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  1. #1
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    Default what size backpack should I get?

    I know this is probably a personal issue. but having never done much backpacking before I'm a little confused. Actually the most backpacking Ive ever done was in between classes back in highschool. lol. so actually, i'm 'a lot' confused.

    I was pretty set on getting the Vapor Trail 3600, but without seeing it in person, its hard to tell if it will work well enough for me. I did see another bag at a Sports Authority that was a 3600, and tbh, it looked a little small to me, maybe its just my ignorance.. either way, i need some help.

    Right now,
    my sleeping bag is 1lb8oz and is 13x8 pack size.
    The sleeping pad, (probably not a neccessity) is 1lb1oz and is about 4x12 pack size.
    The tent is 2lbs9oz and is 5x14..

    So that is the bulky stuff. I doesnt look like the weight will be an issue, but if I were to get the Vapor Trail, would that leave enough room for clothes and a week's supply of food, and whatever else would be neccessary? Maybe I should go bigger?

  2. #2
    Registered User Egads's Avatar
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    Kappy0405,

    Welcome to Whiteblaze and good luck on your hike. You will find Whiteblaze to be a great resource of information and wisdom.

    Let me help you out. There is a drop down "Search" menu in the Whiteblaze header that you can use to search old forums. I hate to be a snitch and not directly answer your question, but this was discussed this week already.

    http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/show...highlight=size

    Egads
    The trail was here before we arrived, and it will still be here when we are gone...enjoy it now, and preserve it for others that come after us

  3. #3
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    Default

    wow, sorry for being redundant. I've been browsing the forums a little and hadnt seen that talked about much. thanks for the reply.

  4. #4
    Registered User bredler's Avatar
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    Default

    also, try posting questions like this in the future in the General or Gear forums.

  5. #5
    Registered User corialice81's Avatar
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    I have the vapor trail ki (which is the female version of the vapor trail) and I'm quite pleased with it!

  6. #6
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    IMO, the VT might be too small unless you have a really nice down bag. Preferably a summer-weight bag. Anyway, the Granite Gear packs make it easy to carry a tent or sleeping pad vertically, outside the pack.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by _terrapin_ View Post
    IMO, the VT might be too small unless you have a really nice down bag. Preferably a summer-weight bag. Anyway, the Granite Gear packs make it easy to carry a tent or sleeping pad vertically, outside the pack.
    thanks, i was thinking I might have to attach the tent to the outside of the pack. no biggie. the sleeping bag does seem to take up a lot of room. Im gonna try to find a smaller packed down bag and just go with the vapor trail.

  8. #8
    Registered User corialice81's Avatar
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    marmot helium is a good down bag if you're looking

  9. #9

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by corialice81 View Post
    marmot helium is a good down bag if you're looking
    Yes, and it now has a full zipper.

    The Vapor Trail is probably too small. The Nimbus Ozone is a better choice. The B.S. on their website about 40% of thrus using the V.T. is exactly that, B.S.

  10. #10

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    I think a Vapor Trail would work for you, I wouldn't consider anything any smaller. You can carry your foam pad vertically on the back of the pack. I bought the lid, side pockets, and waistbelt pockets for mine, a little under three pounds total. Learn how to measure from the 7th cervical vertebrae to your illiac crest (go to GG's website) and, if you are on the edge between sizes, go with the smaller size. The frame is a sheet of plastic, if you get a Vapor Trail that is too big, that "frame" sticks above your back and will buckle. I carry my 70oz platypus between the framesheet and the backpad to help prevent this, I've had 35# in mine with no problem.

  11. #11

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    Being a relatively new hiker, you'll probably want to carry some things that you may later feel you won't need. I'd err on the large size for a backpack, probably 4000+ cu. in. If you decide to go light or ultralight at a later date, you can buy a new pack once you've gotten your gear figured out. The larger pack could always be used for winter hikes, or you can lend it out to your friends. I currently have 4 packs of different sizes and use them all. Some more often than others.
    As I live, declares the Lord God, I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that the wicked turn back from his way and live. Ezekiel 33:11

  12. #12
    Working on Forestry Grad schol
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    If I were you I wouldn't waste money on an expensive frame pack that you'll likely want to get rid of in a month. I'd just start with a much-cheaper rucksack with a hipbelt--something from ULA, six moons designs, or zpacks should be great.

  13. #13
    Registered User A-Train's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ScottP View Post
    If I were you I wouldn't waste money on an expensive frame pack that you'll likely want to get rid of in a month. I'd just start with a much-cheaper rucksack with a hipbelt--something from ULA, six moons designs, or zpacks should be great.
    Glad to see you mention Zpacks. I was thinking of contacting Joe to tell him about this site, since I think he could benefit from the business and exposure. After seeing his success on the PCT this summer with an ultralite pack, I was considering ordering one from him.

    zpacks.com
    Anything's within walking distance if you've got the time.
    GA-ME 03, LT 04/06, PCT 07'

  14. #14
    Working on Forestry Grad schol
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    I just ordered one from him to use for my AT section and CDT hike this year. He makes a great product--very professionally done. I got the zilch, with a hipbelt added and sleeping pad loops to attach ice axe/snowshoes (I'm going early season NOBO this year...lots of snow, yay!).

    I'm sure that Joe knows about this site, but he's not really much of a self-promoter.

  15. #15
    Registered User jesse's Avatar
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    The sleeping pad, (probably not a neccessity) is 1lb1oz and is about 4x12 pack size.
    The pad not only gives cushion, but provides much needed insulation.

  16. #16
    Registered User A-Train's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ScottP View Post
    I just ordered one from him to use for my AT section and CDT hike this year. He makes a great product--very professionally done. I got the zilch, with a hipbelt added and sleeping pad loops to attach ice axe/snowshoes (I'm going early season NOBO this year...lots of snow, yay!).

    I'm sure that Joe knows about this site, but he's not really much of a self-promoter.
    Cool, good for you. I'd have my reservations that a pack that light/flimsy could stand the test of a thru-hike, but he made it work. That being said, I saw him do some field repairs on his pack, so being handy with thread and needle is probably a good thing if owning one.

    It was quite entertaining watching him and his girl trek into the Sierras with 10 days of food in (and outside of) those tiny little packs.
    Anything's within walking distance if you've got the time.
    GA-ME 03, LT 04/06, PCT 07'

  17. #17
    Working on Forestry Grad schol
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    Yeah. I actuly don't carry any warm clothes, and the zilch is way bigger than the other packs I've used, so I'm pretty confident that I can get 250 miles of food in it (I have 3 resupply stretches on the CDT about that long--it's either that or 30 mile hitches down dirt roads).


    Joe made mine out of a thicker fabric--he has different fabric options.

  18. #18
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    :banana Latitude Vapor

    Alright, so I just ordered the 'GG Latitude Vapor' today. Based on everyones comments, i figured I might as well go ahead and go a little bigger then the vapor trail. 200 inches more isnt that much, but it'll help a lot when it comes down to it. And if I just strap the tent and pad to the outside, I'm sure Ill have plenty of room leftover anyway.

    thanks for the advice everyone!

  19. #19
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    Whatever pack size you get your goal should be to fill it completely with nothing strapped outside. Internal frame packs, and especially lighter weight designs, are very dependant on the contents of the pack giving it structure.

    One of the most common mistakes hikers make is strapping gear on the outside of their packs, and unless it's something like a closed cell foam pad that weighs less than one pound, that weight will be far away from your back and cause you to burn more calories and do more work than if that weight was loaded correctly into your pack and compressed against your back.

    So don't make the mistake of buying a small pack, then having to strap gear outside...it completely defeats the purpose of having a smaller volume pack.

  20. #20
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    Someone shared good advice (not for the Ultralight crowd), under 10lbs, sleeping bag, tent and pack. Going out for a week, especially in cool weather, I like a larger pack so I do not have to "cram" everything in. I use the Kelty Shadow 4500, pretty light, comfortable, side pockets, works for me. Has to be comfortable! That monkey will be on your back a lot.

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