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Arden
09-01-2015, 23:54
Hi;
I am shopping for a backpack. Currently I am looking at Osprey packs - Aether and Volt 60 litre.
Before I decide on a pack, I need to know what will go into it, right?
I bought an Alps Mountaineering Lynx 1 tent, which packs to 6" x 17.5" (not sure if that includes the poles), so volume is 495 cu in. I will receive the tent tomorrow.
I already own a Sierra Designs Wyatt Earp 0 deg bag, which weighs 4lbs and packs to 1570 cu in (with compression straps cinched around the sack)
So, if I keep my current sleeping bag, then I already have about 2065 cu in filled and about 8lbs not including the pack.

Other items I will need to carry are:
Food for 3 days - stored in a dry/bear bag
stove: I own an MSR that is kind of bulky - may replace it
set of nested pots (I won't need the whole set)
extra clothes - depends on the weather - my 1st trip will be mid October with others during the cooler months.

Either the Aether or the Volt are 3661 cu in for the 60L size.

Is this a reasonable pack volume for the tent and bag, or do I need to go up to a larger pack size if I am going to keep my old sleeping bag?

Just for comparison, I used to own a Gregory Wind River size M which was 6085 cu in, and I managed to pack it full - total weight was 50+ lbs.
Now, I plan to carry not more than 30 lbs, which may limit me in what I can and cannot take, but I am thinking of doing some winter backpacking, so I need extra room for clothing, more food, etc.

Perhaps the right thing to do is to bring my gear to the outdoor store and see how it fits into the pack. Only problem with that is it will cost me significantly more money to purchase a pack locally than it will if I buy it online.

Traveler
09-02-2015, 07:13
Perhaps the right thing to do is to bring my gear to the outdoor store and see how it fits into the pack. Only problem with that is it will cost me significantly more money to purchase a pack locally than it will if I buy it online.

This is probably the best way to ensure your gear and the pack are a good match. You may be surprised the pack(s) you believe will work may not and the outfitter will have others that fit the bill nicely. The slightly higher cost would be offset by the selection process to get you into a pack that is good for your load, rides well, and will accommodate your space needs. You will also be more likely to find someone at the outfitter who knows their stuff and can be a real help in fitting a pack.

Saving a few bucks on a pack via on-line ordering quickly dissolves when you have to send one or two back before you find the right fit, though for pack makers who do not have retail locations or resellers its the only method you have.

Good luck!

bigcranky
09-02-2015, 07:43
So, a couple of thoughts:

You'll end up carrying the tent on the outside of the pack most days, since it'll often be soaking wet. Nothing like a wet tent inside your pack to get everything else wet. :( So don't worry about getting it inside.

I have a pretty high end winter down bag, and it's not easy to get inside a 60 liter pack with all my other stuff. A Polarguard 0-F bag is going to be huge and take up most of the space inside.

If you start with 12 pounds of tent/pack/bag, it's going to be a challenge to keep your total pack weight below 30.

Getting all your stuff to an outfitter is a fine idea. :)

Good luck and hapy trails.

Venchka
09-02-2015, 07:56
Sierra Designs Wyatt Earp 0 deg bag, which weighs 4lbs and packs to 1570 cu in

I would correct that problem first. In fact, I did just that. Expensive? Yes. Worth it? You bet.
4 pounds for the bag & 4 pounds for the tent? I thought that my antiques were heavy. The gear that I have replaced was lighter.
If you go to a well stocked backpack store, you might also look at this pack. The Osprey Atmos 65 (http://www.ospreypacks.com/en/product/backpacks/atmos_ag_65). All packs will not fit the same. Find one that fits you and your gear.

Wayne

Arden
09-02-2015, 10:02
Thanks for your help guys;
I guess this time I won't order online, even though the savings is more than a few bucks ($50-ish). But if I end up with a pack that doesn't fit, then it's a loss of a lot more than $50.
That way, if I have trouble with the fit of my new pack, the store will be able to make adjustments - and probably not charge me for it - whereas if I buy it online, they might not want to do anything for me, or charge me a substantial fee.
I would love to replace my old sleeping bag with a down model - and I don't need 0 deg. If it ever does get that cold, I'll just add more layers of fleece to my body.

I am not an ultralight hiker - never will be. I could have saved space and weight by going with a different tent, or a tarp - but I wouldn't be happy. I need to feel just a little more secure than just what a tarp would provide - and I don't like to feel like a sardine squeezed inside my tent. The Lynx 1 is half the weight of my previous (MH Nightview 2 person) tent was - actually is - I still own that tent. But the MH is a 4 season tent, which I never used to its capacity.

Venchka
09-02-2015, 13:31
I hear you. I'm hanging onto gear that could easily be replaced. Or maybe not. Not everything new is better than older classics.
I have replaced my sleep system. New bag, pad & pillow. The difference is amazing in quality of sleep and I saved at least a pound+.
I'm still on the fence about replacing my backpacks and/or tent.
My thinking is that if something works for me and is paid for then I will continue to use it.
"If it ain't broke, don't fix it."
Have fun!

Wayne

Namtrag
09-02-2015, 13:31
I am going to go against the grain, but I say get a 40-50 liter pack first (Osprey Talon 44, Osprey Exos 48, ULA Circuit, etc), then make your gear fit. Like Big Cranky said above, most days you will want the tent on the outside, so you should be able to fit all your gear in the main pack body of any of these packs. I went through the process by buying too big a pack (60 liters), and it's way too big now.

The two Osprey packs I mentioned both have straps on the bottom where you can carry a rolled up tent, and the ULA I think would easily fit a tent into the front pocket.

If you buy from ULA, they definitely take returns, answer questions, and make sure your pack fits. In fact, it's best to call them and describe yourself, then Chris will let you know what backpack to get, what length to get, and how big a hip belt you should order.

Good luck and google you tube videos on the packs you are interested in. There are a lot of videos showing people's packs and how and what they put in them.

Edit: my only caveat is, if you plan on going where you might need a bear cannister, all bets are off for my advice. lol

Arden
09-02-2015, 16:37
Namtrag said <Edit: my only caveat is, if you plan on going where you might need a bear cannister, all bets are off for my advice. lol >
Believe it or not, I do own a bear canister. Even though I live in the east where the only bears are the "dumb" black ones - and I don't mean to debase our bears - actually I put "dumb" in quotes because I don't believe they are dumb at all. But anyway, I have a "bad" throwing arm(s) and could never get the rock flung high enough to hang my bag - and most of the trees around here don't have large, horizontal branches to hang a bag from. I watched a YouTube vid on how to hang a bear bag using two tree limbs. That should work for me, so long as I can get it high enough, and far enough away from either limb.
I used that bear canister with the Gregory Wind River pack, which I sold few years back - but I kept the canister. Probably could sell it to someone on the west coast, since I understand they are required in certain areas of the sierras.

Back to the subject at hand: Packs.
I will make sure I get a pack with lots of straps for external gear. Of course I will be carrying a sleeping pad as well as the bag. Probably need a new one of those too. My Thermarest don't give me any rest. The newer materials are apparently far superior and lighter - more expensive maybe - but getting enough sleep on the trail has always been a problem for me.

If I add up all that I am spending on new gear, it may add up to as much as I would have spent on a long weekend vacation in a hotel or a cabin - but that's where the equation changes - I won't have to buy the gear again, so my next "vacation" will be pretty much for free! If I look at it that way, I won't have as much trouble coughing up the cash.
That down sleeping bag sounds very enticing. But I think I'll get the pack first, and when I do my shopping, will let the "pak tek" know that I may be wanting to move the sleeping gear into the pack rather than carrying it outside.
I do plan to do mostly cool/cold weather backpacking, and since I still have that heavy 4-season tent, it is still an option - if I can fit it in/on the pack, and I can carry the extra weight. Maybe after a few months carrying the lighter pack I can gradually add more weight to build my strength. It's a lot cheaper than going to a gym:)

Please excuse me if it sounds like I'm a total newbie to backpacking. I am not - really - although I haven't done it in a while, and I was younger and had fewer physical issues. Now, it's really just my feet - I'm a runner, so I have had trouble with Plantar Fasciitis - and occasionally hip problems - but so far not any knee issues. I don't think I will have any trouble carrying a 30-35lb pack on moderate to steep terrain.
I recall having struggled up the steeps on the Devils Path in the Catskills of NY on warm and buggy days with that Gregory pack loaded to over 50lbs. I was very slow, but I never hiked more than 10 miles at one stretch.
When I buy this pack, my intentions for now are 2-5 day outings, but I would like to be able to use the same equipment if I decide to section or thru-hike the AT.

Namtrag
09-02-2015, 17:33
Arden, the packs I listed should be fine for most of your trips, and a Bear Vault 450 I think will lay sideways in all 3. But the ULA Catalyst or Exos 58 may be more suited for you for bear canister purposes, as they are bigger than the 3 I mentioned. Lots of good stuff on you tube on all of these packs.

Good luck, and enjoy the research. It's almost as enjoyable as the hiking!

Arden
09-02-2015, 20:08
Arden, the packs I listed should be fine for most of your trips, and a Bear Vault 450 I think will lay sideways in all 3. But the ULA Catalyst or Exos 58 may be more suited for you for bear canister purposes, as they are bigger than the 3 I mentioned. Lots of good stuff on you tube on all of these packs.

Good luck, and enjoy the research. It's almost as enjoyable as the hiking!
I'm going to practice hanging the bear bag before I go on any treks. It shouldn't be a problem. The bear canister I have seems comparable to the bear vault 450 - mine weighs 2lbs also, carries enough food for 5-7 days.
But I would rather leave the canister at home, go with the bag, and if I can still afford the extra 2lbs, I would rather use it for my dual-band amateur band HT, or maybe a small camera - I've got a 3.3 MP Olympus C3040 from 2001 that still takes great shots - better than the 5MP camera built into my Moto e phone.

Kenai
09-03-2015, 15:37
Arden, if you have time to go to REI in East Hanover over the weekend or Monday, you can try on the Osprey packs, and get a 30% discount as well. Your info says North Jersey, might be your best bet, if you have the time.

Harmless
09-03-2015, 16:48
Don't order a pack online, unless you're replacing an identical model. You really need to wear that pack in the store for 20-30 minutes (at a minimum) before deciding. There's more to a pack than just weight and volume. I really like my Osprey Atmos 65; it is frequently more comfortable than the lighter, smaller Osprey I carry on some trips. I suspect this is because the REI person who helped me with the Atmos just did a better job of fitting it to me.

Harmless
09-03-2015, 16:52
I'm with you on the radio. If you do CW, get one of these --- http://www.lnrprecision.com/store/#!/Mountain-Topper/p/45010523
All the cool SOTA kids are using them. ;-) You can't go much lighter. In fact, I think my paddles are heavier than the radio!
I just sold my 2-band model of this radio and I'll order one of the new 3-band models when they're back in stock.

Another Kevin
09-03-2015, 17:16
Believe it or not, I do own a bear canister. Even though I live in the east where the only bears are the "dumb" black ones - and I don't mean to debase our bears - actually I put "dumb" in quotes because I don't believe they are dumb at all. But anyway, I have a "bad" throwing arm(s) and could never get the rock flung high enough to hang my bag - and most of the trees around here don't have large, horizontal branches to hang a bag from. I watched a YouTube vid on how to hang a bear bag using two tree limbs. That should work for me, so long as I can get it high enough, and far enough away from either limb.
I used that bear canister with the Gregory Wind River pack, which I sold few years back - but I kept the canister. Probably could sell it to someone on the west coast, since I understand they are required in certain areas of the sierras.

Back to the subject at hand: Packs.
I will make sure I get a pack with lots of straps for external gear. Of course I will be carrying a sleeping pad as well as the bag. Probably need a new one of those too. My Thermarest don't give me any rest. The newer materials are apparently far superior and lighter - more expensive maybe - but getting enough sleep on the trail has always been a problem for me.

If I add up all that I am spending on new gear, it may add up to as much as I would have spent on a long weekend vacation in a hotel or a cabin - but that's where the equation changes - I won't have to buy the gear again, so my next "vacation" will be pretty much for free! If I look at it that way, I won't have as much trouble coughing up the cash.
That down sleeping bag sounds very enticing. But I think I'll get the pack first, and when I do my shopping, will let the "pak tek" know that I may be wanting to move the sleeping gear into the pack rather than carrying it outside.
I do plan to do mostly cool/cold weather backpacking, and since I still have that heavy 4-season tent, it is still an option - if I can fit it in/on the pack, and I can carry the extra weight. Maybe after a few months carrying the lighter pack I can gradually add more weight to build my strength. It's a lot cheaper than going to a gym:)

Please excuse me if it sounds like I'm a total newbie to backpacking. I am not - really - although I haven't done it in a while, and I was younger and had fewer physical issues. Now, it's really just my feet - I'm a runner, so I have had trouble with Plantar Fasciitis - and occasionally hip problems - but so far not any knee issues. I don't think I will have any trouble carrying a 30-35lb pack on moderate to steep terrain.
I recall having struggled up the steeps on the Devils Path in the Catskills of NY on warm and buggy days with that Gregory pack loaded to over 50lbs. I was very slow, but I never hiked more than 10 miles at one stretch.
When I buy this pack, my intentions for now are 2-5 day outings, but I would like to be able to use the same equipment if I decide to section or thru-hike the AT.
[/COLOR]

If you're in North Jersey, don't sell the bear canister yet. You may yet want to hike the ADK High Peaks. and a canister is required there. It can't be a BearVault, either. The genius bears in High Peaks Wilderness know how to open a BV450.

10 miles at a stretch is fine for the Devil's Path! I've only ever done it in three days, with stops at Mink Hollow and Devil's Acre or Diamond Notch. A more aggressive schedule is either putting you on a 15-miler over the west side of it, or else trying to do Indian Head, Twin, Sugarloaf and Plateau in one day, which is seriously hard-core, beyond my ability to tackle safely. I know that the Real Hikers can do the DP as a day trip, but I'm a Clueless Weekender.

If you're planning to be a Catskill hiker again, I actually recommend against having a lot of straps and stuff outboard. (A few places to attach bungee cords or something might be ok.) There are a lot of great routes in the Catskills that go off-trail at one or more points, and everything you have hanging from your pack will, guaranteed, get snagged in the spruce. That's the main reason that this spring I got a Granite Gear Crown VC60 to use in place of the ALPS Mountaineering pack that I'd been using. The compression lacings on the ALPS pack were getting caught on everything!

Why did I pick the VC60? It's decently light: 2 lb 4 oz in the Long (which I need). It's big enough to hold all my gear in three seasons, or enough for a winter day trip (or maybe an overnight if the weather forecast is good). And REI carries it, which was a major point since I had an REI gift certificate. That ruled out some of the cottage manufacturers. It's Colin Fletcher's BGS (Bloody Great Sack), which is fine for me, I don't need or want the extra weight of organizing compartments and zippers and whatnot.

I don't aspire to be an A-T thru hiker. I've done some hikes that are comparable to A-T section hikes - for instance, Northville-Placid Trail in three sections (roughly 70, 35 and 30 miles). On one section I bailed out after four days having started out with a six-day food carry in the pack, and the pack did fine. This was in October near the Lake Placid end, and I got sleet or freezing rain most days.

You don't really need a good throwing arm to get a bearbag line in a tree. You need good rope handling. You sling the rock rather than throwing it, and it takes very little arm strength at all (but some practice). The trick is to get the rope to pay out cleanly.

Hey, are you interested in returning to the Catskills? I still have a half-dozen or so peaks to finish the 3500's. I don't bushwhack solo, but I'm competent to lead a trip. I hate going on the club outings because I'm s-l-o-w, but most of my regular hiking partners have been out of commission for one reason or another. If you don't mind hiking with a slow old man, I can offer some practical bushwhacking experience and I'm a pretty fair trail cook. We can do an easier shakedown first if you're not cool with jumping into trailless peaks right away.

Kenai
09-03-2015, 17:56
Arden, if you go to REI check out this bag too. Great reviews, 2 lbs 7 oz. for regular, and it's $210.


http://www.rei.com/product/847520/sierra-designs-zissou-12-sleeping-bag

Arden
09-04-2015, 01:15
Another Kevin said <If you're in North Jersey, don't sell the bear canister yet. You may yet want to hike the ADK High Peaks. and a canister is required there. It can't be a BearVault, either. The genius bears in High Peaks Wilderness know how to open a BV450.>
My bear canister isn't the BV-450. It is one of these:http://www.campmor.com/Product___14097
I am surprised - and not - that canisters are required in the Dak high peaks. I heard/read that there have been a lot of bear problems (actually it's people problems for the bears) in the Marcy Dam area.
If I did go to Marcy, I wouldn't go during the warm months, and I would probably start at "The Garden" and hike up the Phelps trail, sleeping somewhere along the route. I have a set of 12-point crampons, snowshoes, and an ice axe. I understand they require snowshoes when there is deep snow - On my hike from Heart Lake to Algonquin summit in December, I used crampons rather than snowshoes - the trail was hard packed, and there was lots of hard ice that snowshoes wouldn't have worked on. I carried the ice axe as well, but used it mainly as a hiking pole.

I'm not sure about the Cats at this point. I would like to get back there, but almost all of my hikes up there were day hikes. On several occasions though, I did carry that Gregory Wind River full up to 50+lbs from the trailhead at the end of Prediger road, over Indian head, and Twin. On one trip I slept at Pecoy Notch. There is no real tent site, and no shelter there, but enough space to pitch a tent. I had planned to continue to the west terminus of the trail, but it was icy, and I didn't own the crampons at that time - I think I might have worn those instep crampons, but they weren't all that much good. So I just took the PN trail back to the road and did a 3-mile road walk back to my car.
Another time I was up there, it was hot, and I climbed from Prediger up the JD trail to JD notch, then up over Sugarloaf, and slept at Mink Hollow. I returned on the 2nd day. So I never did make it all the way through.

I don't know how fast or slow I am at this point. I'm about 10yrs older than I was on my last backpacking trip, but I have been running ultra-marathons since 2010.

Thanks for the tip on hanging a bear bag. I'll have to watch that YouTube vid again. I'm pretty sure that guy was a pitcher for a major league baseball team - he tossed that rock straight up and over the branch on the first try! I think he actually did say that he had played some ball in his younger days...

Arden

Arden
09-04-2015, 01:20
I'm with you on the radio. If you do CW, get one of these --- http://www.lnrprecision.com/store/#!/Mountain-Topper/p/45010523
All the cool SOTA kids are using them. ;-) You can't go much lighter. In fact, I think my paddles are heavier than the radio!
I just sold my 2-band model of this radio and I'll order one of the new 3-band models when they're back in stock.
I really wish I could afford that radio. I haven't sent a dit or dah for a while, but I still know the code. What sort of antenna would you carry up to the mountain? With only 2.5 watts, I would think it needs to be something tuned in order to get max signal radiation.

Arden
09-04-2015, 01:21
Arden, if you have time to go to REI in East Hanover over the weekend or Monday, you can try on the Osprey packs, and get a 30% discount as well. Your info says North Jersey, might be your best bet, if you have the time.
Any reason I need to go to East Hanover? Why not the REI in Paramus? I'm much closer to that one than East Hanover.

Kenai
09-04-2015, 01:31
Any reason I need to go to East Hanover? Why not the REI in Paramus? I'm much closer to that one than East Hanover.

No reason at all. It is just the store that I go to. I did not know that the Paramus store was closer for you. I hope that you find the best gear that works for you.
Happy Trails...

Arden
09-04-2015, 11:33
No reason at all. It is just the store that I go to. I did not know that the Paramus store was closer for you. I hope that you find the best gear that works for you.
Happy Trails...
I don't think REI has any of the packs I am looking at on sale. Nothing in the Outlet store.
Comparing REI to Campmor (also in Paramus NJ), prices are are for all practical purposes, identical for the same products.
I don't know whether REI offers the same replacement warranty for packs that it does for shoes - where they will replace any pair of shoes within one year if you are not happy with them - but that might be a reason to shop at REI instead of Campmor - also located in Paramus.
I guess in the end it is going to depend on the "feeling" I get when I start talking to the "pack-tek" in the store. If the guy doesn't seem to know his business, then I'll go elsewhere. From my experience, the people at Campmor do know their business. I can't say anything about REI, because I've never shopped there in person.

Interestingly, there was an EMS (Eastern Mountain Sports) store next door to the Campmor on SR 17 for a while, but it moved away. I was in that store only once, and was not the least bit impressed. There was a lot of wasted space in the store, unlike Campmor that is packed.

Kenai
09-04-2015, 12:20
http://www.rei.com/help/return-policy.html

Arden
09-04-2015, 16:48
http://www.rei.com/help/return-policy.html
So it looks like REI's return policy is better than Campmor's, being that they will accept even used equipment for return.
I think they got a great plug in the movie "Wild". Cheryl Strayed didn't even have the boots that she couldn't wear, and they mailed her a new pair.

Arden
09-06-2015, 19:18
I am probably going to have to answer to a lot of critique, but I finally decided on buying the Osprey Atmos 65 AG from Campmor online. I bought it online for one reason - they offered a 20% discount ($50) on one item purchased online only. However, being that I live very close to the Campmor store, and their corporate hqtrs/warehouse. I would hope that regardless of the fact that I purchased the pack from their online store, I will receive support from their staff.
My only real worry at this point is the size. According to the sizing charts, and my measurements (some of which I did myself using a piece of rope, and a carpenter's tape rule) my torso is 20-21", and hips are 34" when wearing summer clothing - so I was kind of between Med and Large on the frame size, but definitely large on the hip size. The hip-belt on the Atmos is apparently not interchangeable, like it is on some of their packs, however - watching a YouTube vid the guy demonstrated that the hip belt does have quite an range of adjustment, and the shoulder harness is interchangeable.
That all seems kind of odd to me. I have been wearing a 34" waist for a long time - and with the fit of most of my jeans, they are hip huggers, not waist hangers. In any case, my hips are slightly larger than my waist. I am a very thin, but fairly tall guy.
Anyway - I'm wondering why the sizing on the packs seems to run small. I would have expected a 34" hip size to be in the middle of the medium size, but at least with the Osprey Atmos 65, the medium waist size maxes out at 33". And that doesn't take into account that I will be wearing this pack with at least one layer of fleece and a Mountain Hardwear Gore-Tex shell.

Be it what it may - First, Campmor did not have the medium size in stock, so it was either small or large. I knew that the small would not fit me, so there really wasn't a choice, unless I had decided to buy the pack for the full price of $260 at REI online (or in their store), but I could not pass up a savings of $50!
So, I will load the pack up and put it on, then start adjusting. If it turns out that the large really is too big, then I should be able to return it for a full refund/exchange. I will not remove any of the tags until I am absolutely sure that it fits.

When I had the Gregory Wind River - size medium - I was never able to get it completely comfortable on me, although it did not produce any blisters or abrasions. It always seemed that the hip belt was riding too high, on my waist instead of my hips - so I could not tighten it as much as I should have. That pack was a monster though, so it might have been just that I had too much weight in it. As I stated in earlier posts, I was carrying 50+lbs.
So, I do admit that I am gambling here, but I don't believe it is a bad gamble, considering how close I live to the brick & mortar store and corporate (the return address for exchange/refund).

Arden

Arden
09-06-2015, 19:40
I really wish that this forum had an "edit" button so I wouldn't have to amend my posts by creating a new one. Anyway - I just wanted to add one more piece of information to this thread.
When I purchased my Gregory Wind River pack, I did go to the store (Campmor) and was fitted by an "expert", walked around the store for 30 + minutes with a good amount of stuff in the pack, and still the pack didn't seem to fit properly. But like I said, it wasn't so bad that I was getting blisters or sores from the pack - it was probably a bad choice of a pack for me.
I am hoping that, with all that I have been reading about the Osprey Atmos 65 AG, that it will fulfill its promise of being the most comfortable pack I have ever worn.

Old Hiker
09-06-2015, 19:52
http://www.amazon.com/Osprey-Mens-Volt-Backpack-Green/dp/B008RB3BQO/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1441583092&sr=8-1&keywords=osprey+volt+75

Arden, I have the above, plus my stock answer: Decided to try an Osprey Volt 75 like it SO much that I bought a second one for a back up. Im just worried about the outside mesh pockets will they hold up?

Saw some of the responses above about strapping a tent to the outside of the pack - I have a LightHeart Gear SoLong 6. I paid WAY too much to put it on the outside of my pack. It goes into the "sleeping bag" compartment on the bottom of the pack with my kitchen gear. It's in a water proof stuff bag, so I don't worry too much about my stuff above it.

When I take my pack off is drop it to the ground. If my tent was on the bottom, it would probably get torn, etc. Sometimes, I take a small piece of para-cord out of my water bag, tie the cord around a tree and 'biner my pack to that. Still, if the tent was on the bottom, it may snag or whatever against the tree.

My Volt 75 holds 35 pounds of gear (over-packed for weight) really nicely for me. That's the max weight I'm going for next year.

Arden
09-06-2015, 21:25
http://www.amazon.com/Osprey-Mens-Volt-Backpack-Green/dp/B008RB3BQO/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1441583092&sr=8-1&keywords=osprey+volt+75

Arden, I have the above, plus my stock answer: Decided to try an Osprey Volt 75 – like it SO much that I bought a second one for a back up. I’m just worried about the outside mesh pockets – will they hold up?

Saw some of the responses above about strapping a tent to the outside of the pack - I have a LightHeart Gear SoLong 6. I paid WAY too much to put it on the outside of my pack. It goes into the "sleeping bag" compartment on the bottom of the pack with my kitchen gear. It's in a water proof stuff bag, so I don't worry too much about my stuff above it.

When I take my pack off is drop it to the ground. If my tent was on the bottom, it would probably get torn, etc. Sometimes, I take a small piece of para-cord out of my water bag, tie the cord around a tree and 'biner my pack to that. Still, if the tent was on the bottom, it may snag or whatever against the tree.

My Volt 75 holds 35 pounds of gear (over-packed for weight) really nicely for me. That's the max weight I'm going for next year.
I was getting really interested in the Volt, but I decided on the Atmos for its reputation of being extremely comfortable and flexible to allow more movement while wearing it. There may be reasons beyond the usual ones that this pack may be the best one for me. I'll be sure to let you know once I receive it, and have everything adjusted for my own frame.

Another Kevin
09-06-2015, 21:46
I really wish that this forum had an "edit" button so I wouldn't have to amend my posts by creating a new one. Anyway - I just wanted to add one more piece of information to this thread.

I'd have made this private, but apparently you don't accept private messages.

Throw some money in the tip jar (the 'Donations' link up top), and you get rewarded with an 'Edit' button.

Old Hiker
09-07-2015, 09:42
I'd have made this private, but apparently you don't accept private messages.

Throw some money in the tip jar (the 'Donations' link up top), and you get rewarded with an 'Edit' button.

Kevin, I'd have made this private, but it's too much fun (in my weird opinion) not to.

Everytime I throw money at ANYTHING on my screen, it just bounces off. I had to actually mail a check in.

Hope this 3 day weekend was good for you.

Arden
09-10-2015, 20:51
Update:
I received my Atmos 65 yesterday evening from Campmor. My initial evaluation of the pack and its fit on my body is positive. The pack fits me, although I do have the shoulder harness adjusted to the lowest position.
I haven't loaded the pack up yet, so I won't know how comfortable it will be on me, but judging from the overall design, I am 100% sure that it will be much more comfortable than the Gregory Wind River I used to carry.
My old 0 deg F sleeping bag will not fit in the compartment intended for it, although I think that if I really wanted to, I could get it to fit in the main compartment with my tent. That said, I am planning to purchase a new, lighter bag - most likely down, and probably a mummy bag rather than rectangular. I am just under 6ft tall, so I can use the regular size.

I'm going through my old gear - stove & cookset - and removing all but the largest pot and lid. In the past I took the whole set, which consists of three nested pots. Now I'm asking myself why I would need more than one pot when my stove has only one burner. Maybe I used to eat from a different pot than the one I cooked in - or maybe i wanted to boil water for tea or coffee before I had cleaned the pot I cooked my mac and cheese in. It was that kind of thinking that had me carrying 50 lbs. Now I'm holding my utensil set in my hand - a knife, fork, and spoon that fit together - and horrified at its weight. So I will be buying one new utensil - a "spork". I will be carrying my Leatherman multi-tool (which weighs pretty much itself, but is indispensable).

My old bear canister (I think I posted a link to the one I own) is definitely out. For one thing, it's far too large for one person - unless I'm trekking the 100 mile wilderness - and even then I wouldn't want to carry its weight. And second, it doesn't fit very well into the new pack. Perhaps I can come up with a design that uses readily available materials, like PVC sewer pipe? Problem is, how to attach the ends, make one removable, and at the same time, not give the bears anything they can grab or pick up with their teeth.