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#186588 - 08/14/14 04:36 PM Quest for the perfect pack
cibj88 Offline

Registered: 08/14/14
Posts: 5
Hello everyone,

I'm after some help on my search for my perfect pack. I know pretty much exactly what I want but can't quite find it, maybe you guys can point me in the right direction.

I'm taking a 6 month trip to South America at the start if next year and want to find a pack that fits my few but potentially tricky requirements.. Them being.

2nd entry to main compartment
Removable lid

So far I've looked at.
TNF Conness 55L- perfect in terms of features. But it feels huge, the back system although great is overkill for my requirements and takes the price out of budget.

Osprey Exos 58- slightly larger than planned but feels smallest out if all of them. Very light very comfortable, removable lid but no 2nd entry and not a lot in terms of additional space other than main compartment. The back system is fantastic however.

Lowe Alpine Airzone Pro 45:55- Feels great looks great good price but lid is detachable (kind of) I say kind off because I think it would be easy to unpick some stitching in the webbing and sew in some buckles. Warranty wrecking granted but maybe it's the only solution?

Does any one have any other suggestions? My budget tops out around the 200 mark.

Thanks all.

#186589 - 08/14/14 05:38 PM Re: Quest for the perfect pack [Re: cibj88]
4evrplan Online   content

Registered: 01/16/13
Posts: 749
Loc: Nacogdoches, TX, USA
If you have access to a sewing machine, you could always splice a zipper into a pack that does not have a second entry. Of course, that would also wreck your warranty, and you'd have to have some confidence in what you're doing. I take no responsibility over what you choose to do!

#186590 - 08/14/14 05:43 PM Re: Quest for the perfect pack [Re: 4evrplan]
cibj88 Offline

Registered: 08/14/14
Posts: 5
The last time I used a sewing machine bad things happened. Although I do have some very talented friends, not a bad suggestion squire.

#186592 - 08/14/14 09:25 PM Re: Quest for the perfect pack [Re: cibj88]
AdventureMyk Offline

Registered: 06/16/14
Posts: 127
Loc: Knoxville, TN
Honestly? For the features you want it's a little larger but hits virtually all the buttons: Osprey Aether 60. I have the 85 which is overkill until winter camping (but for $100 when it was new enough to have the tags put back on it I'm not complaining!) and am looking at the 60 for summer hikes.

It has the second entry, detachable top, etc. I can also say that an overloaded 85 still can feel like you are virtually wearing nothing even on a nice 2,500' ascent over 1.5 miles. smile (I noticed my legs being out of shape, not the 45lbs on my back!)

#186594 - 08/15/14 03:52 AM Re: Quest for the perfect pack [Re: AdventureMyk]
cibj88 Offline

Registered: 08/14/14
Posts: 5
Nice I'm going to try and seek that one out. I will probably also try the Ariel 55l, which is the women's version. If it fits and it's comfortable then it really is the one!

Great suggestion thank you.

#186618 - 08/16/14 12:41 PM Re: Quest for the perfect pack [Re: cibj88]
OregonMouse Offline

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6562
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
If you're traveling, your primary need is a pack that will stand up to gross mistreatment by luggage handlers.

This site is about "backpacking" as wllderness trekking, not budget travel, so our needs for a pack are quite different.

Edited by OregonMouse (08/16/14 12:42 PM)
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

#186620 - 08/16/14 03:44 PM Re: Quest for the perfect pack [Re: OregonMouse]
cibj88 Offline

Registered: 08/14/14
Posts: 5
Granted but South America has some of worlds most vast wilderness' and I'm not doing a weeks trek with one of those grossly oversized, heavy backs designed for teens on their boozy gap year....

#186762 - 08/23/14 11:43 PM Re: Quest for the perfect pack [Re: cibj88]
jasonlivy Offline

Registered: 01/02/04
Posts: 654
Loc: Colorado
You really need to check out the Granite Gear Nimbus Access Trace 70. It is 70L, but it feels much smaller than that (you can always make a big pack smaller, but it's near impossible to make a small pack bigger if needed). It has a removable top lid, the best access of any pack I've seen (two zipper opening with internal compression straps), and weighs only 4lbs, 2oz. It is incredibly comfortable to carry. One of the coolest features is the utilization of a maple wood back panel instead of aluminum stays and a plastic frame sheet for it's load-hauling capabilities. The wood back panel is lighter than composite, is incased in a fiberglass resin (making it waterproof), and is surprisingly capable of carrying loads up to 70lbs. The entire pack is very durable and uses Cordura branded woven nylon as well as Cordura stretch-woven material on the back panel. Check it out:

Next year (available February 2015) Granite Gear is coming out with a 60L version (and a 85L). It's at least worth checking out. It did take a Gear of the Year Award from Outside Magazine. I usually don't put much credence in these awards, but the mere fact that this pack rose to the top of the piles of backpacks Outside could have chosen from makes it worth considering.
Believe, then you will Understand...

#186806 - 08/25/14 07:09 PM Re: Quest for the perfect pack [Re: jasonlivy]
cibj88 Offline

Registered: 08/14/14
Posts: 5
Thanks for the tip dude! Will be sure to check it out. Agreed about making a big bag smaller but I'm of the philosophy that the bigger the bag the more stuff you're likely to take!. Bare essentials smile


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