View Full Version : PCT Thru-Hike Pack Advice..

11-15-2015, 21:45
I'm a bigger girl, 5'10 and about 210 with a torso length of 21". Most female packs don't fit me. That being said, I'm currently looking at:
REI Flash 62 (Size Large - 3,966 cu.in/3lbs)
REI Yosemite 75 (Size Large- 4,882 cu.in/4.15lbs)
Black Diamond Infinity 50 (3,234 cu.in/3.13lbs)
Osprey Volt 60 (3,661 cu.in/3.9lbs)

Any input on which would perform best on the trail? Is the Yosemite too large? Is the Black Diamond too small? Are there any other packs that are $200 or less that I should be looking at? This is my first long distance hike and any input is appreciated!!

11-15-2015, 23:17
Unless you already have all of your gear you don't know how much volume you will need. Get your gear together. Then take your gear to a shop and buy an appropriate pack.


Sent from somewhere around here.

11-15-2015, 23:20
Ps: for a few dollars more, ULA makes good packs and they are lighter and the Catalyst and Circuit take bear cans. You need to consider that when shopping for a pack.


Sent from somewhere around here.

11-16-2015, 00:42
ULA gives you the choice of the J straps or S straps. S straps generally fit better for women. Also, the Catalyst would be my choice for carrying a bear can. Lastly, the waist belt is custom to your size.

11-16-2015, 17:20
ULA Catalyst FAQ page:


Also, the Catalyst is rated up to 40 pounds. In case your gear isn't the latest & greatest Super Ultra Light weightless stuff.

Good luck!


11-16-2015, 17:32
Either the Circuit or Catalyst with S-Straps would be my suggestions. ULA provides excellent customer service and you can call them or email for guidance. They also take returns of packs in new condition.

Wolf - 23000
11-16-2015, 19:49
Hi Attestalin,

Do you know what size pack you are looking into getting? I'm a little bit bigger than yourself. When I did my three thru-hikes back in 1993, 1996, 1997, I just used a school book bag. It worked fine. That was years back I know, to thru-hike the PCT you don't need a large backpack. If you haven't done so already, I would suggest get the rest of your gear FIRST. After you have the rest of your gear, then look into getting your backpack.


11-16-2015, 22:48
Make sure it carries the water you will need in south
Depending on trail angels isnt best strategy

11-17-2015, 08:19
I got the Flash 62 on sale for $100.

Good pack for the money, but it fits me which is the most important factor.

Carried 30 lbs no problem. Well made.

Top pocket not removable without adding additional clips. ( easy to do) Although I leave mine off. Everything goes into zippered back pocket that I might need during the day.

Hip pockets small, small camera, power bar size.

Back pocket not divided from side water bottle pockets. Anything you stuff in will eventually get in the way of any water container you want to remove and replace in side of pack on the move. Hence I added shock cords to hang things.

Personally I would have concerns about the water weight you will have to carry. You may need more of a waist belt than the Flash 62 has.

11-17-2015, 09:38
As everyone is pointing out, it's difficult to pick a pack based on an internet search.
Load capacity, in volume and pounds, is a big area where companies get very fuzzy about specifics.
For a PCT thru or long NOBO section, water weight and bear can requirements are important. While some folks say that they hiked the desert with no more than 3 liters of water at any given time, or used a tiny pack, that may not meet your needs.
Shop smart. Shop carefully.



11-17-2015, 18:57
Thanks for all the input. I hadn't really considered the ULA packs but am going to look into them more. I tend to drink more water than the average Joe, and will need a pack that can accommodate for that, but I think I will wait until I have most of my gear together before deciding on a pack. Thanks again!

Wolf - 23000
11-18-2015, 15:27

It really is a smart idea to pick up the rest of your gear first prior to selecting your pack. Many hikers get swept up in the moment and spend a ton of cash that they will never use. They either find out the selected the wrong gear, don't like after hiking with it for a couple of miles or a whole host of reasons. My advice is to Keep it Simple. The more fancy you try to get, only end up cost more money, more weight on your back.


11-23-2015, 01:45
ULA packs are worth it especially if the stock packs aren't panning out. You can order the J straps, torso length and hip belt to dial in the fit just right.

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Brup Bup
02-24-2016, 22:15
Paradox packs are the best!!! Light weight and can support tons of weight. Plus, the hipbelts are replaceable.

02-24-2016, 22:19
Paradox packs are the best!!! Light weight and can support tons of weight. Plus, the hipbelts are replaceable.

Really, the best? That's a pretty big statement.