L.L.Bean Mountain Guide Pack
Design: Top and bottem loading internal frame
Number of Pockets: 2
Max. Load Carried: 20 lb.
Height of Owner: 5"
Price Paid: $65
Pretty good for the price. Can hold 5 days worth of clothes, mess kit, sleeping bag, foam pad, and 5 lb. tent, and those are only the major things. Hidden pocket inside pack.
Design: Internal Frame
Number of Pockets: 5
Max. Load Carried: 53 lbs.
Height of Owner: 6'1"
Price Paid: $275
I practically stole this pack (a return) from LL Bean's North Conway, N.H., outlet store. I think retail is something like $400. Made by Gregory for LL Bean; the suspension is a dream, WAY better than the EMS packs I tried on. This was my first pack bigger than a small daypack, and I love it. The balance is very good, and loads up to 55 lbs. are very comfortable and easy to climb and hike with. Been up Mount Washington twice this fall with it, once to Bigelow in Maine for a test trip. The EMS packs I loaded up in the store cut into me and bothered my back after 20 minutes; I could go all day with the LL Bean pack's Gregory suspension - super firm lumbar support, good padding all around, adjustable to the nth degree. If you have the $$ get the best suspension money can buy (and the largest pack you think you'll ever need). I have no compression sack for my -30 synthetic bag, but the lower compartment eats it up in a stuff sack. Tent, stove, food, lots of clothing fill out the top compartment; plenty of gear loops for all that gear that I'm getting for my upcoming winter fun.
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