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  1. #1
    Addicted Hiker and Donating Member Hammock Hanger's Avatar
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    Thumbs up the Packa (rainjacket/packcover)

    First let me say that I'm just way to lazy to do the "offical" type
    of reports that some of you all do, so I'm gonna just label this as a lowly hikers opinion. (Don't get me wrong I love all the info on
    your reports... as I said I'm just to lazy.)

    The Packa is a rainjacket/packcover combo, it is made of silnylon and weighs in at around 12 ounces.

    I ordered and rec'd the NEW medium size. I am a "less" then small person and it was plenty big. (Is that a politically correct way to state that you are a large person w/o calling yourself FAT?? )

    I was very pleased with the UNRESTRICTED feel when the jacket was on. Since the jacket goes OVER the straps vs under that confined kind of feel does not exist. This also meant that I could slip it off and on at a whim. I could either let the arms hang down or tuck them up under the pack cover. In reverse when the day started out grey but not yet raining I could cover the pack and when the rain began to fall I could very easily pull out the arms and slip into the jacket without taking off the pack. The pit zips are real vents, to say they are large and useful not just for looks. Again since the jacket is free flowing and not tucked under the straps I was very please to find I DID NOT get the body heat induced rainstorm inside the jacket. At one point I was actually hiking in a silnylon jacket with a fleece and a shirt on under it, in FL, without drowning in my own fluids. This says mounds to me. It would have to be tremedously cold to get me to have tried that in my other jacket.

    It had nice adjustable velcro tabs on the sleeves. Drawstring hood, with stand up visor. This newer model is longer which was very nice. When hiking it was long enough to cover my skirt so the rain was really only exposed from my knees down. There is even a extra 6" on the back tail so that when you sit it works like a sit-upon and your butt doesn't get wet. There is another drawstring at the bottom.

    I give this product high marks for it's comfort and inside climate
    control. For the length and light weight.

    Unfortunately with ever up there is a down (just like the trail...)

    The concept is a great one except if you choose to take a "PACKS OFF" break you have to take the jacket off. Then you must decide what needs the Packa more your or the pack. Now you can take off the jacket, slip a small piece of a trash bag over your pack and put back on the jacket. Unfortunately as I have said I'm lazy. So I took my breaks when it wasn't really pouring and left the Packa on the pack and I dealt with a little drizzle. (I don't mealt that easily.)

    Second problem would be for those that like to roll up their sleeping mats and attach them to their packs crosswise. This would be a tough to impossible feat with the medium size. Would probably be doable with the large. I don't think there would be a problem if the mat was attached to the pack lengthwise. Here I luck out as I carry very little attached to the outside of my pack. We did do some barefoot hiking and I had to get a little technical on where my boots were hung to make sure that the pack cover fit over the pack. This was, however, only when I was using it as a pack cover only. Once you have it on it drapes over just about anything.

    So as with just about any piece of equipment there are pros and cons. Then weigh in the results for what suits YOU best. For me the comfort of having no rain inside the suit with the ease of wearing or not wearing it far outweighed the cons.

    I was very pleased with the product and did not feel like I had made another investment that would end up in the "used item for sale bin".

    Let me also say that Ed the inventor of the Packa was very helpful and plesant to work with. He was timely in returning emails, etc.

    PS: I rec'd a suprise in my package, a pair of silnylon mittens. I
    get extremely cold hand and found them wonderful in the cold morning are to wear. This way my fuzzy fleece mittens stayed dry to sleep in.

    Hope this "opinion" was helpful to those that have been thinking
    about the product. Feel free to email me with specific questions.

    I will post a few pics to the gallery and then there is lways my journal site: www.trailjournals.com/hammockhanger Florida Trail.

    www.thePacka.com
    Sue/Hammock Hanger
    Hammock Hanger -- Life is my journey and I'm surely not rushing to the "summit"...:D

    http://www.gcast.com/u/hammockhanger/main

  2. #2
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    Default

    Good review HH. This is an interesting system and it would be good to hear from others that have also tried this out.

  3. #3
    Section hiker 733 AT miles poison_ivy's Avatar
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    Default

    Thanks for the review HH! This sounds exactly like what I"ve been looking for.
    I am definitely going to try one out.
    -- Ivy

  4. #4
    GA-ME 02 Kilted Hiker Trail Yeti's Avatar
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    HH, good review, sounds like an interesting product. Would it be possible to use this in place of your tarp on your hammock? Kind of like Rock does w/his? also, where does the "excess" pack cover material go when you are wearing it just as a jacket?
    Yeti
    "Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit"- Ed Abbey

  5. #5
    Addicted Hiker and Donating Member Hammock Hanger's Avatar
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    Default use as a fly....

    No it is not possible to use this as a hammock fly. Pretty much just a jacket/packcover (vaper barrier)

    The excess material is just there... You can forget about it or as I did I tucked it into itself. A few stategically placed velcro strips would hold it secure and probably look better. I, was fine moving about not even thinking about the baggy spot on my back.

    It still kept me warm when I needed it too, and better still did NOT sweat me up when I didn't want it to.

    HH
    Hammock Hanger -- Life is my journey and I'm surely not rushing to the "summit"...:D

    http://www.gcast.com/u/hammockhanger/main

  6. #6

    Default

    Hammock Hanger, Did you find any problems in strong winds? I have considered this approach but feared the worse in strong winds. It is still an attractive option even if it functions poorly in wind.

  7. #7

    Default

    I can possibly answer any questions regarding the Packa. I am Cedar Tree--inventor of the Packa. I thru-hiked the AT in 2000, started on 2/13 and sweated like a pig in my SD cajoule. I also tried a poncho and was too cold a lot of the time and wind was a huge problem. Also a poncho is just too difficult to put on and take off, especially alone. Hence, the packa idea was born.
    Some points raised above I will try to address:
    Wind: The packa is great in high wind as it has sleeve closures and a bottom hem drawstring. You can cinch it down tight if needed.
    Shelter: no
    The packa is for walking with a pack on in rainy or cold weather. For this, nothing beats it, or even comes close. (Of course, I am somewhat biased on the subject) The Packa allows much more control over body temperature while hiking than any other hiking rain gear. Check out thepacka.com for more discussion about this.
    Wearing it w/o a pack: The packa can be worn without a pack, and it will protect you, but you will have a big floppy packcover on your back. I've never felt it bothered me. Several people have suggested I add a method of securing the packcover when worn without a pack, but I don't feel it is necessary. You could sew or possibly glue some hook/loop if you wanted.
    HH did hit upon the one small drawback of the packa--what to protect those few times when it is raining, and you want to be separated from your pack--you or your pack. This is the same problem poncho users have if the poncho is both the rain gear and packcover. I, Cedar Tree, lover of the packa--still carry another lightweight jacket to wear in these situations. Another good solution is to put your tent fly, or ground cloth in an easily accessable place. Use the fly to temporarily cover your pack and you wear the packa.
    The new packas are here, just like this one HH reviewed. New pictures soon at www.thepacka.com.
    Contact me at thepacka@thepacka.com or post questions here and I will respond. Thanks Whiteblaze.net--Great Website.
    Cedar Tree

  8. #8
    Registered User
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    Default

    That's a nice touch Cedar Tree to come on line and to answer some of the questions that people have about your product.


    Thanks.

  9. #9
    Addicted Hiker and Donating Member Hammock Hanger's Avatar
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    Default Thanks ED...

    for stepping in to answer questions. He it stated much more knowledgably then I could.

    1- Great in wind.
    2- The "baggy" spot doesn't really present a problem
    3- It is very comfy!!!


    Ed: Thanks for the idea of keeping my hammock fly out and using it when ever the need to seperate comes up. Sometimes things are right there in front of our face and we need others to point them out.

    HH
    Hammock Hanger -- Life is my journey and I'm surely not rushing to the "summit"...:D

    http://www.gcast.com/u/hammockhanger/main

  10. #10
    GA-ME 02 Kilted Hiker Trail Yeti's Avatar
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    Another idea if you use a silnylon pack like a Golite Speed, GG Vapor Trail or or the new Gregory pack...since it is silnylon it is pretty much water proof...you aren't gonna get much leakage in a few minute pack break, and then you could wear the packa!
    "Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit"- Ed Abbey

  11. #11

  12. #12

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    Cedar Tree, are you the thru from 2001?

  13. #13

    Default

    No, I thruhiked in 2000. I met a guy named Blue Jay on my hike. In MA I believe, somewhere up North. He carried a wooden hiking stick like mine and he tried to hook me up with a shower at a scout camp up ahead for me, but I missed the turn off. Are you him?

  14. #14

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    Yes, I often get my years mixed up. I'm sooo glad to hear from you. I had just got on the trail there and hiked down to the Grayson highlands. Your journal entries were wonderful and slower NOBOs and people in places where you stayed always spoke highly of you. I swear people were nicer to me just because I met you for a few moments.

  15. #15

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    Thanks Blue Jay, I appreciate the kind words. I met hundreds of nice people on my hike. I guess thats one of the best parts of a thru. Funny thing, I looked in my journal to see exactly when we met, and that was a very pivotal day for me. That day, June 2, 00 was the only day I really ever seriously considered quitting my thru. The heat was killing me then, I hate hiking in hot weather. But that day, and the next, turned out to be 2 of the best of my whole hike. It was in CT, and I was down, as I said. We met in the morning just after I got on back on the trail after staying at Housatonic Meadows State Park. After meeting you, my day went down hill (no pun intended) but a young guy named Slade picked me up at Falls Village and I ended up sleeping on the couch at a friend of his. We all went out to Great Barrington to a place called The Old Egremont, or Old Egg. It was just the diversion from the trail I needed. Then things only got better as I absolutely loved Sages Ravine and Race Mountain the next day. When people ask me my favorite place on the trail, thats what I say: Sages Ravine. For some reason, that whole episode of Slade and Sages Ravine recharged my will to finish. Meeting you was cool too, I hate I missed that shower. Cedar Tree

  16. #16

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    Sages is a very majical place. I go there often. Just north of there is Bear Rock Falls, the sunrise there is almost always spectacular. If you are ever up this way again, we could hit both places in one day. The heat often kicks ass on thrus in CT. On my thru I hit the only flat on the entire AT just north of Kent on a 102 degree day (I found out later). I was wondering why the trail was bobbing and weaving under my feet.

  17. #17
    LT '79; AT '73-'14 in sections; Donating Member Kerosene's Avatar
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    Default

    I also enjoyed Sages Ravine, but I passed on a much cooler day. Still pretty neat, though. Someday I'll get back that way.

    Click here for a few pictures I've posted.
    GA←↕→ME: 1973 to 2014

  18. #18

  19. #19

    Default Packa On Ebay

    I have placed a new Packa on Ebay.
    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...gory=2021&rd=1
    Cedar Tree
    www.thepacka.com

  20. #20

    Default Packas on Ebay

    ***COMMERCIAL POST ALERT***

    Packas on Ebay:

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...tem=2797276897

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...tem=2797253406


    Plus, I needed to get the Packa back on the first page of the gear reviews forum at WhiteBlaze.

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