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

Page 1 of 2 1 2 >
Topic Options
Rate This Topic
#170337 - 10/10/12 04:09 PM Backpack
rodwha Offline
member

Registered: 06/25/11
Posts: 131
Loc: Texas...for now
Bought a Cuscus 75 liter Expedition pack nearly 2 years ago. The water bladder pouch seam tore before I even got it outside. Having read some other reviews it seems things don't hold up well with this pack, and the company has poor customer service.

Now that I'm about ready to replace this pack I am uncertain as to how you are supposed to measure your torso.

I'd like to keep the volume the same or larger. I'd like to keep the weight the same (~5 lbs) or lighter. It must have be hydration bladder ready. It needs to have several exterior pockets. I'd prefer it to have a pouch on the belt. I really like the external attachments for a tent/sleeping bag. I really dislike bright neon colors. And I'd like to keep the cost below $300.

Any recommendations or packs to steer clear of?


Edited by rodwha (10/10/12 04:10 PM)
_________________________
Bob


"Were I to leave where else would I go? Your words of life and of truth You hold." - Third Day

Top
#170342 - 10/10/12 04:32 PM Re: Backpack [Re: rodwha]
rodwha Offline
member

Registered: 06/25/11
Posts: 131
Loc: Texas...for now
What is the difference in a women's pack and a man's?
I'm just under 5'8" and 150 lbs so I figure as long as there aren't flowers and butterflies or a bright pink coloration a long women's pack may be an option.
_________________________
Bob


"Were I to leave where else would I go? Your words of life and of truth You hold." - Third Day

Top
#170343 - 10/10/12 04:35 PM Re: Backpack [Re: rodwha]
ETSU Pride Offline
member

Registered: 10/25/10
Posts: 933
Loc: Knoxville, TN
I don't have any pack recommendation for your criteria, but the only difference between a man's and a woman's is the sizing. I have the woman's color Granite Gear Blaze, but I had the hip belt swapped out.
_________________________
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
#170345 - 10/10/12 05:13 PM Re: Backpack [Re: rodwha]
OregonMouse Offline
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6760
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
Fitting tips for packs

Do find someone else to measure your torso length. When I tried to do it myself, each time was as much as 2 inches different from the previous attempt!

I'm really surprised that more people don't check the excellent articles listed in the left hand column on the home page of this site. Lots of gold to mine there!


Edited by OregonMouse (10/10/12 05:17 PM)
_________________________
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

Top
#170361 - 10/10/12 07:06 PM Re: Backpack [Re: OregonMouse]
rodwha Offline
member

Registered: 06/25/11
Posts: 131
Loc: Texas...for now
Sorry about the skipping the info on the left. I bypass all of that and come directly to the forum pages...

I read the internal backpacking tips. Quite informative. Thanks!

I've been looking at the ultralight backpacks on the left in the ultra light gear section here.

I'm surprised that your own measurements could be that far off!

We typically buy things online when we can find a good deal and therefore cannot try it out first, and probably won't have a return policy.
_________________________
Bob


"Were I to leave where else would I go? Your words of life and of truth You hold." - Third Day

Top
#170362 - 10/10/12 07:20 PM Re: Backpack [Re: rodwha]
Cranman Offline
member

Registered: 01/21/12
Posts: 133
Loc: Central NC
As for buying online and return policies I reccomend REI...you can find good deals at rei-outlet.com and if you don't like it just return it to the store. I ordered 3 jackets from them and returned 2 to a store...I asked their customer service about this and they said it was perfectly OK to do that.

Top
#170453 - 10/12/12 03:16 PM Re: Backpack [Re: rodwha]
rodwha Offline
member

Registered: 06/25/11
Posts: 131
Loc: Texas...for now
If I'm measuring my torso correctly I'm coming up with ~17".

I see most large capacity packs (70+ liters) start with 18" torso sizes. Will that 1/2-1" difference be a big deal as far as long term comfort (several miles)?

Can the shoulder straps have padding sewn into them to accommodate the size gap?



Edited by rodwha (10/12/12 05:43 PM)
_________________________
Bob


"Were I to leave where else would I go? Your words of life and of truth You hold." - Third Day

Top
#170461 - 10/12/12 05:14 PM Re: Backpack [Re: ETSU Pride]
jbylake Offline
member

Registered: 09/15/12
Posts: 202
Loc: Northern KY USA
ESTU - I think some manufacturers also shape the straps, so as not to put pressure on a womans breasts. I'm pretty sure Kelty does this with their "S" design packs for the ladies. Not real sure about the other companies though. Other than that, a given pack, say a Kelty Coyote for men and women are identical.

J.

Top
#170463 - 10/12/12 05:48 PM Re: Backpack [Re: ETSU Pride]
lori Offline
member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2801
Originally Posted By ETSU Pride
I don't have any pack recommendation for your criteria, but the only difference between a man's and a woman's is the sizing. I have the woman's color Granite Gear Blaze, but I had the hip belt swapped out.



????? The difference is the angle of the belt and the shape of the straps.

I have both woman specific and man specific packs. Some belt designs work better for me than others.
_________________________
"In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities. In the expert's mind there are few." Shunryu Suzuki

http://hikeandbackpack.com

Top
#170464 - 10/12/12 05:54 PM Re: Backpack [Re: rodwha]
OregonMouse Offline
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6760
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
You're really going to have to try the pack on with the gear you plan to put into it. Pack sizes are like shoe sizes; every manufacturer is different. Note that the torso length range for, say, a medium often differs for every manufacturer. Most manufacturers say that if you're between sizes, get the larger size. Since I'm at the bottom end of "small," I haven't experienced this situation. Most packs are too big for me!
_________________________
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

Top
#170469 - 10/12/12 06:55 PM Re: Backpack [Re: lori]
ETSU Pride Offline
member

Registered: 10/25/10
Posts: 933
Loc: Knoxville, TN
Yeah, that what I meant. Sorry for the vagueness. I had the straps and hip belt swapped on my Blaze backpack.
_________________________
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
#170514 - 10/13/12 09:15 PM Re: Backpack [Re: rodwha]
rodwha Offline
member

Registered: 06/25/11
Posts: 131
Loc: Texas...for now
Very few packs that will give me the volume I need (70+ liters), the waist size (30-31"), as well as meet a few of my setup requirements without going well over the weight (5 lbs) with a short torso (~17").

The Dueter ACT Lite 65+10 is cheaper and lighter than the few others I've found, but I know nothing about them. Anyone have anything to say about them?
_________________________
Bob


"Were I to leave where else would I go? Your words of life and of truth You hold." - Third Day

Top
#170518 - 10/13/12 10:03 PM Re: Backpack [Re: rodwha]
Samoset Offline
member

Registered: 07/04/08
Posts: 429
Loc: Newnan ,GA
Originally Posted By rodwha
Very few packs that will give me the volume I need (70+ liters), the waist size (30-31"), as well as meet a few of my setup requirements without going well over the weight (5 lbs) with a short torso (~17").

The Dueter ACT Lite 65+10 is cheaper and lighter than the few others I've found, but I know nothing about them. Anyone have anything to say about them?


I have two of these packs, one my wife uses! And we are both very, very happy with them.


Edited by Samoset (10/13/12 10:04 PM)
_________________________
Some peopole live life day by day. Try step by step.

Top
#170526 - 10/14/12 10:33 AM Re: Backpack [Re: rodwha]
Happy Birthday Glenn Roberts Offline
Moderator

Registered: 12/23/08
Posts: 2000
Loc: Southwest Ohio
Deuter makes a great pack. I briefly used an ACT Lite and ACT Zero series pack (I want to say one was a 50+10 and the other a 60+10, but I can't really remember.) They are really nice packs, with superb adjustable suspensions. They carried really well, and both are now on friends' backs, both are delighted with the pack.

The only reason I am not still using one is that it's simply overkill for the load I typically carry (about 16 - 18 pounds of food, water, and gear other than the pack.) There was a bit too much volume in the 50, and the suspension was far more than I needed. So, I found a pack (Gregory Savant 48) that was half a pound lighter and still sufficient for my needs.

Top
#170531 - 10/14/12 11:53 AM Re: Backpack [Re: Glenn Roberts]
ETSU Pride Offline
member

Registered: 10/25/10
Posts: 933
Loc: Knoxville, TN
Originally Posted By Glenn Roberts
Deuter makes a great pack. I briefly used an ACT Lite and ACT Zero series pack (I want to say one was a 50+10 and the other a 60+10, but I can't really remember.) They are really nice packs, with superb adjustable suspensions. They carried really well, and both are now on friends' backs, both are delighted with the pack.

The only reason I am not still using one is that it's simply overkill for the load I typically carry (about 16 - 18 pounds of food, water, and gear other than the pack.) There was a bit too much volume in the 50, and the suspension was far more than I needed. So, I found a pack (Gregory Savant 48) that was half a pound lighter and still sufficient for my needs.


I'm leaning towards getting a Deuter for dayhike. A 28 liter. It a three way race between Deuter, Granite Gear Habanero, and Osprey Strato.
_________________________
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
#170549 - 10/14/12 06:58 PM Re: Backpack [Re: ETSU Pride]
OregonMouse Offline
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6760
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
I've been looking for a daypack for winter, about 26-28 liters, but have had many difficulties. First of all, I do need some structure to it, to transfer most of the weight to the hip belt--my shoulders are extremely pressure-sensitive. I can't use a pack that will just hang off my shoulders, especially with heavier winter gear.

Second, an increasing number of daypacks are "unisex" and "one size fits all," which means that with my 15 inch torso, they are all way too big for me. (I can relate here to the big and tall guys, for whom these same packs are way too small!) REI used to have a nice light 29L woman-specific daypack, but I discovered too late that they have discontinued their woman-specific packs. (I did find the 19L version on closeout, which works fine for warm weather but won't hold all my winter stuff.) GoLite also discontinued their woman-specific packs. The pack I just got rid of (North Face) was definitely too big and not very comfortable.

Third, the reason I'm looking for a daypack is that the one I had is far too heavy, almost 3 pounds. My overnight (up to 10 days) backpack weighs 30 ounces, and I refuse to carry a daypack that weighs more than that, especially since I'm really nervous about re-injuring my recently-healed plantar fasciitis. The few daypacks I've been able to find that would fit my short torso are all close to 3 pounds, which rules them out.

I just ordered an Osprey Talon 33, which at least has a torso length adjustment. It starts at 16", not 15", but I hope it will work. The pack is also a bit larger than I need but it seems to have fairly good compression. If it turns out to fit me and my winter gear, it appears that I can do some butchering creative trimming to get rid of a few ounces (manufacturer specs put it the same as my overnight backpack). I won't trim until I'm sure it's otherwise a keeper, though. I suspect that even REI would balk at taking it back after I remove the lid and a number of other (to me) nonessentials.

I'll report back how it works out.





Edited by OregonMouse (10/14/12 07:26 PM)
_________________________
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

Top
#170551 - 10/14/12 08:24 PM Re: Backpack [Re: OregonMouse]
rockchucker22 Offline
member

Registered: 09/24/12
Posts: 751
Loc: Eastern Sierras
Osprey manta 30 is my go to winter day pack.
_________________________
The wind wont howl if the wind don't break.

Top
#170619 - 10/15/12 08:56 PM Re: Backpack [Re: rockchucker22]
OregonMouse Offline
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6760
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
The Osprey Talon 33 arrived today. I loaded it up and carried it around the house a bit, and I think it's the winter day pack I've been looking for. I want to try it on a several hours' hike before making a final decision, though. Unfortunately, that will be another month or two since I'm still being super-careful about not restarting my plantar fasciitis! I will also look at a couple more alternatives before deciding for sure. For now, though, it's looking like a keeper.

The good: The shortest adjustable torso length works fine for me--the pack fits, which was my biggest concern! It easily holds all my winter clothing, some winter emergency gear, water, lunch (total pack weight 10 lbs.). The pack compresses well; I could compress it down as a summer daypack if I wanted. The ventilated back appears to be a good feature. It is a very nice-looking pack, although that's the least of my concerns. Total pack weight on my scale, 29.2 ounces.

Not good: I'm not going to be able to trim off as much weight as I thought, probably only an ounce. The hydration pocket (which I don't need) is open at the top, so I can't remove the partition between that and the main pack. I also will probably keep the lid, since it's an integral part of the compression system. The sternum strap is too high--it was on my throat (!), although I discovered that with difficulty I could move it an inch farther down--still a bit high but not enough to choke me. I will probably end up altering it so it can be a little lower. The closure for the back pocket is under the lid, so the lid has to be undone before the back pocket can be accessed. I may remove the back pocket (not very useful) instead of the lid. That's where the big Osprey logo is and I'd just as soon not be a walking advertisement anyway. Of course, no butchery trimming until I'm absolutely sure I don't want to return it!

The worst feature is that the frame sheet was close to buckling with only 10 lbs. total pack weight. Adding another quart of water did make it buckle! This pack will not properly support the 20 lbs. stated on the Osprey website. I didn't pack very carefully--just stuffed things in as they came to hand. More care as to weight distribution will help. Even so, there's absolutely no way I'd want to carry more than 10-12 lbs. with this pack. I definitely wouldn't recommend it for those planning to carry snowshoes or skis on their pack. Fortunately, I won't be doing that.

Despite the shortcomings, this pack does what I want: fits my short torso, weighs under 2 pounds and is comfortable with my winter gear!
_________________________
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

Top
#170620 - 10/15/12 09:14 PM Re: Backpack [Re: rodwha]
OregonMouse Offline
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6760
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
Quote:
What is the difference in a women's pack and a man's?


A woman's pack has differently shaped shoulder straps than a man's (usually s-shaped) to avoid pressure on the mammary appendages. It also has (or should have) a more curved hip belt since most of us have a lot more curvature in that area. Generally (but not always) a woman's pack is designed for those of us with shorter torso lengths.

I've found some unisex packs quite comfortable (my backpacking backpack is unisex) and others miserable. I'm sure the same is true for woman-specific packs, but I've tried only one of the latter (which is very comfortable). A lot depends on how the chest appendages are located, definitely not the same for all of us, and even more on the pack design (also unique by manufacturer and even by model).

Some women's packs come in horrible (to me) colors, what I call "bink and burple." Others come in bright pastels, which I don't like either, but after a few trips and a layer of dirt they aren't nearly so bright. A few manufacturers realize that more conservative colors that don't show the dirt are more of an asset for backpacking gear. I personally am a lot less fussy about colors if the item is on sale for 50% off. laugh

As usual, the most important features of a pack are fit, fit and fit! Everything else is YMMV.


Edited by OregonMouse (10/15/12 09:28 PM)
_________________________
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

Top
#170943 - 10/25/12 07:29 PM Re: Backpack [Re: OregonMouse]
OregonMouse Offline
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6760
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
Followup on the Osprey Talon 33: It's going back to REI. After an hour or so of carrying a full load (about 11 lbs. total), the hip belt becomes quite painful. That's because the "wings" are too short so don't reach the front of my iliac crest. That might not be a problem for someone with really skinny hips, which mine definitely are not laugh

Always a good idea to load up the pack (properly) and take a "hike" around the house for a couple of hours while it is still returnable. I should have done that before writing my preliminary review!


Edited by OregonMouse (10/25/12 07:35 PM)
_________________________
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

Top
#170945 - 10/25/12 07:56 PM Re: Backpack [Re: OregonMouse]
Samoset Offline
member

Registered: 07/04/08
Posts: 429
Loc: Newnan ,GA
Sorry to here that OM, I hope you find a pack that meets your needs!

It's a shame more packs don't have interchangeable wings and hipbelts!

_________________________
Some peopole live life day by day. Try step by step.

Top
#170949 - 10/25/12 09:24 PM Re: Backpack [Re: Samoset]
rodwha Offline
member

Registered: 06/25/11
Posts: 131
Loc: Texas...for now
We have an REI that just opened here, and finally took the opportunity to visit for a bit. I didn't get to check out all of the packs I was interested in due to a grumpy 3 yr old.
First I tried the Kelty Coyote 80, and thought it was good. We have a Kelty child carrier and I have been pleased with it.
But then I tried the Dueter ACT Lite. It seemed much better built. It felt like a pack that would last through many tough and crazy adventures and still be around when I'm gone! I certainly like a sleeping bag compartment. I think I may have found a winner. I'll keep looking though.
We decided to get a membership since we have several expensive items to upgrade, and spending $10 a year would be simple even when you don't need anything.
_________________________
Bob


"Were I to leave where else would I go? Your words of life and of truth You hold." - Third Day

Top
#170959 - 10/26/12 01:28 AM Re: Backpack [Re: rodwha]
OregonMouse Offline
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6760
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
For best results, box up your gear and the weight/bulk equivalent of a week's food, plus a quart of water, and take it with you to the store. Hopefully without the three-year-old, unless he's part of your pack load!
_________________________
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

Top
#170963 - 10/26/12 09:57 AM Re: Backpack [Re: rodwha]
finallyME Offline
member

Registered: 09/24/07
Posts: 2710
Loc: Utah
Unless REI has changed policy, the membership fee is for life. I bought a membership fee in 2000 and haven't paid since. In fact, I don't even remember paying a fee. I am still a member and receive the yearly dividend.
_________________________
I've taken a vow of poverty. To annoy me, send money.

Top
#171037 - 10/29/12 12:36 AM Re: Backpack [Re: OregonMouse]
GinAndClonic Offline
member

Registered: 10/25/12
Posts: 18
I sell packs where I work, and if you are between sizes we are taught to recommend the smaller size. Not saying this is 100% truth, but just referencing some conflicting advice in the forum thus far.

Top
Page 1 of 2 1 2 >

Shout Box

Highest Quality Lightweight Down Sleeping Bags
 
Western Mountaineering Sleeping Bags
 
Lite Gear Talk - Featured Topics
Boil in a bottle?
by DustinV
07/23/21 06:29 PM
Gas Stove Vs Wood Stove Cooking System Comparison
by walkingnatur
07/19/21 07:52 AM
smartwater vs bladder for water
by nwguy
07/15/21 03:45 PM
Backcountry Discussion - Featured Topics
Is it dangerous to burn lantern fuel in the open?
by 4evrplan
07/26/21 02:21 PM
Feeling young again in our National Parks
by 41253
07/17/21 07:49 AM
How we take a Warm Shower in the Wilderness?
by walkingnatur
07/03/21 04:17 PM
Make Your Own Gear - Featured Topics
Carrying My Dog LOL
by Hey
07/07/21 09:20 PM
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
1 registered (), 140 Guests and 0 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Newest Members
Hassan Tamur, Sheener, JOYAL, Mblandry211, Jan H
13044 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