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#151274 - 06/09/11 08:27 PM Buying new pack
Heather-ak Offline
member

Registered: 07/11/10
Posts: 597
Loc: Fairbanks, AK
So my current backpack is 4lbs 8oz (and at least 25 years old.)

So I'm thinking it's time for a new pack. I'm heading into populated lands (that have a REI) and figured to pick up a pack. I was looking at the following:

REI Flash 50, Women's - 2lbs. 10oz.
GoLite Quest Pack (62L), Women's - 2lbs. 12oz.
GoLite Jam Pack (50L), - 1 lb. 15 oz.
Osprey Exos 46 Pack - 2lbs. 5 oz.

The REI has the Flash pack in stock. I can afford to buy one and ship it to REI. ONE - so what of the four left should I order? My weights are usu. 30-35 (full - with water.) I like all the wizzy wigs the Exos has and that is kinda the one I'm leaning towards. I usu. have a bear canister too - and I'm not sure where that would go on any of these =(

Thoughts?

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#151277 - 06/09/11 09:32 PM Re: Buying new pack [Re: Heather-ak]
topshot Offline
member

Registered: 04/28/09
Posts: 242
Loc: Midwest
Def not the Jam (unmodded) with that much weight. You need some kind of frame, not just a foam backpad. It could handle a burrito style (I removed the backpad from my Pinnacle & use a shortened blue CCF pad this way since I have normally had 32 lbs fully loaded), but you might be tight on space anyway depending on what canister you have.

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#151281 - 06/09/11 10:15 PM Re: Buying new pack [Re: topshot]
Glenn Offline
member

Registered: 03/08/06
Posts: 2617
Loc: Ohio
I'm thinking you're carrying a bit too much weight for the Exos, too. However, you might try one of the Atmos series pack. The suspension is very similar to the Exos, but the suspension is a bit sturdier and should handle that weight. If you like the Osprey line (and there's a lot to like), you might also want to look at the Kestrel series before you make a decision. I used a Kestrel for a while and really liked it - as does the buddy it went to. I'm now using a Deuter ACT Zero (last year's 60+10; very similar to this year's 50+15 - and there's also a slightly smaller, women-specific model in the ACT Zero line.) The Deuter's suspension is a bit sturdier yet, but the feature that sold me on it is the ability to adjust the point at which the load lifter attaches to the shoulder strap - this lets you take all the weight off your shoulders if you choose. (With the Kestrel, the best I could do was about 90% because of the fixed attachment point.)

Better add about 2 hours to your intended time budget at REI! smile


Edited by Glenn (06/10/11 09:51 AM)
Edit Reason: spelling error

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#151286 - 06/10/11 12:31 AM Re: Buying new pack [Re: Glenn]
Heather-ak Offline
member

Registered: 07/11/10
Posts: 597
Loc: Fairbanks, AK
Hrm none of the lighter packs can take that load, maybe I'm not ready for a new pack. =(

My current bag is 4lbs 8oz,but I don't see any backpacks that can comfortably handle the 30-35 lbs of weight.

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#151288 - 06/10/11 08:13 AM Re: Buying new pack [Re: Heather-ak]
Glenn Offline
member

Registered: 03/08/06
Posts: 2617
Loc: Ohio
I've only loaded my Deuter to about 30 pounds, but it carried it just fine. Also, on Backcountry Gear's website, it lists a 45 pound capacity for the ACT Zero 45+15SL. It's also about a pound a quarter lighter than your present pack.

I forgot to mention the Deuter ACT Lite series - same suspension as the ACT Zero, but with some additional features like a separate sleeping bag compartment with external access. Not quite as light, but still capable of 35 - 45 pounds, depending on the model you choose.

(In fairness, Deuter no longer lists carrying capacity on its website, so BCG may be estimating this based on last year's manufacturer specs, which did include that information.)

I've loaded a Kestrel 58 to 33 pounds and it carried OK (consistent with the Osprey website estimates), though not as well as the Deuter.

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#151289 - 06/10/11 09:25 AM Re: Buying new pack [Re: Heather-ak]
Pika Online   content
member

Registered: 12/08/05
Posts: 1759
Loc: Rural Southeast Arizona
I used a men's Quest on the JMT, southbound a couple of years ago. It weighs just under three pounds and handles loads up to 35 lb as comfortably as any pack I have had. After my resupply at Muir Trail Ranch, I was near 35 lb. and it handled the weight a lot better than did I. I don't have any experience with, or comments on, on the woman's Quest though. I think it is a pack you might want to at least consider.
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#151290 - 06/10/11 09:32 AM Six Moon Designs [Re: Heather-ak]
ringtail Offline
member

Registered: 08/22/02
Posts: 2296
Loc: Colorado Rockies
The Six Moon Designs Starlite is still my "go to" pack. I have never used it with a canister, but do not think it would be a problem.

Be sure and get the hoop stays. 28 oz. with the stays.

http://sixmoondesigns.com/packs.html?pag...;category_id=11
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"In theory, theory and practice are the same. In practice, they are not."
Yogi Berra

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#151292 - 06/10/11 10:37 AM Re: Buying new pack [Re: Glenn]
sjohnny Offline
member

Registered: 10/29/10
Posts: 185
Loc: Central Texas
Originally Posted By Glenn
I've only loaded my Deuter to about 30 pounds, but it carried it just fine. Also, on Backcountry Gear's website, it lists a 45 pound capacity for the ACT Zero 45+15SL. It's also about a pound a quarter lighter than your present pack.

I've loaded the ACT Zero 60+10 to 40 and it carried great. I've also loaded the Osprey Atmos 50 to about 40 pounds and it was also fine. Both seemed like they could probably take a little more weight.


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#151299 - 06/10/11 12:40 PM Re: Buying new pack [Re: Heather-ak]
dkramalc Offline
member

Registered: 09/19/03
Posts: 1070
Loc: California
Granite Gear Nimbus packs can carry that much weight comfortably; they're a little heavier than the ones you are looking at, but IMO worth the extra weight if you're carrying a lot.
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dk

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#151301 - 06/10/11 02:33 PM Re: Buying new pack [Re: Heather-ak]
OregonMouse Online   content
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6521
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
The ULA-Equipment Catalyst will carry 35-40 lbs. It's 3.0 lbs. It can be gotten with a strap configuration designed for women. ULA is the one of the few lighweight pack manufacturers to note that females are built a bit differently than males!

My Six Moon Designs Comet (discontinued smaller version of their Starlight) will handle up to 35 lbs. At least the time I did it, my back, shoulders and hips were fine, although my knees and feet were screaming. It does hold a Bearikade Weekender sideways, just barely. The Starlight is bigger (weighs about 2 lbs.) so should hold the big size Bear Vault or Bearikade. Definitely get the stays/hoop (I think they just switched to a hoop) and use a pad (even if a partially inflated air pad) in the back. I wouldn't be able to use a Starlight because it's too big for my load (the smaller Comet is almost too big--I never use the expansion collar).

Whether any of these will fit you is another issue, and an important one for you! Get the pack that is comfortable for you while carrying your load. That's far more important than the weight!

Assuming your current pack fits and comfortably carries your load, have you looked to see what you could trim off your current pack to save weight? Most "standard manufacturer" pads have a lot of gewgaws that aren't needed. A bit of butchery never hurt and might save a pound or even more!


Edited by OregonMouse (06/10/11 02:34 PM)
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#151302 - 06/10/11 02:40 PM Re: Buying new pack [Re: Heather-ak]
Heather-ak Offline
member

Registered: 07/11/10
Posts: 597
Loc: Fairbanks, AK
Anyone use the REI Flash series? I can't find a max recommended weight carry - but looking at the reviews sounds like it can handle my weights (30-35 lbs.) They have it in stock for me to try on with all my stuff. =)

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#151304 - 06/10/11 04:07 PM Re: Buying new pack [Re: Heather-ak]
billstephenson Offline
Moderator

Registered: 02/07/07
Posts: 3915
Loc: Ozark Mountains in SW Missouri
I think I have the same pack you're replacing, so I'm interested to find out what you end up with, and how you like it.

I think I'll start looking at some of those suggested, you never know, I might win a lotto or run into some other kind of windfall smile
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"You want to go where?"



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#151306 - 06/10/11 05:14 PM Re: Buying new pack [Re: billstephenson]
Heather-ak Offline
member

Registered: 07/11/10
Posts: 597
Loc: Fairbanks, AK
My current is a Coleman Peak1 (youth model?). Plastic external frame, and very small bag - love it, because I can only take what fits! However, it is one of my heavier items.

My lotto / windfall item right now (subject to change) is the ZPack Hexamid Twin Tent =) My husband was like a $100 a saved pound (vs. current)?! hurumph wink

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#151308 - 06/10/11 05:52 PM Re: Buying new pack [Re: Heather-ak]
lori Offline
member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2801
Originally Posted By Heather-ak
Anyone use the REI Flash series? I can't find a max recommended weight carry - but looking at the reviews sounds like it can handle my weights (30-35 lbs.) They have it in stock for me to try on with all my stuff. =)


I rejected the Flash because I have the daypack version, and watch people suffer with it when they load it with gear. I don't think the suspension matches the volume of the pack - way too easy to overload it.

I'd look at the ULA packs, and possibly Granite Gear - I have a Nimbus Ozone and use it for heavy trips, up to 40 lbs, comfortably. I would take it if I needed the largest bear canister. The Nimbus series are adjustable and the belt/harness are swappable, so they work well for folks who need a little customization.
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#151312 - 06/10/11 07:09 PM Re: Buying new pack [Re: Heather-ak]
squark Offline
member

Registered: 03/14/11
Posts: 66
Loc: SF bay area, CA
I tried on a Granite Gear Escape 40 and found it very comfortable carrying 30lbs. It weighs 3 lbs and fit whichever bear can the store keeps in stock (probably the garcia?) with some wiggle room. I'm still on the fence about whether I can justify a new pack at all though, when my old one is in good shape (but nearly 5 lbs!).

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#151314 - 06/10/11 08:26 PM Re: Buying new pack [Re: Heather-ak]
Sedonaman Offline
newbie

Registered: 06/06/11
Posts: 11
Loc: Sedona, AZ
I replaced my Flash with an Osprey Atmos which I prefer, but the REI was good. I just bought a Flash 30 for dayhikes and I like it very well for those loads. Just remember that the light packs are most appropriate for light loads, so keep your packweight down, whatever you buy.

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#151333 - 06/11/11 10:08 AM Re: Buying new pack [Re: Sedonaman]
wandering_daisy Offline
member

Registered: 01/11/06
Posts: 2796
Loc: California
I bought the REI Flash, took it home and loaded it. It was not comfortable so I took it back.

Last year I bought a GoLite Quest. I used it on the Sierra High Route (35 days). It comfortably carries 25-30 pounds, tolerably carries 30-35 pounds, and in a pinch (for a few days) I carried 40 pounds. I love the pack. It has a heavy-duty suspension for the total pack weight and a good capacity (11 days with bear cannister capacity). My only complaint is that it probably will not last too long due to my doing a lot of off-trail travel. It's durability is similar to the Granite Gear Virga. The shoulder strap padding is on the thin side - but you are not supposed to put a lot of weight on shoulders anyway.

Choose the pack based on fit. For me, the Quest was really comfortable from the get-go. For some odd reason, I cannot tolerate Gregory packs- my back is shaped wrong. No amount of weight savings is worth an ill fitting pack. And no amount of detailed product specs can substitute for trying out the pack with your gear inside.

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#151334 - 06/11/11 10:36 AM Re: Buying new pack [Re: wandering_daisy]
Slowfoot Offline
member

Registered: 04/22/05
Posts: 159
Loc: Missouri
Originally Posted By wandering_daisy
I bought the REI Flash, took it home and loaded it. It was not comfortable so I took it back.


I did exactly the same thing. It really dug into my lower back. I agree that if you're carrying 35 pounds, the Flash may not work even if it fits you. The Deuter ACT Zero 45+10 is nice, except that the hip belt was too wide for me. The Granite Gear packs with adjustable torsos fit me well, and some are rated for up to 40 pounds or more.

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#151364 - 06/11/11 08:23 PM Re: Buying new pack [Re: Heather-ak]
Jimshaw Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 3939
Loc: Bend, Oregon
Heather
so how big is your current bag and how big are the other bags? Are the newer lighter ones also smaller? Are you ready for smaller or do you just want lighter? Packing small is a thing of its own that many people consider to be a part of backpacking completely separate from being light. Ok everybody knows I have the most expensive pack, big and light and I don't think theres anything wrong big big as long as its light and carries the load. Also for 35 pounds you need a frame of some kind against your back - frankly for your trip to the sierras you might find, as did thousands during the 70s and 80s, that a cheap external frame back with sleeping bag slung under is an excellent way to go carrying a lot of food for long trips, or for those who carried a cast iron frying pan and a gold shovel...
Jim smile
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These are my own opinions based on wisdom earned through many wrong decisions. Your mileage may vary.

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#151373 - 06/12/11 12:23 AM Re: Buying new pack [Re: Jimshaw]
lv2fsh Offline
member

Registered: 04/27/08
Posts: 111
Loc: socal
As a guy I am eminantly UN-qualified to advise a women on what pack to buy. Kind of like clothes shopping with the wife. I just hold something up and she either likes it or doesn't. Haven't a clue why. That said, I bought a mens Flash and only used it once but I liked it and the fact it weighed a couple lbs less than my old coleman. I know I had at least 40 lbs. in it.

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#151381 - 06/12/11 01:06 PM Re: Buying new pack [Re: lv2fsh]
billstephenson Offline
Moderator

Registered: 02/07/07
Posts: 3915
Loc: Ozark Mountains in SW Missouri
I spent some time looking at packs last night online. The Flash does seem to be a nice pack, but those straps look a bit thin for carrying over 30lbs. They're about the same as those on my Peak 1 pack (Heather has one of those too) and for me, that's the biggest complaint I have with that pack. The biggest problem I have with that pack is that it's not quite big enough.

I can jam my gear and two days of food in it, but that's about the limit. I'm just under/over 30 lbs depending on the temps, so a couple more days of food wouldn't add much weight, but there just isn't the space inside it.

There are hardly any external frame packs available anymore, and most all the internals I saw, that were big enough for multi-day trips, and had decently padded hip belts and shoulder straps, are heavier than my old Peak 1.

For the money, I kind of like this Jansport Pack. It may not be a huge upgrade from what I have, but it will hold more. I'd love to be able to stuff my down coat in there when I'm not wearing it.

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"You want to go where?"



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#151400 - 06/12/11 09:06 PM Re: Buying new pack [Re: billstephenson]
Kent W Offline
member

Registered: 10/15/09
Posts: 607
Loc: IL.
Check out the Granite Gear Blaze AC 60. Backpacker gave it very high scores and they way overloaded it while testing! It was a fav among testers! Good luck

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#151401 - 06/12/11 09:50 PM Re: Buying new pack [Re: billstephenson]
Jimshaw Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 3939
Loc: Bend, Oregon
I don't see how you can gow for several days in mountains where weather is changeable and can be wet and get all your stuff and food into less than 5,000 cubic inches. I couldn't. So I'm thinking that maybe a lot of my stuff is really unusually bulky, like fleece doesn't really compress and all the down fills the unused space in my 6,500 inch pack and it seems like its always full even with 20 pounds in it and I like to be warm in camp and I prepare for colder than expected weather. Of course with only 20 pounds I wouldn't stuff anything.
Jim
_________________________
These are my own opinions based on wisdom earned through many wrong decisions. Your mileage may vary.

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#151422 - 06/13/11 10:34 AM Re: Buying new pack [Re: Jimshaw]
wandering_daisy Offline
member

Registered: 01/11/06
Posts: 2796
Loc: California
Jim- I think my GoLite Quest is 4,000 cubic inches. I do 10-day trips, with a bear can, outfitted for temperatures below freezing, raingear, Tarptent, and get everything inside the pack (except crocks and water bottle). The bulk of clothing is also dependant on the size of the person - I suspect my clothing is half the bulk of yours, simply because I am short and you are tall; I probably need a third to half less food than you do. I use compression sacks for clothes and sleeping bag. All food fits in the bear can. We little folks can get by with less volume in our packs.

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#151433 - 06/13/11 12:33 PM Re: Buying new pack [Re: Jimshaw]
Rayman1968 Offline
member

Registered: 06/12/10
Posts: 30
Loc: Ventura, CA.
Originally Posted By Jimshaw
So I'm thinking that maybe a lot of my stuff is really unusually bulky, like fleece doesn't really compress and all the down fills the unused space in my 6,500 inch pack

Dayum, that is one big pack. Just under 110 liters.

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