Would like a lighter pack with a better fit, recommendations?

12:29 p.m. on March 4, 2010 (EST)
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Currently using a LL Bean White Mountain Pack I got at a great price last year.

I have found it to be:

1.) Fairly uncomfortable regardless of how it's adjusted.

2.) A bit "flappy". (Dont know how to describe it best.) The exterior pockets, flaps. straps do not seem to sit "snug"

3.) At 6.0 pounds, Heavier than the competition unpacked.

The great thing about LL Bean is their return policy... I am thinking about bringing it in and exchanging it for something else. I'd like something lighter, even if I have to sacrifice some space.

I also may fly with my pack as a carry-on from time to time. I usually ship a lot of my gear prior, but the ability to compress it down to a carry-on size (they are usually flexible) is a big plus.

I was looking at the Osprey Atmos 65 as a possibility.

Any suggestions?

10:07 p.m. on March 4, 2010 (EST)
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ULA Circuit. You can trade your pack for a nice plaid shirt.

10:32 p.m. on March 4, 2010 (EST)
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I had this same conversation with my friend this afternoon! Although I like that pack, and it is a little overbuilt in my opinion, if it doesn't fit it's not the right pack for you. You may be better off going with something better suited for your body, and that is the most important factor when selecting a pack in my opinion. Good luck with your search, and welcome to the board Maineiac!

11:17 p.m. on March 4, 2010 (EST)
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If you find an Osprey that fits, you won't be dissapointed! They have a good balance between lightness and versatility. I find my Atmos 50 very comfortable. Depending on your many circumstances, size of pack, torso length, weight,ad activity and much more than that. There are a few ongoing threads you can search, that will give you lots of information. Like mahoosicmayhem stated, its all in the fit. Find yourself a reputable retailer and get fitted properly. I have been using Black Diamond, Osprey, Lowe Alpine for years, and they have all worked fine for me, but not everybody has the same torso as myself. Look at the reviews of packs and go and try them on loaded up with your gear or some weight.

8:02 p.m. on March 11, 2010 (EST)
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REI flash 65 could be an option.

10:04 p.m. on March 11, 2010 (EST)
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I love my Kelty Coyote 4750. I spent a lot of time looking and trying on different packs before I decided on this one. It fits and feels like a gem, even loaded down with 30+ lbs in it! Good luck on your search:)

10:49 a.m. on March 12, 2010 (EST)
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Like boots keep trying on "everything" till you find what works for you.For me number one is fit and then cost.I find what works for me then search for the best price.What works for me may not for you.Ospreys fit me like a glove and i love their features but these may not work for you.Whatever you chose take it home,load it up with "your"gear and walk around the neighborhoood and make shure it fits before taking it on a trip so you can return it if ness.

5:28 p.m. on March 12, 2010 (EST)
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Another vote for the REI Flash 65. Awesome pack!

8:26 p.m. on March 12, 2010 (EST)
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I tried an Osprey Atmos 50 before, and the end of the frame-sheet at the bottom dug into my kidneys, so I am not a huge fan of that series of packs. However, I have owned both a Kelty Coyote 4750 and a Gregory Z55 (my current pack) and I loved the way both fit. I have written reviews on both that may be helpful. Hope you find a good one. BTW, if you are looking for more space than 55L, take a look at the Gregory Z65. Good luck!

D

9:12 p.m. on March 17, 2010 (EDT)
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Thanks for all of the suggestions. Since I was returning my pack to LL Bean, I was limited to the brands they had available. I picked up the Aether 60 before heading down to South Carolina. Fits like a glove, and it really compresses down in comparison to my previous pack. I had it stuffed to the top and was able get it on the plane as a carry-on. Bonus....

9:04 a.m. on March 21, 2010 (EDT)
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Isn't there any love out there for Deuter?

Deuter is the oldest packmaker in the world, but fairly new to the US market. REI carries a few on their website, but they are strangely missing from most of their stores. I've got two Deuter Aircontact Zero 60+10's. The newer models are only 3 lbs (my older ones weigh a shade more).

Love the suspension system and weight tranfer. Lightest pack I've found that still has a real suspension system.

(Wish they had cooler colors!)

1:48 a.m. on March 29, 2010 (EDT)
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Golite Pursuit is another great option. One of the most versatile packs around. Medium fits most unless you are over 6' w/ a long torso. I have abused mine with overloading, (always cleaned and cared for after trips) and it almost seems to come back stronger. It also comes nearly waterproof out of the box. 51+ liters (in mediium)Less than 3 pounds!

10:34 p.m. on March 29, 2010 (EDT)
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As my first pack I think I'm gonna get a Deuter 65-10 or 55-10. I've been wondering, although they are heavier packs, won't they feel lighter with heavier loads then the Lite series? For instance the 65-10 with 65 pound limit carrying 45 pounds, vs the ACT Lite carrying its max of 45 pounds. Or are the suspensions pretty much the same, and you really do feel the 2 pound difference? Also if I want to carry 55 pounds, should I be looking at a backpack with 65 pound limit, so as to not be carrying at it's max too much?

Is the Deuter 65-10 or 55-10 fairly waterproof or at least water resistant without the rain cover? Or is the rain cover a requirement to keep from getting wet?

I also wish they came in better colors. I wish there was more info on the web about them, I can't find many pictures or videos.. Also is their quality still good since I heard they make them in Vietnam now instead of Canada (if I'm not confusing this with another company)

Thanks

10:57 p.m. on March 29, 2010 (EDT)
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+1 For ULA Circuit. Or the Gossamer Gear Gorilla.

1:51 p.m. on April 8, 2010 (EDT)
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I would forget the Atmos 65, been there done that. Felt great at first, but then i relaised that the pack is no where near 65L with how far the Airspeed suspesnion sticks into the main compartment. Don't get me worng, its way comfortable.

But if you can get away with a usable 58L pack, get an Osprey Exos 58. The Airspeed backpanel takes up less room and still provide good ventilation.

And ignore skinewmexico's review. I have a 38 inch waist and the hip belt fits just fine.

Caveat, if you are going to carry more than 35 lbs go with the Atmos, but why would anyone carry 35lbs?

1:58 p.m. on April 8, 2010 (EDT)
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MindBrain wrote "For instance the 65-10 with 65 pound limit carrying 45 pounds, vs the ACT Lite carrying its max of 45 pounds."

Dude, if you are planning on carrying 45-65 lbs you need to seriously visit backpackinglight dot com. I keep it under 20 for a 3 day and under 30 for week (as long as there is water) and I am far from a minimlaist. I have my ultra comfy Mont-Bell #2 sleeping bag, a Big Agnes inflatable pad (2 1/2 inches thick ) a internal frame pack (Osprey Exos) and for solo a nice big tarp (9 oz) and waterproof/bug-proof bivy (7 oz) ( for 2 man I have a TarpTent Double rainbow). Going light doesn't mean you have to be uncomfortable.

5:42 p.m. on April 8, 2010 (EDT)
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Yeah, I second that; and, also, bose does suck.

7:13 p.m. on April 8, 2010 (EDT)
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I'll 3rd it. If I'm carrying more than 30 lbs for 3-4 days something has gone wrong, either that or the worlds largest tick has latched on.

8:00 p.m. on April 8, 2010 (EDT)
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bose sucks,

Can you please eloborate on your TT double rainbow as far as condesation weather protection and what type of climates you have used it in. I have been scoping those for a couple of months now, reading reviews and such. I think I am about ready to make the jump, but I always interested in getting as much info as possible. You can also send me an email at jmcwatty@gogenesis.com.

If anyone else has any info, please share!

Thanks in advance!

2:42 a.m. on April 10, 2010 (EDT)
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I like the idea of having a bag that can carry food for 2 weeks, extra clothes, folding wood burning stove, heavy tarp (more uv protection) a tent, sleeping bag etc.

My question mainly was does the full-size 65+10 carry loads (medium or heavy) better so as to negate the few pounds of difference from the lighter Deuter packs. (probably there's not even an answer to this)

I'm not trying to be a weekend Yosemite backpacker so much as I'm looking at the backpack as a survival tool to have if I ever need it, that is also versatile enough to use for shorter trips if I want to do that too.

If anyone has more comments about Deuter i'd appreciate hearing them, thanks

3:35 p.m. on April 10, 2010 (EDT)
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.. if you are planning on carrying 45-65 lbs you need to seriously visit backpackinglight dot com....

The weight you carry depends on where you are going and what you are doing. Some treks where I am out for only a few nights, my pack is less than 15 pounds total (including the clothes I am wearing). Other treks where I am out for 4-6 weeks and doing serious technical climbing, the total gear is 150-160 pounds (most being hauled in the sled). Food for 4-6 weeks is 50-100 pounds per person by itself (high end when heading into subzero conditions such as in Antarctica), plus the fuel needed to melt snow for water. A backcountry climbing trip can require 20-40 pounds of climbing gear, depending on the technical level.

If I am going to spend a week in the backcountry doing a lot of photography, I am likely to have 20+ pounds of camera gear, between two DSLR bodies, tripod, and lenses from 12mm and 400mm. Yeah, you can get by with a 3 ounce P&S, but it isn't really wise to shoot photos of a thousand pound brown bear or a 1500 pound black rhino, when you are on foot with that P&S (unless you are happy with the rhino appearing like a tiny spec.

Basically, you can not make blanket statements like that without knowing what the circumstances of the outing are.

3:46 p.m. on April 10, 2010 (EDT)
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It bears repeating again and again and again a point that has been overlooked in many of the comments in this thread -

Packs, like boots, have to fit properly. Some packs fit some people, and no pack fits everyone. If the pack does not fit, it does not matter how small the load (or how large), it is not going to be comfortable. Even with the help of a trained, experienced packfitter, there are certain brands of pack I cannot get to fit comfortably, while other brands fit me comfortably with minimal adjustment with a load of 70-80 pounds for 6 or 7 hours of hiking and climbing.

For the OP and others who have posted here, figure out what gear you have to have. This determines the volume of the pack. Go to an experienced and trained packfitter. Load several packs of the required capacity with sandbags (good shops have these for the purpose of trying packs) and walk around the shop (including stairs if they have them) for a half hour or more. Taking the actual gear you will carry is better. Then you will be able to narrow your selection down. This sounds very time consuming - well, it is! But 3 or 4 hours trying on a half dozen packs in the store with a trained packfitter is a lot easier on you than discovering the second or third day into your hike that the pack just does not fit, no matter what you do.

4:27 p.m. on April 10, 2010 (EDT)
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Yes, Bill is right. Thanks for the reminder Bill.

We often forget to first ask for more info on the persons needs, type of trip etc. before commenting.

Traveling light is a learned skill, and very useful, but not always possible.

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