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wspartykid
03-23-2004, 05:11
I'm planning on doing the AT in 2005 and I want to travel as light as possible. I have a North Face Inversion and I really like it . I was wondering when does an empty pack become a heavy pack? It has allot of staps and such that I could cut off of it, but maybe I should just look into getting a new one. I don't know exactly how much it weighs but if someone could give me a good range I can see where I'm at here soon. Thanks!

Jaybird
03-23-2004, 06:41
Yo WSPARTYKID

the NF INversion is a nice pack...rather LARGE @ 6,000ci & 6lbs 14oz...but if you plan on going out for the "long haul" & carrying a crap load of stuff....it's a good pack to have.

It's a fairly new pack...i'm assuming...so, just remember the old saying...."the Bigger the pack...the more you wanna stuff (weight) in it!"

I wouldnt cut any straps off...they're there for a reason...this bag gets GREAT reviews...

This is definatley a long haul (thru-hike) backpack...good luck. :D

flyfisher
03-23-2004, 09:15
I'm planning on doing the AT in 2005 and I want to travel as light as possible. If someone could give me a good range I can see where I'm at ...

Hi Kid,

You will get quite a range of answers to this one. Simple answer is that the less you carry, the lighter the pack can be as well. It would not make sense to get your base weight in the pack down to ten pounds and carry a six pound pack.

As a confirmed (near) ultralighter, I carry a base weight of 10 pounds and essentially never carry more than 20 pounds including water and food. This lets me get by with a very light pack.

My homemade F2 pack, derrived from the G4 pack, weighs 10.4 oz.
http://www.imrisk.com/F2pack/F2pack.htm

I hope to test Fanatic Fringe's Thompson Peak Pack which weighs 10.5 oz.
http://www.antigravitygear.com/products/backpack.html

This is about the low end of weight. The very popular Golite Gust will carry more weight, up to about 30 pounds and has a waist belt. (The others do not.) It weighs 20 oz. I reviewed this pack here:
http://tinyurl.com/22mfl

Let's see what the others say.

verber
03-23-2004, 09:48
I want to travel as light as possible. I have a North Face Inversion and I really like it . I was wondering when does an empty pack become a heavy pack? It has allot of staps and such that I could cut off of it, but maybe I should just look into getting a new one.I would say that cutting the straps off the Inversion is penny wise and pound foolish since this wouldn't move the scales compared to the weight of the pack. If you are expecting to carry a really heavy load >50 lbs, and the Inversion is comfortable for you, stick with it.

There are many people who have found going ultralight with frameless packs to be a very enjoyable way to thru-hike. If you get your total carry weight below 18-22 lbs (depending on your prefs) you might thinking about an ultralight pack which weights between 6-22ozs (saving you more than 5 lbs!). But IMHO this only makes sense if everything goes ultralight and you cut out all excess.

I am a section hiker and haven't become quite so single minded (stripped down to essense) as pure ultralight packer. I got down to an ultralight style, but then added a few things back in. I found that with my base weight of 10-14lbs, and the length of trip I take without resupply, and water availibility, that my full carry weight varies from between around 20-34lbs. For these sorts of weights a pack like the Inversion becomes a heavy pack, but an ultralight pack isn't quite enough. There are a number of light-weight (http://www.verber.com/mark/outdoors/gear/pack.html#liteinternal) packs (2-3lbs) which have effective frames while still being 4 lbs less than your current pack.

chris
03-23-2004, 11:35
If you have a pack that you like, stick with it until you have a good reason to change to something else. I usually recommend for people to stick with their current pack and downsize their other gear first. That is, if you want to make the change to an ultralight system, concentrate on other things first: Stove/cooking, lighting, water bags, stuff sacks, etc. Focus on what you actually need, rather than on what you think you might want. The only way to tell the difference is to actually go out and get the experience, to see what you need to be comfortable, and what is really extraneous. Think about using a tarp, for example, before picking up an ultralight pack. Figure out a good system of clothing before deciding on a frameless pack.

All that being said, note that at 6 lbs, 14 oz, your pack is almost 70% of my base weight for standard hiking: It is a heavy beast. If you are happy with it, keep it and focus on cutting weight in other areas. Spend the time before your thruhike by hiking and camping and getting as much experience as possible. If you do want to replace the pack, I would recommend ULA (www.ula-equipment.com). Brian makes top quality stuff and stands behind his work. I've been using one of his packs for about ayear and a half now and have, roughly, 3000 miles on it. It is starting to look a little beat, and may not survive the upcoming summer, but this is a standard feature of really light packs. Granite Gear is supposed to make some nice stuff also.

A few generalities, now. An ultralight pack should weigh less than 2 lbs empty, preferably less than 24 oz. A lightweight pack would be up to 4 lbs. A midweight up to 5 lbs. Anything heavier is a heavyweight.

Highlandman
03-23-2004, 14:44
I usually recommend for people to stick with their current pack and downsize their other gear first. The simple engineering answer is, it takes weight to carry weight, whether we're talking backpacks or bridges.

If you study a well-designed pack from a reputable manufacturer, you will find that the weight and strength of everything on it is in proportion. You could cut straps off, switch to a lighter hip belt, break off the zipper tongues and stuff like that, but you'd still have proportionately heavy internal structure and fabric.

Another way to look at it is that carrying too much weight for any given pack distorts the suspension system, and makes it way less comfortable to carry than the same weight in a pack properly designed for it.

The weight in a well-designed backpack is there for a purpose. That purpose is to help you carry the other stuff. I'd say leave the North Face pack alone, and when you have your base gear weight down substantially, get a pack to suit that weight range. The day may come when you want to take the kitchen sink along for an overnight, and you'll appreciate the carrying power of the old clunker.

I just went the other direction: 'retired' my 28-year old Camp Trails external frame (38 oz). It was a tough decision, because I was hung up on the low empty weight and it carried weight very well for an old pack. But suspension systems are just so much better now that I finally made the jump. (I chose a Gregory Acadia.) I'll let you all know after the next hike whether I made the right decision.:-?

-HM

Kerosene
03-23-2004, 20:56
Granite Gear is supposed to make some nice stuff also.I posted a review of the 3-lb. Nimbus Ozone here (http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/showthread.php?t=3235), and here (http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/showthread.php?t=1333) is a thread about its smaller, lighter (2-lb) cousin, the Vapor Trail. I chose the Nimbus Ozone so that I could comfortably carry 5+ days of extra food if need be. The Vapor Trail uses a different suspension and I'd be hard-pressed to fit my fall base weight (16 pounds) plus a lot of food without exceeding its comfort range.

wspartykid
03-24-2004, 04:38
I checked out all those packs and they look nice. I think this will take alot of debating and a few good trips around the Daniel Boone with my old pack to decide if I want a new superlight pack. If I'm hurting to bad going up and down these KY hills the AT will be hell. I gotta year to decide, but losing 3 to 4 lbs sounds good to me. Thanks for the advice and links.