBay and either replace your Mountainsmith with the same model (since you liked it a great deal) or buy a Dana Design or Osprey from the 90s.  If you go with Mountainsmith or Osprey, you won't have to spend more than $150 to replace your pack.  Go with a Dana, and you might have to spend $250.  All the quality and big, big savings over a new pack.

measuring link:

http://www.mchalepacks.com/packs/detail/measure.htm

1:28 a.m. on December 29, 2011 (EST)
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No - don't measure yourself using the Mchale way unless you buy a Mchale.

His system may be correct in determining the true torso length, but other pack maufacturers won't follow the same system.  I am 17.5" on the Mchale system (and built my Mchales as such - with 24" frames) but closer to 19" on what Arcteryx says.  My point is that you need to try packs and then more packs to find the best fit for YOU.

I also have a Mystery Ranch Trance and love it.  It is more comfortable than my Mchale LBP at weights over 30 lbs and was way cheaper.  Go figure.  Mystery Ranch employs a fully adjustable harness that can be adjusted up or down in micro increments and the hip belt wings can be swapped depending on the size of your waist.  Over long days with the pack on, heavier loads, and back sweat, my pack will slowly slide down no matter how snug I have the belt.  It is nice to be able to effectively 'lengthen' the frame on the trail to account for this.  I really can't say enough good things about Mystery Ranch.

1:47 a.m. on December 29, 2011 (EST)
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On the whole Osprey thing...

Great pack if it fits you. Bomber warranty. Even if something happens to it and its your fault they will fix it for free or if they can't they will replace it. It doesn't matter if its a new pack or made in the 70s and ya snagged it up from a yard sale.

I feel they are well made. I now own 3 with my recent acquiring of the Argon 85. 

The other 2 I have are the Stratos 26, and an Aether 70.

I look at it like this. If it wasn't a well made pack they wouldn't have a warranty like this.

They are not going to be making alot of money if they have to constantly repair or even worse replace an inferior product because of failure.

Just my 2 cents. 

7:49 a.m. on December 29, 2011 (EST)
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Nice   Thanks everyone.  Appreciate all the good feedback

7:54 a.m. on December 29, 2011 (EST)
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Mystery Ranch looks nice.  Decent website.  Not disagreeing with you but why this brand over Osprey, Gregory or any others?  My next purchase FINALLY will be a new tent but I'm holding out until the new goods come out for spring 2012. :)))))))

8:54 a.m. on December 29, 2011 (EST)
TRAILSPACE STAFF
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Mystery ranch makes good packs, as do osprey, gregory, kelty, etc.. Thankfully, most name brands these days are good.  Rather than start by thinking of brands, I'd begin by thinking of features you need, find some packs that have these features, try them on, then try to get the best price for the pack that fits.

for example - you're looking for a pack that will fit 3 days of stuff.  Depending on the volume of your sleeping bag, the seasons you camp in, and the style in which you pack, this could be anywhere from 3,000 cubic inches to 7,000 cubic inches.  Will you need attachments for skis or other winter stuff? A detachable lid? Make a list of the features you'd like and the size of the pack, and go talk to your local outfitter.  They should be able to help you narrow down the multitude of packs on the wall.

9:34 a.m. on December 29, 2011 (EST)
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The quality of materials and construction in Mystery Ranch packs is FAR superior to that used in "off-shore" made packs such as Osprey, Gregory and so forth. Mystery Ranch makes the BEST production packs on the current market and they LAST like no others of the many I have owned and used.

I have been here long enough that I do not have to re-post my level of experience and I simply state what I have experienced. I do not care what pack, etc., anyone chooses to buy, but, I do try to give advice based on experience with the gear items under discussion.

IMO, most of the packs sold these days are NOT ...good..., they are trendy and poorly built and intended to sell to "gearheads" who buy new gear every year and want whatever is currently "kewl". No offence intended, but, I retired from the major gear retailer, except MEC, in Canada and this is what I saw.

10:07 a.m. on December 29, 2011 (EST)
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denis daly said:

Skibum- Dewey is right if you want an extream pack to last mystery ranch. Just get your torsi measured then figure what you need for volume count. I dont own a mystery ranch my brother does and it's comfy and roomy.FWIW

 With the MR G-series of packs (G-5000, 6000, etc) they come with a "universal" torso adjustment and so no personal torso measurement is needed.  The shoulder yoke slides up and down a long way and can accommodate any size torso and instead of using inches to determine yoke placement it's done with eyeballing where the top of the yoke sits on the top of the shoulder and how the load-lifter straps are angled.  All pretty simple and field-adjustable and outlined in a couple MR web videos.


TRIP-123-482.jpg

As Dewey says, the MR G5000 is a near perfect pack and great for a week long winter trip.  Here's my 5000 on Wilburn Ridge in Mt Rogers.

FOOTNOTE:  I recently sent my winter load hauler G6000 back to Montana for a look-see upgrade and Ranch's Tim replaced all the worn straps with cordura straps and put on a new yoke since a thin plastic fabric sheet was split.  They did all this work for free.  While it was sent off I had the G5000 to play with---of course I had to buy it!

10:20 a.m. on December 29, 2011 (EST)
REVIEW CORPS
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Honestly, unless you are carrying some astromical amount of weight on a routine basis your pack manufacturer choice doesnt matter too much. All you need is something that is comfortable for you, holds your gear, and is backed by the manufacturer.

Most people do not need a mystery ranch etc pack, yes they are awesome and are very very durable, but they also cost ALOT more. If your an average backpacker that is carrying less than 50lbs or so then almost any pack company will work for you.

I have an Osprey Aether 70 and i really like it. I have really put it through its paces over the last year and a half or so and it is no worse for the wear. Many of the modern materials pack makers use is very durable and robust. Maybe not a durable as dyneema but you need to ask yourself if you 'need' dyneema. Dyneema might be a neccesity if all you do is bushwhack, or if your doing alot of rock scrambling, canyoneering where you will constantly be subjecting the pack to abrasion. Even so, if a pack fails or begins to wear out most manufacturers will replace it.

As already mentioned the size of pack you need is relative to your gear and what seasons you backpack in. I use the aether 70 most of the year, and the camelbak linchpin in summer. The aether 70 can support me for up to a 2 week trip in winter, where the linchpin is 28L and is perfect for a 3 day trip in summer conditions. Only way to tell what will work for you is to take ALL of your gear to an outfitter and start loading up packs and trying them on.

Bottom line is choose a pack with these criteria in this order IMO. 1)is comfortable, 2)holds all your gear, 3)fits your budget, 4)good manufacturer warranty.

11:30 a.m. on December 29, 2011 (EST)
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"Most people do not need a mystery ranch etc pack, yes they are awesome and are very very durable, but they also cost ALOT more."

The Mystery Ranch Trance is $350, 70L, and weighs 4lbs, 2oz.  The Osprey 70 you mention is $279 and weighs 5lbs.  For $71 more you get a US made bomber pack.

11:40 a.m. on December 29, 2011 (EST)
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I have found that if the pack properly transfers the load correctly the weight of the pack itself is not a big deal compared to the comfort it will offer.

My Argon is around 6lbs and I have to say it is the most comfortable pack I have ever used for heavy loads(50lbs +.)

Then again the pack fits me the way it should. 

My max load is around 80lbs maybe a little more. Then again this is only when going out for 2 weeks or more. 

MR packs are really nice. I just couldn't justify the cost of what I would end up paying for what I needed when the Osprey has a bomber warranty that covers me on all bases. 

The quality is pretty good. I know some knock mass produced gear from over-seas. I am not one of those people.

If it works well, does the job, has a good rep, and a great warranty I personally wouldn't care if it was made in Somalia. 

I am more into function than a name personally. 

Granted Dana Gleason has a stellar reputation for putting out a bomber product. Then again there are many other companies out there that have a great following as well. 

Will a MR pack outlast my Osprey? Who knows... To me its all about how one takes care of their gear and what punishment one subjects their gear too.

Me? I'm hard on gear but I also do what needs to be done to maintain it.

I only buy gear with an awesome warranty(now if I could only find a pair of boots with a lifetime warranty/lifetime sole replacement.)

For instance, when I was snagging up a new set of trekking poles I ended up with Lekis. It seemed as though BD had better reviews but the BDs I was looking at only carried a 1yr warranty if I remember correctly. The Lekis? Lifetime.

I always say that a product is only as good as the warranty it carries. How much faith a company has in their product will typically be reflected by the warranty it carries. 

I am sure there are those out there that would say Ospreys are rubbish, just like there are probably those out there that would say other companies packs are trash and not nearly worth what they cost. 

Just like we have the boot conversations. Some love Limmers, other say they are garbage. 

Too each is own.

Thats what makes this whole pack search so much fun. There is no such thing as one pack that is perfect for everyone.

As with any piece of gear one selects that piece of gear is personal to the user. My needs and your needs are 2 total different animals.

Skibum, regardless of what you get, get a pack that fits you well, serves your intended purpose, and meets your needs.

When ya break it all down that is what matters the most. 

12:03 p.m. on December 29, 2011 (EST)
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The OP states 2-3 day. Now if you are staying on trails an external frame Kelty will work well. I dont see a need for a monster pack. Most the time you wouldnt have more than 20-30 Lbs for a weekend trip.

12:15 p.m. on December 29, 2011 (EST)
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Sorry Mike, I was editing my previous post while you posted your response. 

mikemorrow said:

Most the time you wouldnt have more than 20-30 Lbs for a weekend trip.

 I am not sure how you could be certain of that based on the lack of knowledge of what his kit consists of. 

Heres the deal. You can always compress your pack for lighter loads. Going a little bigger than your anticipated load is not a bad thing.

I can compress my 85L pack down to the size of a 60L if needed but if I had a 60L I sure couldn't put 85L worth of gear in it if I needed too.

So in a scenario like this what do you do? Buy another pack? Rent? Either way it is going to cost you more out of pocket than if ya just would have bought a slightly larger pack in the first place. 

I am not saying the OP needs a large expedition size pack...

At the same time I am not saying he doesn't. Only he knows what his needs in a pack are and what his kit consists of. 

For the length of trip he is talking if it were me I would go with a 60L/70L max.

Thats just me. 

Then again, my shortest trips are a week so for me a larger pack is the way to go. Especially in the winter months. 



12:16 p.m. on December 29, 2011 (EST)
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Warrentees on outdoor gear are a marketing tool to allow makers to produce poorer quality products and make greater profits. It is THAT simple and anyone with some serious experience in the gear industry who is not a shill for the maker(s) will tell you that.

 

Dewey Packs make 25,000 packs per year and retail these at 279.95 and they are like "kewl" man and hordes of eager hikers buy them, mucho profit for me. Some fall apart, a guy loses a summit bid he has waited almost 20 years for and others are in difficult and distressing circumstances die to failure in use in wilderness conditions. These number about 500 and Dewey replaces them with new packs and MOST people are happy, yeehaw!

 

Then, Dewey himself drags out his almost 40 year old Dana pack and cheerfully hikes into the sunset, rich and laughing all the way to the bank. In short, if you depend on your gear and want it to last, then buying an MR pack is both a sound decision from an economic perspective and also a functional one.

BTW, I had some quite unsatisfactory warrantee issues with a major and costly US pack and other gear maker and this happens a LOT in the industry.

12:25 p.m. on December 29, 2011 (EST)
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Dewey said:

Warrentees on outdoor gear are a marketing tool to allow makers to produce poorer quality products and make greater profits. 

I actually have to disagree with this. The reason is quite simple.

If companies have to constantly repair their product they lose revenue.

They have to pay their employees to repair the product or they contract some other company to do it. 

Better yet? If they have to replace a massive amount of product that is a substantial hit in the pocket as well.

Then ya have the piss poor reputation the company ends up with and next thing ya know they are non-existent. 

I have seen this happen in industry so many times its ridiculous. 

Sorry Dewey, I don't even know how I could rationalize the above. Just based on the unnecessary overhead alone it doesn't make sense. 

Please explain a little more in depth if you could. I may very well be missing something here but from logical terms/experience this is what I come up with.

Companies are in business to make money. Not lose it. 

On the whole lasting thing, I know folks that would say a MR pack is crap and their old school external frame Kelty is the bomb. 

Does that make one or the other wrong? Nope. 

There are many good packs out there. The MRs have been the best for you. 

Does that necessarily mean they are the best? Who knows. I know people who love Mac Pacs, ARcTeryx', MH, blah blah blah. 

Like I said this is completely individual and solely based on personal preference. 

12:34 p.m. on December 29, 2011 (EST)
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Rick, when a customer comes in with a warrantee issue, you do NOT "repair" the pack, you REPLACE it and this is among the BEST tools to create customer/brand loyalty that gear retailers have. I know this because of owning and managing various specialty retail businesses for several  years.

The defective gear is a tax write-off and even then can oftimes be donated to charity, with appropriate media coverage, read FREE advertising and this happens frequently.

The overhead is miniscule as gear store employees are paid slave wages and the fact is that most gear now is built to a "price point" and a level of loss due to warrantee issues is calculated into that. The best gear makers, such as Dan McHale, simpy say, "Don't need no stinkin' warrantee" and Dan is legendary for his care for customers even years after they buy one of his packs.

I was not totally happy with an aspect of one of the MR packs I bought and called them to see about a new part. The instant response was, "we are sending you a NEW PACK, immediately, here is a return number and send the first one back when it's convenient"....don't tell me that Asian pack makers do better than that, I have been at this for much too long.

 

12:37 p.m. on December 29, 2011 (EST)
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...Folks... used to say that the Earth was flat............

 

Anyone can say anything, but, factual reality is not always an aspect of such comments, eh?

12:55 p.m. on December 29, 2011 (EST)
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I'm just going to leave this alone. Have a great day.

Your right I'm wrong. I don't know squat. 

As an aside, I just sent my Big Agnes fly to Big Agnes for a warranty issue.

They fixed it not replaced it. Its based on the extent of the repair. I got this directly from Big Agnes and actually inquired with Osprey not too long ago in regards to this whole thing. 

If its a minor fix that is what they do. Fix it. Would a company give someone a new pack just because a buckle broke or some stitching blew when they could just fire it on a machine and fix it for minimal cost?

12:57 p.m. on December 29, 2011 (EST)
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 With the MR G-series of packs (G-5000, 6000, etc) they come with a "universal" torso adjustment and so no personal torso measurement is needed.  The shoulder yoke slides up and down a long way and can accommodate any size torso and instead of using inches to determine yoke placement it's done with eyeballing where the top of the yoke sits on the top of the shoulder and how the load-lifter straps are angled.  All pretty simple and field-adjustable and outlined in a couple MR web videos.

 CORRECTION:  I just remembered that my pack has a medium yoke to fit someone 5'9" to 6'4".  They also have two other sizes---large (above 6'4") and small (below 5'9").

As with Hilleberg tents, no pack is perfect and all packs will require upgrading.  Three items wear out first on even the best backpack---the two shoulder strap webbings and the hipbelt webbing.  After long use these straps begin to fray, lose minute thickness and "slip".  Part of this slip is also due to the ladder buckles wearing out micron by micron due to strap abrasion.

The second thing to fail are pack zippers, as everyone knows.  It's not much fun to do a field repair (who carries an extra zipper?) and not much fun to sew up at home either.

The third failure is due to pilot error, like stepping on the hipbelt buckle and cracking the side seam whereby one insert won't lock in.  Or stepping on other smaller buckles and breaking them.  Plastic hipbelt buckles are under a lot of strain and inferior ones will release and/or break w/o warning.  On one trip long ago I even carted out an extra hipbelt buckle.

(BTW, the MR G5000 has a detachable lid which becomes a butt pack and uses a second hipbelt---a spare if needed.  The G6000 on the other hand uses a daypack top lid with hidden shoulder straps).

A fourth failure could be in the category of stay breakage or some sort of frame disaster.  Sometimes internal stays will rip thru their inner pockets, bottom or top, and poke out.  Not good.  The old externals with the split rings holding the pack to the frame on clevis pins sometimes pull off in terrible brush and you look around and see the pack bag hanging halfway off the frame.  Not fun.

1:03 p.m. on December 29, 2011 (EST)
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Got to chime in here.

 a $380 pack might well cost less than $50 to produce. Same can be said about tents. You mark them up that high so you can replace them fast and without a hit on your profits. (Good custumer service)

Wheres Apeman! LOL

 

1:04 p.m. on December 29, 2011 (EST)
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mikemorrow said:

Wheres Apeman! LOL

 Brian, definitely needs to get in on this one.

1:09 p.m. on December 29, 2011 (EST)
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Rick-Pittsburgh said:

Dewey said:

Rick, when a customer comes in with a warrantee issue, you do NOT "repair" the pack, you REPLACE it and this is among the BEST tools to create customer/brand loyalty that gear retailers have. I know this because of owning and managing various specialty retail businesses for several  years.

The defective gear is a tax write-off and even then can oftimes be donated to charity, with appropriate media coverage, read FREE advertising and this happens frequently.

The overhead is miniscule as gear store employees are paid slave wages and the fact is that most gear now is built to a "price point" and a level of loss due to warrantee issues is calculated into that. The best gear makers, such as Dan McHale, simpy say, "Don't need no stinkin' warrantee" and Dan is legendary for his care for customers even years after they buy one of his packs.

I was not totally happy with an aspect of one of the MR packs I bought and called them to see about a new part. The instant response was, "we are sending you a NEW PACK, immediately, here is a return number and send the first one back when it's convenient"....don't tell me that Asian pack makers do better than that, I have been at this for much too long.

 

 Interesting. I have actually had gear repaired on more than one occasion. 

Recently was my Big Agnes Copper Spur fly. I wasn't paying attention and tore a whole in the fly(long story.)

I sent it to them and they repaired it. Actually the repair that they did looks kinda like a Frankenstein job. 

But nevertheless they fixed the repair not replaced it. 

I have actually been in contact with quite a few companies. Oddly enough I am on a first name basis with alot of the reps as well. 

You know we email back and forth talking about gear etc. 

Anywho, on the pack front its all about how extensive the repair is. 

Lets say I tear a hole in my Argon. The repair would cost a very minimal amount of money to perform. So you mean to tell me that they would just send me another $380 pack?

Hmmmm, so they send me a $380 pack for a $20-$30 fix when they could have just fixed the pack at a minimal cost and got full purchase price for the new pack elsewhere? 

I suppose you know more than the individuals that I have actually spoken too on the phone that design, manufacturer, and distribute these products to the retailers. 

Don't tell you an Asian pack maker does better than that? From what I see of your posts you can't be told anything. 

You know the best gear, you have experienced the harshest environments, you this, you that. 

Uggghhhhh. Just open your eyes. Just because it works for YOU does not mean it will work for everyone else. 

There are other viable options out there.

I am just going to agree to disagree on this one. 

 The simple point I am attempting to make here is that some gear is better by actual performance than other gear of the same type.

While this is certainly influenced in what one uses by the environment and activities that a person buys it for, the fact is that superior materials and construction DO, as in Hilleberg, Mystery Ranch, Integral Designs, McHale, Wildthings and Valandre result in products that DO outlast, out-perform and even are cheaper in the longterm than the offshore mass-produced stuff so heavily marketed to we consumers.

I am NOT saying and have stressed this, that a given hiker NEEDS a specific pack, tent or whatever; in fact, I often think that some here buy far more costly gear than they require in their suburban regions, just because it is the currently "kewl" thing to have.

However, high performance as demonstrated over decades of use by serious outdoors people that results in total satisfaction is, to me, an indicator of "realtime" quality and this is the most useful tool for deciding what gear to buy that I know of.

One of the things I notice about TS is that there is a regional and even an "age" difference among the suggestions for gear purchases and I also notice that this has to do with occupation, as well.

 As "Rambler" pointed out, there are options to what I suggest and one should certainly consider every aspect of these decisions before actual purchase. However, I do notice that those here with the most wilderness and backpacking experience, (through age for one thing) BillS, Walter, and even I, seem to use gear from much the same makers and this is not an accident, IMHO.

Whatever, hopefully this will be of some benefit to the OP and anyone else interested.

1:15 p.m. on December 29, 2011 (EST)
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I am totally confused. On one hand you are telling me they just replace the pack, on the opposite hand I have Osprey telling me that it is solely dependent upon the degree of the fix. 

I just have a problem with this being I have been told by a company that designs, manufactures, and distributes a well known pack and now I am being told that the info I received is bs.

It just doesn't make sense to me.  

1:20 p.m. on December 29, 2011 (EST)
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All I know is this---I'm dang thankful Dana Gleason started making packs again after letting Dana Designs go.  Most of us Mystery Ranch users were at one time faithful Terraplane and Astralplane users.  I look at my old red Terraplane lovingly and would go back to it in a second.

The backpacking community works by the grapevine, what's hot and what's not, and by word of mouth and reputation.  Long ago someone mentioned "Wow!  Marmot sure makes some great sleeping bags!" (This would be 1983-4) and the word gets out and we perk up our heads and give it some thought.

Years ago someone shouted "Wow!  Ya gotta check out Dana Designs from Bozeman!!" and we kept the info in our heads like some distant fantasy until we had the opportunity to get one.  Even now there's that distant shout of McHale and Valandre and PH Design Shop and we wonder and ponder and open and close our wallets and read reviews and keep it in our brains.  Let's face it, if we keep to the outdoor life and to backpacking, we'll eventually have to try these items out, for the sheer joy of it.

1:26 p.m. on December 29, 2011 (EST)
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If, this is directed at me, I do not deal with Osprey and my comments were, as I posted, based on my experience in the retail aspect of gear. WE REPLACED packs frequently, it was company policy and it works.

I might add, that I have sold and fitted hundreds of packs to a variety of people as well as fitting boots and so forth; these ranged from tiny toddlers to elderly Chinese who were visiting the "Great Wall" of their ethnic homeland. It includes Himalayan and Andes climbers and many who climb in BC and Alberta and Canada's northern territories.

So, to be totally clear on this, my opinions are not merely based on what works for me, but, upon what others have used and often returned to tell me they were totally satisfied with.

Mikemorrow, is right about this and the costs to produce some of this gear plus the margins it is sold at would shock most consumers.

1:29 p.m. on December 29, 2011 (EST)
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Tipi Walter said:

All I know is this---I'm dang thankful Dana Gleason started making packs again after letting Dana Designs go.  Most of us Mystery Ranch users were at one time faithful Terraplane and Astralplane users.  I look at my old red Terraplane lovingly and would go back to it in a second.

 Yup, my mint condition Terraplane OK was stolen from my home and I was devastated, then, elated when Dana, started MR. My Astralplane is loaded with 70-100 lbs. of sandbags and water bottles at all times as it is my "training pack" and I wish he would bring back those awesome shoulder straps he used on the Bozeman-made Terrapacks, nothing ever worked for me as well.

1:31 p.m. on December 29, 2011 (EST)
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Sort of like the whole Air Jordan thing. $150 here, $20 there. I gotcha. I would be curious to see what type of profit is made on a MR pack. I am not knocking MR at all. 
The whole point was that there are options out there as you can see in my previous posts.

Dewey, it came across to me that in your eyes there are no options. I have many times seen in your posts "the best."
Now what I think personally was lacking was the "for me."
Thats all I am saying. 

1:33 p.m. on December 29, 2011 (EST)
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mikemorrow said:

Got to chime in here.

 a $380 pack might well cost less than $50 to produce. Same can be said about tents. You mark them up that high so you can replace them fast and without a hit on your profits. (Good custumer service)

Wheres Apeman! LOL

 

 Especially out of China.

1:38 p.m. on December 29, 2011 (EST)
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Rick, your comments as quoted in my post above have made your opinion(s) perfectly clear to me; you hardly need to qualify what you said there with any further remarks.

I won't take this further and suggest that you do not.

1:47 p.m. on December 29, 2011 (EST)
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Dewey, you are so right. There are many differant people here. As you might well know I'm a 2-4 day traveler. I dont cover much more than 15 miles on a trip. Plus I'm on trails that for the mostpart are well maintained. I'm a lower end buyer. But my stuff souldnt fail in the environment that I use it.

My main point in these coversations, is that one should buy for ones needs. Does one need a $400 tent? A $350 backpack? The answer is, depends on how and where it will be used. I see alot of people here that go out 5-6 times a year on short trips like I do. Yet they buy all the high dollar (Kewl) gear. I personaly dont understand it.Thats why I will talk about lower end gear. Some people realy dont have the cash to spend. It doesnt bother me that when a OP says they need something, and the answers come back with the highest end stuff. But I what them to keep looking and give them another choise.

One last thing about CS. I have had great CS from Coghlan's. Does that make them a great gear company? NO. But the product fits my needs. And them replacing the product free was a nice surprise.

1:54 p.m. on December 29, 2011 (EST)
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CWF said:

Especially out of China.

 So Malaysia is good to go. :p

1:55 p.m. on December 29, 2011 (EST)
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Rick-Pittsburgh said:

CWF said:

Especially out of China.

 So Malaysia is good to go. :p

 Definitely. ; )

2:01 p.m. on December 29, 2011 (EST)
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CWF said:

No - don't measure yourself using the Mchale way unless you buy a Mchale.

His system may be correct in determining the true torso length, but other pack maufacturers won't follow the same system.  I am 17.5" on the Mchale system (and built my Mchales as such - with 24" frames) but closer to 19" on what Arcteryx says.  My point is that you need to try packs and then more packs to find the best fit for YOU.

 This has not been my experience.  However, I have never owned an Arcteryx pack, nor fitted for one.  Dana and Osprey in particular do benefit from knowing that same torso measurement that you can glean from McHale's measuring system.  Their catalogs ask for that same area, but their instructions are a little bit messier and can leave too much wiggle room when measuring.

I do agree that you should try on as many packs as possible, which isn't very likely if you're buying on the used market (unless you live in the Denver or Seattle areas, for example, where you can find countless packs via Craigslist and get an idea of how each one fits your body).  I could never get a Gregory to fit my body, but the Osprey's fit me like a glove.  Danas require me to mess around a lot before I find a good fit.  etc.  It's definitely worth the research.

But I still think you should maybe just get another Mountainsmith if you liked the one you lost.

2:09 p.m. on December 29, 2011 (EST)
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"But I still think you should maybe just get another Mountainsmith if you liked the one you lost."

 

Arguably the best advice yet!

2:13 p.m. on December 29, 2011 (EST)
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Mountainsmith does make good backpacks.

2:14 p.m. on December 29, 2011 (EST)
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CWF said:

Arguably the best advice yet!

 +1

It worked plain and simple. Plus you know what you are getting. 

2:18 p.m. on December 29, 2011 (EST)
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Wow all this to get to some great advice!

Along with Mountainsmith you could look at Kelty. In the same price range. I like my Kelty better than my Mountainsmith.

2:20 p.m. on December 29, 2011 (EST)
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Osprey makes a pretty good pack lol. 

2:21 p.m. on December 29, 2011 (EST)
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Isn't McHale's warranty the same thing as Osprey or Mystery Ranch, but he doesn't talk about it or have it showing on catalogs (does anyone actually print those anymore?)?  I respect the hell out of McHale, but I also recognize his brevity and no-nonsense website (which I find incredibly confusing in its attempt to not be a more polished machine) as his way of advertising.  It's an interesting thing how he works his information magic vs. a more traditional, more corporate bent like what you find at the Osprey and Mystery Ranch websites.  McHale is like the old Yvon Chouinard, old old school approach to things, but he lacks the interest (and probably time) to mess with marketing experimentation like Chouinard eventually did.  Both are playing with words and creating mythos.  They're just doing it in a different way.

Maybe I'm not reading Dewey in the right light, though.  I understand how these warranties play out in the real world.  It being cheaper to give someone a brand new pack than to bother repairing the old one (unless that is what the customer wants, which oddly enough, Chouinard specifically addresses in Let My People Go Surfing).  In this culture, most of the time, throwing a brand new pack at someone makes them a lot happier than them getting their old pack returned all stitched up and repaired.  It's definitely a psychological battlefield with your customers, and when you maybe have 10-15% of the retail price in the actual cost of a product, you can afford to throw around complete replacements like rolls of toilet paper.  The reason McHale wouldn't do that is because he'd have to make a whole other pack vs Osprey walking into the warehouse, grabbing another one, throwing it in the box, and shipping it along.  Hell, the shipping and warehouse labor cost might even eclipse the actual cost of the backpack.  I have no doubt this stuff is made for peanuts, but they have to account for the fact you're going to buy one pack every 20 years (whatever the industry studies say.  I'm just making up a number) and price the pack accordingly.

I love pack talk.  Thanks to Dewey, Rick, and all the others here.

2:25 p.m. on December 29, 2011 (EST)
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Mountainsmiths go for very little on eBay.  The ultralighters bid up certain models, like the Ghost, but I bet you could buy the same model and model year for less than $100.

2:35 p.m. on December 29, 2011 (EST)
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I love a good debate. Then again, I also love being confused...

2:50 p.m. on December 29, 2011 (EST)
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2:51 p.m. on December 29, 2011 (EST)
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Zeno Marx said:

  It being cheaper to give someone a brand new pack than to bother repairing the old one (unless that is what the customer wants, which oddly enough, Chouinard specifically addresses in Let My People Go Surfing).  In this culture, most of the time, throwing a brand new pack at someone makes them a lot happier than them getting their old pack returned all stitched up and repaired.  It's definitely a psychological battlefield with your customers, and when you maybe have 10-15% of the retail price in the actual cost of a product, you can afford to throw around complete replacements like rolls of toilet paper.  

  Hell, the shipping and warehouse labor cost might even eclipse the actual cost of the backpack. 

 That is the whole point, it is cheaper for a maker to just replace any product that fails and this is a HUGE marketing ploy, we used to chuckle about it and we even replaced worn dayhikers for chintzy customers as, OVERALL, this increases your PROFIT. 

Some makers, the higher end ones DO some repairs, but, it is SO MUCH hassle that just giving a new item is usually a more practical solution to the problem.

The problem, though, as I see it, is that a gear failure can ruin an expensive or long-awaited and never-to-be-repeated excursion and in real wilderness, it can even endanger your safety. So, for the basics, I prefer to buy the best and MR now makes the best packs out there.

I also use gear for decades and will buy less costly items of they function better as in tent pegs from Coglan's rather than the costly little ones from boutique makers that do not hold in rocky mountain conditions. "Horses for courses" and all that.

2:55 p.m. on December 29, 2011 (EST)
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All-the-Pack-Things.jpg

2:57 p.m. on December 29, 2011 (EST)
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Sorry, couldn't resist ;)

3:00 p.m. on December 29, 2011 (EST)
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Interesting. It seems that if a company is into importing their gear, then they would probably not have a repair facility - since they're not into making gear.

When you guys talk Mountainsmith do you mean packs from the old MtnSmith before the owner started Kifaru? Are the new packs as good, better?  Does anyone know who the new owners are - the site does not say much.

 

 

3:06 p.m. on December 29, 2011 (EST)
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trace said:

Interesting. It seems that if a company is into importing their gear, then they would probably not have a repair facility - since they're not into making gear.

 trace, when a company does not have an in house repair facility they typically outsource/contract someone to handle repairs.

Take Rainy Pass Repair for instance. If you take a look at their "Partners" you will find quite a few well known companies that outsource their repair work.

http://www.rainypass.com/partners.htm

3:15 p.m. on December 29, 2011 (EST)
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trace said:

When you guys talk Mountainsmith do you mean packs from the old MtnSmith before the owner started Kifaru? Are the new packs as good, better?  Does anyone know who the new owners are - the site does not say much.

I'm talking about finding an original, old Mountainsmith to replace the lost one.  One of the positive consequences to selling tens of thousands of backpacks is that it makes it all the more likely to find another one if you so desire.  20 years from now, you'll still see a steady stream of Dana Design and Mountainsmiths because they owned a huge percentage of the market and sold A LOT of product.

I've never even seen a Kifaru pack, but I know there are devout loyalists who swear by them.  They are very expensive.  Personally, I don't care for the mercenary/militia guise they appear to have.  Wouldn't stop me from owning one if it was a great pack, but it would certainly play into my decision.  I'm not anti-gun or anti-hunting, but I am anti-bravado anti-machomachoman.  I played football in high school.  I had enough of that bullshit for a lifetime.

trace said:

Interesting. It seems that if a company is into importing their gear, then they would probably not have a repair facility - since they're not into making gear.

 Good point.  I was very surprised to find out Marmot still has a very small repair staff.  I didn't think they'd even have a dusty sewing machine in a closet somewhere.

3:17 p.m. on December 29, 2011 (EST)
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IF one was to pay regular retail price there is not a huge price difference, however, if one is a normal person and used a coupon or waited for a sale one could get an Osprey Aether for 150ish. Every year REI has a sale on packs on the Aethers drop to 150ish. So in that case your saving almost 200$

3:30 p.m. on December 29, 2011 (EST)
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TheRambler-are you referring to their attic or basement sale or whatever they call it?

3:39 p.m. on December 29, 2011 (EST)
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I wonder if CWF would part with that LPB. Those are hard to find. What say you CWF?  Otherwise I might try to find a Ghost.

3:55 p.m. on December 29, 2011 (EST)
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if i were in your shoes, my two starting points would be:

-how much volume do i need to hold all my stuff? and,

-what backpacks can carry my stuff comfortably?

if any of the major brand backpacks accomplish these two things, you will be a happy, comfortable hiker.  it's hard to recommend a particular size/volume of backpack without knowing how bulky or heavy your basic hiking gear is.  with reasonably modern gear, for 2-3 nights out, you might be fine with a backpack in the 60-70 liter sizes, capable of carrying 35 - 45 pounds (or more in some cases) comfortably - what most people would call a 'weekend' sized backpack. 

 * * * *

last spring, i replaced a backpack that size.  i tried on a number of them, and the gregory baltoro 65 fit me the best and did the best job handling 50 pounds - more than i would normally carry for a few days, but you never know when you might have to tote a friend's stuff too.  the other brands i tried in the same size were all very good, just didn't feel quite as good for me.  having used the backpack periodically since the spring, it is readily apparent that it is a well-made, durable piece of equipment that has fared equally well on the trail and crammed into airline overhead compartments. 

i like mystery ranch backpacks a lot. the large one i use for long or winter trips, the G6000, might be the best and most comfortable large backpack i have ever worn.  it is pretty expensive and heavy, and it can carry huge amounts of weight comfortably.  well thought out design across the board.  i figure that the marginally higher cost, for something that makes the experience more enjoyable and that i will use for several years, doesn't add up to much.  though you can't try them on (unless you're near Bozeman, Montana) because they sell direct, you should get your torso measured and give them a call if you are interested in mystery ranch.  they are patient and helpful on the phone re: choosing the right size.  as others have noted, you only need to be in the ballpark on torso length because their backpacks all have a 4-5 inch range.   

the gregory denali pro and a few others (osprey argon) are comparable to the large mystery ranch backpacks.  the denali is a high quality, great design, heavy duty load-bearer, has been one of the best expedition-sized backpacks available for years.  personally, i think it is a significant exaggeration to say that mystery ranch is far superior to the denali pro.  and, if it matters (doesn't to me), the denali pro is and always has been made in the united states; gregory never took manufacturing of its big expedition backpack offshore.   

4:01 p.m. on December 29, 2011 (EST)
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the old, patrick smith-era mountainsmith backpacks were great.  i haven't used the kifaru backpacks, but a good friend swears by them.  

4:32 p.m. on December 29, 2011 (EST)
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It's usually a mistake to buy a backpack online and over the interweb.  The only reason I lucked out on the Mystery Ranch line is because I knew what to expect thru the earlier Dana Designs.  Two packs I did buy on line, one used, were Keltys---50th Anniversary and their obsolete and obscure Ultra Tioga.  Throw 75 lbs in any pack and you'll soon find out the truth.  Both the Keltys were miserable with such weight and so yes, I made a mistake.  I gave the Ultra to my best backpacking buddy Johnny B (he probably sold it for a storage shed full of Mt Dew), while the 50th sits waiting for a worthy owner.

The hardest piece of gear to buy? Probably the backpack.  Even more than boots, it's where the rubber meets the road---there's real-world weight on a daily basis and for hours a day the load must stay suspended, not sag, and stay moderately comfortable.  None of this can be determined online or even inside a backpacking store with sand bags.  The worth of a pack is found out on the trail.

5:40 p.m. on December 29, 2011 (EST)
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I bought a Gregory Denali Pro in March, 2003 and traded it to one of my closest friends in 2007 and he used it as I had in the BC Coastal Range. He is the chap I mention who has climbed extensively in several parts of the world, has worked in remote Labrador and traveled very extensively throughout his life.

We both felt that the Mystery Ranch packs I bought to replace this were significantly better in materials, design and certainly comfort. I was given to understand that Gregory had moved the manufacture of the Denali Pro to Mexico and no longer make any of their packs in the USA. Bill would probably know about this and will, hopefully, enlighten us.

I fitted and sold these Gregory packs until I retired and also Canadian-made Arcteryx such as the highly touted Bora 95 and I have to say that the Mystery Ranch BDSB, Deluxe, Nice 6500 OK, Nice original, 3-Day Assault that I bought since ARE superior packs and MUCH more comfortable under heavy loads. The Bozeman-made Terraplane OK, Astralplane and the Dana-supervised Longbed Loadmaster and Terraframe Shortbed, which I also own and use are definitely better, tougher and more comfortable than the Gregory was...or, I would have kept it.

With a load of 50lbs or more, the Gregory hipbelt hurt my iliac crest region and did so on my buddy as well. I could not stand upright with 75-80 lbs in it and I can easily do so with my MR packs, as the suspension is better.

If, someone is happier with a Gregory, great, I am only posting what I have found by owning and using these packs and, so far, MR beats everything I have tried from "Yurp", the UK, Canada, the USA , the Antipodes and Asia.

6:12 p.m. on December 29, 2011 (EST)
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C'mon Dewey, didn't you JUST inquire about buying a kewl Kelty pack for yourself from P thread a couple weeks ago?

LMAO

6:37 p.m. on December 29, 2011 (EST)
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The little Dyneema pack is a bit different from the regular line of Kelty packs and I have not made any negative comments about Keltys or any other packs. I simply post what I have experienced and expect others to do the same.

That said, I see that you are a fisherperson and that looks like quite the catch you have there. Is it your own boat or was this as a client of a guiding outfit?

I love the ocean and enjoyed being out on the Pacific in a small, open boat while going for supplies when a Canadian Coast Guard Lightkeeper some 25 years ago. I am actually thinking of buying a welded aluminum twin-engined offshore boat and doing some Halibut and Salmon fishing on the northern BC Coast.

9:51 p.m. on December 29, 2011 (EST)
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I have yet to see, hear, or read about a pack failure from one of the main stream manufacturers outside of a plastic buckle under normal loads and conditions. if your carrying 60+lbs then you need a very robust pack, otherwise anything that is comfortable will suffice. It doesn't have to cost the most or have a certain name to get the job done and perform well for years.

Rick, I believe most packs that REI sells go on sale sometime in the aug-oct timeframe. three years now I have seen the same pack sale and wait for it to buy one.

9:56 p.m. on December 29, 2011 (EST)
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My Sierra Designs Revival 65 has fabric failures on the hip belt and will need to be replaced. In all fairness though, they failures are from abrasion. None the less, it is a design flaw that is a problem. 

12:31 a.m. on December 30, 2011 (EST)
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TheRambler said:

Rick, I believe most packs that REI sells go on sale sometime in the aug-oct timeframe. three years now I have seen the same pack sale and wait for it to buy one.

I have heard great things about that sale. Some pretty stellar deals to be snagged up. 

I'm slipping. I really need to get in on one of these. If nothing else just to see what they offer. 

1:45 a.m. on December 30, 2011 (EST)
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I had the waistbelt on a new Gerry pack rip under a mere 45 lbs. at the beginning of a trek through the Valhallas in SE BC in August, 1975. I jury-rigged it and finished the trip, but, the pack certainly failed under normal load.

In September, 2006, I had seams in my newly purchased Kifaru Longhunter pack also rip, under about 50 lbs. and this is a top of the line, very costly, US-made pack. I was very disappointed in the customer service I received concerning repairs to that pack and had other QC issues with Kifaru gear, including the third tipi I bought and these cost serious coin.

I have had linings rapidly deteriorate in other highend packs, my second Synergy Works Expedition Pack did this and the suspension stitches tore under about 45 lbs. on The Earl Grey Pass trail in 1978 and I have seen a LOT of big name packs come back under warrantee and heard the agrieved comments of the purchasers.

BC is among the premier wilderness tourism places on Earth and many people wait and save for years just to come here to experience REAL wilderness; it is pretty disheartening to buy a big name pack and have it riun a trip, This is not suburbia, a gear failure here can kill you and I think that BillS, who has some experience here will concur.

However, maybe this thread is getting beyond the interests of the OP and will be of little help in his quest for a pack that suits his requirements.

6:13 a.m. on December 30, 2011 (EST)
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Common failure modes of all packs with applicable design elements:

  • Grommet pull out on shoulder straps using a grommet as part of the attachment solution where the strap attaches to the bottom end of side frame.  This is a poor design feature.  The superior solution is a sewn loop that accommodates a clevis, which in turn is secured to the pack frame by a clevis pin.  A grommet is almost always part of the attachment solution where the shoulder strap attaches to the frame behind the shoulders.  Sometimes you can reduce the stress on this point by routing the strap around the cross frame member before capturing it with the clevis pin.
  • The back pads on external frame packs failing.  They can fail in the solution used to tension the pad, or split where they wrap around the side frame member.  Both usually are age related.  Replace.
  • Shoulder strap to yolk failure along joining seam.  Some internal frame packs have poor geometry, regarding the angles that the straps couple to the yolk.  This places uneven stress on the joint, and induces failure.  Usually it is the fabric that tears, rather than the seam thread holding the pieces together.  This failure can also be caused by using a pack that poorly matches up to the hiker's body type.  Usually the damage resulting from such a failure requires replacing the yolk and shoulder straps.
  • Internal frame pack stays perforating their retaining pockets.  IMO this is always the result of a poor design.  Look for packs where top and bottom ends of retaining pockets are gusseted, and the stay preferably have some means to physically attach to the pack, such as retaining pins and rings.  Leather reinforcement in these areas is a plus   Sometimes a shoe cobbler can fix this.
  • Ice tool mounts and other lash points made from plastic failing due to aging.  Plastic lash point are dumb!  I had several packs from several companies that used plastic lash points; they all eventually became brittle or "rotten."  Take to your local shoe cobbler and replace with leather lash points @ $8 per.
  • Waist bands failing at the buckle, or where they attach to the pack.  This element takes more abuse than any other part of the pack.  Carry Tipi sized loads and you will experience this on occasion. Damaged buckles sometimes can be replaced without replacing the entire waist band, but failure of the fabric elements require total replacement.
  • Foam padding loses loft or becomes rigid.  This stuff can age faster than we do.
  • Zipper failures.  Abuse will accelerate this; but it seems unavoidable over the long haul as they eventually will wear out.  The shoe cobbler can replace this too.
  • Seam failure between fabric panels or where lashing straps attach to pack cloth.  Light duty thread or panels fabrics usually are the culprit, but design short cuts such as neglecting to use bar tacks and gusset obvious stress points are also common causes.  IMO pack seams should never fail.  Again the cobbler can fix this one.
  • Frame member failure.   Once a problem with cheap external packs in the past.  If this is happening to you today all I have to say is - what are you doing to your pack you monster!

Ed

 

 

 

12:25 p.m. on December 30, 2011 (EST)
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I have a Lowe Alpine Attack 50 and Alpine Summit.

I have had it since it first came out. It shows no damage.

If I were to purchase a similiar pack, today, I would purchase the Lowe Alpine Attack 35:45 because I can expect it to be durable and well constructed and I like the price.

I have never had any complaints about Lowe or Lowe Pro purchases.

Of course, I do not step on my gear, or, put it away wet, or, have it catch sparks from the fire, if I do have a small wood fire. I don't pick it up by one strap. I don't close the car door on it, or, drag it behind my truck.

If you are like me and you reasonably take good care of your gear, and, you have a 17-19" torso, you might consider the Equinox ARAS Eagle which compresses well for a smaller trip and has nice features, for 2-3 nights out.

I pack it with the Exped Downmat 7 XS, NeoAir small air mattress, or torso length CCF pad around the outside to shape the pack. Everything else goes in stuff sacks. The sleeping quilt goes on the bottom of the pack.

I strongly recommend a sleeping quilt. If the expense is daunting, make a sleeping quilt. However, I managed to find an excellent one for less than a quality 20 F sleeping bag.

I use it for 5 nights out, but I pack high-quality lightweight and ultralightweight gear, by the way, that never lets me down.

The Equinox ARAS Eagle pack was stolen, so I am ordering one this month.

http://ultralightbackpackingonline.info is my website.

I am not selling. I accept no advertising.

I happen to think a backpack should be able to do the job, at less than 2.5 lbs. weight.

12:48 p.m. on December 30, 2011 (EST)
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whomeworry said:

Common failure modes of all packs with applicable design elements:

  • Grommet pull out on shoulder straps using a grommet as part of the attachment solution where the strap attaches to the bottom end of side frame.  This is a poor design feature.  The superior solution is a sewn loop that accommodates a clevis, which in turn is secured to the pack frame by a clevis pin.  A grommet is almost always part of the attachment solution where the shoulder strap attaches to the frame behind the shoulders.  Sometimes you can reduce the stress on this point by routing the strap around the cross frame member before capturing it with the clevis pin.
  • The back pads on external frame packs failing.  They can fail in the solution used to tension the pad, or split where they wrap around the side frame member.  Both usually are age related.  Replace.
  • Shoulder strap to yolk failure along joining seam.  Some internal frame packs have poor geometry, regarding the angles that the straps couple to the yolk.  This places uneven stress on the joint, and induces failure.  Usually it is the fabric that tears, rather than the seam thread holding the pieces together.  This failure can also be caused by using a pack that poorly matches up to the hiker's body type.  Usually the damage resulting from such a failure requires replacing the yolk and shoulder straps.
  • Internal frame pack stays perforating their retaining pockets.  IMO this is always the result of a poor design.  Look for packs where top and bottom ends of retaining pockets are gusseted, and the stay preferably have some means to physically attach to the pack, such as retaining pins and rings.  Leather reinforcement in these areas is a plus   Sometimes a shoe cobbler can fix this.
  • Ice tool mounts and other lash points made from plastic failing due to aging.  Plastic lash point are dumb!  I had several packs from several companies that used plastic lash points; they all eventually became brittle or "rotten."  Take to your local shoe cobbler and replace with leather lash points @ $8 per.
  • Waist bands failing at the buckle, or where they attach to the pack.  This element takes more abuse than any other part of the pack.  Carry Tipi sized loads and you will experience this on occasion. Damaged buckles sometimes can be replaced without replacing the entire waist band, but failure of the fabric elements require total replacement.
  • Foam padding loses loft or becomes rigid.  This stuff can age faster than we do.
  • Zipper failures.  Abuse will accelerate this; but it seems unavoidable over the long haul as they eventually will wear out.  The shoe cobbler can replace this too.
  • Seam failure between fabric panels or where lashing straps attach to pack cloth.  Light duty thread or panels fabrics usually are the culprit, but design short cuts such as neglecting to use bar tacks and gusset obvious stress points are also common causes.  IMO pack seams should never fail.  Again the cobbler can fix this one.
  • Frame member failure.   Once a problem with cheap external packs in the past.  If this is happening to you today all I have to say is - what are you doing to your pack you monster!

Ed

 

 

 

 Interesting list deserving comment. 

**  The grommet problem can occur on many different products.  My old North Face external Back Magic pack had grommets holding on the lower shoulder straps and upper shoulder pads.  In 20+ years of VERY HARD USE these never pulled out, though one is frayed around the edges and will pull out soon.

**  Back padding and shoulder strap padding can either deform or turn rock solid over time, as you say.  Some padding becomes flat and brittle.  I wonder what the longevity is for packs like Osprey which have a mesh back panel with ample space between the pack and your back?? Does it ever break?

**  I have a friend who has an ancient Astralplane and one of his frame stays tore thru the pack fabric.  Of course, he's been hauling 80 lb loads with the thing for years.  I never had a pack frame break or separate or snap, internal or external.

**  Here's a common problem---Some packs have a laundry bag type top volume closure using a drawstring whereby the whole bag is closed in a circle.  This apron fabric is always sewn in a circle around the top of the pack.  Most lifting of the pack occurs when packing by grabbing this apron and it usually tears out or separates in time---or the drawstring channel itself with separate and fray, and you can see the cord coming out of the seam.

My MR pack also has this top closure but so far it hasn't ripped lose.

12:59 p.m. on December 30, 2011 (EST)
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ConnieD said:


I happen to think a backpack should be able to do the job, at less than 2.5 lbs. weight.

 I'd like to see a 2.5 lb pack that could comfortably haul 20 days worth of food, fuel and winter gear.

1:03 p.m. on December 30, 2011 (EST)
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"I happen to think a backpack should be able to do the job, at less than 2.5 lbs. weight."

Nice arbitrary number with no relevance on load stability, weight transfer, or comfort defined by the wearer.

Are you going to now define what base weight equals 'traditional' (whatever that means), lightweight, ultra lightweight, and super lightweight with no consideration in geography, body type, or weather?

2:01 p.m. on December 30, 2011 (EST)
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2.5 lbs is not all that arbitrary. There is a general rule that internal frame backpacks should weigh at least 10% of the total load including pack.

2.5 lbs falls inside that margin with a 20 lb. load. Doesn't HMG do that? A McHale would probably do that. ULA probably does it. Six Moons probably does it. Luxury lite probably does it.

2.5 lbs I don't think is all that light to not be able to get enough stuff into the design to carry 20 lbs. It's the frameless packs that suck bad.

2:02 p.m. on December 30, 2011 (EST)
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I forgot the new Z-Packs Exo.  Oops, I'm new here, didn't realize I could edit.  20 lbs is pretty easy to deal with. It's when these lighter packs are expected to do over 30 that problems begin

2:33 p.m. on December 30, 2011 (EST)
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Welcome to Trailspace, Trace! 

The suggestion you mention that a pack should ideally weight about 10% of your load weight sounds like a good general idea. But then, both the percentage and the load weight are qualifying parameters that inform and explain ConnieD's statement.

Unfortunately, none of the many pertinent parameters which define whether a 2.5lbs is adequate were offered in the comment. As the sentence and it's context stand, the assertion is represented in an arbitrary manner, even if that was not the intention.

 There are almost endless conditions, terrain, activities, and needs,  which all demand different types and levels of equipment and packs. Many of those demands will not be met by a 2.5lb pack. 

3:15 p.m. on December 30, 2011 (EST)
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At places in what you wrote I can't tell if you are referencing what I said, what ConnieD said or what. I simply spoke to the context of what ConnieD said and the industry has proven that for what ConnieD wants, it is possible for it to happen at 2.5 lbs.

3:41 p.m. on December 30, 2011 (EST)
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Tipi Walter said:

**  I have a friend who has an ancient Astralplane and one of his frame stays tore thru the pack fabric.  Of course, he's been hauling 80 lb loads with the thing for years.  I never had a pack frame break or separate or snap, internal or external.

 I'd like to see that.  Not because I doubt you, but because I'm having difficulty seeing where it could happen.  Must be one of the carbon bows that run up the sides of the back panel.  There's only one metal stay in an Astralplane, and it runs up the center of the pack and is attached to the framesheet with heavy webbing.

A lot of the new science (things like this 2.5LB pack, 10%, etc) seem to come out of this lightweight and ultralight market.  One of the things I like to keep in mind when I hear this kind of speccing is that a lot of the use is on the Appalachian Trail or the like.  There's constant resupply and option for modifying your loads and equipment with dropoffs and replacements.  In other words, they never truly get far away from anything.  That's fine.  I'm not knocking that choice.  But there is a context to that which is very, very different than someone who cannot afford to have their gear fail because they wanted to shave a gram here or an ounce there.  When you likely won't see anyone else for a couple weeks and are going somewhere much more remote (and ultimately more dangerous), the lightweight/ultralight philosophy can potentially create problems.  Personally, I'd rather carry an 8LB Terraframe for a short overnight than try to make a 2LB pack suffice somewhere deep in the mountains.  Point being:  different applications with different needs, but one certainly cannot be applied to the other, while the other can.

3:52 p.m. on December 30, 2011 (EST)
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At different points I reference or alluded to all three. below I have corrected the only passage where I did not explicitly denote my reference. The rest of my statements that didn't contain an specific reference stand own their own, irrespective of your's CWF's of ConnieD's.

The important point of clarification is that ConnieD didn't make a statement about what she wan'ts or uses it for, but made a blanket statement. She may not have intended to mean it as such, but that's what she wrote. My only goal is to help clarify the conversation so that anyone reading the thread and recommendations get the most helpful and accurate information. 

____________________________________

"Unfortunately, none of the many pertinent parameters which define whether a 2.5lbs is adequate were offered in ConnieD's comment. As her sentence and it's context stand, the assertion is represented in an arbitrary manner, even if that was not the intention."

4:08 p.m. on December 30, 2011 (EST)
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Zeno Marx said:

A lot of the new science (things like this 2.5LB pack, 10%, etc) seem to come out of this lightweight and ultralight market.  One of the things I like to keep in mind when I hear this kind of speccing is that a lot of the use is on the Appalachian Trail or the like.  There's constant resupply and option for modifying your loads and equipment with dropoffs and replacements.  In other words, they never truly get far away from anything.  That's fine.  I'm not knocking that choice.  But there is a context to that which is very, very different than someone who cannot afford to have their gear fail because they wanted to shave a gram here or an ounce there.  When you likely won't see anyone else for a couple weeks and are going somewhere much more remote (and ultimately more dangerous), the lightweight/ultralight philosophy can potentially create problems.  Personally, I'd rather carry an 8LB Terraframe for a short overnight than try to make a 2LB pack suffice somewhere deep in the mountains.  Point being:  different applications with different needs, but one certainly cannot be applied to the other, while the other can.

 Very true... 

4:15 p.m. on December 30, 2011 (EST)
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trace said:

At places in what you wrote I can't tell if you are referencing what I said, what ConnieD said or what. I simply spoke to the context of what ConnieD said and the industry has proven that for what ConnieD wants, it is possible for it to happen at 2.5 lbs.

 Sure.  And for what she wants it is possible to happen at 16oz as well.  Maybe less.  As a result, the 2.5lbs is arbitrary and limiting because she claims that a 2.5lb pack will do the job.  What job is that?  Carry an UL load?  For how far? For how long?  3 days?  A week?  2 weeks? I liked the rest of her post but the last sentence is what gave me pause.

4:18 p.m. on December 30, 2011 (EST)
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Understood Gonzan. I'm not advocating 2.5 lb. packs. The 10% 'rule' represents a safer minimum than some advocate. That's all. The radical people will even laugh at that.

Zeno, with a lot of hard scraping, I have seen those packs with a tube worn through at the bottom so the glass rod can come out. It's not a big deal and is easy to fix. Things like this are rare I think but they do happen.

I edited to say one slot at a time. I don't think I have seen a case where both sides wear through. My theory is that it has to do with putting a pack down on the same corner in the same way all the time with a heavy load.

CWF, she was pretty clear about it being a 20 lb load of lightweight type gear inluding food and water. She put a limit on it.

4:21 p.m. on December 30, 2011 (EST)
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BTW, you can get a Mchale for under 2.5lbs?

4:25 p.m. on December 30, 2011 (EST)
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I have seen it on their site.  The pack I mentioned in the PM that my friend found is just a hair under 4 lbs. I put them in the list mostly since they are custom and can probably do what you want.

4:28 p.m. on December 30, 2011 (EST)
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Yes - thanks.  I might send off a note to Dan.  I notice he is using some cuben - not sure of the durability as a pack fabric.  I much prefer his use of spectra.

4:29 p.m. on December 30, 2011 (EST)
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Kind of out of my price range. I'm happy with good ol 500 cordura!

4:35 p.m. on December 30, 2011 (EST)
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I meant Spectra on the bottom.  I can't afford a full dyneema pack either!  Yes - 500d or even the 210d dyneema gridstop, although I have noticed some delamination of the dyneema gridstop.

4:54 p.m. on December 30, 2011 (EST)
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i think all backpack bottoms should be made from 1680d ballistic nylon (i have a daypack made of this, and it's great) or spectra. 

4:58 p.m. on December 30, 2011 (EST)
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I'd like to try an HMG pack since they can easily do the 2.5 thing it sounds like. I'm not sure Cuben is really any lighter than anything else by the time you get some heavy enough to hold up. The key to saving weight in any context is to keep things simple don't you think? I would have to get the ritz dye out if I bought an HMG. I sure would not want anyone thinking I'm a goat.

Oh I didn't hear about the Brooks Rocket delaming until my friend sent his and you guys told me. Are they still in Biz or did it kill Brooks.

Have computer - will Google 

That will be my signature.

5:03 p.m. on December 30, 2011 (EST)
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MMmmm.  Not sure.  I had heard that they were going to come out with a silnylon version of the Rocket but not sure.

5:04 p.m. on December 30, 2011 (EST)
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Looks like they are still around:

http://brooks-range.com/home.php

5:11 p.m. on December 30, 2011 (EST)
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Sil is so saggy. How about gridstop? I saw some gridstop teepees at 24 hour campfire. What do have from gridstop that's delaming? Gridstop is woven so can't delam.

5:15 p.m. on December 30, 2011 (EST)
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Looks like it is the inside of the pack (an older ULA model).  The outside is fine.  Strange.  I am sending the pack back to them to have a look at it.  I will report back.

Does anyone know if Mchale's e-mail is working?  I sent off a note a couple of days ago about some accessories and haven't heard back - he is normally uber quick but I guess given the Holiday season I shouldn't be greedy.

5:32 p.m. on December 30, 2011 (EST)
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leadbelly2550 said:

i think all backpack bottoms should be made from 1680d ballistic nylon (i have a daypack made of this, and it's great) or spectra. 

 I have two large packs with 1600 ballistic for the bottom panel.  The stuff is nice.  I have a Chouinard prototype climbing pack (the Cold Cold World Ozone is similar, which is that 1680 ballistic) that is made with 1400 ballistic, and it is one tough hombre.

5:44 p.m. on December 30, 2011 (EST)
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You could have a 2.5 lb bottom (Hehe) You know what is tough is that Vinyl truck tarp fabric. It would be waterproof too and not heavier than Ballistic.

6:01 p.m. on December 30, 2011 (EST)
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trace said:

You could have a 2.5 lb bottom (Hehe) You know what is tough is that Vinyl truck tarp fabric. It would be waterproof too and not heavier than Ballistic.

 Not sure Mchale offers that.

6:21 p.m. on December 30, 2011 (EST)
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Zeno Marx said:

Tipi Walter said:

**  I have a friend who has an ancient Astralplane and one of his frame stays tore thru the pack fabric.  Of course, he's been hauling 80 lb loads with the thing for years.  I never had a pack frame break or separate or snap, internal or external.

 I'd like to see that.  Not because I doubt you, but because I'm having difficulty seeing where it could happen.  Must be one of the carbon bows that run up the sides of the back panel.  There's only one metal stay in an Astralplane, and it runs up the center of the pack and is attached to the framesheet with heavy webbing.

A lot of the new science (things like this 2.5LB pack, 10%, etc) seem to come out of this lightweight and ultralight market.  One of the things I like to keep in mind when I hear this kind of speccing is that a lot of the use is on the Appalachian Trail or the like.  There's constant resupply and option for modifying your loads and equipment with dropoffs and replacements.  In other words, they never truly get far away from anything.  That's fine.  I'm not knocking that choice.  But there is a context to that which is very, very different than someone who cannot afford to have their gear fail because they wanted to shave a gram here or an ounce there.  When you likely won't see anyone else for a couple weeks and are going somewhere much more remote (and ultimately more dangerous), the lightweight/ultralight philosophy can potentially create problems.  Personally, I'd rather carry an 8LB Terraframe for a short overnight than try to make a 2LB pack suffice somewhere deep in the mountains.  Point being:  different applications with different needs, but one certainly cannot be applied to the other, while the other can.

 I have posted essentially this here in several posts and it is the most practical approach to choosing a pack, or, some other vital items of gear.

The places I backpack are rugged, isolated by US standards and gear takes a beating; I have had a number of other pack failures beyond those I posted above and this is WHY I recommend the brands and models of packs that I do, it is that simple.

For most backpacking, in most of North America, a MR Glacier or G-5000 will be comfortable, totally dependable, last a lifetime and still have significant resale value if you tire of backpacking and decide to take up another activity....that, to me, is what real value is all about.

6:42 p.m. on December 30, 2011 (EST)
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CWF said:

trace said:

You could have a 2.5 lb bottom (Hehe) You know what is tough is that Vinyl truck tarp fabric. It would be waterproof too and not heavier than Ballistic.

 Not sure Mchale offers that.

 Metolius, and Black Diamond and others make packs from vinyl. If it works for that stuff it could make a killer hunting pack.  A pack you could drag or throw down a hill without worry.

6:58 p.m. on December 30, 2011 (EST)
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Love the cold cold world ozone.

7:01 p.m. on December 30, 2011 (EST)
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trace said:

CWF said:

trace said:

You could have a 2.5 lb bottom (Hehe) You know what is tough is that Vinyl truck tarp fabric. It would be waterproof too and not heavier than Ballistic.

 Not sure Mchale offers that.

 Metolius, and Black Diamond and others make packs from vinyl. If it works for that stuff it could make a killer hunting pack.  A pack you could drag or throw down a hill without worry.

 Come to think of it, my first internal framed pack was a Gregory Reality and I think it had a similar bottom....

7:42 a.m. on December 31, 2011 (EST)
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I would like a pack that carries at most forty lbs, and will not hang up on brush or trees when one takes the wrong route.  Fit, waterproof and not riping are what are the most important issues for me.  I have never owned a backpack; the activities are summer walking and winter snowmobiling and walking.  Would appriciate any suggestions.  It would be nice if it had a hydration pack that would not freeze in the winter.

7:56 a.m. on December 31, 2011 (EST)
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Tipi Walter,

No one, in the thread, had mentioned 20 days food.

In 50 years mountaineering and backpacking in the lower 48, I have never found anywhere to backpack 20 days without hitting "civilization". I did manage 18-days on the Washington State Coast, before it got more "civilized".

I admit most of my experience is in the Olympic Mountains and North Cascades in Washington State, long before either place was "fashionable" and I was first and last of the climbing season to sign summit registers.

I never had a "groomed trail".

Now I reside in Montana, 1 mile from Glacier National Park:

I only manage, nowadays, to put together 10-days at a time in the Bob Marshall Wilderness before the horse-packing season starts.

I manage 20 days "winter camping" but I use my Granite Gear pulk, unless I plan on some eating off the land.

I have seen external frame packs that will carry a quartered out elk.

I don't think anyone, here, is talking about a pack for hunting.

I did say 2.5 lb pack, referring to the upper limit I consider.

I generally carry 20-35 lbs comfortably, because I frequently like the camping aspect, more recently. I may be 64 years old, but I still have to rescue idiots with shin splints and double "charley horses" leg cramps carrying too heavy packs.

My very first rescue was a U.S. navy seal, who did not do as his commander told him, thinking it was more important to put rocks in his pack and take salt tablets. He was specifically told not to.

Anyone who thinks I am lying, I don't care.

I wrote my website, for "preventative rescue".

The truth is, I wrote it because people were not taking what they actually need. They were doing what nonsense backpacking "gurus" advocated.

I have carried military gear, having served. I think military gear is crap.

Most soldiers purchase their own gear if they can manage it.

Any other "clarification" needed?

I think other people, on this thread, have more to say than me.

I do think, if you want a heavy pack, look at external frame packs for packing out large game.

9:23 a.m. on December 31, 2011 (EST)
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jwbeene said:

I would like a pack that carries at most forty lbs, and will not hang up on brush or trees when one takes the wrong route.  Fit, waterproof and not riping are what are the most important issues for me.  I have never owned a backpack; the activities are summer walking and winter snowmobiling and walking.  Would appriciate any suggestions.  It would be nice if it had a hydration pack that would not freeze in the winter.

 It's difficult to find a truly waterproof pack.  I've seen a couple Arcteryxs in the backcountry---pictures follow---and they are supposed to be waterproof.


TRIP-91-017.jpg

Here's a waterproof Arcteryx Naos 55 on the South Fork Citico trail.


TRIP-91-018.jpg

Looks pretty neat.


TRIP-128-103.jpg

On my last trip my buddy Sean brings another Arcteryx waterproof pack, I think called the Arrakis.

My Mystery Ranch packs are NOT waterproof---in fact they are sieves holding back no amount of liquids. especially the top zippered lid pockets.  A pack cover is mandatory but it works 75% of the time.  I know, I know, get a pack liner.  I don't like pack liners.  Silly me.



9:27 a.m. on December 31, 2011 (EST)
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...I think military gear is crap...

Yup, I started hiking in 1956 using surplus "Great War" and some WWII Canadian Army gear and have used military surplus in the mountains when with the BCFS. Some of this was in some of the most remote wilderness in North America and I could not agree more, most military gear IS crap!

I suspect that ConnieD. is going to be a salty and very enjoyable addition to our crew here, welcome and keep up posting what YOU think, it's very enjoyable.

9:38 a.m. on December 31, 2011 (EST)
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Tipi Walter appriciate pictures. 

Tipi are the bright colors to protect you from hunters?  Or to be found if you truly get lost?

Off to google the Arcteryx Naos 55.

9:51 a.m. on December 31, 2011 (EST)
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ConnieD said:

In 50 years mountaineering and backpacking in the lower 48, I have never found anywhere to backpack 20 days without hitting "civilization". I did manage 18-days on the Washington State Coast, before it got more "civilized".

 Believe it or not but the Southeast U.S. has vast stretches of National Forest land running from Georgia all the way thru Virginia and all connected by various foot trails. There's the Cherokee NF and the Nantahala and Chattahoochee and the Jefferson and the Pisgah, along with the Cohutta wilderness (45,000 acres) and the Smokies and Kilmer--Slickrock and Citico.  In my neck of the woods there's easy opportunity to spend 20 days (or 40 days) hiking from the Cohuttas north all the way to the Smokies without having to enter "syphilization". 

Therefore it's of course possible to loop a large area for 20 days w/o food resupply or food cache, i.e. carrying the whole dang wad all at one time.  It's a personal choice along with having the block of time needed for such a trek.

The pertinent question is---when you pulled your 18 or 20 day trips, did you use a 2.5 lb pack??

9:53 a.m. on December 31, 2011 (EST)
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jwbeene said:

Tipi Walter appriciate pictures. 

Tipi are the bright colors to protect you from hunters?  Or to be found if you truly get lost?

Off to google the Arcteryx Naos 55.

 Neither of those guys are me---I wish I was still that young and had such a big black dog to join me on my hikes.  BUT I DO WEAR AN OUTLANDISHLY BRIGHT ARCTERYX RAIN JACKET.

Also, check out the Arcteryx Naos 85, the biggest of the Naos packs.  Sadly, I think the Naos series is being discontinued.  The design must've been horrible to begin with (or the pack designers purged), otherwise why develop a product and then dump it after a couple years???

10:31 a.m. on December 31, 2011 (EST)
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Have you done any business with Moontrail.com?  These people seem to still have the Arcteryx Naos 55.

It is the only place found the Arcteryx Naos 55.

It is no longer being made; but the reviews are great.

The 85 is still availabe in many places, but large for my needs not to mention its not free even if it almost indestructable and water proof.

10:55 a.m. on December 31, 2011 (EST)
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jwbeene said:

Have you done any business with Moontrail.com?  These people seem to still have the Arcteryx Naos 55.

It is the only place found the Arcteryx Naos 55.

It is no longer being made; but the reviews are great.

The 85 is still availabe in many places, but large for my needs not to mention its not free even if it almost indestructable and water proof.

 Moontrail is a great site and helped me pursue a couple Hilleberg tents with their great photos.  I ordered a couple BearVaults from them last year.  Heck, I thought the Naos came out recently and now they're being discontinued??  Weird science and futile engineering. 

11:56 a.m. on December 31, 2011 (EST)
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ConnieD - it is pretty easy to spend 20 days in the back country.  You can backpack 100 miles and then plant your rear for a spell.  Called camping.

What the question is, and where clarification has not been provided, is where the 2.5 lb upper limit for a backpack came from? Why not 2.6 lbs?

11:57 a.m. on December 31, 2011 (EST)
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They didn't sell so the smaller packs were discontinued.  They do have the smaller Arrakis waterproof line however.

3:32 p.m. on December 31, 2011 (EST)
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Wow,such heated opinions are what make this site great. I don't think they are all that helpful to the person looking for advice tho. If someone is going to use the pack in extreme conditions where there life is in danger most of the time,(that seems to be the kind of adventures you have) they probably wouldn't be asking for pack advice. I'm sure mr packs are the best in your world, but the casual,average hikers is not going to be in those situations often. I live in the northeast, recently I was trying on packs in Brattleboro,Vermont. I found that the Gregory Baltoro line fit me the best. My friend who is the same size with the same torso measurement hated it. The point is it has to fit you. Everyone's advice while great is only a guideline, you have to try them on. On that warranty issue, the sales guy who was helping us told a story of a hiker on the app. trail who stepped on a buckle and broke it. He called Gregory to get a new buckle expecting to come off trail and buy it. They asked where he was and promised to call him back. Gregory found the nearest retailer which was this store I was in, then had the store send him to the store near the trail where the broken pack was. They delivered a new pack to the trail the same day as the hiker had no way to get to the store. They may make the pack over seas but that is American customer service at its best. He backed his story up with pictures of the hiker, both packs and him standing in front of the trail sign. It might be a great marketing tool, but it was a lot more than that to the guy gettin a new pack delivered. Great argument guys! Mark

3:48 p.m. on December 31, 2011 (EST)
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That's a great story of customer satisfaction in action.  I don't see this thread as an argument, really.  Just go to Whiteblaze if you want to see arguments!

I started out with a canvas yucca pack in 1958 and have a nice fotog of me with it taken in '63.  I spent a good part of 1980 humping all of my stuff in an USAF duffel bag with one strap---over one shoulder.  It kept banging me in the back of the leg.  In other words, use whatever you have or can get.

We here are just trying to catch people from making the same mistakes we made---and we're trying to save people the hassle and money of getting a pack which may prove to be disposable at worst or uncomfortable at best. 

As Dewey said in the beginning---

Buy a Mystery Ranch G-5000 and it will last the rest of your life and give you a level of comfort under load that is simply superb. I have packed these packs since 1978 and they are the best available other than a custom McHale.

What this means is simple---for those people who want to take more than a few trips a year, check out what works for the guys who stay out the most.  There's nothing wrong in having our opinions about such stuff.

On the other hand, dirtbagging it has its place and great trips have been done with slapped together crap. I did a two week trip to South Dakota in 1999 with a 3 pole Ozark Trail dome tent with fiberglass poles and it was a true piece of work.  Poles broke, tent leaked consistently and routinely, etc.  They get some hellacious thunderstorms with wind out there.

The next year I went back for another two weeks and took a 1970's era Eureka Timberline A-frame with a porous old floor.  It did better than the Ozark.

Point is, you're right to a degree, it's about heart and not about gear.  But it's great when an earnest heart links up with some outstanding gear.  And I never said Gregory or Arcteryx packs are crap, in fact if there wasn't MR I'd be hauling a Denali Pro or a Bora 95 right about now.

4:17 p.m. on December 31, 2011 (EST)
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How much do those Arcteryx packs weigh anyway? They are probably about 4 lbs maybe?  Maybe good for about 40 lbs.? That would fall into the 10%rule of a pack weighing 10% of the total load.

Obviously Connie picked a round number for 2.5 and 2.6 lbs would have been just as meaningful. She has a light load and a good light internal weighing 2.5 or 2.6 lbs should be able to do the job. It's the same formula that says a 100 lb load might require a 10 lb pack. The rule seems a little excessive at that end but it's all pretty subjective. To carry 60 lbs a 6 lb pack might be in order. It all seems to fall into place.  3 lbs for 30, 2 lbs for 20. Of course it is better to have a heavier pack if you are going to have a range of loads, rather than a lighter pack for a range of loads that goes over it's threshold repeatedly.

Connie is not advocating a 2.5 pound pack for 20 day trips, she is advocating it for light loads.  I'm with Dewey, Connie sounds like the real deal to me.

4:29 p.m. on December 31, 2011 (EST)
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trace said:

How much do those Arcteryx packs weigh anyway? They are probably about 4 lbs maybe?  Maybe good for about 40 lbs.? That would fall into the 10%rule of a pack weighing 10% of the total load.

Obviously Connie picked a round number for 2.5 and 2.6 lbs would have been just as meaningful. She has a light load and a good light internal weighing 2.5 or 2.6 lbs should be able to do the job. It's the same formula that says a 100 lb load might require a 10 lb pack. The rule seems a little excessive at that end but it's all pretty subjective. To carry 60 lbs a 6 lb pack might be in order. It all seems to fall into place.  3 lbs for 30, 2 lbs for 20. Of course it is better to have a heavier pack if you are going to have a range of loads, rather than a lighter pack for a range of loads that goes over it's threshold repeatedly.

Connie is not advocating a 2.5 pound pack for 20 day trips, she is advocating it for light loads.  I'm with Dewey, Connie sounds like the real deal to me.

 I hink Connie came up with the 2.5 because the first ul packs started at this weight and have progressed lighter now. ULA Cataylist weighs 2.5 and carries max load of 35 pounds.But the 2.5 she refers to is myop on why she refers to it..

4:48 p.m. on December 31, 2011 (EST)
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My Terraframe weighs in at 8LBs and can handle 100+.  I guess I'm doin' all right by the formula.

5:11 p.m. on December 31, 2011 (EST)
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trace said:

How much do those Arcteryx packs weigh anyway? They are probably about 4 lbs maybe?  Maybe good for about 40 lbs.? That would fall into the 10%rule of a pack weighing 10% of the total load.

Obviously Connie picked a round number for 2.5 and 2.6 lbs would have been just as meaningful. She has a light load and a good light internal weighing 2.5 or 2.6 lbs should be able to do the job. It's the same formula that says a 100 lb load might require a 10 lb pack. The rule seems a little excessive at that end but it's all pretty subjective. To carry 60 lbs a 6 lb pack might be in order. It all seems to fall into place.  3 lbs for 30, 2 lbs for 20. Of course it is better to have a heavier pack if you are going to have a range of loads, rather than a lighter pack for a range of loads that goes over it's threshold repeatedly.

Connie is not advocating a 2.5 pound pack for 20 day trips, she is advocating it for light loads.  I'm with Dewey, Connie sounds like the real deal to me.

 No one said she wasn't the 'real deal,' whatever that is.  But again, arbitrary numbers mean little in the real world.  If one is 140 lbs and in reasonably good shape and carrying a 20 lb pack, then this may be considered 'heavy' to that person.  For someone that is 220 lbs and in reasonably good shape, then 20 lbs is going to feel very light.  My point is that arbitrary limits on gear weight is a sliding slope because there is no discussion as to what time of year the load is carried, how far, how long, weather expected, etc.

BTW, the ULA Catalyst weighs just over 3 pounds.  35 pounds is pushing it for what I deem a comfortable limit.  I found fairly significant torso collapse at 30lbs as the stays are not stiff enough.  Great belt, however.

5:32 p.m. on December 31, 2011 (EST)
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Connie did say "a pack should be able to......."  You are arguing that it may be impossible? HMG at even lighter weights is making some claims that their even lighter pack will do what Connie thinks is possible. It does not seem all that unreasonable.

5:34 p.m. on December 31, 2011 (EST)
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No, not at all.  I have used UL packs before with some (some?) success.  What I am arguing is arbitrary numbers.  A pack should be able to do everything at 2.5lbs is arbitrary.  Maybe ideal for her but do you think this helps the OP?

Maybe we should all buy Mchales and call it a day....; )

6:00 p.m. on December 31, 2011 (EST)
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I can't see where anything I or Connie are saying is at odds with what the OP is asking. Sounds like the OP is looking for info and education. The 10% deal fits that and I could even offer up some cubic inches for him.

Cubic inches could follow a similar formula but obviously it depends on the actual gear taken which is why so many people say get your other gear first. It does seems like the same formula would almost apply with many people tending to like stuffing things pretty tightly. That means; 2,000 cubes for 20 lbs, 3,000 cubes for 30 lbs, 4,000 for 40 and on and on. I think if somebody was trying to carry 100 lbs of food and gear they might need 10,000 cubic inches - say to do a very long non-stop thru-hike.  Nobody is saying anything about Mchales.

6:02 p.m. on December 31, 2011 (EST)
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At this point we aren't talking about the same things so I will leave it at that.

I am talking about Mchales.  You mentioned a larger pack that can be downsized to accomodate varying loads.  Wouldn't a Mchale work here?

6:06 p.m. on December 31, 2011 (EST)
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What's your name?  You sound like a guy I know named Fred but you look like Sam. My name is Trace. 

6:13 p.m. on December 31, 2011 (EST)
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CWF said:

At this point we aren't talking about the same things so I will leave it at that.

I am talking about Mchales.  You mentioned a larger pack that can be downsized to accomodate varying loads.  Wouldn't a Mchale work here?

 Are you kidding? Any pack will do that.  I never said downsize. A pack does not have to be filled to be useful and it does not even need to be shrunk down to be useful. It's easy to make almost any modern pack smaller in volume if it's not being filled. By accomodating different loads I simply meant a smaller load will fit in a big pack but a bigger load will not fit in a smaller pack. There's some big science there. I was going to say something earlier about you putting words in Connie's mouth. Sounds like we may be coming at this from different angles.

 

Happy New Year

6:21 p.m. on December 31, 2011 (EST)
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I didn't mean downsize - I mean compress down.  Oops.  I never put anything in anyone's mouth.  I suspect given that there were others commenting on the arbitrary numbers then clearly she wasn't being as clear as possible.

My point was that maybe a Mchale IS ideal.  Using your formula(s) and your mention of Mchale and 2.5lb packs, maybe Dan could make a 2.5lb pack that is approximately 3500 cubes and could carry 35 pound in comfort.  Mchales have excellent compression so a pack like that could be used for any load under 35 lbs and would even work reasonably well as a day pack.  Add in the use of spectra and maybe cuben (have a look at Dan's recent Letter) and this is a pack that could be used, as Connie mentions, for anything.  I wonder what the cost would be?

6:24 p.m. on December 31, 2011 (EST)
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trace said:

What's your name?  You sound like a guy I know named Fred but you look like Sam. My name is Trace. 

 I get that all the time.

6:36 p.m. on December 31, 2011 (EST)
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CWF said,

"I also have a Mystery Ranch Trance and love it.  It is more comfortable than my Mchale LBP at weights over 30 lbs and was way cheaper. "

I asked you if you wanted to sell the LBP since you don't seem satified, and that they are hard to find used. I said a friend got one used (ebay). Why are you going on about Mchale's when you don't even like yours at over 30 lbs? Maybe Dan can create a miracle for you dude, but I think you should stick with the Trance!!!! I'm like Zeno and do fine with older gear.

7:05 p.m. on December 31, 2011 (EST)
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My LBP does not have load lifters and I think the P&G system is needed over 30 pounds.  I should retro fit it.  Never said I wasn't satisfied but as it stands, the Trance is more comfortable over 30 lbs for me.  I also never said that I didn't like the pack over 30 lbs.  Just one works better than the other for me right now.

If I didn't know better, I would think I was conversing with Dan the man himself.

8:46 p.m. on December 31, 2011 (EST)
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You should find a party to go to and not ruin everbody's time here. I have never seen somebody write so much and contribute so little. You are psycho. "If I did not know better I would think........."

Why do you go on like you belong in a Looney Bin?  This is not a good experience for being my first time here.

I don't give a crap about your pack and I can safely say I will never have anything to do with your silly pack since it's not for sale.  YUK.

10:04 p.m. on December 31, 2011 (EST)
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You will not make many friends here by calling members names like ...psycho..., that is highly offensive and unacceptable, IMO; you really should learn to act like an adult as this sort of behaviour is disgusting.

If, you do not like the experience here, well, TS is not "mandatory" if you catch my drift.........

11:13 p.m. on December 31, 2011 (EST)
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trace said:

You should find a party to go to and not ruin everbody's time here. I have never seen somebody write so much and contribute so little. You are psycho. "If I did not know better I would think........."

Why do you go on like you belong in a Looney Bin?  This is not a good experience for being my first time here.

I don't give a crap about your pack and I can safely say I will never have anything to do with your silly pack since it's not for sale.  YUK.

 Uhm......

7:10 a.m. on January 1, 2012 (EST)
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I decided 2.5 lbs pack would be the upper weight limit I would list on my website. The lightweight and UL crowd seems to like packs in that category.

If they already like a particular pack, I have nothing to add anyway.

The heaviest pack I own, right now, is my Lowe Alpine Attack 50 which I fill mostly with "fluffy" stuff. I do not like to compress or overcompress expensive "fluffy" stuff. The really heavy gear goes in my Metolius Rope Ranger pack worn next to my spine. The Lowe Alpine Attack 50 is worn over the top of it. That is, if I am carrying heavy gear.

I don't take that big pack, unless winter camping.

I manage nicely on 1.5 to 2 lbs food a day. If fishing, it stretches out into more time outdoors. I do not rely on food gathering, but I do not pass up an opportunity for "wild food". I do consume lots of water and hot soup. I make biscuits and gravy. I make scones. These are not heavyweight items. I think it "helps" to eat only when hungry, then have something really satisfying. I don't need to hike out for a restaurant meal.

I do not camp in one place more than overnight, because I practice leave-no-trace principles even before there was an organization called Leave No Trace. I want the next person and the next to be able to enjoy what I found in a natural state.

I have no interest in "groomed trails".

I have been looking into southeastern states hiking.

The Appalachian Trail seems to be about hopping from town to town, hiking roads, road crossings, and "a hiking scene" which is "not my thing".

I like wilderness.

I like it because an unspoiled natural environment refreshes my soul.

It isn't easy to find.

. . .

I have kept water from freezing by keeping it in smaller containers inside my sleeping bag with me. I found a neoprene drink-tube cover and neoprene mouthpiece cover that seemed to help while hiking. I wore the water pouch close to my back in a soft backpack (no padding). The warmth from my back seemed to help. In more severe cold, I heated the water before putting it in the sleeping bag with me.

7:22 a.m. on January 1, 2012 (EST)
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CWF,

I also think most people will not be able to manage a pack smaller than 40L for 2-3 nights out.

8:15 a.m. on January 1, 2012 (EST)
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 Tipi thanks for reply about the Url as the net is a curse and blessing.  It was nice to know that it really exist and helpful.

But I was in error...failed to read all the information...the pack was no longer avialable.

10:49 a.m. on January 1, 2012 (EST)
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Thanks Connie for the clarification!

11:25 a.m. on January 1, 2012 (EST)
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I have a Futura Pro 42 by Deuter. It is not big enough for your purposes, but I have been very impressed with its comfort and quality.It will get the big test in March where it will be employed for 20 days on a supported trek.


Pack.jpg

6:25 p.m. on January 2, 2012 (EST)
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Dueter packs are very popular in Europe and for good reason.  Can't wait to get your feedback in after your trip in March.

8:59 a.m. on January 3, 2012 (EST)
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Karen,

 

I really like the futura suspension. I almost bought one as a summer weekend pack but could not fit even my overnight kit into a 42...::(

11:20 a.m. on January 3, 2012 (EST)
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K, I've been watching this thread for a bit now, and it's getting a bit out of hand.  I'm gonna jump in here and remind all of y'all that you need to be respectful of one another. It's all fine and good to disagree, and sometime discussions do get heated, but name calling will not be tolerated. No further warnings will be given on this matter. Play nice.

11:42 a.m. on January 3, 2012 (EST)
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I have a Camelbak Linchpin with the Mystery Ranch futura harness/suspension. It's really nice IMO. I got it in the military as an assault pack, but use it often as a day pack nowadays. If I want to go UL it holds everything I need for a light weight summer trip. At 28L it just barely holds everything I need, just have to strap my fly rod on the outside.

The futura harness is awesome and is very comfortable for anything below 30lbs or so. This pack does not have a hipbelt, but honestly I don't think it needed one thats how comfortable and supportive the futura harness was for me.

EDIT: I see we are talking about two totally different Futura's!

12:35 p.m. on January 3, 2012 (EST)
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 Rambler,

Yeah that's funny. I was referring to the Dueter Pack called Futura (which has a unique suspension compared to their other packs). I forgot that Mystery Ranch also named a particular suspension system the "Futura".

2:38 p.m. on January 3, 2012 (EST)
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Thanks for all the replies everyone.  I had no idea I would have gotten such a large response to what pack I should get.  Another reason why I love this site.  You guys really know your gear.  I'm going to pursue this.  Appreciate all of your help.

3:00 p.m. on January 3, 2012 (EST)
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I have the deuter act lite 50+10 .  I  looked for quite some time a decided on this one and im real happy with my choice i really havnt felt any pressure points yet.

5:24 p.m. on January 5, 2012 (EST)
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just got done reading this entire thread and had to pitch in my 2-bits worth.  the best pack is the one that all your gear fits in, is in your $$$ range, and fits your back.  that is if you're an average hiker / camper.  if you are beyond average than something else may be better for you.......

now if only there was an "ignore" button i could use for a couple of members.  read enough of them on this thread to not wanna ever read them again........

July 24, 2014
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