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  1. #1
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    Default help with pack features

    My pack has a couple features whose purpose and/or operation puzzle me.

    First up is this tie-off, perhaps related to the gear loops at the bottom of the pack. Two things puzzle me about it: 1) how to "load" it, and 2) how to cinch it down.

    IMG_1900.JPG

    When I've seen gear loops in action for tools (like say an ice axe), I've seen people put the tool in the gear loop, handle down, turn it back up (so the head rests on the gear loop), and then buckle the handle (now pointing up) with some compression straps or some cord locks. This thing, well, taking the loop out of the little folded over piece of plastic, it's super hard to do. So I don't think it's designed to regularly go in/out of there. That leaves sliding the handle in from below, but if the handle is too long, you can't really do it, because the loop is holding the head in place vertically.

    If you do get whatever in there (like a trekking pole), cinching it down seems to work by tugging on the knotted end of the shock cord. But this will give way unless you slide it (after tensioning) into the narrow slot to the side of the opening for it. That seems to work, but as this slot is narrow and pretty rigid; I'd think it would cause some wear and tear on the shock cord pretty quickly.

    Second question regards a thin strip of webbing at the base of the side water bottle pockets.

    IMG_1901r.jpg

    The webbing is not elastic, nor does it seem to hug or reinforce the water bottle pocket when the pocket has a bottle in it (at least a 1L - there's room for more). It's a little looser than that. I'm not sure what its function is. Hang some carabiners or something?

    Third, and this is more applicable to packs generally: what is the function of the strap adjustment on the backside of the hip belt? Mine runs from the bottom corner of the pack body to underneath the hip belt pocket.



    It seems to control how close that corner of the pack body is to the belt pocket, but why does it matter? Should you put your pack on with that strap loose, and then snug it up after you tighten the belt in front?

  2. #2

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    My WAGs (wild as* guesses):
    1. This is just to tighten up the pack when not full.
    2. Wet sock hanger?
    3. This will pull the bottom of the pack in, which shifts some weight to your shoulders, should not be slack, but not too tight or your your shoulders will get sore.
    Forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair. -Kahlil Gibran

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by chiefduffy View Post
    My WAGs (wild as* guesses):
    1. This is just to tighten up the pack when not full.
    2. Wet sock hanger?
    3. This will pull the bottom of the pack in, which shifts some weight to your shoulders, should not be slack, but not too tight or your your shoulders will get sore.
    Thanks. #2 is hilarious and yet not unreasonable! Clearly I should pack some UL clothes hangers. #3 - interesting. I guess I could experiment with it, pack loaded.

    #1 - can you think of something else? The little loop does not reach across the back of the pack, or the sides. It's just a loop big enough for the shaft of a trekking pole or similar diameter item. Cinching it just cinches the shockcord around the shaft/handle; it does nothing to compress the pack body.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by chiefduffy View Post
    My WAGs (wild as* guesses):
    1. This is just to tighten up the pack when not full.
    2. Wet sock hanger?
    3. This will pull the bottom of the pack in, which shifts some weight to your shoulders, should not be slack, but not too tight or your your shoulders will get sore.
    Thanks. #2 is hilarious and yet not unreasonable! Clearly I should pack some UL clothes hangers. #3 - interesting. I guess I could experiment with it, pack loaded.

    #1 - can you think of something else? The little loop does not reach across the back of the pack, or the sides. It's just a loop big enough for the shaft of a trekking pole or similar diameter item. Cinching it just cinches the shockcord around the shaft/handle; it does nothing to compress the pack body.

  5. #5
    Registered User Venchka's Avatar
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    Wet sock and clothes hanging is perfectly legitimate. See The Complete Walker.
    Wayne

  6. #6
    ME => GA 19AT3 rickb's Avatar
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    “well, taking the loop out of the little folded over piece of plastic, it's super hard to do”



    Can’t you adjust the cord to make the loop much bigger — thus making it much easier to work in the way you envisioned it to?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Venchka View Post
    Wet sock and clothes hanging is perfectly legitimate. See The Complete Walker.
    Wayne
    Legitimate, yes. But it seems weird to include an attachment for such a specific purpose that could be accomplished in multiple ways not requiring an extra strap.

    If I hung my socks or briefs from that strap, they’d be pulled off the first time crawling under a blowdown. It seems you’d need clothes pins to secure them. Actually, clothes pins might be handy for a multiple of uses.

  8. #8

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    Does the loop in the first picture control an internal tension/tightens the bottom of the bag (like a drawstring) and the plastic tab prevents it from loosening?

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    [QUOTE=Venchka;2188024. See The Complete Walker.
    Wayne[/QUOTE] Always a good idea.
    "It's fun to have fun, but you have to know how." ---Dr. Seuss

  10. #10
    Registered User Sandy of PA's Avatar
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    Safety pins work better than clothes pins. I always have my "everything rag" pinned to the back of my pack.

  11. #11
    Registered User Venchka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Feral Bill View Post
    Always a good idea.
    Thanks.
    I’m glad I’m not alone.
    Wayne

  12. #12
    Hiker bigcranky's Avatar
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    #3 is an adjustment for how the bottom of the pack rides in relation to the hip belt - a "hip belt stabilizer". It's worth loosening it, then putting on the loaded pack, and tightening it up. On some packs this will affect how much the hip belt can move up and down as you walk. On some packs it will affect the "feel" of the hip belt as you tighten it, and you might tighten and loosen at different times. Or just set it once and forget it. Depends on the pack. A lot of internal frame packs have the hip belt connect to the bottom of the pack in one small area in the center, leaving the ends loose, and this strap lets you bring them in tight. All personal preference.

    #2 might be part of a trekking pole stashing system? Is this an Osprey? Is there a random elastic loop on the shoulder strap on the same side?
    Ken B
    'Big Cranky'
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by rickb View Post
    Can’t you adjust the cord to make the loop much bigger — thus making it much easier to work in the way you envisioned it to?
    I don't think so, not without changing out the shock cord for a longer piece. It's a fairly short piece of cord, doubled over. The loose ends of the folded piece are knotted, keeping it from falling out the (thermo?)plastic piece on one side, and then the loop on the other end of the folded cord is threaded through two eyes and then secured in the clip part of that piece. I guess the whole bit about the ice axe and so forth - maybe it's not really for that kind of thing. Or maybe it is, but it just should be easier to clip/unclip and cinch without damage to the cord (but isn't). Given its position (on each side) above the 2 gear loops, it's hard to imagine they aren't meant to work together somehow.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Traffic Jam View Post
    Does the loop in the first picture control an internal tension/tightens the bottom of the bag (like a drawstring) and the plastic tab prevents it from loosening?
    As it turns out, the shock cord is threaded through two eyes in the pack body fabric, but the cord does not appear on the inside of the pack. It's like the body is double layered; the outer is ripstop, but the inside is some smoother fabric, and the cord only goes through the ripstop. So anyway it doesn't tension anything except what the cord itself wraps around, which is something that could be up to maybe 1" diameter (plus maybe 1/2 inch more if you stretch the cord - it's a bit elastic like shockcord).

    I am starting to think that I wrongly inferred that the cord was not supposed to come out of that clip, just because it was hard to do, and that the tension lock would be by sliding the cord into that narrow channel, because it would be so hard on the cord. I'm now starting to think that yes, it is supposed to work that way, it's just not a very good design, because the plastic piece just won't let go of the cord on either end without abrading it. If you stretch the looped end of the cord, it ought to "thin out" and thus more easily move out of the clip (left hand side of picture 1) more easily, but it's still hard to do.

    I was kind of hoping someone would recognize the hardware (clip) and know how it works, but I guess maybe it proved unpopular for these very reasons.

    I think you could accomplish the same result with a cord lock, which would cinch the cord snug, and double as a toggle over which the loop could be placed and secured. I've seen that done in this short video:

    https://youtu.be/BGTtnkXg2fc

    Might be hard to convey this with just a picture instead of a video, but thanks to all for helping me think through this.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigcranky View Post
    #3 is an adjustment for how the bottom of the pack rides in relation to the hip belt - a "hip belt stabilizer". It's worth loosening it, then putting on the loaded pack, and tightening it up. On some packs this will affect how much the hip belt can move up and down as you walk. On some packs it will affect the "feel" of the hip belt as you tighten it, and you might tighten and loosen at different times. Or just set it once and forget it. Depends on the pack. A lot of internal frame packs have the hip belt connect to the bottom of the pack in one small area in the center, leaving the ends loose, and this strap lets you bring them in tight. All personal preference.

    #2 might be part of a trekking pole stashing system? Is this an Osprey? Is there a random elastic loop on the shoulder strap on the same side?
    Thanks, bigcranky!
    w/r/t #2, although it's not an Osprey (it's an LL Bean White Mountain pack), it does have a "random" bit of webbing on the body not far from there. You can just barely see it in picture 3 above, immediately above and slightly to the left of the adjuster for the hipbelt. You might be able to see it - and the pic 1 loop - a little better in this shot:

    IMG_1902.JPG


    Note the bit of black reinforcement material near that webbing. Almost looks like it could be designed to take a hiking pole tip, but boy, that would result in a really odd way to carry poles. Even fully collapsed, they'd be diagonally mounted, across the top of the water bottle pockets, with the handles out back, with the carbide tip going right on that material (and boring through it in no time). So maybe that's for something else. Yet another mystery.

    I asked LLB about that little loop of webbing and was more or less told that they don't have a "manual" for the pack, and that they include a few various loops and so forth for people to use as they see fit (use your creativity!). I didn't believe it then, and I don't believe it now. Those things were designed in there for a reason, and I think the person I talked to just didn't know.

    It's a good, durable pack, but you do pay for all its many convenience features - including the ones you don't even understand - in additional weight. So I'm trying to understand and consider making good use of all those extra features I'm carrying around. I've got another pack of similar capacity (a hand-me-down) that has almost none of them, and of course it weighs less.

  16. #16
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    I've had packs like that before...with seemingly random straps that have no purpose. Case in point your straps over the side pocket.... I'm convinced that sometimes these pack designers add features for the sake of adding features.....

    my guess just form looking at the picture is that 1 is perhaps a poorly designed ice axe tie off.....but with that adjustment clip it seems more likely to be some sort of load compression thing.

    I even went to the ll bean site, no mention of these 'features on the page or in the feature video. nice

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    a attachment fits there . you buy it separately if memory serves me right it is a water reservoir

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thefurther View Post
    a attachment fits there . you buy it separately if memory serves me right it is a water reservoir
    Not sure what picture you're referring to, but the pack has a water reservoir sleeve on the inside, like most packs.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by blw2 View Post
    my guess just form looking at the picture is that 1 is perhaps a poorly designed ice axe tie off.....but with that adjustment clip it seems more likely to be some sort of load compression thing.

    I even went to the ll bean site, no mention of these 'features on the page or in the feature video. nice
    I agree, in part. The poor design comes from the cord being a little too thick to get in/out of the retaining clip without unreasonable stress on it. Or, alternatively, the retaining clip opening is a little tight. I have a similar issue with a small Rubbermaid cooler I just bought. I can barely get it open; I may have to file down the ridge/nub that keeps the lid closed. Just a little. I don't want it flying open, but I shouldn't have to struggle.

    But it's not a load compression thing, at least as far as bag contents go. Pull on the knotted end of that cord does snug the grip on whatever pole or handle you have in there. But to keep that snugged, you have to, under tension, slide the cord into the slot (toward the side that says "FLEX"). Not easy to do, and not easy on the cord, since the piece of plastic is not actually very flexible.

    It's really quite a good bag, if you value durability (330 denier double ripstop), warranty (lifetime), and features (e.g., waterproof zippers, floating lid that doubles as lumbar pack, sleeping bag compartment, panel loading, many pockets and means of adjustment).


    But if you disdain relative heavyweight packs (91 oz for 76L), complexity (Exhibit 1: this thread), and lack of guidance via user manuals or online guides/FAQs (there are none), it's not a good choice.

    Years ago it was rumored that Gregory made these things for Bean, at a time when I sense that Gregory was known for durable, but far from light, packs. I don't know if it was ever true, and it would not surprise me if the real story is a bit more complex ("names" we're familiar with contract with manufacturers overseas that we're not familiar with, to build something to spec and put the familiar name on it).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Time Zone View Post
    Not sure what picture you're referring to, but the pack has a water reservoir sleeve on the inside, like most packs.
    i understand that but osprey does it and i'm sure that there are other companies that do it that is for a external water pack or day pack ..

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