About | Blog | Forums | People | Free Newsletter
Trailspace is a product review site for outdoor enthusiasts. Use it to find and share great gear.

Need a new (used) backpack

7:19 p.m. on April 10, 2011 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
1,236 forum posts

Seems a lot of gear can be bought used whitout fitting or trying on ie tents, sleeping bags,etc.  What would you all suggest as a starting point in tring to find a good used backpack.  My last one died in a tent fire (ya know that open flame in a tent thing, we'll leave that for another day).  It was a larger Mountainsmith that was really not the right fit for me.  I'm 5'9 170lbs and around a 19 on the torso measurment. 

7:25 p.m. on April 10, 2011 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
1,236 forum posts

I guess I should give a little more info.  I'm thinking about 5000 cu in +/-.  I have a couple of day and light trail packs Marmot's ( Talus good for a hike and a Glissade 1-3 days).  I'd like to get something like a Dana, McHale or something that will hold it's value in case I need to sell it if it doesent work out for me.  My religious beliefs preclude the buying of new items as much as possible ;-).  Thanks

2:19 p.m. on April 11, 2011 (EDT)
TOP 25 REVIEWER REVIEW CORPS
2,264 reviewer rep
1,247 forum posts

McHale backpacks are custom-made - which arguably makes a used McHale less appealing in some respects.  something that is custom-built to fit you may not be so great for someone else.

i would focus on finding something that fits you well first.  go to a store with a variety of brands & try several on w/30 or 40 pounds inside, see how they feel.  most of the major brands tend to fit similarly year to year, with occasional significant changes if a company decides to go in a different direction design-wise.  that way, you should have a better idea of what brands fit,and what to look for used. 

there is no more dana design; that company was acquired by K2 and ultimately folded into Marmot, but Marmot's backpacks today bear little resemblance to Dana Design's pre-acquisition gear.  Dana Gleason, the man who founded Dana Design, now sells backpacks under the Mystery Ranch label, makes them in Montana.  they make great backpacks, but they only sell direct, either in their store or on the internet.  they make different sizes of hipbelts and shoulder harnesses, so if you buy one used, make sure you are getting the right size. 

backpacking gear holds its value better than you might think.  i just sold a several years-old and well-used marmot pack, still using the dana design patterns and features, and it pulled a pretty good price.  worth doing your research, but a lot of the major brands make high-quality backpacks that can handle a lot of punishment and last for years.   by 'major brands,' i mean gregory, arc'teryx, deuter, osprey, kelty, north face, even REI - and i'm leaving out a bunch of worthy brands, only because i personally happen to be less familiar with them (i'm not an ultralight kind of guy, so i don't know as much about granite gear, golite, ULA and others of that ilk). 

6:44 p.m. on April 11, 2011 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
1,236 forum posts

Hey leadbelly,  A lot of info there.  Thanks.  I knew about Marmot buying Dana, much the same a Moss.  Didn't know the info on McHale or Mystery Ranch ranch.  I was considering a number of different Dana models but alas, it seems that as well as being one of the finest packs ever, they have attained a cult following that drives the price up 2-4 times the price of comparable quality packs.  Of all the packs that I have investigated it seems that the most compared pack to the Dana's for fit, comfort, quality, warranty is the Arcteryx Bora 80.  I've see them usually go for around $150 used in mint condition.  There seems to be enough of them around to be able to get the size that is most likley to fill my needs.  I'll take a day and go over to Seattle and hit REI as they still sell the Bora 80 and see if I can get a fit.

1:54 p.m. on April 12, 2011 (EDT)
TOP 25 REVIEWER REVIEW CORPS
2,264 reviewer rep
1,247 forum posts

friend of mine swears by his Boras - he has a 60 and a 95, i think.  you should call ahead to REI - they may not sell that arc'teryx pack any more. 

4:04 p.m. on May 11, 2011 (EDT)
126 reviewer rep
10 forum posts

I really like my CFP 90 (original not a clone). I've had it for since 1989 and it is excellent for hiking, hunting, and trekking. It's fully adjustable, water resistant, has loops for an axe, webbing to hang crampons or snowshoes, slide through for cross-country skis, and external pockets. It is a stong pack. They can be had for less than $100 dollars on ebay. They come with a day pack and have about 100l (6000 cubic inches) of stowage. Down side is they usually come in woodland camo or olive drab. That up here is a plus but may not be desirable to many. If you do decide to look into one beware the clones as they are utter garbage and still pricey. The original prototypes were designed by Lowe Alpine and these are said to be better still. These Lowe Alpine models show up on ebay here and there for about $100 as well. Either way, there are many really good products now, more than when I started into the wilderness in the early 70's as a kid. We all aspired to inherit the old Trapper Nelsons the old timers used; glad I didn't! Well there's two cents worth.

11:21 p.m. on May 11, 2011 (EDT)
38 reviewer rep
395 forum posts

found this Bora 80 on CL in phx area. Hope it helps

http://phoenix.craigslist.org/evl/spo/2362760589.html

 

11:58 p.m. on May 11, 2011 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
367 forum posts

While I often praise Dana Design, I feel the best value in used backpacks are Ospreys made from 1995-2000 (because they're so often underestimated, thus undervalued). From experience, the products are analogous in quality, and from a design perspective, Osprey might surpass Dana Design. They weren't known as "the Saab of backpacks" for nothing. The 1995 models are different than both anything before then and after. In 1996, they added the Vector attachment system. However, 1995 and 1996-2000 are all using the Fusion EX suspension system and belt system. I'll put it up against the Dana ArcFlex system 8 days a week.

You'd need a medium pack and medium shoulder harness with a 19" torso. I'm guessing you'd also need a medium belt, but I'd need your waist measurement to be sure.

I'd recommend looking into the Silhouette and Helix (the minimalist version of the Silhouette) models. As second options, I'd look into their Advent and Trillium models. You should be able to find any of these models for $100-150. Don't let that price fool you. They're as comfortable, hardy, and solid as a used $300+ Dana Design.

The interesting thing to note about Dana Design is that the secondary used market values are driven by collectors. Brand recognition obviously plays a large role in their market value, but I feel the collectors are who cause them to often cost twice as much as similar products from other brands. And who are these collectors? The Japanese and South Koreans. From what I understand, Dana Design is still an active company in Japan.

12:40 a.m. on May 12, 2011 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
1,236 forum posts

Hey Zeno,  That's funny I ended up getting a Silhouette Vector  one (for $45) as well as a Isis, Kestral and A Escapest all for under $175.  I'm going to start as string on this as I didn't do any thing special except check out Craigslist and Ebay. Nothing more.  Just for the heck of it I bought a dana Tarraplane just to compare.  I'll try the Silhouette against the Tarraplane, but it'll  have to be 5x the pack for me to keep it.  I'll have to find a med belt (for the Terraplane) as the one I found has a sm belt.  Anyway I'm going to start a string on that fact that I got four packs for $165.  How are people spending $400+ on just one piece of equiptment.  At today's prices it would cost me 5 grand to go on a long hike.  Might do that tonight.

 

Mountain man 270 and azrhino thanks for your input as well

 

Sorry about the bold, could not change it, not shure how it happend.

2:09 a.m. on May 12, 2011 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
367 forum posts

I didn't bother to look at the post date. Sorry. I took it for granted that this was a new thread. I almost changed that figure of $100-150 because I've seen Silhouettes sell for $65 on eBay after being listed a few times with no bids.

I could spend $400 on a backpack because I think they're cool, but I could also easily spend $1500 on a Krell KSA-150.

4:00 a.m. on May 12, 2011 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
1,236 forum posts

Oh don't get me wrong, I'm into tents and I can easily drop a bundle on another tent which I most certainly don't need, but only want.   It just seems that alot of what's going one is name brand driven.  I don't know a lot about newer backpacks as I've been out of the loop for a while (backpack wise) but it seems like along with everything else (gear wise) the price  is rather steep for a very small amount improvment from year to year.  Also after compairing packs made in the US vrs. packs made overseas it just seems to me that alot of the older USA packs are superior to material wise ot the compairable overseas packs.  I guess what I was getting at is that for not much money you can have alot of gear.  I think alot of times people, esp. beginners, can get lost in the hype of high price equiptment when there is so much resonably priced (and even silly cheap) quality equiptment out there.  Of cource if people didn't by the newest updated models, then there wouldn't be any used equiptment for me to buy.  Here's the four packs I got For $165 with just a little bit of searching.  My cost $165. List price when new, a few years back, $920.  I didn't have enough clean laundry to fully stuff them but you all get the idea.  Oh yea, those Krell's are super nice amps.  I've got a pair of Quicksilver tube amps myself, used of cource ;-}> .
DSC03784.jpg

5:24 p.m. on May 12, 2011 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
367 forum posts

how did your Osprey vs. Dana test go?

I'm a big fan of the twin vertical pocket configuration. It's a primary reason I would carry a Terraplane, though they have a Vector Two* attachment that is a twin vertical pocket design. Only 400c on the Vector Two vs the 1000-1500c on the Terraplane (estimating the cubic volume on the Terraplane pockets).

*to make things confusing, they also have a Vector Two attachment that is a single 400c compartment with a small mesh pocket outside of it (big enough for a can of pop or so) and then a zig-zag shock cord deal outside the mesh pocket. I never had much use for shock cord on my packs. I don't trust putting anything behind them and it not falling out. Maybe if I was leading a hike and had someone there behind me to be sure I wasn't losing stuff as I hike.

6:22 p.m. on May 12, 2011 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
1,236 forum posts

Haven't done the test yet as I haven't recived the Dana yet....plus it has a small belt and I'm sure I'll need a med.  I like the Vector system as it does offer a number of options.  It does seeem as  though they did change things up on the numbering.  First I'm not sure why, but, almost all the vectors out there have the Vector one. If a person were to get the vector two it serves the same purpose as the one but also has pockets.  If you look at the picture all the packs have the vector one, yet the one on the Silhouette actually has a daisy chain.  It actrally came with the Isis, but I switched it out.  I'm looking for a vector two.  I guess they also made a folding chair attachment.  I haven't seen or been able to find anything about it, I've jsut read about it in passing.  Have you seen it or know anything else about it?  The only thing I like the shock cords for is drying stuff out wet socks, shirts and the such.  I'm toying with selling the Isis as It's a womans pack but I'm thinking that its such a nice pack that all I would have to do is switch out the belt/shoulder harness when I wanted to use it.  Pretty sure I won't be able to find another pack in that class as nice as that for the money.  Weren't you looking for a men's setup for an osprey? 

6:59 p.m. on May 12, 2011 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
367 forum posts

You are correct. I have a medium women's belt and a women's medium harness that I'd like to swap out for a medium men's belt and a medium men's harness.

I'm also looking to swap a Vector Two single compartment/mesh pocket/shock cord for a Vector Two twin vertical/daisy chain. Or I'd buy a Vector Two twin vertical/daisy chain if someone would like to get rid of theirs. Interesting thing is that I cannot find the Vector Two single compartment/mesh pocket/shock cord in catalogs or on packs I've found on eBay, but I have two of them. I can't figure out if they are rare or just a design they used for maybe a half season or what. I like them as a second choice to the twin vertical/daisy chain option, so it isn't that I don't like the design. I'd like to have one of each Vector Twos for more options.

The reason you have found so many packs with the Vector One attachment is because I think it was standard equipment. All the others cost extra. Unfortunately, I never have found a price sheet to give any indication of how much extra all the others might have been.

I'll dig around my stuff and email you anything I can find on the Vectors and the Isis.

11:24 p.m. on May 12, 2011 (EDT)
38 reviewer rep
395 forum posts

thats 2 funny, I didnt notice the date either. I was kikn round on CL just before reading your post and thought "Hey I just saw one of those!"

Man your the bargain shopper of bargain shoppers. Nice finds at nice prices

11:50 p.m. on May 12, 2011 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
1,236 forum posts

Thanks, the funny thing is it's pretty much the same with all the equiptment we use.  I just used the packs as examples.  Because of the bad spring (weather wise)here in WA I basically found all of these at the end of the off season for backipacking.  Now that the weather is getting better Good deals on spring/summer equiptment will be a little harder to find. However if you sit down and look it's truely amazing how much stuff is really out there.  As I'm big into tents I'm about done buyuing tents for the season and will start looking again in the fall.  Now I'm starting my search for snowtires, firewood, cold weather jackets and other and winter items.  As americans we (not all of us, but enough) tend to get rid of stuff season by season and upgrade quite frequently.  Much to my advantage I guess.

April 18, 2014
Quick Reply

Please sign in to reply

 
More Topics
This forum: Older: Deuter ACT 90 backpack? Newer: Hey! I'm new here :)
All forums: Older: Sizing for sleeping bags Newer: North Face V-24 poles Wanted