View Full Version : Pack Ideas for a NOBO Thru-Hike

02-16-2012, 13:20
Hello, wondering if they was a consensus good pack out there. Thanks.

02-16-2012, 20:34
Certainly not --- a consensus I mean.

My personal sense is that ULA packs are a good balance between lightweight and having the 'right' subset of features. I've done about half my hiking with Gossamer Gear packs, but came back to a ULA after basically wearing out a couple of GG packs.

02-16-2012, 20:58
Yup no consensus, I guess you should just think about what is important to you in a pack; size, weight, comfort, material, padding, accessories, brand, frame etc. And pick the pack that has the most of what you want without compromising too much with things you dont want.

02-16-2012, 21:24
first off, id like to state that i have absolutley no affiliation with any gear manufacturer.
secondly, there is no consensus. have fun sifting through days of threads regarding pack choices.I have an osprey atmos65 im happy with, though..

02-16-2012, 22:14

02-16-2012, 22:17
Assuming you have generally lightweight gear, something in the 60 liter range that weighs under three pounds and fits well.

02-17-2012, 12:44

Haha that was hilarious, and thanks for the ideas guys.

02-17-2012, 13:19
I have a ULA OHM and a osprey 65. 2 very different packs. I took my osprey 65 on my though of the JMT only 230 miles. but you had a 130 mile no resupply and required to carry a bear can. I never used to volume up but even with a base weight of around 15 pounds with consumable I was up around 40 lbs. That is over the load capabilities of my OHM. But on the AT where you have towns every 3 days and dont need a bear can I dont think I would have an issue using my ULA ohm.

But people love to have smaller and lighter gear including packs. The one down side to that is that you cant carry much food or consumables. that means more time off the trail in town loosing time in the woods and spendign money. staying out of towns is a great way to save money on yoru hike.

I know that when you sit in front of your computer hiking is all about having the right gear but once you get out there you forget all about it. there is like 100 + packs that will work just fine. go to REI and try some on. or take a gamble on a ULA.

based on your other threads it looks like you still hav eto buy most of your gear. Knowing what I know now I think I would stay away from store like REI and buy mostly off the internet.
1. high end bag, marmot, feathered friends, mont bell
2. tent tarptent, lighthear, gossamer gear
3. pack, ULA
4 hiking poles gossamer gear

this will save you money and weight

then you can go to a store like REI for
stove (fi you dont make one)(I like the snow peak giga, it can cook real meals again keeping you out of resteraunts, saving you moeny)
sleeping pad (neo, exped ul7(best out now in my oppinion))
water treatment (I use steripen)
knife ( i use kershaw chill)
I like metal silverweat so you can scrape off pots and it wont break like plastic.

PS if you ask about tents get ready to hear about hammocks,

02-17-2012, 14:31

Looks like where they got the general design for the Jam pack.

02-18-2012, 12:18
Haha that was hilarious, and thanks for the ideas guys.

Glad you liked it... :)

Really though, tuswm gives some good info, but I wouldn't completely stay away from REI. They will have a 20% off sale coming up soon, plus you get 10% back on full priced items at the end of the year ( for members anyway...I would suggest spending the one time $20 and join up).

As far as packs though, I highly suggest ULA. They are a great all around pack. Light weight, durable, has all the options you need (and not the ones you don't need). Great customer service and made in the USA. For someone just starting out though the Catalyst or the Circuit would probably be the best bet. I have a Circuit and it is truly a sweet pack.

But, back to REI, they sell Marmot bags, and they are great bags. I have a Helium and have no complaints. Good construction, high quality materials and it keeps me warm to what it is stated. Plus, being that I got it from REI, I have a life time warranty... It is expensive, but all those things I just mentioned make it worth it to me. Regardless of which bag you go with though, I would suggest you not skimp on the bag. Being able to crawl into a warm, comfy, cozy bag at the end of the long, hard, cold day is priceless. You will not regret it.

Also, don't forget that a pad is important as far as insulation is concerned. Comfort is really only an added bonus. But, considering any air pad can potentially fail, just remember that REI has the life time warranty...

Also, as far as poles, I do agree with tuswm, the GG poles are sweet! I just got mine a while back and love them. However, REI sells Leki and BD poles which are great poles, top of the line actually. And don't forget they will be having a 20% off sale coming up... (Are you a member at REI?)

As far as tent, that all depends on what you want...double wall vs single wall...freestanding vs non freestanding...trekking pole support vs tent pole support...tarp vs tent...etc... You can find lots of great info on tents here on the forums though...

Anyway, good luck in your choices...

(Oh yeah...and I know I talked about REI's return policy a lot in this post, but the fact is, it is what it is. I have never abused it nor do I encourage anyone else to, but it is a major consideration when considering some items... Also, Backcountry.com offers the same life time wrranty...)

Hope this helps...

02-18-2012, 14:38
I would say that for a thru of the AT the top three things you need to "get right" is your pack, sleeping bag, and sleeping pad. Tent might even be behind stove because of shelters and hostels.

but the sleeping bag I just got a marmot helium also.

here are my opinions on some of "the in" sleeping pads right now.

02-18-2012, 14:51
ULA fan-boy warning. If I were going to thru-hike the AT I'd probably take the Circuit. It has plenty of volume.