Looking for a tough (not lightweight) waterproof daypack

4:24 p.m. on February 15, 2011 (EST)
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As the title, really. I'm after a 30-40litre (2000ci-2500ci) size pack with decent back system, padded waist strap, and robust design.

Osprey and Gregory look good but I'm after something tougher.

Kifaru and Mystery Ranch do tough, but there's not even a nod to waterproofing - if only they did a pack with even just the smallest of storm flaps for all those exposed zips!

Any suggestions?

7:48 p.m. on February 15, 2011 (EST)
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There are ample robust packs on the market. If you want a truly tough pack checkout the camelbak motherlode, i have had one for about 7 years and it has seen lots of abuse while I was in the military. Slightly heavy, but one tough pack. Most commercial packs available these days are plenty tough for most peoples needs and lighter than milspec bags also.

As far as waterproofness goes, ask yourself if you really need that feature. Put whatever sensitive items you have in a small dry bag inside the pack, use a trash compactor bag as a pack liner, or use a pack cover or a combination of those methods. You can use ziplocs etc in place of dry bags also.

I do alot of backpacking, and I go rain sleep shine or snow. I have never once had an issue with any of my gear that matters getting wet. I use a dry bag for my sleeping bag and sleep clothes, a dry bag for my food, and use a trash compactor bag as a pack liner, and I have a S2S(sea to summit) pack cover. There are many out there that would call my methods extreme also.

Waterproof packs are heavy for one, and don't stay waterproof the older they get.

That my 2 cents, hyoh and all that jaz. Hope you find a pack that suits your needs.

10:17 p.m. on February 15, 2011 (EST)
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Welcome to Trailspace Garnett!

It sounds like you would do well with an Arcteryx Naos or Acrux in the smaller sizes, so long as price isn't an issue. Your consideration of Kifaru and MR tells me you search for functionality at any price point, so the dead birds merit a look. They are float-on-them-down-a-set-of-rapids waterproof, and quite durable form what I hear. I own an Arcteryx Bora 95, and can attest to their ability to make packs with wonderfully comfortable suspensions and sturdy construction.

10:34 p.m. on February 15, 2011 (EST)
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If water proofing was imperative, I would not trust that solely to the pack.  Even if the fabric was effectively treated, no seam sealing technique will last long under the stresses of a shifting load.  As Ken states use plastic bagging or dry sacks for this purpose.


10:54 p.m. on February 15, 2011 (EST)
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Rivendell MOuntain Works Mariposa.

1:48 a.m. on February 16, 2011 (EST)
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Hi guys. thanks for the welcome and for the excellent advice.

Rambler - I appreciate what you are saying, and I think I will take your advice and buy some rubble sacks and smaller drysacks.

However, the Camelbak seems the same as Kifarus and Mystery ranch packs - loads of exposed zips! - I  am after something like them but with flaps to cover the zips, or - ideally, a foldover lid for rain to run off. I just want something that makes a token effort to repel a light shower, so I don't have to worry about a rain cover unless it really heaves down.

Pillowthread - Arcteryx look great and the back systems look perfect, but both of the packs have descriptions that start "lightweight" and the material seems to be 420d cordura. I'd love something like that, or like the Osprey Kestrel, made from 1000d.

You're right though - having looked for some time, I've resigned myself to paying Kifaru prices for what I'm after.

Whomeworry - I agree with your advice. I would say certain designs make a pack less susceptible to rain ingress.

Alan, Rivendell look very robust, but I'm after something with a technical back and padded waist belt.

2:46 p.m. on February 16, 2011 (EST)
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Hey there,

It's not going to be easy to get in the USA but you can mail order it from EU or contact Carol (the owner) himself, but you should have a look at the Crux AK37. Crux is a small climbing brand and they do some very cool gear. It's simple, comfy, very strong (Kevlar/Cordura) and nearly watertight build. I have 2 friends that got the bigger packs, and I think that the AK70 is one of the most comfortable big packs I ever tried.


4:51 p.m. on February 16, 2011 (EST)
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The accrux is one tough bag. 420D Is pretty strong. I use mine on canoe trips and I'm pretty rough with my stuff, havent seen a dent in it yet. The coating inside it make it's stronger too I guess.

5:44 p.m. on February 16, 2011 (EST)
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Hi there. I'm actually based in the UK. I've been looking at the Crux AK37 funnily enough. I do like the sound of the kevlar blend fabric. I'm going to have a look at that, and the Haglofs Hard Roc.

10:54 a.m. on February 17, 2011 (EST)
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I used to sell them in London, and they are really sound packs. You won't find any reviews about them over here, but if you check UK base forms ( http://www.outdoorsmagic.com/ will be a good start) you will see how much folk like them. They are better made then Haglofs in my opinion, but the fit is something you better try for yourself.

1:59 p.m. on February 17, 2011 (EST)
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arc'teryx is the only one of these that claims to make a truly waterproof backpack, and they do use waterproof zippers on those models.  if that fits your need, that is where i would go.  personally, i don't think waterproof zippers completely work in the long run - a strong rain can penetrate them, particularly after a couple of years of use.   

i use a mystery ranch pack with an OR rain cover.  works fine.  if there are things inside the bag that i really want to keep dry, sea to summit makes a number of different sizes of dry bags.  the best (and most expensive) have some eVent so you can get air out of the sack after you seal it. 

you might look at alpine climbing-oriented packs if you crave toughness and don't carry terribly heavy loads.  wild things, cold cold world, and cilogear all make packs in your volume range that are built with tougher materials to withstand abuse from rock-climbing and hauling. 

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