View Full Version : How bout a Front Pack?

02-02-2007, 22:46
Im wondering if these exist? Might help my back to split my load somewhat to balance my weight. Then again, it does sound like it would be sweltering in the summer time. Any thots?

Frolicking Dinosaurs
02-02-2007, 22:50
Luxurylite (http://www.luxurylite.com/packindex.html) has a front hydration pack

02-02-2007, 22:51
I don't know it seems like a bad idea.

02-02-2007, 23:03
There's a reason pregnant women often have back problems.:cool:

Frolicking Dinosaurs
02-03-2007, 00:19
Hmmm... wonder if pregnant ladies with a lot of 'junk in the trunk' have fewer back problems?

02-03-2007, 01:37
LuxuryLite's pack and front pack really look odd and I had to get accustomed to the reduced vision going downhill. There is not much problem with a gradual downhill, but the steeper the hill is, the more the front pack obscures the close in view. I have short legs and so I spend a lot of time turning to one side or the other to reach. That swings the front pack out of the way most of the time and improves the view. At other times when the going is steep, steep, steep, I pull the pack to my chest. The benefits of the front pack are that it counter balances the weight of the back pack and I really like that, and it sure makes gettng to the water bottle, notes or guidebook pages handy. Oh, sure. No chance getting your pack mixed up with the others. Bob

02-03-2007, 01:40
A front pack needs to be done right, and although I've never tried it, I think LuxuryLite has done it right.

Their front pack rests on the hip belt and it hangs away from the body. This makes sense. A front pack up against the chest wouldn't let in any air. Putting the bottom of the front pack on the hips and leaning it forward allows the front pack to pivot at the hip, which holds the front pack weight, and pull forward at the shoulders, releiving some weight there. If the front pack would simply hang in front rather than pivot at the hip, the rear pack would actually be unloaded at the hips and the shoulders would then need to carry more weight.

hammock engineer
02-03-2007, 02:07
Read the LL website. He puts up some good info on it.

One thing he talks about is that it puts the main pack and front pack center of gravity inside your body, inside on behind you. This takes some of the stress off of your back.

I think ULA does this, but instead of a frontpack he uses waterbottles atttached to the shoulder straps. This counterbalances some of the weight.

02-03-2007, 15:25
Aarn Bodypacks (http://www.aarnpacks.com/) takes this idea the most seriously of any pack company I've seen. I'm not sure how strong the effect would be, but I think it's safe to say that they'd be warmer to hike in than a regular pack. But who knows, maybe that's balanced with better posture, reduced fatigue, more efficient, less confined movement... They're worth a look.

02-03-2007, 20:46
I used an earlier version of the front pack in 05 for the Luxury Lite pack. It was great..

I suffered a bulging disc several years before and was worried about putting pressure on the spine..

The front pack helped balance the load and was really handy too. It served as my feed bag, camera holder map holder, had my compass hanging from it, glove compartment, water holder, I also used the little pack as a day pack on several occasions...

The idea dates back several decades to the first edition of "The Complete Walker" by Colin Fletcher...

That year I also met a guy named Senator who hiked with a homade front pack, as well as a regular back pack., He was an engineering student I think.

02-03-2007, 21:37
what if one were to put his platypus in the front and fasten it to the pack straps to create more of a balance?

02-03-2007, 22:27
I let the front pack hang pretty far in front of me to create more leverage on the back. the way I had it if you stood straight up you could take the shoulder straps off of the regular pack and it would still stay next to your pack.. All the weight stayed on the hips .. The shoulder straps just stabilized the pack....

hammock engineer
02-04-2007, 06:02
Man I think I am the only person the LLP did not work for.

02-04-2007, 11:22
I think they're worth a good laugh. Buy one, PLEASE!

However, if it is filled with a handle of booze or perhaps a leg of lamb, then it becomes very very desirable.

02-04-2007, 13:32
Don't knock it until you try it....

02-04-2007, 14:22
I have used a small fanny pack for years now ...and carried it on my thru in 2003. Has enough room for snacks, camera and a few other "quick access" items.

Have been asked if it gets warm in summer but honestly I've never had a problem with that. It has a fairly wide strap that rides around my waist just above the hipbelt from my backpack. The fanny pack itself rests on the plastic hipbelt buckle.


02-04-2007, 17:36
When I met the maine train going NOBO in 2006 one of them was wearing a daypack on front in addition to a regular pack on his back, didn't look comfortable but he didn't seem to mind.

Pennsylvania Rose
02-05-2007, 14:30
I carried a baby in a Snugli on front and a pack on my back with my two oldest. Hot, uncomfortable, hard to bend over, and I couldn't see my feet. Of course, the Snugli's weight rode almost entirely on my shoulders. Still, I don't think I'd want to try a front pack.

02-05-2007, 15:01
I wear a small fanny pack or sometimes a larger lumbar pack in the front.
I think it is a good way to balance the load...but for sure makes it easy to reach everything I need in a hurry without having to take off my backpack.

I have used the LuxuryLite Front pack ... it works ... it just takes some time getting use to it :)

02-05-2007, 15:36
If you look into that Aarn Bodypack it really is not a front pack but two front shoulder strap packs....pretty great idea though

johnny quest
02-05-2007, 15:49
i have built my own front pack for my essentials and items i want to get to while on the march. once i get it all worked out im going to send it to moonbow to customize for me.

carrying some of the weight up front just makes sense.

02-06-2007, 12:04
I played around with this idea too. I took a small bladder type day pack and rigged it with key rings through the straps that attach to webbing on my pack. It works great, it's comfortable but it isn't as comfortable as hiking without it. I don't use it to "balance" pack weight. I use it for quick summer trips and there isn't enough room in one of my smaller packs...the front pack carries the spillover.
It is a pretty cool way to carry things I use a lot - camera, food, water, map sunglasses etc.

johnny quest
02-06-2007, 12:22
my current front pack is a kids backpack...miniature in almost every detail. ive played with many ways of attaching it to the shoulder straps of my "real" pack. but right now i use the shoulder straps of front pack themselves. i just wear it backwards. i put it on after my "real" pack. the weight in the front pack is not much and havent seen any problems so far.

my reasons for a front pack are this:
1. to spead the load around
2. to have a small pack that i can always have with me...even when camped and running water errands and such. it will carry essential gear.
3. ease of getting to the items i use while hiking such as water, snacks, camera etc.

1have also played with an idea based on the chicom ammo packs.

02-06-2007, 12:32
I have carried my water bottles on my shoulder straps and used hip belt pockets for years. I have hiked with a Gregory Cassin for the last 17 years, I put a carabineer through the lid loop of the water bottle and attached it to the D-Ring on the shoulder strap. Then I made a loop of light weight bungie cord around the middle of the bottle to keep it from swinging around. It keeps your water easy to see and drink.

I found some snap on pouches I attached to the hip belt for easy to access stuff during the day. I carried my camera in a small pouch on my chest strap. Too many water crossings in ME for the camera to be in the waist belt packs,

I replaced my pack for my thru with a ULA Catalyst. They offer the water bottle setup that I use plus the pack has built in hip pockets. The one thing I found is their hip pockets are a little too far back and the zippers pull the wrong way to be as convenient as mine. Or maybe I am just too fat. :D

I am switching to a camelbak in the pack for my thru. The bottles were good but a camelbak is even easier.