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#176806 - 05/01/13 02:11 AM mtn hardwear vs granite gear! opinions please!
fatboy99 Offline
newbie

Registered: 04/22/13
Posts: 3
http://www.rei.com/product/828971/mountain-hardwear-thruway-50-pack

or

http://www.rei.com/product/831620/granite-gear-crown-vc-60-pack

trying to go ultralight base weight around 12 with bear can. trip length 3-7 nights in summer. please look at the packs and give me your 2 cents please and if you have experience then that's even better!!

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#176808 - 05/01/13 05:43 AM Re: mtn hardwear vs granite gear! opinions please! [Re: fatboy99]
Robotmoose Offline
member

Registered: 04/19/13
Posts: 79
They're both good brands.
That's all really anyone is qualified to say, picking out which pack is right for you is very subjective.
My advice, stop by your local outfitters with a couple gallon jugs of water, find one of each of these packs that's sized right for you, put the water in them one at a time, and walk around the store for a few minutes. Buy whichever pack proves most comfortable to you, whichever one works best with your methods, and distributes weight in a way that works best for you.

Whatever you do, do not buy a pack sight-unseen without trying it out, chances are it won't actually fit right.
_________________________
"Let us speak courteously, deal fairly, and keep ourselves armed and ready."
"The joy of living is his who has the heart to demand it."
- Theodore Roosevelt

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#176809 - 05/01/13 06:13 AM Re: mtn hardwear vs granite gear! opinions please! [Re: Robotmoose]
Glenn Roberts Offline
Moderator

Registered: 12/23/08
Posts: 1337
Loc: Southwest Ohio
Instead of a couple of gallons of water, take your gear, including food and water for a typical trip. That way, you not only get to try the pack with weight, you'll also be able to see how your gear will fit in it. Besides, sandbags (most stores use them) or gallon jugs may get the weight you'll carry, but they will ride in the bottom of the pack, giving you a very unrealistic idea of how the loaded pack will feel. Your own gear will tell you how the pack will actually ride.

One thing: if you spend a couple of hours loading gear into and out of packs, and find one you like: buy it at that store, don't go home and order it online just to save $5 or $10 in sales tax. Treat the local vendor (whether it's a small independent or a big-box like REI) the way you'd want to be treated.

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#176810 - 05/01/13 08:18 AM Re: mtn hardwear vs granite gear! opinions please! [Re: Glenn Roberts]
Robotmoose Offline
member

Registered: 04/19/13
Posts: 79
Originally Posted By Glenn Roberts
Instead of a couple of gallons of water, take your gear, including food and water for a typical trip.


Better idea!

Originally Posted By Glenn Roberts
One thing: if you spend a couple of hours loading gear into and out of packs, and find one you like: buy it at that store, don't go home and order it online just to save $5 or $10 in sales tax. Treat the local vendor (whether it's a small independent or a big-box like REI) the way you'd want to be treated.


X2! Doing right by your neighborhood shops buys you allies!

Also, is this a permanent move to a new pack, or are you just gearing up for one 3-7 night trip as your first paragraph indicates?
If the latter, rental is the most economic option. No sense in splurging 200 bucks for a one-trip rig.
If the former, make sure it's a product you're happy to live with (and out of).


Edited by Robotmoose (05/01/13 08:21 AM)
_________________________
"Let us speak courteously, deal fairly, and keep ourselves armed and ready."
"The joy of living is his who has the heart to demand it."
- Theodore Roosevelt

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#176811 - 05/01/13 08:37 AM Re: mtn hardwear vs granite gear! opinions please! [Re: fatboy99]
Robotmoose Offline
member

Registered: 04/19/13
Posts: 79
_________________________
"Let us speak courteously, deal fairly, and keep ourselves armed and ready."
"The joy of living is his who has the heart to demand it."
- Theodore Roosevelt

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#176812 - 05/01/13 08:42 AM Re: mtn hardwear vs granite gear! opinions please! [Re: Robotmoose]
Glenn Roberts Offline
Moderator

Registered: 12/23/08
Posts: 1337
Loc: Southwest Ohio
Possibly - the other thread didn't really go anywhere. Maybe it was a repost with new information (like the base weight and length of trip) that wasn't in the original?

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#176813 - 05/01/13 09:11 AM Re: mtn hardwear vs granite gear! opinions please! [Re: Robotmoose]
Glenn Roberts Offline
Moderator

Registered: 12/23/08
Posts: 1337
Loc: Southwest Ohio
I took it as being a permanent switch. I've never used Mountain Hardwear packs, and my Granite Gear experience is with the old Vapor Trail and the Virga (the frameless pack.)

fatboy99: With a 12-pound base load, you might want to look at the Granite Gear Virga, too. It only weighs a pound, but has no frame or padded hipbelt. (The shoulder straps are nicely padded.) It's a fixed suspension, so it either fits or it doesn't. However, if it fits, and you use your sleeping pad (lightly inflated, if it's an inflatable) as a "frame," the pack carries 20 pound loads fairly well. Just be aware that at 25 pounds it becomes pretty uncomfortable.

I eventually left the Vapor Trail because a 60-liter pack was too large; my load no longer filled it. I left the Virga because, at the time, my load was right at 20 pounds for summer, so extra water or winter clothes made it uncomfortable to carry.

I've been toying with the idea of giving the Virga another whirl now that I'm closer to 18 pounds in summer and 21 in winter. It would save a couple of pounds, putting me safely below the 20-pound comfort limit. However, I like my Osprey Kestrel 48 so well that I never seem to pull the trigger on the Virga. (I'd recommend that you look at the Kestrel, but it's a pound heavier than the two you're looking at.)

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#176814 - 05/01/13 09:25 AM Re: mtn hardwear vs granite gear! opinions please! [Re: fatboy99]
lori Offline
member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2801
Use the one that works for you. That's the only real measure. It sucks but it's true - by the time someone has pared their load to "ultralight" that's how it is....

Neither one is really an "ultralight" pack - you'd end up with something frameless by then.

I have a ULA that weighs less than either of those, that works with a bear can, and works with me....
_________________________
"In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities. In the expert's mind there are few." Shunryu Suzuki

http://hikeandbackpack.com

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#176822 - 05/01/13 03:38 PM Re: mtn hardwear vs granite gear! opinions please! [Re: lori]
OregonMouse Offline
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6369
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
There are lots of other packs out there, some of them lighter than what you're looking at. They may be more comfortable, too--you'll have to try them on. Many of these are framed packs weighing about two pounds (or slightly less). Try doing some searching on this site (see the sticky post at the beginning of the General Discussion section for how to search this site). Here are a few reputable firms to look at online that make lightweight packs with a frame (in many cases removable for lighter loads): ULA-Equipment, Elemental Horizons, Gossamer Gear, Six Moon Designs, Hyperlite Mountain Gear.

As already mentioned, the most important aspects of a pack are fit, fit and fit! The pack must fit your body, it must fit your gear, and it must be comfortable for you to carry with your gear inside. Have all the rest of your gear ready, box it up, and take it to the store. If you order a pack online, have your gear ready to load up the pack and try it out (keeping it clean so it's returnable) as soon as it arrives.

Pack fit is almost as individual as shoe fit, so you need to do lots of trying on!

_________________________
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

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