Backpacking- new pack

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    Aug 03, 2012 7:18 AM GMT
    I'm looking to get a new pack for a 50-day backpacking trip I'm doing. Haven't looked at gear in ages since I bought mine, so if anybody has any recommendations it would be much appreciated!

    -price not a variable
    -Preferably not over 5lbs
    -adjustable (medium male build, 6'0")
    -lightweight packer, but have a lot gear (easily carry 60+ lbs)
    -for winter season in northern areas
  • LJay

    Posts: 11612

    Aug 03, 2012 4:25 PM GMT
    Considering your location, I'd go to REI and take a lunch so that you cn have plenty of time to compare. The Gregorys seem to make some very nice packs and I would not shy away from the REI brand, but unfortunately my packing days involved the old Kelty external frame packs. I still have them and they are great packs, but these days things are different.

    Whatever you do, don't go for cheap and try 'em on and wear 'em around the store loaded for a while to get the feel.

    I'm not sure how the internal frame packs are for dealing with a hot and sweaty back, but that would be one of my big concerns here in the south.

    Take William Shatner along. He will advise you to "Shop and compare before you buy."

    It would be really interesting to know what you end up with.
  • GWriter

    Posts: 1446

    Aug 03, 2012 4:31 PM GMT
    I do a lot of camping and hiking, and the more experiend people all use the Deuter brand.
  • LJay

    Posts: 11612

    Aug 03, 2012 4:32 PM GMT
    PS--Where are you walking?
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    Aug 03, 2012 10:16 PM GMT
    Arc'teryxBora 80. nothing comparable @ any price 4 comfort, durability, capacity, and weight 4 extended hikes.
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    Aug 04, 2012 1:53 PM GMT
    Try renting different packs before buyng. Find out what works for you. Take your camping gear w/you, and pack it at the store, see how it all fits, ask for advice. Try different adjustments while hiking.
    When hiking/backpacking, notice what you do and do not use. Know better for the next trip !! Enjoy !!
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    Aug 04, 2012 2:09 PM GMT
    Go to REI and have them help you with the selection process. They are awesome when it comes to showing you several options and trying them out to help you find the best fit and adjustments.

    LJay and notadumbjock are correct about the REI and Arc'teryx brands being good options. I bought an REI backpack about 12 years ago and I love it, and Arc'teryx has a great reputation for durability and good fit.
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    Aug 04, 2012 2:35 PM GMT
    My advice after 15 years of backpacking and three different packs:

    Keep it simple. Limit accessories and unnecessary straps. More to get tangled, more clips to break, more weight to carry.

    My preference is for a pack to have a bottom zip compartment, so the sleeping bag gets stuffed in first thing at the very bottom. Then a simple inner compartment for the rest. I like to keep small loose things, like food packages, fuel canisters, a stove, etc, in the Eagle Creek mesh bags- so that way when I pack, I only have three or four of those bags to put in the central compartment. Simple and easy.

    I like to roll up my ground mat and strap it vertically on the back outside of the pack. The pack I use has only three accessory straps that allow me to strap something like this to the outside. This is a secure way to strap on a tent or rolled ground mat, versus strapping horizontally from the bottom- and having something stick out and getting caught on trees and such on a narrow trail.

    Um.. a simple, quick access pouch on the top is good for grabbing sunblock and storing food for that day's trail.

    Here's a non-pack tip I like. I always filter water because I don't like tablets. But kneeling down over a stream with all those hoses is a pain in the rear, and while you're at the stream bank (or returning to it all the time from camp) you're damaging the streamside vegetation. Try this: cut off the very top of a milk jug. Then you can simply walk over to the stream, jug out a gallon of water, and take it back to camp and filter it there. You save the streamside vegetation and avoid uncomfortably kneeling over the stream. Also this makes it so that you can simply boil untreated water for cooking, versus filtering everything (you obviously don't have to filter boiled water icon_smile.gif
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    Aug 04, 2012 2:38 PM GMT
    One more thing- almost all packs have "inner frames" of two titanium rod or whatever that keep the pack upright. These internal frames tend to arch down and fix in pads that rest behind your hips (backpacking is a misnomer- you should really be carrying 80% of the weight strapped and set on your hips.) Anyways, some of these internal packs come down and focus the weight on too narrow of a point behind your hips. Try to find the internal frame rods, and figure out how they position- on long trips I have had the problem of them rubbing the back of my hips raw because the rods came down and set the weight on two points, rather than distributing it equally across the back side. Hope that makes sense.
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    Aug 05, 2012 5:24 AM GMT
    Thanks for all the suggestions and tips so far, I will keep them in mind when buying my new pack! If there are anymore recommendations, please keep them coming!?
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    Aug 05, 2012 5:45 AM GMT
    Wow. Actually, I'm still using the same external frame I got when I was 14 years old. Only the frame is the same... everything else has been replaced over the years.
    I'm still not sure what the big attraction of the internal frame packs is. It's nice to have an air gap and keep cool. Just work at carrying the minimum possible amount of stuff. Although I do occasionally pack out a hundred pounds or more of rocks with it.

    I do have an internal frame pack I use for international travel - it ships easier on airlines... all the straps stuff behind a zip up panel. But I rarely take it on any long distances.
  • Latenight30

    Posts: 1525

    Sep 04, 2012 8:24 PM GMT
    one thing I didn't see mentioned is packs are measured in volume not weight.

    REI will be your best choice. Talk to friends in your area because I know there are big differences in the sales force and the stores. We have 1 REI in Atlanta that is #1 in camping/hiking, another is a go to place for bikes. So it will make a difference. Some people are real outdoor folks and other are just sales people.
    Would you buy skinny jeans from a fat lady????
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    Jan 24, 2015 1:41 PM GMT
    I recently bought a Osprey aether 70 pack for my Japan trip and it was perfect. With tent, sleeping bag, stove, crampons, ice axe, clothing, food and other misc. my load out was right around 44lbs. For my Mt Fuji climb I had it down to about 39-ish, it was comfortable all the way up and down. My friend has a Deuter 50 + 15 which he loves and also happens to be a top rated pack.
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    Mar 17, 2015 8:59 AM GMT
    jeepbstrd saidI recently bought a Osprey aether 70 pack for my Japan trip and it was perfect. With tent, sleeping bag, stove, crampons, ice axe, clothing, food and other misc. my load out was right around 44lbs. For my Mt Fuji climb I had it down to about 39-ish, it was comfortable all the way up and down. My friend has a Deuter 50 + 15 which he loves and also happens to be a top rated pack.


    Osprey Aether 70 is an awesome pack. No regrets with mine.