Loc: Melbourne, Australia
I was reading an old post on trampoline vented backpacks and it got me thinking. I have a Golite Gust pack which I find quite comfortable. My main problem with it is in warm weather my back is always saturated with sweat. In checking out some of the different venting options of commercial packs I came across an egg crate foam ventilation system used by REI:
This got me to thinking that I could make a similar style insert to use with my Gust in warmer weather. Has anyone tried this or have any comment before I go and spend time and money on the idea?
Iíve used a Gust and lately a Pinnacle (for long trips or if Iím carrying for 2). Iíll share what I do at the end of this. But first some background. My back sweats like a pig with these styles. On some other backpacking sight, one guy said he solved the problem by not tucking his shirt in. His flapping shirt tail was the wick that kept his shirt dry. Or was that on this sight? Anyway I havenít tried that yet.
In the summer I love my GG Murmer (8.9oz w/ sit pad pad). The back pocket holds the sit pad but I still sweat badly. I also put a shammy (found in Walmart in the car section) in the pocket. This really sucks the sweat off my back--- and my cotton-polyester JCPenny shirt now stays pretty dry. However, the shammy gets soaked. So at rest stops, I set the shammy on my hiking pole, which is stabbed into the groundófacing the sun, and it dries in 10-15 minutes. In fact, it becomes a biting-fly collector at the rest stops and then the insects donít bother me.
Now when I wear the Pinnacle, there is no Ďpocketí to shove the shammy in. This took a little practice but I have a technique to rest the shammy on my back and then I put on the Pinnacle. The shammy is now pinned between my back and the Pinnacle. The shammy collects my sweat well. And again at rest stops I let my shammy dry on my hiking pole (or hang it on a tree).
And that shammy is multipurpose; I use it for my showers, face cleaner, condensation cleaner, rag, dish wipe, etc., Itís about 14Ē x14Ē and weighs about 2oz.
And some more shammy stories; when itís colder, I wear my Western Mountaineering Flight jacket w/ my Pinnacle. I also stick my shammy between the coat and Pinnacle. When I stop for a rest, my shammy is soaked. My shirt and Flight jacket are dry. Somehow that shammy wicks the sweat off my shirt and through the 850 down jacket. Amazing.
Combining the ideas of the shammy gathering sweat, and the shammy drying rapidly in sunshine and breeze, what about the idea of a shammy extension that would wick the sweat further out, and maybe around the side of the pack where there is better evaporation from the breeze and maybe some sunshine.
Use the shammy as a transporter of sweat from where you don't want it to where it can evaporate. You'd need a bigger shammy - and that means more weight. And it might not look so nice unless you were creative in shaping it to the pack.
I used to have an MSR pack with the ultimate in ventilated backs. There was a grid of nylon cord that went against my back and the sack of the backback was 1 to 2 inches removed from my back. Sounds great right?
Well here's what happened with me, a heavy sweater. My back would get soaked from sweat. Air would run up my back between the pack bag and the grid of nylon cord. The result was that I got cold.
In otherwords, the venting was not able to prevent the sweating but it allowed circulating air to uncomfotably cool my back.
Soooo, will the eggcrate work for you? I don't know. Try it and tell us your story.