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#198418 - 06/05/17 11:00 AM Back Pack Purchase Help Needed
SQWIB Offline
member

Registered: 10/10/14
Posts: 17
Loc: Philadelphia, PA
This is for my daughter,
I'm looking for a place to start, shes 5'8 semi-athletic, average build.
Would like to keep it under $200.00
About 2.5 - 3 pounds and 60-65 liters.
She has been doing a lot of outdoor classes for school, trapping, tagging and a lot of time in the woods.
Her pack would average 30 pounds but may creep up to 35 pounds for a weekend trip, depending on the equipment she would need for that specific trip.

She is allergic to down so I ordered her the lightest synthetic 20 degree bag I could find. I may give her my Big Agnes Copper Spur UL2 also. I have a ton of other gear that I can give her but need a pack. She would be fine with 50 liters for her weekend gear but I wanted her to have a little room for expansion, cameras, binoculars and other gear she may need as each trip would be different.

I know you should buy the pack last but using the gear I have now, I'm sure that this will not be a problem.
This would be for three season, mostly PA but also Maine, Vermont, New Jersey, Maryland.

I have a Gossamer Gear Gorilla and love it, I was thinking the GG Mariposa would be perfect, it's a bit pricey but so far it's the only one that fits the bill so-to-speak.

Thanks

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#198419 - 06/05/17 11:15 AM Re: Back Pack Purchase Help Needed [Re: SQWIB]
Glenn Roberts Offline
Moderator

Registered: 12/23/08
Posts: 1381
Loc: Southwest Ohio
How old is your daughter, and how much does she weigh? (I'm assuming this isn't your 22-year-old daughter, and "school" isn't her senior year of college.) With kids, these are the important factors. Age, because that indicates how far along her bones and muscles are in forming. Even though she's semi-athletic, too much weight or too flimsy a suspension could cause lifelong problems if her bones aren't sufficiently formed to handle a 35 pound load.

Also, the general rule is that pack weight should not exceed a quarter to a third of the person's body weight (I'd modify that to "ideal" body weight - an out-of-shape 120 pound video gamer will not be able to carry more than a fit 100 pound person for an extended period. If your daughter is tall and fit (which it sounds like she is), then she would fit more toward the one-third end of the spectrum.

I'd be looking for a good suspension, not necessarily a light pack. Deuter and Osprey both make good youth packs with sturdy suspensions. Not sure off the top of my head whether they fit your budget or weight criteria. I'm not sure if youth packs come in 60+ liter capacities - but at 5'8", she may be able to use a female-specific adult pack. Deuter and Osprey both make such packs.

I've had only limited experience with youth packs - while I led youth groups, my hands were tied by whether parents chose to listen to the above advice. Many put Tommy in an adult pack, figuring he'd grow into it eventually and not wanting to buy him two packs. We compensated by keeping pack weights low.

I think Oregon Mouse and/or Wandering Daisy have better experience with youth packs, as they taught children and grandchildren to backpack. I hope they'll chime in; listen to them, if they do.

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#198421 - 06/05/17 02:51 PM Re: Back Pack Purchase Help Needed [Re: Glenn Roberts]
SQWIB Offline
member

Registered: 10/10/14
Posts: 17
Loc: Philadelphia, PA
Originally Posted By Glenn Roberts
How old is your daughter, and how much does she weigh? (I'm assuming this isn't your 22-year-old daughter, and "school" isn't her senior year of college.) With kids, these are the important factors. Age, because that indicates how far along her bones and muscles are in forming. Even though she's semi-athletic, too much weight or too flimsy a suspension could cause lifelong problems if her bones aren't sufficiently formed to handle a 35 pound load.

Also, the general rule is that pack weight should not exceed a quarter to a third of the person's body weight (I'd modify that to "ideal" body weight - an out-of-shape 120 pound video gamer will not be able to carry more than a fit 100 pound person for an extended period. If your daughter is tall and fit (which it sounds like she is), then she would fit more toward the one-third end of the spectrum.

I'd be looking for a good suspension, not necessarily a light pack. Deuter and Osprey both make good youth packs with sturdy suspensions. Not sure off the top of my head whether they fit your budget or weight criteria. I'm not sure if youth packs come in 60+ liter capacities - but at 5'8", she may be able to use a female-specific adult pack. Deuter and Osprey both make such packs.

I've had only limited experience with youth packs - while I led youth groups, my hands were tied by whether parents chose to listen to the above advice. Many put Tommy in an adult pack, figuring he'd grow into it eventually and not wanting to buy him two packs. We compensated by keeping pack weights low.

I think Oregon Mouse and/or Wandering Daisy have better experience with youth packs, as they taught children and grandchildren to backpack. I hope they'll chime in; listen to them, if they do.


Thanks for the reply.
She is 23, graduated with a major in Bio and is very active in the outdoors.
Her weight hmmm, not sure maybe 140 ?

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#198422 - 06/05/17 03:40 PM Re: Back Pack Purchase Help Needed [Re: SQWIB]
OregonMouse Offline
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6401
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
OK, so your daughter is a fully grown woman and will need an adult pack; none of this youth stuff applies here.

The most important aspects of a backpack are fit, fit, and fit. The pack must fit the individual wearer, must fit the individual's gear, and must be comfortable for the individual wearer with her gear (including food and water or a weight/volume mockup of same) inside.

I still think that 35 lbs. total pack weight is a very heavy pack (no way can I carry that much) and would help your daughter work to cut that weight by another 5 lbs. There are a number of articles on the home page of this site , including suggested gear lists, that will help. (Forget the nonsense about cutting off clothing labels, though--I tried it some years ago. The total of all labels (including some gear labels) didn't register even 0.1 oz. on my postage scale, and I lost vital size/fabric content/laundry information.)

My own gear list is modeled on the 27-lb.,7-day gear list on this site's home page--although I used that list as guidelines for weight, not brands. By cutting her base weight, there will be more room and less burden for technical items needed for specific trips (camera, scientific gear, etc.).

Here is an article about backpack selection and fitting. It's important that your daughter have someone else do the measuring! My own efforts at measuring my torso length (vertical distance between the bump at the back of the neck and a horizontal line at the top of the pelvic girdle) have come out inches diifferent every time.

I strongly recommend a woman-specific backpack, or at least one with S-shaped straps such as those offered by ULA Equipment (their Catalyst model with the S straps is another pack model that might be good for her situation). For most of us of the female persuasion (and figure), unisex packs don't quite do the job, although that depends on the individual and on the specific pack. I doubt that your daughter will find what she needs under $200. Please don't buy on price alone--fit is far more important!

As a guideline, look at the manufacturers' websites for their specifications and note the maximum recommended weight capacity which that model pack will support. Then subtract 5 lbs for a more realistic number!

One other thing--although you are paying for the backpack and providing guidance, your daughter is the one who will be using it--she's a grown woman, it's her backpack, and the purchasing decisions should be hers, please!
_________________________
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

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#198423 - 06/05/17 03:46 PM Re: Back Pack Purchase Help Needed [Re: SQWIB]
Glenn Roberts Offline
Moderator

Registered: 12/23/08
Posts: 1381
Loc: Southwest Ohio
OK - so ignore everything I said, except the part about Deuter and Osprey making adult-size female-specific packs, and the one-third to one-fourth of body weight. And, most important: be sure it has a suspension that will handle the load she's putting into it. A 35-pound load may exceed the limits of the packs you mentioned.

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#198424 - 06/05/17 03:48 PM Re: Back Pack Purchase Help Needed [Re: OregonMouse]
Glenn Roberts Offline
Moderator

Registered: 12/23/08
Posts: 1381
Loc: Southwest Ohio
Said perfectly! I couldn't agree more.

The only thing I'd add (and I'll bet it's covered in one of the other resources Mouse mentioned) is that she really will want to lower her pack weight; 30 pounds, solo, for a weekend sounds like a lot to me, too. However, your description of what she does makes me wonder if she actually hikes solo, or if this will be done in small teams. If teams, then it might seem like gear-sharing would be a good way to cut pack weight. If she's sharing that UL2 tent, then maybe she could get someone else to carry it (or the kitchen, water filter, or some other communal gear.)

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#198425 - 06/05/17 04:53 PM Re: Back Pack Purchase Help Needed [Re: Glenn Roberts]
SQWIB Offline
member

Registered: 10/10/14
Posts: 17
Loc: Philadelphia, PA
I can definitely get her down to 25 pounds for a weekender including consumables
The equipment carried would vary, this would depend on why she is out in the field and who she is with. 35 pounds is a safe number to judge the pack

Distances would also vary, as well as shelter, sometimes they will hike to a cabin or other shelter, other times they will be tenting.

It's vague, but I wanted to get her a pack to cover all her bases.
I'm hoping this all makes sense

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#198429 - 06/06/17 02:38 PM Re: Back Pack Purchase Help Needed [Re: SQWIB]
SQWIB Offline
member

Registered: 10/10/14
Posts: 17
Loc: Philadelphia, PA
Thanks for everyone's help, I ordered her a Deuter ACT Lite 60 + 10 SL Pack - Women's

A tad heavier than I wanted @ 4lbs 3oz. but the price was right @$165.00 from Back Country edge.

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#198431 - 06/06/17 09:43 PM Re: Back Pack Purchase Help Needed [Re: SQWIB]
Glenn Roberts Offline
Moderator

Registered: 12/23/08
Posts: 1381
Loc: Southwest Ohio
The ACT Lite series is a good pack. Like Mouse said: it has to fit; Deuter can sometimes be a bit finicky. They don't fit me as well as Osprey (I vacillate between an Osprey Atmos 50 AG and Exos 58 - as of today.) I've also used the Deuter ACT Zero 50+15 and ACT Lite 50+10; I preferred the Lite to the Zero, as far as fit - but it never quite hit my sweet spot. Wandering Daisy, on the other hand, had exactly the opposite experience: Osprey's never fit her right, but Deuter was perfect.

Good luck - if she hasn't had a chance to try it on before you ordered it, I hope it fits - the Deuter suspensions tend to be a bit stiffer, and might function better than Osprey at the loads you're thinking she will carry. The +10 is an expansion feature that works especially well in the Deuter designs.

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