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GuyB
02-27-2009, 02:50
hey guys,
how do you feel about the "Lowe Alpine Tundra 55 +10 for men" backpack for a thru-hike? I found it very comfortable though I havn't bought it yet coz I wanted to know what * guys think about it.

second item I want your opinion on is the "Marmot power strech full zip jacket".

thanks a lot!

bigcranky
02-27-2009, 09:17
I love Powerstretch. It makes a great base layer in very cold weather, and it's nice for sitting around in camp and on breaks. Haven't seen that jacket, so can't comment, but Marmot generally makes nice stuff. However, Powerstretch shouldn't be your only warm layer if you are hiking in March or April.

Lowe Alpine packs tend to be heavier than strictly necessary. What does it weigh, and does all your gear fit inside, with plenty of room left over for a week's worth of food?

Note that there are many great, lightweight packs in the 4000ci (60 liter) range from the major gearmakers and the smaller cottage makers. The Osprey EXOS 58 and Atmos 65, the Six Moon Designs Starlite, the ULA Circuit, and the REI Flash 65 are good examples.

JAK
02-27-2009, 09:29
I thing the 4000ci volume is right on,
but 6 pounds is 4 pounds too heavy, and the $240 at least $100 too expensive.

http://www.usoutdoorstore.com/outlet/marmot-power-stretch-full-zip-jacket.html
I think the Polartec® Power Stretch® P-680S is OK, but not as good as plain old classic 100wt or 200wt, simple, light, non-absorbing. Also, the full zip adds weight and a pouch would be better than two pockets. Also, I think fleece should fit loose to fit over a wool sweater in addition to your skin layer, and a hood is a nice feature, and it should be extra long to cover your but and have a draw string at the waist and elastic cuffs. In summer 100wt without a hood is sufficient, and it only needs to fit over a light wool sweater, but it should still be loose, and 1/2 zip, with a draw string.

JAK
02-27-2009, 09:30
I think manufacturers are trying too hard to make stuff they can sell for big bucks,
instead of stuff that works.

JAK
02-27-2009, 09:48
Better Marmot choice for fleece layer...
http://marmot.com/fall_2008/mens/outerwear/fleece/reactor_half_zip

Keep it light and loose, with enough room under for a light merino sweater. You should wear the wool pretty much continuously, with the fleece as an extra layer. On exposed ridges the fleece can even be used as a wind layer even though its not wind proof, as this will still allow the wool to stay dry and dry out. When really cold and windy, or wet, your rain shell can be worn over the fleece and wool, or just the wool. In summer an additional skin layer isn't really needed. Loose is better. In Spring/Fall you can add a skin layer, and for colder weather you just make the wool sweater heavier, and maybe add a hood and pouch to the fleece and if what you want is in 200wt that would be ok also.

Christus Cowboy
02-27-2009, 10:50
I use Lowe Alpine packs but I would recommend that you check out e-bay or some other secondary source before paying retail as you could save some money exploring this option. The other packs discussed on this thread are great packs by what I read though I have no experience with them so I'll reserve my comments solely to the Lowe Alpine pack.

As stated on this thread Lowe Alpine packs tend to be heavier than their counterparts and I wouldn't pay full retail price for them as they are a bit pricey but I'll also say from my experience is they are tough, rugged, and really take a beating. I'm sure there are others out there with similar standards of quality. Generally when I look at packs I generally consider five areas... comfort, versitility, weight, quality, and cost. The manner in which you balance these five considerations largely depends on you as an individual... I have run into numerous guys on the trail who have bought backpacks without adequately taking into account all of these factors and have been disappointed. Sometimes its the ultra-light guy who saved 6 ounces, mocked me for my "heavy" pack and then was constantly having to borrow my sewing kit to repair his pack that was falling apart, or the guy who bought a pack that was heavy and comfortable but was much more than what he needed, or the guy who got that great deal on a name brand pack but the fit just wasn't there and subsequent discomfort lead to the disposal of the pack....

The examples are endless.....

JAK
02-27-2009, 11:27
My experience with a 6 pound pack was that it stayed in the closet once it was realized how heavy and foolish it was. I believe that is a very common experience. I wish I had spent that money towards a down sleeping bag. Most hiking gear is made the way it is so that people will pay more for them, even though they are heavier and less functional.

Christus Cowboy
02-27-2009, 12:36
My experience with a 6 pound pack was that it stayed in the closet once it was realized how heavy and foolish it was. I believe that is a very common experience. I wish I had spent that money towards a down sleeping bag. Most hiking gear is made the way it is so that people will pay more for them, even though they are heavier and less functional.

I agree with this premise a "heavier" pack in this case the 6 pound you referenced doesn't necessary ensure durability as well as the common misconception that a "lighter" is somehow lesser in quality or durability. When market appeal trumps functionality then a pack is destined to the closet. It should also be noted that this same condition of "market appeal" is readily seen in the ultra-light circles as well. I know Mags has posted alot of good stuff on this apect of gear as well..... It seems those who lean toward the non-functional heavier gear put aesthetics over functionality while those who find themselves with non-functional ultra-light gear focus on the ounces rather than the functionality.

Good research and trying on a pack for fit can avoid alot of the problems.... I do know that Lowe Alpine is not a common brand used among thru-hikers and this is probably the case because of the weight.

GuyB
02-27-2009, 12:50
the pack is 178$ and another 21$ for the rain cover, the weight is 6 pounds and 2 oz, 2.77 Kilos.


what other layer should I wear in addition to that fleece? while walking or while camping?

skinewmexico
02-27-2009, 13:04
I'd have to look at the REI UL Flash 65, or one of the Granite Gear packs, and they're still pretty heavy.

JAK
02-27-2009, 13:21
I agree with this premise a "heavier" pack in this case the 6 pound you referenced doesn't necessary ensure durability as well as the common misconception that a "lighter" is somehow lesser in quality or durability. When market appeal trumps functionality then a pack is destined to the closet. It should also be noted that this same condition of "market appeal" is readily seen in the ultra-light circles as well. I know Mags has posted alot of good stuff on this apect of gear as well..... It seems those who lean toward the non-functional heavier gear put aesthetics over functionality while those who find themselves with non-functional ultra-light gear focus on the ounces rather than the functionality.

Good research and trying on a pack for fit can avoid alot of the problems.... I do know that Lowe Alpine is not a common brand used among thru-hikers and this is probably the case because of the weight.That is a very good point that alot of UL gear also places marketability over functionality. Its a bit of a chicken and egg, but we should try to figure out what we really need before we go looking in stores to see what they have. In many respects, outfitters are destined to steer you wrong despite their best intentions, because like consumers they to can't help but get caught up in the consumer-marketing vortex. I think it has something to do with Darwin's Peacocks. Women are to blame, of course. :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes:

I had to triple sarcasmize that one.

bigcranky
02-27-2009, 14:48
what other layer should I wear in addition to that fleece? while walking or while camping?


When are you hiking? Where? Starting a thru-hike?

In March in Georgia, temperatures are all over the place. For sure you'll get nights below freezing, sometimes well below. Daytime temps around 50-F (10C?) are common. I don't wear a fleece for hiking unless it's brutally cold, preferring a base layer and a wind or rain shell, depending on the conditions.

So the warm layer is used around camp and on breaks. A Powerstretch Fleece over a base layer and under a rain shell keeps me warm around camp down into the 30s (F), anyway, as long as I'm moving around. Below that I wear an insulated jacket, usually with down insulation, but you can get synthetic insulated jackets, too. A down vest might be enough over the fleece, if the temps aren't too cold.

But the big question is where and when -- from that info we can provide more specific help.

Summit
02-27-2009, 16:12
I picked up a full front zip-up fleece jacket (REI brand) from REI on the closeout rack last year for $12! :) I love it and it's toasty warm.

Christus Cowboy
02-27-2009, 16:19
the pack is 178$ and another 21$ for the rain cover, the weight is 6 pounds and 2 oz, 2.77 Kilos.


The cost of $178.00 w/ $21.00 for the rain cover doesn't appear to be out of line to me... You could probably knock off maybe $30.00 to $50.00 dollars off that on e-bay if someone actually had one listed for sale.... The issue being though with your thru being so close at hand waiting to find one come up on auction is probably not feasible given the time constraints. I do believe you can get a lighter pack for the same amount of money but I only use Lowe Alpine so I wouldn't be a good one to ask but here are some of my observations based what limited information I've gleaned on this thread. 6lbs. is a bit on the heavy side but in your particular case you are half the age that Jaks and I are so the 6lbs. may not be as much of an issue for you as would be for us.... you could probably shave a couple of pounds for about the same price if you checked around..... its up to you..... Maybe Jak or some of the others that have done a thru could give you some ideas on this....



what other layer should I wear in addition to that fleece? while walking or while camping?

Again this depends on the weather conditions and whether you are cold natured or not... for real cold weather I generally wear an "UnderArmor" type base layer, heavy duty polypropolene long underwear, fleece, and an outer shell when I'm not moving... and then shed layers depending on my activity level....

Summit
02-27-2009, 16:20
REI Outlet has some pretty awesome packs all priced under $150:

http://www.rei.com/outlet/search?cat=22000016&page_size=102&seq=1&hist=cat%2C22000016%3ABackpacks

GuyB
02-28-2009, 01:00
I'm thru-hiking south to north, starting march 14. I'm 22.
so too heavy? I guess I will wait till I try the Flash 65 and the atmos 65.

Stir Fry
02-28-2009, 02:54
I'm thru-hiking south to north, starting march 14. I'm 22.
so too heavy? I guess I will wait till I try the Flash 65 and the atmos 65.
I thing you will like the Flash the large size is 4100cc and I was able to put winter gear and six day food 2 L water. Allthough it was full not over stuffed. Pack weight=ed 3 Lb. 2.5 oz. I think it would be great for a through.The pack was $149. , If you go to the REI web. sight and join they will give you a 15% off cupon that you can use. brengs the cost down around $136 with tax.

bigcranky
02-28-2009, 12:47
I'm thru-hiking south to north, starting march 14. I'm 22.
so too heavy? I guess I will wait till I try the Flash 65 and the atmos 65.

Pack: are you planning to buy the pack here, or at home? If you can wait, and go to the REI in Atlanta, you might get a better selection of lightweight packs. If you are coming up to the mountains several days early, you could go to Mountain Crossings outfitter at Neels Gap, 30 miles up the trail (but an easy car ride.) They have a terrific selection of long-distance hiking gear, and really, really know how to fit you for a pack and everything else.

Clothing: Mid-March is very early spring in the Georgia mountains, really the tail end of winter. It can get cold at night, and you can expect to get at least one snow storm in your first month. I would pack for sub-freezing temps at night, and be prepared for rain at all times. (It can also be warm and sunny and beautiful. And then snow the next day.)

Here is a post that I wrote last year (http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/showpost.php?p=487795&postcount=16) on clothing and layering and all that. Easier to link than rewrite all of it.

My hiking partner and I will be on Springer the night of March 13, heading down the approach trail to Amicalola Falls on the 14th to finish our sobo section hike. Say hi if you see us.