View Full Version : Pack Size?

01-13-2004, 23:03
IN preparing for my prolonger section hike, I was wondering how big of a back most people use on the trail. Looking in terms of cubic inches. I noticed quite a few 3200, is 5500 too big?


-Keep the whites green-

01-14-2004, 09:03
I general, the smaller pack you start with, the less stuff you'll be hauling. If you get a big pack, you'll tend to fill it up. 3200 ci is plenty of space, although I've lots and lots of thruhikers with 5000 ci packs. 2500 ci is about right for an ultralight load, but is not appropriate if you haven't made the entire change to an ultralight system. How much space you need depends a lot on the kind of gear you have. Do you have an old synthetic sleeping bag? You're going to need a 3000 ci stuff sack for it, so you'll want to get a big pack. On the other hand, if you have the latest, greatest down bag then you'll need a ziplock to stuff it in and a smaller pack. Similarly, if you are going to carry a tent, then you'll need more space. If you are carrying a tarp, then you need much less. If you want to be scientific about things, get all your gear together and go down to a store to try it in a pack. Now, no one is really that organized, me least of all. So, if you want to be lazy (and I usually do) and don't already have a pack, buy something in the 3800-4200 ci range. You'll be able to fit all of your stuff in it and have a good sized pack for travel after you finish your hike.

01-14-2004, 09:34
Like the prior post says, pack size depends on how much gear you are taking along. To answer your question, people carry different sized packs out there. Some carry 2000 ci models, and others carry 5500 ci models. So, what's right for you? Well, first, buy all your other gear first. Then, take all your gear, food for the longest stretch between resupply, and filled water containers, and go to your local outfitter. Be prepared to spend hours loading all your gear into various backpacks and see what works for you.

SGT Rock
01-14-2004, 09:43
Get a Gearskin and save all the guessing

01-14-2004, 14:22
I had the same concern, but came down to a 3700 ci. I nearly took a 4500 ci, but now am glad I didn't, since I've stuffed my pack full and seen what it really will hold (half my gear plus 2 pillows from the bed). I do have a very compressible down bag. I have to admit (with a grin) that I did sort of make a science out of choosing. Not by taking all my gear and water and food to the local outfitter, but by measuring everything I have and figuring the ci, estimating the rest based what I did have, and subtracting that total from the ci of my potential pack. (At times I'm kind of a numbers geek. :D )