Backcountry Forum
Backpacking & Hiking Gear

Backcountry Forum
Our long-time Sponsor - the leading source for ultralite/lightweight outdoor gear
 
 
 

Amazon.com
Backpacking Forums
---- Our Gear Store ----
The Lightweight Gear Store
 
 WINTER CAMPING 

Shelters
Bivy Bags
Sleeping Bags
Sleeping Pads
Snow Sports
Winter Kitchen

 SNOWSPORTS 

Snowshoes
Avalanche Gear
Skins
Hats, Gloves, & Gaiters
Accessories

 ULTRA-LIGHT 

Ultralight Backpacks
Ultralight Bivy Sacks
Ultralight Shelters
Ultralight Tarps
Ultralight Tents
Ultralight Raingear
Ultralight Stoves & Cookware
Ultralight Down Sleeping Bags
Ultralight Synthetic Sleep Bags
Ultralight Apparel


the Titanium Page
WM Extremelite Sleeping Bags

 CAMPING & HIKING 

Backpacks
Tents
Sleeping Bags
Hydration
Kitchen
Accessories

 CLIMBING 

Ropes & Cordage
Protection & Hardware
Carabiners & Quickdraws
Climbing Packs & Bags
Big Wall
Rescue & Industrial

 MEN'S APPAREL 

Jackets
Shirts
Baselayer
Headwear
Gloves
Accessories

 WOMEN'S APPAREL 

Jackets
Shirts
Baselayer
Headwear
Gloves
Accessories

 FOOTWEAR 

Men's Footwear
Women's Footwear

 CLEARANCE 

Backpacks
Mens Apparel
Womens Apparel
Climbing
Footwear
Accessories

 BRANDS 

Black Diamond
Granite Gear
La Sportiva
Osprey
Smartwool

 WAYS TO SHOP 

Sale
Clearance
Top Brands
All Brands

 Backpacking Equipment 

Shelters
BackPacks
Sleeping Bags
Water Treatment
Kitchen
Hydration
Climbing


 Backcountry Gear Clearance

Topic Options
Rate This Topic
#168101 - 07/31/12 01:06 PM Two mid-30's newbies need to buy backpacks
apachemd Offline
newbie

Registered: 09/27/11
Posts: 7
We will probably go on max 3day/2night backpacking trips. I'm thinking the Osprey Talon 44. Thoughts? Is that the right size for the lengths we are looking at? Any other packs you'd recommend?

Thanks!

Top
#168103 - 07/31/12 03:14 PM Re: Two mid-30's newbies need to buy backpacks [Re: apachemd]
Glenn Roberts Online   content
Moderator

Registered: 12/23/08
Posts: 2206
Loc: Southwest Ohio
I took the last one - somebody else's turn. smile

Top
#168106 - 07/31/12 04:33 PM Re: Two mid-30's newbies need to buy backpacks [Re: apachemd]
DTape Offline
member

Registered: 11/23/07
Posts: 666
Loc: Upstate NY
Start with your other gear, then get the pack that fits. If possible, take your gear to the store and load the pack to see how it feels. That is of course if you are buying a pack new. Since you are a self-proclaimed newbie, I would suggest that you get some used packs. many forums have for sale sections where you can get almost new packs for a fraction of the retail price. Try it out and if it doesn't work for you, sell it on a forum for close to what you paid. You will likely only eat the shipping cost. Almost all of my current packs I bought used (one still had the tags on it). A lot of people buy stuff and either use it once or not at all and will sell it for pennies ont he dollar.
_________________________
http://ducttapeadk.blogspot.com

Top
#168110 - 07/31/12 07:47 PM Re: Two mid-30's newbies need to buy backpacks [Re: DTape]
OregonMouse Online   content
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6799
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
I agree with DTape. It's extremely important that the pack fit you, fit your gear and be comfortable for you with the gear you are carrying.

Check articles on gear selection on the home page of this site, left hand column.
_________________________
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

Top
#168121 - 08/01/12 11:10 AM Re: Two mid-30's newbies need to buy backpacks [Re: apachemd]
ETSU Pride Offline
member

Registered: 10/25/10
Posts: 933
Loc: Knoxville, TN
44 liter is small. You're going have to make sure your gears can fit and most importantly, you going have make sure when you get all your gears in it that you can still carry 3 days worth of food. I carry a 60 liter pack for 3 days and 2 nights that weighted a grand total of 33 pounds at the trail head and barely got my food in it. My biggest volume killer in my pack is my 15 degree synthetic sleeping bag.

I say, calculate your budget and start buying your gears first to make sure it will all fit in the 44 liter, then go from there. Hammock is good way to save a lot of volume in your pack. Your tent and sleeping bag will be the biggest items in terms of volume, theoretically.
_________________________
It is one of the blessings of wilderness life that it shows us how few things we need in order to be perfectly happy.-- Horace Kephart

Top
#168134 - 08/01/12 03:46 PM Re: Two mid-30's newbies need to buy backpacks [Re: ETSU Pride]
Gershon Offline
member

Registered: 07/08/11
Posts: 1110
Loc: Colorado
ETSU makes a great point about the biggest volume killer being the sleeping bag. Many people push the bag into the bottom of the pack without putting it in the stuff sack. For some reason, it seems to take less room this way. It does leave it susceptible to getting wet if you don't use a pack cover in the rain.

One of my packs is a Talon 44. I just packed it with my cheap Alpine 20 sleeping bag and everything else. Basically, the pocket on the top flap is what is left for food. That would work fine for 3 to 5 days if I chose my food carefully. Keep in mind I've been through the process of learning what not to take.

However, it's a tight fit. I'd rather either have a good down bag that takes up less space or a 48 to 50 liter pack. In the Osprey packs the weight penalty is very small.

One thing to consider is buying a tent that uses trekking poles for support. That will save a little weight and volume.
_________________________
http://48statehike.blogspot.com/

Top
#168135 - 08/01/12 04:09 PM Re: Two mid-30's newbies need to buy backpacks [Re: Gershon]
ETSU Pride Offline
member

Registered: 10/25/10
Posts: 933
Loc: Knoxville, TN
Originally Posted By Gershon
ETSU makes a great point about the biggest volume killer being the sleeping bag. Many people push the bag into the bottom of the pack without putting it in the stuff sack. For some reason, it seems to take less room this way. It does leave it susceptible to getting wet if you don't use a pack cover in the rain.



Huh, interesting. I could see how this would work. Never would have thought about this. haha.
_________________________
It is one of the blessings of wilderness life that it shows us how few things we need in order to be perfectly happy.-- Horace Kephart

Top
#168140 - 08/01/12 05:44 PM Re: Two mid-30's newbies need to buy backpacks [Re: ETSU Pride]
OregonMouse Online   content
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6799
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
If you're going to push the sleeping bag into the bottom of the pack without a waterproof bag around it, you need a waterproof pack liner. 2 mil plastic bags such as trash compactor bags (if you can find unscented) or contractor trash bags are the least expensive form of pack liner. Check for holes daily and use your duct tape if you find one.

Pack covers do not protect your pack contents in case of immersion (even the best of us have slipped during a dicey stream ford) or in a heavy rain in which water runs down your back and soaks into the part of the pack against your back. Stuff sacks are not waterproof because of their closure. I personally use lightweight dry bags for my sleeping bag and for my insulating clothing. They worked just fine the time I slipped and fell in blush even though I emptied several inches of water out of my pack afterwards.

I've been tempted to go back to the pack liner and try just stuffing the sleeping bag in the bottom. It would conform to the pack and the stuff on top of it much better than a hard lump inside a stuff sack or dry bag! I think that's why it seems to take up less space!

With a synthetic bag, though, about your only recourse is a compression sack. Otherwise, the bag will take up 3/4 of your pack! Unfortunately that's one reason synthetic bags don't last as long as down--they lose their ability to recover from being squashed.


Edited by OregonMouse (08/01/12 05:47 PM)
_________________________
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

Top
#168141 - 08/01/12 07:17 PM Re: Two mid-30's newbies need to buy backpacks [Re: OregonMouse]
DTape Offline
member

Registered: 11/23/07
Posts: 666
Loc: Upstate NY
An option to the trash compacter bags are the turkey roasting bags. They are quite durable (and cheap).
_________________________
http://ducttapeadk.blogspot.com

Top
#168151 - 08/02/12 09:41 AM Re: Two mid-30's newbies need to buy backpacks [Re: apachemd]
lori Offline
member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2801
Volume of the pack has little to do with length of the trip. The reason my pack gets bigger is the food - if you need a bigger bear canister because you cannot resupply, you need a wider, taller pack.

The gear, if you have everything dialed in and good to go, will be the same volume from one trip to another. To use a 44 liter pack you will need to keep the gear minimal and extremely light and compact. That will mean down quilt, a pad or mattress like the NeoAir that compresses to nearly nothing, a sub-two-pound shelter (tarp or very small tent).

I would not take a Talon for two reasons: I have tried it and the frame is terribly uncomfortable for me - all the Osprey packs with that external/internal frame rectangle/mesh combo make my back feel like tenderized meat by the end of the day. And there is no way to fit a bear canister inside it, and the vast majority of the time, I am required to carry one.
_________________________
"In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities. In the expert's mind there are few." Shunryu Suzuki

http://hikeandbackpack.com

Top
#168169 - 08/02/12 06:48 PM Re: Two mid-30's newbies need to buy backpacks [Re: apachemd]
Jimshaw Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 3983
Loc: Bend, Oregon
apachemd

As I read your post I have the impression that you are still in the planning (dreaming?) stage and have decided that the osprey is really cool. Go ahead and dream, but these tiny packs are for experienced campers with the skills to use the gear that goes into them. If all you want is a justification to buy packs that aren'y what you need, go ahead - buy them by all means, this keeps gear manufacturers in business and people employed.

I went to a second hand store with a friend yesterday and helped him pick out a Lowe Alpine pack - about 6 pounds and 30 years old, but it cost $15. All of his gear can fit into it. There was a Gregory G pack there, but I told him that it was only for people with itsy bitsy camping gear, and he is a size XXL so he wouldn't even be able to put his sleeping bag and coat into it.

Buy large cheap used packs or borrow. When you have some gear, you will have an idea what sak will be required to carry it. I like my 6500 cubic inch pack because I can carry anything in it unstuffed and save the weight of the stuff sacks.
Jim
_________________________
These are my own opinions based on wisdom earned through many wrong decisions. Your mileage may vary.

Top
#168186 - 08/03/12 02:04 PM Re: Two mid-30's newbies need to buy backpacks [Re: Jimshaw]
finallyME Offline
member

Registered: 09/24/07
Posts: 2710
Loc: Utah
Going along with what everyone else has said.....The two thing that need to mate up are the sleeping bag and the pack. Of course, the pack needs to fit you, but the sleeping bag needs to fit the pack. If the pack is too small and the bag too large, then you have a big problem. I find this all too often with beginners and especially with my scouts. In fact, my dad went with me on a recent trip. He borrowed my sisters huge Deuter pack and brought his huge coleman sleeping bag. The pack was 70 liters and we barely got that bag into the lower compartment with enough room to fit the rest of his gear. Many here say buy your pack last. I like to say buy your sleeping bag first. If it doesn't fit inside the lower compartment of the pack you are looking at, then either buy a different bag, or buy an external frame pack.
_________________________
I've taken a vow of poverty. To annoy me, send money.

Top
#168188 - 08/03/12 03:09 PM Re: Two mid-30's newbies need to buy backpacks [Re: finallyME]
Gershon Offline
member

Registered: 07/08/11
Posts: 1110
Loc: Colorado
I really like the idea of a used external frame pack for new backpackers. It solves the big sleeping bag problem completely. Then an inexpensive Alpine 20 bag becomes a good purchase at $44. It weighs 3 lb 4 oz including the stuff sack and a 30 gal trash bag. I find it comfortable to the mid 20's.

It also makes it easier to fit a bulky 3 person tent which will be about the same weight and cheaper than 2 solo tents of similar quality.

FinallyME, I really like your idea of tying stuff sacks to your frame and not having a bag.



_________________________
http://48statehike.blogspot.com/

Top
#168239 - 08/04/12 11:40 PM Re: Two mid-30's newbies need to buy backpacks [Re: apachemd]
ohiohiker Offline
member

Registered: 07/20/07
Posts: 127
Loc: Ohio
One approach would be to get that smaller pack, and if your gear doesn't fit, eliminate stuff until it does! laugh (Or buy new smaller/lighter gear if necessary.) This shouldn't be any problem if you're willing to make the changes, and you don't carry anything extra like pro photography gear.

Be sure to consider trying packs from small companies like:
Gossamer Gear
ULA
Six Moon Designs
Mountain Laurel Designs (MLD)

I have the older model Gossamer Gear Gorilla. It's a great pack, and I'm very happy with it. It's about the same size as the Talon 44.


Top
#168272 - 08/06/12 12:31 PM Re: Two mid-30's newbies need to buy backpacks [Re: Gershon]
finallyME Offline
member

Registered: 09/24/07
Posts: 2710
Loc: Utah
Originally Posted By Gershon
I really like the idea of a used external frame pack for new backpackers. It solves the big sleeping bag problem completely. Then an inexpensive Alpine 20 bag becomes a good purchase at $44. It weighs 3 lb 4 oz including the stuff sack and a 30 gal trash bag. I find it comfortable to the mid 20's.

It also makes it easier to fit a bulky 3 person tent which will be about the same weight and cheaper than 2 solo tents of similar quality.

FinallyME, I really like your idea of tying stuff sacks to your frame and not having a bag.




Well, it wasn't my idea, I just copied it. smile It was the only way I could think of to carry enough stuff for me and 4 kids. Organization was easy though. One bag for sleeping bags and tent. One bag for food and cooking gear, and one bag for clothes and other stuff. The second tent fit nicely in the space between two bags and the pack frame. Next year the wife and baby are coming, to round out the whole family. Hopefully DW will carry her stuff and the babies. The two older kids will be able to carry more of their food as well. That should lighten me down to the 60lb range.
_________________________
I've taken a vow of poverty. To annoy me, send money.

Top
#168610 - 08/20/12 09:16 PM Re: Two mid-30's newbies need to buy backpacks [Re: apachemd]
verber Offline
member

Registered: 01/26/04
Posts: 269
Loc: SF Bay Area, CA
> Osprey Talon 44.

As others have said... it depends on what you are carrying. If you are carrying standard backpacking gear, that I think it would be a bit small. If you are carrying light / ultralight style gear, then it would be plenty big.

Typically is best to know what you want to carry, and then find a pack which holds your stuff and is comfortable. Ideally check it out with what you plan to carry.


--Mark

Top
#168613 - 08/20/12 10:00 PM Re: Two mid-30's newbies need to buy backpacks [Re: apachemd]
billstephenson Offline
Moderator

Registered: 02/07/07
Posts: 3917
Loc: Ozark Mountains in SW Missouri
Quote:
I'm thinking the Osprey Talon 44. Thoughts

I have one of those and I like it a lot. I already had my gear and the pack was given to me, so I didn't really get to take advantage of the advise given here.

Instead, I learned how to use the pack with the gear I had. It took some time, I packed and repacked, went online and read about packing a pack, went to Osprey's site and watched some videos about it, and I finally got all the stuff I needed for a 3-nighter into it. It's full, but still comfortable. That was a bass ackwards approach, but it worked out well for me.

The things I had that helped make it work for me are a down sleeping bag that compresses well, a small, light, tent that doesn't take up much space (homemade), and a small kitchen and stove (I use a "supercat stove"). If you have those you'll probably be fine with the Osprey Talon 44 for the trips you want to take.

_________________________
--

"You want to go where?"



Top

Shout Box

Highest Quality Lightweight Down Sleeping Bags
 
Western Mountaineering Sleeping Bags
 
Lite Gear Talk - Featured Topics
Cooking in a Heat Exchanger pot
by DustinV
02/14/24 12:21 PM
thin sleeping pad
by Jim M
01/21/24 09:50 PM
Backcountry Discussion - Featured Topics
Yosemite Winter Rangers
by balzaccom
12/21/23 09:35 AM
Make Your Own Gear - Featured Topics
Featured Photos
Spiderco Chaparral Pocketknife
David & Goliath
Also Testing
Trip Report with Photos
Seven Devils, Idaho
Oat Hill Mine Trail 2012
Dark Canyon - Utah
Who's Online
0 registered (), 111 Guests and 0 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Newest Members
Noodles, McCrary, DanyBacky, Rashy Willia, WanderBison
13240 Registered Users
Forum Links
Disclaimer
Policies
Site Links
Backpacking.net
Lightweight Gear Store
Backpacking Book Store
Lightweight Zone
Hiking Essentials

Our long-time Sponsor, BackcountryGear.com - The leading source for ultralite/lightweight outdoor gear:

Backcountry Forum
 

Affiliate Disclaimer: This forum is an affiliate of BackcountryGear.com, Amazon.com, R.E.I. and others. The product links herein are linked to their sites. If you follow these links to make a purchase, we may get a small commission. This is our only source of support for these forums. Thanks.!
 
 

Since 1996 - the Original Backcountry Forum
Copyright © The Lightweight Backpacker & BackcountryForum