day pack for backpacking trips

12:09 a.m. on August 4, 2011 (EDT)
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So I've been thinking about a reasonably efficient way to bring a day pack with me on backpacking trips.  For example, hike into a campsite with my 45lb frame pack, set up camp, then go with a light day back for my camera gear, water, rain jacket, etc to go exploring from there.  Up til now I've empted out the frame pack at the campsite and used that for day hiking.  But it's "clunky" as a day pack.

I've been considering an REI Flash 18 (http://www.trailspace.com/gear/rei/flash-18-pack/) as it's reasonably light, with a good feature set, and the reviews are favorable.

I was thinking I could double-duty this pack as a stuff sack for my sleeping bag.

The only real downside I can think of is a pack like this weighs about 10 oz, and assuming my regular sleeping back sack (http://www.trailspace.com/gear/granite-gear/backpacks/stuff-sacks/compression/) weighs about 4 oz, there'll be a net gain of about 6 oz to my overall pack weight.  Doesn't sound like much, but I'm really trying to minimize the weight (45 is too much but is the best I've managed to reduce to so far, with bear canister, photo gear, water, food, etc).

So am I crazy?  does this approach make sense?  I don't have a fancy internal frame pack with a built-in detachable day pack, and the ones I've seen wouldn't meet my needs for carying photo gear on day hikes anyway.

I know I can count on you all to tell me what you really think <grin> :)

 

12:50 a.m. on August 4, 2011 (EDT)
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I have a Wind Rider from Hyperlite Mountain Gear and the quality is excellent.

Although not cheap @ $60, this stuff sack, dry bag, and summit pack is made of cuben fibre and is only 2.9 oz for 1600 cubes....

http://www.hyperlitemountaingear.com/products/packs/hmg-stuff-pack.html

12:53 a.m. on August 4, 2011 (EDT)
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I take an old school teardrop day pack on all multi-day trips for the reason you cite.  In fact it is sitting atop my pack in my avatar.  Certainly if you can afford/justify the weight of full on camera gear - versus a quality pocket digital camera - then the few extra ounces shouldn't be the issue. 

2:12 p.m. on August 4, 2011 (EDT)
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This is why I appreciate packs with lids that double as fanny packs.  I know some people don't like that additional weight, but I've used mine plenty often enough to make the weight worthwhile.  The Mystery Ranch lids have shoulder straps that hide underneath them.

You might want to consider the Marmot Kompressor.  Very light.  Can double as a compression bag.  I don't have one, but I've been looking at them for a while now.

3:49 p.m. on August 4, 2011 (EDT)
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I have two Golite daypacks, one is called the Infinity and weighs 2.5 lbs empty the other is the VO24 and weighs 1.9 lbs The volumn of the Infinity is about 2850 cu in, and the VO24 is about 1500 cu in.

I can put everything for a 5 day hike in the Infinity. I use the VO24 for day hikes from camps.

The Infinity has two long large back pockets big enough for a liter water bottle each and it also has two webbed pockets on either side holding the same. It has compression straps on the sides.


Golite-Infinity-pack.jpg

Golite Infinity   $60

The VO24 has two large side pockets and a large back pocket behind a zippered pocket.


Golite-VO24-pack.jpg

Golite VO24   $70

Both packs have areas for water bladders with inside sleeves and places for the water tube to come out.

The VO has a built in whistle in the sternum strap buckle.

See descriptions for both in the Trailspace Gear Reviews.

6:32 p.m. on August 4, 2011 (EDT)
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Gary - I think the OP is looking for a day pack to double as a stuff sack within his primary pack.

8:26 p.m. on August 4, 2011 (EDT)
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I have that REI Flash 18 you referred to.  I like it as a summit pack.  It's not the most comfortable thing in the world (no padding), but it's not bad at all.  Just don't overload it.  If you go that route, don't use a 100oz bladder with it.  It's just too big.  If you need more water than that, carry a bottle inside the pack.

9:04 p.m. on August 4, 2011 (EDT)
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My day pack is my pack haha. Have had a bad experience leaving gear unattended. But really you can get any small pack you like and strap it to your pack, there are seriously hundreds of choices of small packs. It doesn't have to double as a stuff sack, find something you like that's comfortable and bring it along. If you use a waterbladder, camelbak has quite a few small packs.

9:13 p.m. on August 4, 2011 (EDT)
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This is great feedback as usual, thanks.  We do great here as long as we stick to gear discussions <heh heh>.

Anyway, yeah, I would definitely want to dual-purpose the pack, and using it as a stuff sack for my sleeping back makes the most sense I think... especially since I need one anyway since I'm still using an external frame pack (no stuffing the sleeping back into a pack compartment).

The comment about the 3L bladder is useful - that's what I carry, so I was wondering about that.  Maybe I should downsize, and just plan on stopping more often to filter water on the trail, where possible.

I was hoping to lash my tripod to the loops outside the pack (e.g. the ones on the Flash 18).  But I did read someone reported that the loops come apart easily, hmmm ...

A prime concern is keeping the weight down - I don't want to add another pound or whatever to my pack weight.  So I'm reading up on the alternatives like the Hyperlite mentioned above.  I guess the tradeoff is that the uber light ones don't have pockets or other "amenities" like a water bladder sleeve.  Everything is a tradeoff :).

TheRambler, I'm curious about your bad experience with leaving gear unattended.  I guess there was a thread here somewhere about that a while back.  But was this in busy areas, like a campground, or in wilderness areas?  Was it with people, or with animals tearing things apart?

 

9:39 p.m. on August 4, 2011 (EDT)
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TheRambler, The rationale of having the day pack dual purpose as a stuff sack is an idea I picked up from the ultra light crowd. That is, make everything as purposeful as possible. While I am far from an ultra light packer, I am trying to adopt their principles where practical :-)

10:31 p.m. on August 4, 2011 (EDT)
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This is the lights smallest daypack I've ever seen. About the size of a redbull can and weighs 2.4 ozs. http://www.seatosummit.com/products/display/143

11:34 p.m. on August 4, 2011 (EDT)
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Sirpatrick said:

This is the lights smallest daypack I've ever seen. About the size of a redbull can and weighs 2.4 ozs. http://www.seatosummit.com/products/display/143

 Can it double as a stuff sack?

11:35 p.m. on August 4, 2011 (EDT)
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I posted this on another thread but it may be of some interest to ya. 

Outdoor Research Dry Comp Ridge Sack:


outdoor-research-drycomp-ridge-sack.jpg
Here is a link:

http://www.outdoorresearch.com/site/browse/Storage%20Systems/Back%20Sacks.html

I am not saying this meets your weight preferences or is hydration compatible but my thought is this. If you pack your gear in this then place this in your pack you eliminate the need for dry sacks etc. Its a dry sack with a harness. Its waterproof, and is highly compressible due to the fact that it doesn't have a frame.

There are 2 other models on the link that may suit your needs if this one doesn't.

12:07 a.m. on August 5, 2011 (EDT)
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I have an EMS packable pack.  Works well.

2:46 a.m. on August 5, 2011 (EDT)
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Well, your pack will already be full of all your gear, so space may be limited.  Jandd Mountaineering used to make "summit straps".  These were basically a pair of padded shoulder straps that could attach to two of the the hood and base clips of whatever size compression sack you were already using.  (The clips would have to match, though)  Total weight was a few ounces and although the "day pack" would be the most basic, it works.

6:41 a.m. on August 5, 2011 (EDT)
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It was in the middle of nowhere, in the wilderness. It was people. I had gotten into camp, set up briefly hung my food bag and went off on a day hike with just some minimal stuff. I was gone about 4.5 hours, and when I got back I had been mostly cleaned out.

However whoever it was was kind enough to leave a pile of their old / less expensive stuff.

That was a big hit to the wallet, and has taken some time to recoup that loss. And I no longer leave my gear unattended. I have a few times hiked off trail and briefly hidden my pack under some forrest duff etc. But, I wont ever leave my stuff out in the open or set up again while I am not there.

Hopefully you never have a problem, but sadly you can't stop a problem if your not there.

10:24 a.m. on August 5, 2011 (EDT)
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@ cwf. It could, but the nice thing is that at 2.4 ozs it doesn't have to. At that weight you could also get a stuff sack and still be much lighter than some other options. But I like the link that Rick put up. There's another sack on that page that looks bomber and is only 9 ozs and h2o proof at $55. Got me interested in one now. Lol

@ Rambler. Do you put any markings on your gear? When I started making snow at killington we all had alot of the same gear. So to keep it sorted out (ie keep people honest) we all put a symbol or initials somewhere inconspicuous and I do it to all of my gear now including my tools on the jobsite and in a highly visible location too. I know in your case it's like finding a needle in a haystack, but if all of trailspace knows your mark that haystack gets alot smaller. Plus theres a small chance it could deter someone if they see it. Like marking your territory. Either way, sorry that happened to you. A stinking thief is about as low as one gets on the human pole.

12:44 p.m. on August 5, 2011 (EDT)
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TheRambler said:

It was in the middle of nowhere, in the wilderness. It was people. I had gotten into camp, set up briefly hung my food bag and went off on a day hike with just some minimal stuff. I was gone about 4.5 hours, and when I got back I had been mostly cleaned out.

However whoever it was was kind enough to leave a pile of their old / less expensive stuff.

That was a big hit to the wallet, and has taken some time to recoup that loss. And I no longer leave my gear unattended. I have a few times hiked off trail and briefly hidden my pack under some forrest duff etc. But, I wont ever leave my stuff out in the open or set up again while I am not there.

Hopefully you never have a problem, but sadly you can't stop a problem if your not there.

 I had this happen to me when I left my vehicle at a TH and went on a hike. Came back to a busted window and everything gone. I was on my way to a week long hike and stopped at an area that I heard about from a few friends. Got popped for around $3500 in gear+ laptop/gps... I will not leave my gear unattended anymore. If I go somewhere it goes with me. I still miss my Hille. Hell, they even took my boots. I was wearing trail runners for the drive. 

4:39 p.m. on August 5, 2011 (EDT)
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i feel like the risk of a trailhead break-in is greater than gear theft in the wild.  most of my longer hiking trips are in the winter, so there aren't usually as many people out hiking/snowshoeing, and it's not a great environment for someone taking a short hike to steal stuff.

i emerged at at trailhead in vermont several years ago to find 3/4 of the parked cars with busted windows.  bummed me out.  my car was left alone, probably because it was so unappealing.  toyota tercel hatchback that clearly had nothing in it .  even the radio lacked appeal, an AM/FM radio with no cassette player.   

5:05 p.m. on August 5, 2011 (EDT)
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Thanks for all the feedback - it's been very helpful.  I checked out the various alternative "summit packs" suggested here.  Most of them seem to be quite a bit heavier than the one I originally had in mind, and the ones that were lighter were lacking features I hoped for.  Some seemed nice but seemed pricey for their intended use.

I bought the REI Flash 18.  It seemed like the right blend of functionality, weight, and cost.   Also, I bought a 2L MSR Dromlite for those trips, since my 3L will probably be too big for this pack.  Time will tell how that works out for me, as I am a heavy water drinker on the trail.

I'll try out this combo on my next trip and let you all know how it works out.  It's great to be able to get experiential feedback like this to factor into one's decision process.

 

9:12 p.m. on August 5, 2011 (EDT)
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How long did it take you to figure out that weird opening system?

I think the 2 liter bag will be just right.  Like I said, the 100 oz bladder bulges too much.

9:31 p.m. on August 8, 2011 (EDT)
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@JimDoss, haha, yes, it is rather funky, isn't it.  I thought I figured it out once, but found myself figuring it out again several times this weekend.

BTW, I see your point about the 3L bladder being kind of bloated for this pack.  OTOH I did manage to use mine OK for a day hike.  I was really glad I had it along becuase I drink a ton of water hiking in the Sierra in the summer.  Plus I camped overnight at a "dry" campsite, so I was glad I had it.  A smaller bladder would have meant carrying more bottles of water ... and my little Kelty backpack is chock full to the brim already...

Anyway, the Flash 18 worked great as a sleeping back stuff sack, and converted to a great pack for my day hike from where I'd camped.

Thanks again everyone for the feedback.

 

9:23 p.m. on September 6, 2011 (EDT)
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BTW, for those of you who have the REI Flash 18 - if you want to waterproof the contents, I discovered a bag that is the perfect size for it.  It's the 2.5% x 20" Loksak by Opsak.  It's actually designed to be odor-proof so I suppose maybe if you seal it then you'd protect your lunch from hungry critters too :).

I discovered this while looking for a way to resist water that might penetrate the pack while using it as a stuff sack for my sleeping bag tied to the outside of my (external frame) pack.  

http://www.trailspace.com/gear/loksak/opsak/



9:49 a.m. on September 7, 2011 (EDT)
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Good tip.  Thanks!

4:59 p.m. on September 8, 2011 (EDT)
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bhieser,

 

For what it's worth, I have the  Sea-To-Summit day pack listed above and I'm a fan. I recently loaded it up with three liters of water, first aid kit, and lunch and it worked well. It's pricey for what amounts to a yard of sil-nylon but it did work very well.

12:37 a.m. on September 9, 2011 (EDT)
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Oops I meant 12.5" x 20" not 2.5% x 20 :/)

@Patman thanks for that info too. The super light weight of that Sea to Summit pack is appealing. I already bought the Flash 18 but maybe when it's time for an 'upgrade'...

7:59 p.m. on September 15, 2011 (EDT)
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Rob, the EMS pack is 9 oz. and the REI Flash is 10 oz, probably B/C the Flash has a waistbelt and the EMS daypack doesn't.

I have the REI Flash and like it except for the lack of top flap. I'm adding one soon.

 I just used my Flash this past week in Nevada's Ruby Mountains as a clothing stuffsack and later as a daypack for trout fishing. Worked great, as usual.

Eric

6:35 p.m. on October 10, 2011 (EDT)
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I have this REI pack and LIVE by it. I reccomend it because it is sooo versitile and takes no room to bring, or as you say, use as a stuffsack.

10:20 p.m. on October 10, 2011 (EDT)
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Love the REI Flash 18.

Stuffed my sleeping bag in it for my short 3 day backpacking trip (knowing we were going to do a day hike and that I'd be packing more for that day hike than my detachable backpacking backpack lid could hold).

Highly recommend it.

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