View Full Version : Backpacks? Too many choices?

03-17-2008, 16:06
Wow there sure are alot of choices for backpacks out on the internet! :confused: May I ask some advice. I know this is an old topic and I've read alot already around here, but couldn't find something that fits me.

For the last 25 years or so I've been a Jeep camper. The size and weight of materials wasn't all that important to me. Lately, my son joined the cub scouts and I became his den leader. We've been doing some Jeep camping, but I see where the future is. Also, I'm becoming friends with these other Scouting guys and we're starting to do outdoor stuff without the kids. For example, we're going on a 3 day canoe trip in a few months. So it's time to start downsizing and I might as well get down to hiking size. One thing I'll need before too long is a backpack.

Since most of my hiking will only be a few days and not extremely difficult, I was thinking I'd just buy a moderate backpack and in a few years as I learn more upgrade to something nice. Looking on eBay I found this pack and I've seen it go for as low as $25 shipped. What do yall think about it?


03-17-2008, 17:05
I don't see where that particular pack has any sort of frame - check the list of features. If it's just a big frameless rucksack, then you may find it very uncomfortable with a full load. Though you can't beat the price.

I understand why you want to start with an inexpensive pack and work up. If you can find an internal frame pack of about 4500 cubic inches, that weighs less than 5 pounds (less than 4 is better), and it fits properly, that'll be your best bet. You can advertise on this site for used gear -- I just sold such a pack. You can check REI Outlet, Sierra Trading Post, Campmor.com, etc., for bargains.

You might also go to a local outfitter and try on various packs in different price ranges, just to see what's available.

Good luck.

03-17-2008, 18:35
I think you need to go somewhere and get one fitted properly.
I had my mind set on a certain pack and lo and behold, it just doesn't fit me the right way.

Jason of the Woods
03-17-2008, 18:37
You need to spend $ when it comes to your pack. Trust me on about mile 8 or 9 you will want something that fits because that's when you know if your pack fits. It's not when you try it on at the store. For me it was the Osprey Aether 70.

03-18-2008, 00:12
most of the advise you'll get here regarding 'shoes, sleeping bag, and packs' is "go try it on at the store". while kind of vague and frustrating when looking for help, it's really the best advise you can get, b/c everyone's built differently. what i would recommend is going to your local outfitter, dicks, gander mountain, bass pro shop, ect and trying on a bunch of different item. make a list of a couple that you really liked. THEN come here and ask these guys what they think of your choices. a little research beforehand will pay off major dividends than doing your research 1st hand out on the trail...

joe finds a cheap "steal" of a tent. joe buys tent. joe sets up tent in backyard on beautiful day. joe sits in and likes it. joe thinks he made a good decision. joe gets out on trail and sets up camp. rain moves in and joe gets soaked the whole night. joe gets hypothermia or, at the very least, a miserable night's sleep and doesn't go hiking/camping again for quite some time b/c of bad experience. joe instead buys golf clubs and gets his outdoor activities sipping beers on teh back 9 telling buddies about how he used to 'hike'

:D really man, go try some stuff on. get a ballpark figure of the weight you'll be carrying then make a little bag at home to replicate that weight. then go to a store, take your bag, and put it into a few packs. walk around the store in them. better to find out there that a pack really digs into your assbone and is uncomfortable than when you're on the trail and you can't do anything but stuff some socks down your underwear to lessen the abrasion.

good luck and keep us posted!

03-18-2008, 00:16
Thanks guys. I'll go window shop.

03-18-2008, 00:30
don't forget to report back before you buy! the guys here have A TON of experience w/ almost any piece of gear you'll find. they can give you the details the salesmen will either not know or not want you to know. (this is the process i used to buy almost all my stuff. go to store, try on, ask whiteblaze peeps, buy online)

may i also recommend that you don't buy at the store. gear can be found MUCH cheaper online - i got totally outfitted for under 400 bucks (i already had the shoes :D), my big 4 coming to a grand total of $325 (pack, bag, tent, pad)

03-18-2008, 00:43
Check out the Mariposa Plus from Gossamer Gear. I'm very pleased with mine. Possibly a scout discount.

Feral Bill
03-18-2008, 09:49
. (this is the process i used to buy almost all my stuff. go to store, try on, ask whiteblaze peeps, buy online)

This is an abuse of the retailer. Buy at the store that gives you the service.

I actually tend to browse on line and buy locally.

03-18-2008, 10:40
My son and I started backpacking when he was about 10. We had heavy car-camping gear, which I carried most of. It was grueling. After doing lots of online research,and reading WB threads, I settled on making most of our gear. We now have Ray-way packs (9.5oz), R-w Quilts (25oz), and r-w tarps/net tents (23oz). I am very happy with this gear. I am not a long distance hiker. About half our camping trips are with the Boy Scouts, the rest are me my son, and sometimes my grandson. Weekend stuff.
The advantage with going with homemade lightweight gear for me is the fact that all the gear I made for my son when he was 12 is adult gear. I don't have to keep buying kid packs, every time he grows a few inches. When the Scouts go camping his pack weighs around 10-12 lbs. half or less of what some of the other boys are carrying.


03-18-2008, 11:14
. (this is the process i used to buy almost all my stuff. go to store, try on, ask whiteblaze peeps, buy online)

This is an abuse of the retailer. Buy at the store that gives you the service.

I actually tend to browse on line and buy locally.

what's abuse is the prices some of those places charge :D

03-18-2008, 17:29
If I were a scout leader I'd go with the ray way stuff as well. Good project for the kids to do, good gear.