Multi day packs....headache

12:40 p.m. on June 17, 2009 (EDT)
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I recently bought a tnf primero 85 pack inpreperation for a multiple month trip to hawaii. Upon receiving it and testing it out I am a bit dissapointed with the craftsmanship. when loaded with 50 lbs the strain in some crucial points in the fabric (like the shoulder pads) was a bit disheartening. Also I reahed down the shaft/compartment between the suspension pad and the body of the pack to find than the shape of the back pad was supposed to be suported by a flimsy piece of plastic. There is a large amount of space betwee this plastic and the pad that it is supposed to support. The back pad compress quite unnaturaly when pressure is put on.

 

Sorry to blabber but i thought it might help convey the situation.

I am now considering the osprey argon 80 and the arc'teryx bora 80. These both come highly recommended and I have seen the best things said about the bora 80.

I am not worried to much with weight a couple of pounds is worth if it is durable such as the bora is said to be. That said I am leaning towards the bora 80 but there are no stores in my area that carry it. I have tried on the osprey and found it very comfortable.

So the question is, is it worth the hassle of returning the bag I have and getting another that will be likely to cost $50 more.

Any input is greatly appreciated! Thanks.

12:43 p.m. on June 17, 2009 (EDT)
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I wouldn't own either, buy a Mystery Ranch pack in the size you need and it will last longer than any others and carry more weight in comfort.

1:45 p.m. on June 17, 2009 (EDT)
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So the question is, is it worth the hassle of returning the bag I have and getting another that will be likely to cost $50 more.

Yes!

If a pack doesn't fit and is uncomfortable, it's worth it to get the one that is comfortable and fits you. I won't try to tell you which one that is, only that you should choose that one.

What are you doing in Hawaii for months? Will you really be carrying 50 pounds, or did you just load the pack up to that weight to test it out?

2:36 p.m. on June 17, 2009 (EDT)
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"If a pack doesn't fit and is uncomfortable, it's worth it to get the one that is comfortable and fits you. I won't try to tell you which one that is, only that you should choose that one."

.....................

I realize its worth the extra money but I can't really discern the difference and with thse that I can't try on.......

I'm going on a surfing trip but I will be on remote stretches of the coastline carrying lots of food with me.

 

The mystery ranch packs look great but the $$$. Also I wouldn't be able to try it on (from the reviews I have read everyone loves them though). But now you've got me thinking. I am a fan of bomb proof equipment.

3:49 p.m. on June 17, 2009 (EDT)
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Call Mark Seacat at MR and he will be able to fit you over the phone; the senior MR guys, like Mark, actually get out and climb Denali, hunt Elk and know what they are doing. Arcteryx makes mediocre packs, here in Vancouver and I have been in their factory several times and know some of the management and Osprey packs are junk.

McHale, Mystery Ranch and maybe Kifaru, the others are all not worth buying and it is cheaper to buy ONE really GOOD pack/bag/tent/bivy, look after it and use it for decades, so, that is how you deal with the cost. You get exactly what you pay for in gear.

4:53 p.m. on June 17, 2009 (EDT)
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What about granite gear? their stratus looks like a good pack and at the right price.

And yes it is worth to get good, long lasting supplies that is why I'm here and why I'm returning he north face pack.

5:21 p.m. on June 17, 2009 (EDT)
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Granite Gear has a strong but lightweight frame, but not in all their packs... the Vapor series are lighter duty. The Nimbus series have very adjustable and strong frames, and if you are forced to mail order like I was, you can ship the pack to Granite Gear and they will swap the hip belt and shoulder straps for free if the ones it comes with don't work out.

6:59 p.m. on June 17, 2009 (EDT)
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There is only one thing IMHO worse than an unfitting pack, that is unfitting boots. Go for good quality alquin, test the packs with 25 kilos and see which one suits you. Disregard price, a good pack will serve you for many years, it will pay pack in comfort.

BTW the Bora 95 were just recently tested here. I am myself considering this pack.

7:24 p.m. on June 17, 2009 (EDT)
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I know that it may sound more then you need (a waterproof pack) but the way that the load feel with the arcteryx Naos is fantastic - very different than any other pack I ever had on...but I have to say the MR will be the top of the top.

8:59 p.m. on June 17, 2009 (EDT)
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I like the style and waterproof feature of the Naos but I wonder how comparable it is with the MR and for pretty much the same price.

Whats the best MR to get in the 5000 cu in.. I was thinking one of the cbmr packs would be a good choice.

Thanks for the input everyone.

11:52 a.m. on June 18, 2009 (EDT)
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Also if any you hve any experience with the naos I'm very curious about it.

 

thanks

8:57 a.m. on June 19, 2009 (EDT)
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I can not bring myself to ever buy a pack that has not been tried on in the store (with added weight and walking around for at least half an hour, preferably up and down stairs). I love my Granite Gear Nimbus Meridain pack. It carries up to 40 pounds of weight with no problem and I can go for miles without even feeling it on my back. That doesnt mean it will be a good pack for you. You have to find which one fits you best. I have used a pack that did not fit well before, and it would be worth several hundred dollars to have one that fits right.

However, the price of a pack does not always mean that it will fit YOU better. I do believe that you can find a pack that will fit you well and fulfill your needs at any price range, just dont limit yourself to the "big" names. Try on even cheaper brands, you may be surprised. However, if the high dollar one fits the best, IMO, bite the bullet. Comfort on your back directly relates to enjoyment on the trail, as well as miles that you can go.

10:30 a.m. on June 19, 2009 (EDT)
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I can not bring myself to ever buy a pack that has not been tried on in the store (with added weight and walking around for at least half an hour, preferably up and down stairs). I love my Granite Gear Nimbus Meridain pack. It carries up to 40 pounds of weight with no problem and I can go for miles without even feeling it on my back. That doesnt mean it will be a good pack for you. You have to find which one fits you best. I have used a pack that did not fit well before, and it would be worth several hundred dollars to have one that fits right.

However, the price of a pack does not always mean that it will fit YOU better. I do believe that you can find a pack that will fit you well and fulfill your needs at any price range, just dont limit yourself to the "big" names. Try on even cheaper brands, you may be surprised. However, if the high dollar one fits the best, IMO, bite the bullet. Comfort on your back directly relates to enjoyment on the trail, as well as miles that you can go.

 

While this is all very true - it's very much preferable to try one on in a store - it may or may not work out in spite of being able to try the pack out. I had an Osprey Aura 50 that was absolutely wonderful for about three hours, then slowly but surely my back began to hurt until it felt like someone stuck a mac truck in the pack. It felt good on short test hikes but in practice, after an 8 mile hike I felt like someone ran over me. It wasn't overloaded, either. I had to sell it. The Granite Gear that I ordered sight unseen based on a bunch of positive reviews worked out of the box and has kept me hiking longer and harder than the Osprey or North Face packs I used to have, with nothing but comfort and very minimal chafing if my shirt rides up.

Try on a lot of packs and get an idea of what's comfortable in the store, and you increase your chances of getting a good pack. But until the shoe hits the trail and keeps hitting it for a while you may not really KNOW.

10:43 a.m. on June 19, 2009 (EDT)
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I agree with all that has been posted so far,Boots and pack can make a trip go south faster than any other gear.My only suggestion is that if you find a pack you like take it home and load it with the gear you will be using.The large sand bags,or what ever the store may use,are not going to give you a true idea of how the pack will ride.Try on many brands and make shure you can return it if unused in the field.Do not go by price alone nor brand name.Some top of the line names do not work well for me.Take the time and try as many as you can.Good luck and keep us posted!

11:10 a.m. on June 22, 2009 (EDT)
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Hi everyone, I've decided to go with one of the arc'teryx naos bags I can't decide between the 70 and 85 L but I think the 70 is the most realistic. Anyways I decided the waterproof fabric will be a great advantage to me whilst I'm in the sandy wet environment of hawaii. I can't say it would hurt anywhere else either. Also I lik the realative slim profile of the bag, I believe it will fit with my body type.

Thanks for your help and I'll give you a holer once I've gotten a chance to try it on.....my decision is liable to change.

10:41 p.m. on June 24, 2009 (EDT)
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input?

11:53 p.m. on June 26, 2009 (EDT)
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I wouldn't own either, buy a Mystery Ranch pack in the size you need and it will last longer than any others and carry more weight in comfort.

How do you know it will last longer? Have you had any of the 'others'?

11:54 p.m. on June 26, 2009 (EDT)
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I had a Naos and sold it after a season for the Granite Gear Nimbus Meridian - most comfortable pack at 40 lbs load I have ever used. I could not get a proper fit with the Arcteryx.

8:01 a.m. on June 27, 2009 (EDT)
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I have had about 30 different packs, used many in professional wilderness work commencing in 1965 and hiked with a pack of some type since 1956, while backpack camping since 1964. I also worked as a gear sales person until I retired eight years ago today and SAW what packs, etc. were most often returned for warrantee issues.

I still, at 63, frequently carry packs weighing an honest 100 lbs., own-use seven packs by Dana Gleason, including my oldest pack, an original Kletterwerks Bomb pack I bought from him in 1978, heavily used and still in excellent shape and also a few other packs, Kifaru, Badlands, etc. I have had A Gregory Denali Pro and Euro. and UK packs as well and worn out a few over the years.

So, yeah, my opinion IS based on actual experience and enough of it that I consider my points valid. I tried the NAOS at the North Vancouver MEC just after a hike in the North Shore Mountains using my Mystery Ranch Futura Deluxe and found that it was NOT very comfortable and the quality difference was obvious.

A few months later, I tried several more of these at the MEC Main Store and noticed some improvement, but, not to the point where I would consider them equal to a Mystery Ranch, McHale or even a Kifaru. I am not a fan of Arcteryx, terribly uncool, I know, but, their gear is highly over-rated, IMO, and better options, i.e., Mystery Ranch, Wildthings and Integral Designs are available, although not as trendy.

12:38 a.m. on July 28, 2009 (EDT)
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I ordered a naos 85. I know what sucker I am. But I will really benefit from a waterproof(ish) pack. Plus I tried one on and it fit like a glove. It was infinitely better than the TNF I first ordered which was crap. I had a real hard time not buying a mystery ranch but I'm going to be in a very wet climate and the waterproof feature is indispensable. The quality of the arcteryx is very good. It is different from the mystery ranch. I can see If I were backpacking anywhere besides a tropical island I would have to get a mystery ranch.

Dewey it sounds like you know your stuff and in 7 or 8 months on my return from hawaii if I'm disatisfied feel free to say "I told you so!"

Thanks for the help.

3:53 a.m. on July 28, 2009 (EDT)
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BTW, a bit off topic, but keep an eye on your stuff while hiking in Hawaii. I lived there from the mid 70's to 91, but since I left, crime has gotten totally out of hand from what I hear from friends over there. I know someone who had his gear ripped off on the North Shore while traveling and living there for a couple of months. The outer islands might be a bit better than Oahu, just because they are less crowded.

Depending on where you are, the natives aren't all that friendly and I know this from personal experience. Not to say some people there aren't really great, because many are, but a certain amount of caution is reasonable.

11:30 p.m. on July 29, 2009 (EDT)
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Also there are no real outfitters in the islands. Sports Authority is about the closest thing to a gear shop you'll find. I also have yet to find a good supplier of Iso-pro fuel.

8:24 a.m. on August 11, 2009 (EDT)
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Good, go with the 70L It's a great pack and I hope it will serve you well

8:28 a.m. on August 11, 2009 (EDT)
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ok, so you got the 85...wasn't reading that far...enjoy it, I have the same

7:14 p.m. on August 12, 2009 (EDT)
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Thanks for the heads up. I've heard about the the petty theft in hawaii and have been trying to think up ways to deal with it. It's pretty hard to avoid though.

 

I'm very satisfied witht the pack thus far. today I trekked for 7 miles with the a 60lbs load on and off of the beach. Some of this was on the beach and all while it was raining and blowing. Not a drop of water got in the pack and my shoulders remain free of overbearing lactic acid. And the pivoting hipbelt is fantastic.

If you're going to be backpacking in a very wet climate I can confidently say that this pack is your best choice.

8:29 p.m. on August 12, 2009 (EDT)
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Call Mark Seacat at MR and he will be able to fit you over the phone; the senior MR guys, like Mark, actually get out and climb Denali, hunt Elk and know what they are doing. Arcteryx makes mediocre packs, here in Vancouver and I have been in their factory several times and know some of the management and Osprey packs are junk.

McHale, Mystery Ranch and maybe Kifaru, the others are all not worth buying and it is cheaper to buy ONE really GOOD pack/bag/tent/bivy, look after it and use it for decades, so, that is how you deal with the cost. You get exactly what you pay for in gear.

Some very strong opinions!Not all people buy $600.00 packs,nor do all need them.Ones own "opinion" is nothing more than that.Have climbed and packed for near 40 years,including Mt Hunington,Rooster Comb,Mt Stuart N.Ridge,Forbidden and on and on,and have used several mass produced packs with much success and very little trouble,such as blown out seams or the like.Try many on and purchase not only what works for you but what you can afford.Try to purchase the best you can and most of all enjoy your journey.ymmv

PS Even with all the rough use most of my gear has lasted decades with no real problem.But even the best of fabrics will cut,abrade and break down due to uv.Also most foams,even the best,will only pad for so long.Iam not discounting the better packs such a Mchale,some of my climbing partners have them,but they are not ness for every need or person.

5:04 a.m. on August 13, 2009 (EDT)
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For what it's worth, I been quite happy with my Bora 95. I've had it for six years now, and aside from a small hole from a misplaced trekking pole tip, the thing still looks brand new after at least 300 nights use. I've reinforced the bottom with a layer of seam grip, and it effectively seals out water and dirt. I've carried huge loads over rocky terrain many miles in nothing but the utmost comfort; the straps on the pack would hold my weight without a problem were I to go over an edge and get lucky enough to be snagged on something below. It's just amazingly adjustable, and I've been able to form it to my back quite well.

August 21, 2014
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