View Full Version : packs and cubic inches

07-31-2008, 09:23
How many cubic inches does everyone prefer for an internal frame backpack. And would anyone recommend a particular pack?


mister krabs
07-31-2008, 09:38
whoowee, you've opened one up with this. You'll hear suggestions from 2500 to 3800 cubic inches. The most important things you will hear is to get the pack that fits you and your gear. Go to an outfitter to try a number of them to get an idea of what size packs will do that. Some will say that if you get a big pack you'll fill it up and that a small pack will challenge you to go lighter. I think that's good advice. I just bought a 2500 from campmor for 20$ to see if I can make it work, hey, it's only 20 bucks, I can't lose even if it doesn't fit right, it will make a great daypack.

07-31-2008, 09:49

Mister Krabs is dead on there....

Not sure of the outfitters there in the nearby city of Cincinnati, but Mt. Rogers Outfitters is in Damascus, VA, and it's only a 5 1/2 hour trip.... I would highly recommend a visit over there.... Spend a weekend over there if possible... You won't regret the trip...

NOTE: I am not affiliated with MRO in any shape, form, or fashion.... I just know a few people that have been very pleased with them.


mister krabs
07-31-2008, 09:53
Here's a cubic inch thread, and the archives have many "what pack" threads. I'm too cheap to buy most of the suggested packs.


07-31-2008, 10:17
The question is a lot like asking, "how long is a string?". Lots of variables.
Are you planning a thru hike? If so, when do you plan to leave, how long will it take?
Will you be doing a lot of hardcore winter camping?
If you want to go ultra-lite, the pack is the last thing to buy, You can't buy a UL pack and put non-UL stuff in it.

07-31-2008, 10:20
its all in planning still but if it happens we will be leaving between march 1st and 20th. things that i can afford will be ultra lite and other things wont.

John B
07-31-2008, 10:30
I agree with HikerRanky -- a 5 hr. drive to Mt. Rogers Outfitters in Damascus will save you a ton of grief. There are people there who actually know about hiking and can help you pick high quality, dependable gear. If you've never hiked the AT, you could do an overnight hike to get at least a vague notion of what the trail is like. I've hiked a lot at Red River Gorge and Big South Fork, and there is nothing in KY that's similar to the AT (at least from Amicalola to Atkins, VA, which is where my experience ends).

Pack size, tent or tarp, synthetic or down bags, boots or trail runners, water filter or chemical or neither, alcohol or gas or Esbit stove, all are highly variable and you should give serious consideration to the benefits and detriments of each. And the experienced staff at Mt. Rogers (or Bluff Mt. Outfitters in Hot Springs, NC; or Walaysi-Yi literally on the trail in Georgia) would be invaluable in terms of the solid advice they can give.

07-31-2008, 10:32
And, you don't want to drive to MRO (very nice, was there last week). Try Extream Outfitters or Rusted Moon in Indianapolis or JL Waters in Bloomington, IN.

The other item the previous posters did not note, is don't be afraid to bring all your gear to the outfitter and purchase a pack to fit your gear you and your gear.

The other question I had to ask myself what buying gear is "how comforatable do I want to be when I camp vs. how comfortable I want to be when I hike?" I have found a happy place between ultralite and heavy with a pack that comes in at about 35 pounds including food and water.

When I got the weight and bulk down, I moved form a Gregory 5600 CI pack (cadilac suspension system) to a Granitegear 3600 CI pack with a still very comfortable suspension system at a 4 lb weight saving.

double j
07-31-2008, 10:35
yup get a gregory.......i just got the new gregory z-55.

mister krabs
07-31-2008, 10:45
yup get a gregory.......i just got the new gregory z-55.

Many packs like the z-55 include their capacity in Liters in the name, osprey and gregory to name a few.

41L =2500 ci
50L = 3051 ci
55L = 3356 ci
60L = 3661 ci

Put your gear in it and on your back before you buy it. (unless you're like me and don't follow my own advice! :banana

Christus Cowboy
07-31-2008, 10:57
The other question I had to ask myself what buying gear is "how comforatable do I want to be when I camp vs. how comfortable I want to be when I hike?" I have found a happy place between ultralite and heavy with a pack that comes in at about 35 pounds including food and water.

This is a very good observation when considering comfort in camp vs. comfort when you hike.... This I find is an important question of which the answer can change over time as you get older and depending on where you hike and for how long..... As I have gotten older I have scaled my pack down from 5200 cubic inches down to 4000 cubic inches. 4000 cubic inches is still rather large by Ultra-lite standards but for me comfort in camp is pretty important. When I get into my 50's I may scale down even more. Right now I only do some section hiking...That said, I'm going with a 4,000 cubic inch pack because I can use the side compression straps to size it down to a smaller capacity and it also leaves me some room in case I want to pack out some garbage for thru-hikers that I run into along the way. I started doing this and I find that small gestures such as this are greatly appreciated by the thrus...... Generally speaking I try to stay in the 35lb range as well......

07-31-2008, 11:49
Buy gear first, then buy a pack. I made the mistake of doing it backwards once.

And another shout out for MRO. Just got a pack from them the other week to replace my gregory. ULA circuit, a little big, but I can fit everything in there, even my hulky 3-4 season tent, and the suspension regulates me to keeping the weight down.

mister krabs
07-31-2008, 13:15
I'm gonna do my darndest to get to where the 20$ 2500 ci pack will fit my stuff, after that I may spend the money on a gregory or an osprey of similar size. I wasn't always this cheap, I have a big ole gregory reality from 2000, and I would buy another gregory if it weren't for those pesky kids! Well, all the dang money they cost me anyway.

07-31-2008, 14:32
Is, a pack that easily holds your stuff is way quicker to pack in the mornings than one that's a unique game of 3-D Tetris every time. I'd rather spend time hiking than packing, myself.

I've bought a GoLite Odyssey for my next thruhike. Large, and reasonably light. :sun

07-31-2008, 16:07
I recently bought a pack from REI I was going to get a bigger pack because I thought I needed it. A hiking friend told me, by the bigger pack and you will fill with stuff you don't need. I went smaller (Not UL but much smaller than I was considering) I did take my stuff and I found that I had room to spare in the smaller pack. Glad I went with that decision

07-31-2008, 16:46
I have a couple different packs depending on how many days food i need.
For a thru, I take the Go-lite Breeze.

For anything less than 3 days, i take a Go-lite day pack that they don't make anymore (miniature version of the breeze) I just can't get more than 2 1/2 days food in there though but i love that small pack.

Having extra room in a pack just creates too many options to fill it up.