New Backpack Needed

7:18 p.m. on April 6, 2011 (EDT)
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119 forum posts

Sorry if this is a novice question.  I'm looking for a new internal frame backpack for a 2 night backpacking trip.  I like what I'm seeing with Osprey and Gregory but any additional feedback I'd appreciate.  Thanks.

8:13 p.m. on April 6, 2011 (EDT)
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5,239 forum posts

Maybe you should just rent a pack if needed for just a two day hike, then you can try one or the other pack and decide for future trips what is better?

11:52 p.m. on April 6, 2011 (EDT)
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3,962 forum posts

Gary makes a very good point. Renting a pack might be the way to go. Osprey and Gregory are very good packs but looks are one thing. Its all about how they feel after being on your back for hrs on end. If ya rent at least then ya have a better idea of the fit and function of the product before you are in it for hundreds of dollars. The biggest thing though is the "does it work for you" factor.

I know quite a few people who went out and bought a pack online based on looks just to be totally let down on comfort. Go to an outfitter and try a few packs on with weight in them. Walk around for a bit, if they have an area that simulates obstacles on the trail utilize it. If they have stairs use them.

When ya find that pack that feels just right try on 3 more just to be sure. A pack is an investment. I'm gathering from the brands ya stated above you're gonna spend some money. Get the best possible pack FOR YOU.

I currently have an Aether 70(Magma) and I love it. I am looking into purchasing a Stratos 26 in the next week or so. I ordered a MH Scrambler but sent it back(wasn't for me.) I am a big fan of Osprey to say the least.

Happy hiking.... or should I say shopping. :)

Oh real quick, don't be sorry because ya think this is a "novice" question. In some way, shape, or form we are all novices. One of the fun things about it all is learning. Which we all do until we pass on... I'm gonna live forever though. :)

9:42 a.m. on April 7, 2011 (EDT)
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1,866 forum posts

Have you been measured for the correct size of pack? I suggest you go to an outfitter and be properly fitted for a pack. A suggestion would also be what duration of backpacking would you be doing in  the future as well. Weeklong, Month etc.. Both brands you mentioned have great products. "But" that doesn't mean that product is for you if it doesn't work into your needs or wants..Also when you try on both packs I would suggest filling them in the store with the gear your taking and see how they feel on you and Like Gary said Rent it for the weekend.It's better to Rent it and findout before you make the purchase..I myself have 2 packs one a ULA and the other is a Kelty. Love them both..But they are fitted to me and can carry what loads for the durations Iam looking at..

9:51 a.m. on April 7, 2011 (EDT)
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The Baltoro 70 is an all time classic and Gregory have released a 65 and 75 litre version for 2011..

11:17 a.m. on April 7, 2011 (EDT)
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57 forum posts

I've always liked the comfort level on Northface packs. but my 75 Liter (Crestone) is on the heavy side.

Gary, Rick and Denis have great suggestions. definitely get your torso measured at the very least :)

12:58 p.m. on April 7, 2011 (EDT)
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3,892 forum posts

FYI, the official Gregory site is

4:07 p.m. on April 7, 2011 (EDT)
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2,024 forum posts

it couldn't hurt to try on other brands to see what feels good to you - they all fit a little differently.  gregory and osprey are great but pretty different from each other in some significant ways, for example.  deuter, north face, arcteryx, black diamond, kelty, rei's store brand (and there are many others i'm not listing) make quality gear and have pretty good options in the size range you are looking at.   some of these brands make lighter-weight options, and some companies (golite, granite gear for example) focus more exclusively on lighter-weight backpacks.   ideally, someone will measure your torso; help you figure out the various straps on the suspension; and give you some weights and pillows to stuff in and walk around with some weight in the backpack. 

ideally, you would not only try on a new pack in a store first, but also do some walking around with the weight you intend to carry, so you get used to the pack and identify any issues before you're out on a trail and overnighting. 

12:50 a.m. on April 8, 2011 (EDT)
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443 forum posts


Very excited for you and your trip. I will tag onto what leadbelly has touched on, and given your avatar name and photo, I'd suggest looking at the GoLite Pursuit pack (internal frame). In medium, it runs at 51 liters without extention, weighs 2lb 11oz, is an industry favorite for it's versatility, and is particularly suited to backcountry, skiing, and winter sports (although I live in SoCal and use it mostly for 3 season excursions).

Despite its light weight, it can comfortably handle 35 pounds (I've overloaded mine to 50 plus w/out problems 3 times) and has special hypalon/strap sections for securing snowboards, skiis, crampons, and snowshoes. It has a slim profile for great mobility and is waterproof with welded zips.  See this site for reviews.

Happy shopping and happy backpacking!

10:06 a.m. on April 8, 2011 (EDT)
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443 forum posts

I'd like to expand on my "waterproof" statement about the Pursuit backpack. While the fabric is waterproof, the seams are not sealed, and sustained rains will soak through at those points (slowly but surely). I am wearing the pack in my avatar picture, a backcountry snowshoeing trip I took this Winter.

12:21 a.m. on April 10, 2011 (EDT)
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Rick, Denis and Leadbelly are totally correct in that you really should try on different brands to find the one that works for you and your size. Looks and features can all sound great (or confusing!) but fit is absolutely critical.

Aslo it is worth spending a little more to get exactly the right pack - you won't regret it.

I've had a 65L karrimor for 21 years!! I use it for everything - RTW to 6 week treks to 2 day weekend city breaks and everything in between. its been all around the world and suffered all the worst sorts of treatment that a backpack can be put through and I've only ever had to replace 1 buckle - not a tear, shred or broken strap to be seen. The waterproofing is giving out a little - nothing that a well placed bin liner can't handle!

For a 2 days trip you wont need a pack as big as 65L, 40-50L should be plenty.

happy shopping!



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