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zig-zag man
08-11-2017, 08:34
I have done a boatload of research on backpacks. It is enough to make a person crazy. I want something lightweight (of course), but the more I read, the more it seems that weight isn't everything in a good pack. The pack needs to be engineered in such a way that the weight (~30lbs) is delivered to the hips without straining the shoulders too heavily. Since no 2 people are identical, it can be quite a challenge (read toss-of-the-dice) to select that pack that will work the best for the individual. Quite frankly, I don't know how anyone makes the best choice.

cmoulder
08-11-2017, 09:36
Get the Arc Haul with the optional lumbar pad. ;)

soumodeler
08-11-2017, 10:26
Agreed. ZPacks ArcHaul (or Zip, same frame different openings) with the lumbar pad. My ArcHaul Zip is my go to pack for 90% of my trips.

Very well made pack with excellent weight transfer. I usually carry right under 30lbs for spring and fall use, and it is very comfortable. Less than 20 lbs and it is a dream.

Maineiac64
08-11-2017, 10:31
Zpacks Arc Haul Zip is awesome, my carry is usually around 20lbs but I got up to 30 when I carry fishing gear and its not a problem. You get both lightweight and great engineering that transfers the weight as you mentioned.

PennyPincher
08-11-2017, 13:03
I think the real difference maker is being sure to have a pack that is properly sized for you and adjusted properly as well as how you pack it. If you can get those 3 things down, you should be golden unless you simply are carrying too much weight.


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Chair-man
08-11-2017, 13:15
Go to an outfitter and try on every pack they have and choose the one that feels right for you. That's what I did. The outfitter will make sure you have the right size pack and right size belt. I ended up buying a Granite Gear Crown 60 4 years ago and have been happy with it ever since.

zig-zag man
08-11-2017, 13:17
Get the Arc Haul with the optional lumbar pad. ;)

Thank you for the suggestion. That does look like a really decent pack.

BuckeyeBill
08-11-2017, 16:55
You nay want to call Chris or Sally at ULA. I love the Catalyst they made for me. They make a variety of sizes and won't try to over sell you.

Greenlight
08-12-2017, 16:08
You donít have to go broke on an ultralight pack. REI Flash or Osprey Exos are around 3 lb and transfer weight well, as well as keep your back cool.


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Feral Bill
08-12-2017, 16:25
You don’t have to go broke on an ultralight pack. REI Flash or Osprey Exos are around 3 lb and transfer weight well, as well as keep your back cool.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro Also Granite Gear and others. Get to the nearest REI to try on as many packs as you wish. They can bring in packs they don't usually have in every store, too. Make a day of it. If the pack you use does not work for you, you can return in within a year and try something else. Fit matters. Get it right and your back will never be sad. Your legs, maybe, but not your back.

DownEaster
08-12-2017, 16:40
You don’t have to go broke on an ultralight pack.
Agreed. The Zpacks Arc Haul was mentioned here, and it's mostly a nice pack. (I think they're idiots for offering belt pouches only in black. Who wants their chocolate snacks melted in the sun?) But the Arc Haul configured to have the same features as my Granite Gear Crown 2 ends up at $444, whereas the Crown 2 cost me $159.49. The Arc Haul is 6 ounces lighter (28 oz. vs. 34) for that extra $284.51 ($47 for each ounce saved).

OkeefenokeeJoe
08-12-2017, 17:41
SIX MOONS DESIGNS Fusion 50 or Fusion 65.

I can't say enough about it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mcefr1e1JhE

OkeefenokeeJoe

Pastor Bryon
08-12-2017, 22:57
I think the real difference maker is being sure to have a pack that is properly sized for you and adjusted properly as well as how you pack it. If you can get those 3 things down, you should be golden unless you simply are carrying too much weight. Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

"how you pack it." This is key to me. There are many great packs out there. I started with an Osprey Kestrel 48 and recently bought a used 2012 GG Gorilla. One of the biggest differences is the number of pockets and the weight. The Osprey was great getting me started, but the Gorilla matches my style now; in fact, it has helped me be more organized by not giving me 10 pockets to spread stuff out in. Plus, buying it used saved me $100.

The best pack is the one that fits you best, not the best seller. I think the REI return policy is a good reason to purchase there. Or, find one used here or another site. I'm not doubting that the Zpacks, ULA, SMD, etc. packs are awesome, but be sure you need to spend that extra $$.

zig-zag man
08-25-2017, 23:13
I ended up purchasing the Granite Gear Crown 2 60L. Nice fit, great feel. Built pretty solid from what I see. And it was on sale.

DownEaster
08-26-2017, 02:21
Glad you like your Crown 2. REI's return policies are great, but $50 cheaper, and no tax, at BackcountryGear is definitely a reason to shop elsewhere.

I'm especially enthused about the adjustable hip belt. Not only won't I have expense and inconvenience of shifting to a smaller belt as I get skinny on the Trail, but I've discovered a neat hack. If I set the velcro adjustments about 3" tighter than needed I can have 3" of plain webbing right at the front, and so far that doesn't seem to negatively impact my comfort (it's called a hip belt, not a belly belt). If I adjust the buckles so that webbing is all on one side rather than split between the two belt halves, I have a place to clip my backup headlamp right in the middle. This gives me a good light position for night hiking, with shadows from roots, & c. offset from where my eyes are sufficiently to gauge depth better than just using one headlamp.

Uncle Joe
08-26-2017, 08:27
I started with an Osprey Aether 60+. Great pack but heavy. It could carry probably 50lbs and be comfy. However, I wasn't likely to ever carry that kinda weight. So I was carrying a 4lb pack around with maybe no more than 25-30lbs in it. There are better options. I ended up getting a ULA Ohm which I like very much. I later bought a ULA Circuit for times I need a little more room. I had the luxury of having REI nearby, for the Osprey. Mountain Crossings here in GA carries ULA so I was able to try one on there. My advice is to get to an outfitter and try some weighted packs. Everyone's body is different.

zig-zag man
09-04-2017, 07:53
[QUOTE=DownEaster;2166846]Glad you like your Crown 2. REI's return policies are great, but $50 cheaper, and no tax, at BackcountryGear is definitely a reason to shop elsewhere.
QUOTE]

That's where I bought mine. But then, you know how it is - just as soon as you find the best deal and take advantage of it - someone else comes out with a better deal. Friggin Murphy's Law.

DownEaster
09-04-2017, 09:00
Glad you like your Crown 2. REI's return policies are great, but $50 cheaper, and no tax, at BackcountryGear is definitely a reason to shop elsewhere.


That's where I bought mine. But then, you know how it is - just as soon as you find the best deal and take advantage of it - someone else comes out with a better deal. Friggin Murphy's Law.
Oh, I know. I paid $10 more than you did, because I was eager to get my Crown 2 and bit the very first time it was offered at a discount. But I figured I wouldn't regret spending a few bucks extra to have a several more months to play with the pack in relation to the gear I need to carry, and I don't. It looks like I can put my sleeping bag in a trash compactor sack at the bottom of the pack and won't need to compress it other than by the weight of the gear on top. That should translate into better longevity of the loft, which is important for a synthetic bag. (I won't bore you with my reasons for going sans-down on the AT except to say I know from personal experience that horizontal rain is one of Murphy's better tricks.)