Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 26
  1. #1
    Registered User bandit's Avatar
    Join Date
    09-17-2010
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Age
    32
    Posts
    17

    Default thru-hike pack access..also, gals, pack choice?

    Hey! I'm new to this awesome website, and trying to get my act together for an AT thru-hike in '11.

    I was wondering what you guys think about pack access for thru-hiking. I've got a front access daypack, and that's definitely my favorite feature. Though I probably won't get that lucky with my next pack, it seems to me that a 60L pack hauling all your stuff should at least have more than one top access point to help maintain sanity and keep cursing and ill-will towards your pack to a minimum. Comments, thoughts, expostulations?

    Ladies, any recommendations on packs? Will probably carry avg 30-35 lbs on my thru-hike, I'm 5'3" and am leaning towards the Osprey Aura 65. Definitely want to stay in the 3.5 lb or less range.

  2. #2
    Registered User
    Join Date
    04-15-2010
    Location
    Palm Harbor, Florida
    Age
    59
    Posts
    305
    Images
    15

    Default Pack

    Quote Originally Posted by bandit View Post
    Osprey Aura 65
    Saw many women using them "out there". Would be a great choice if you think you really need to carry 35 pounds. Work on that base weight !

  3. #3

    Default

    I would suggest trying on packs designed for both women and men. I've hiked with women who found "mens" packs fit them better and men who found "womens" pants fit them better. ~ If you're looking at Osprey packs, you may want to look at the Exos 58 and it's two vertical zipper pockets.
    "..it seems to me that a 60L pack hauling all your stuff should at least have more than one top access point to help maintain sanity and keep cursing and ill-will towards your pack to a minimum." - Agreed. Top loaders require users to pretty much empty their pack out to get to anything near the bottom. Some old Gregory packs had large front access zippers allowing access to anything without unloading them, but they were very heavy. Lots of threads on here about the advantages/disadvantages of internal vs. external vs. modular frame packs.

  4. #4
    Registered User Razor's Avatar
    Join Date
    01-13-2008
    Location
    Blairsville ,Ga
    Age
    68
    Posts
    321

    Default

    Just remember for every feature you keep ,you add weight.There are many lite weight packs discussed here on WB that you can keep sanity with & that weight less than 2 lbs.Keep in mind that all these ounces add up. Not to say the packs you mentioned are bad ,just that tradeoffs are always there in backpacking.

  5. #5
    Registered User
    Join Date
    08-02-2008
    Location
    prairie du chien, WI
    Age
    69
    Posts
    501

    Default

    After a couple of days on the trail 'access' is not muh of a problem. You need to get at some things like water, camera, sun/bug stuff, jacket when you stop--that kind of thing. You get used to putting what you know you will need at the top or in a pocket. Exterior pockets and panel loading features are great, you just need to decide if they are worth the weight penalty for you. For the long haul, I opt for simplicity in everything.

    A single large interior space with side mesh pockets and a large mesh pocket on the back are really all you need. Most light packs are built like this. Try to keep the 'big three, or four' down to as close as you can to 2 lbs each and your pack weight will be light and comfy.

    I have a formula for deciding on new packs. I want the ratio of cubic inches to weight of the pack to be at least 75 ci per ounce, 100 is better. So a 1600 ci pack should weigh no more than 1 lb. If it weighs more, then it better have, and will have, a comfortable frame, hip belt, and lots of pockets before I would even consider it. So working the other way, a 3.5 lb pack should be about 5,600ci for me to be interested.

    Whatever works for you--but less is more when it is less weight and more miles you want.

    I have a couple of Osprey packs, I like them. You might want to look at the Talon 44.
    Mine has a sleeping bag compartment on the bottom for access. I think this pack would be ok for a long hike, it holds a lot more than the specs would indicate, big enough for me anyway. The exos is light and has pockets.

  6. #6
    Registered User bandit's Avatar
    Join Date
    09-17-2010
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Age
    32
    Posts
    17

    Default

    exactly the valuable advice i was hoping for, thanks guys.

  7. #7
    Hiker bigcranky's Avatar
    Join Date
    10-22-2002
    Location
    Winston-Salem, NC
    Age
    58
    Posts
    7,894
    Images
    296

    Default

    My wife likes Osprey packs, too -- they are one of the few to make a great shoulder harness for women. You might check the Exos series for a lighter pack that can still carry a decent load -- but make SURE it fits well.

    Agree with grayfox that after a few days on the trail, panel access is overrated. In any case, I like to line my pack with a trash compactor bag -- and that sort of defeats the whole panel load idea anyway.

    I like to have big outside mesh pockets on my pack. You might check the ULA packs as well as the Osprey.
    Ken B
    'Big Cranky'
    Our Long Trail journal

  8. #8
    AT NOBO2010 / SOBO2011 Maddog's Avatar
    Join Date
    10-24-2008
    Location
    Warner Robins, Georgia
    Posts
    762
    Images
    8

    Default

    i recommend ULA as well! maddog
    "You do more hiking with your head than your feet!" Emma "Grandma" Gatewood...HYOY!!!
    http://www.hammockforums.net/?

  9. #9
    Registered User bandit's Avatar
    Join Date
    09-17-2010
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Age
    32
    Posts
    17

    Default

    now i feel like i can let go of the desire for a panel loading pack. i guess that leaves durability, comfort, and weight as the key aspects. oh wait...that's EVERYONE's concern, isn't it...

  10. #10
    Iron Guts IronGutsTommy's Avatar
    Join Date
    08-21-2010
    Location
    Dunedin, Florida
    Age
    44
    Posts
    430
    Images
    11

    Default

    weight and comfort is. sometimes its not as fun if packs are durable because then u have no excuse for buying another one haha
    I broke a mirror in my house. I'm supposed to get seven years bad luck but my lawyer thinks he can get me five.

  11. #11
    4eyedbuzzard's Avatar
    Join Date
    01-02-2007
    Location
    DFW, TX / Northern NH
    Age
    63
    Posts
    7,941
    Images
    27

    Default

    The thing this brings to mind is waterproofing - the easier it is for you to access your gear, the easier it is for water to access your gear. A panel load pack obviously offers access advantages, but how much of this ease of access is lost when considering using a compactor bag or silnylon liner for waterproofing? Kind of wondering for myself as well. Anyway, just thinking out loud.

  12. #12

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by droptopbenz View Post
    i recommend ULA as well! maddog

    If I were in the market for a new pack, the ULA would definitely be the one. Whichever one is the next to the smallest and has a suspension system would be my choice. I can never keep the names straight. If your stuff will not fit in 50 liters, then you have too much stuff. I also agree that access is not much of an issue. You learn very quickly where everything is, and how to get at it. When you get your gear down to a science, you can unload and load your complete system in a jiffy. It's not only about the weight, but also the number of things you carry. To boot, the ULA packs are not that expensive, as new packs go. Of course, I'm a cheap-skate.

    litefoot 2000

  13. #13

    Default

    It's the Ohm, with a main body volume of 2100 cubes.

    litefoot 2000

  14. #14
    Registered User bandit's Avatar
    Join Date
    09-17-2010
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Age
    32
    Posts
    17

    Default

    I have a 50 liter now, and I know I won't able to get by with it - especially the first 1-2 months. i wish i were that savvy, but 'ultralight' is definitely not a modifier for ol' bandit. 'slow' definitely is a more appropriate modifier.

    after all the ula enthusiasm i've been seeing on the forums, i'm really excited to try on some ula packs. luckily i'm going down to san fran in a couple weeks, i'm going to make a trip down to santa cruz to try on some ula packs. - the circuit, in particular, looks like a good fit for me.

    seriously though, are there any smaller women out there who use ula's? i know big tough men/women carrying ultralight gear are fond of them, but are they also a good fit for short little gals carrying heavier loads? (30-35 lbs, no more)...guess i'll find out in a few weeks.

    also, instead of lining the entire pack with a trash bag, i usually put groups of things in their own trash bags - the extra dry clothes bag, the wet'n'nasty bag, the food bag, etc. that way if one bag gets an unnoticed hole, then the rest of the bags are still dry. seems like that would be the way i keep doing it on the at.

  15. #15
    Hiker bigcranky's Avatar
    Join Date
    10-22-2002
    Location
    Winston-Salem, NC
    Age
    58
    Posts
    7,894
    Images
    296

    Default

    are there any smaller women out there who use ula's?
    Um, yeah, forgot about that. My wife has tried several ULA packs and hated them -- but that was in a store, not on the trail. She found that the shoulder harness dug into her neck, and the overall feel wasn't all that great. I love my Ohm, though.

    Of course your mileage may vary -- I've seen several women on the trail using ULA packs. They are very well made.
    Ken B
    'Big Cranky'
    Our Long Trail journal

  16. #16
    PCT, Sheltowee, Pinhoti, LT , BMT, AT, SHT, CDT 560 miles 10-K's Avatar
    Join Date
    10-30-2007
    Location
    Erwin, TN
    Age
    58
    Posts
    8,435

    Default

    My wife likes hers... She's 112 lbs dripping wet and has no trouble with a pack weight of 20 lbs.

  17. #17
    Hike smarter, not harder.
    Join Date
    10-01-2008
    Location
    Midland, TX
    Age
    62
    Posts
    2,262

    Default

    Try packs that aren't women's specific. So much of that is marketing. When I'm worried about durability, I use one of my ULA packs. When I'm less worried and want superlight, I use one of my Gossamer Gear. Buy either, you're helping make a payroll in the USA. Call either, and talk to the owner.
    Con men understand that their job is not to use facts to convince skeptics but to use words to help the gullible to believe what they want to believe - Thomas Sowell

  18. #18
    Iron Guts IronGutsTommy's Avatar
    Join Date
    08-21-2010
    Location
    Dunedin, Florida
    Age
    44
    Posts
    430
    Images
    11

    Default

    yeah lots of gender items are just marketing, a company doesnt want to be the only one that doesnt "appear" to have womens options. one of the best moves i ever made was starting to use womens deodorant. most mens kind stinks (old spice comes to mind), while womens dont stink, they just work. came real close to buying womens leki poles also, but decided against it because although i am open minded, i couldnt bring myself to buy poles with the name "diva" in it. probably wasted the extra 15 dollars getting the mens, but theres a limit i guess
    I broke a mirror in my house. I'm supposed to get seven years bad luck but my lawyer thinks he can get me five.

  19. #19
    Registered User HomewardBound's Avatar
    Join Date
    07-18-2010
    Location
    Dawsonville, GA
    Age
    27
    Posts
    1

    Default

    I am currently thru-hiking sobo (started august 1st) and am by no means an ultra-light hiker, but all my gear easily fits into my Osprey Talon 44. I started out with a huge 92 liter pack and now I would not personally reccomend a pack over 44 liters(except maybe the osprey exos 58 due to its light weight) exspecially when traversing the tough terrain in Maine and NH. 32lbs without ultralight gear and with about 2.5 liters of water is def possible. Being only 5'3 I would think that you wouldn't be to happy carrying over 35lbs? I love the ULA circuit, but nobody up here had them in stock....ULA Circuit or osprey talon, either one I believe is a great choice and pretty light.

    The Talon has great access!!! The external storage pocket up front holds my toiletries, head-lamp, Jacket, Denatured alcohol, Vitamins, snacks, towel, etc....the side compartments hold my 3 liter bladder and 1 liter bottle....the brain holds my books(3), cell phone, wallet etc... The main compartment can be accesed from the top or bottom and holds the remainder of my gear, the brain of the pack is also removable to save weight.

    Really you can't pick a pack online though, you need to go out and take all of your gear with you to an outfitter and then after stuffing everything in try the pack on.....that's the only way to truly be happy with your pack IMO.

    P.S. with all my gear, not ultra-light, 5-7 days of food and with 3.5 liters of water my talon weighs in at 33lbs.
    Team Europe +1

  20. #20
    Registered User bandit's Avatar
    Join Date
    09-17-2010
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Age
    32
    Posts
    17

    Default

    HomewardBound, I hope you're enjoying your hike, and happy trails!

    When it comes to womens/mens packs, I tend to agree - pick whatever feels best. I'll keep an eye out for men's packs as well with the advice you guys have given. Though some brands change more than just the color when they design for women - you can see differences in intended torso lengths, width and shape of shoulder straps and their placement (intended for more narrow shoulders vs mens), and hip belt padding, shape, size, etc.

    I worked at an outfitter and encouraged people to try packs and other gear intended for the other sex quite often. The hardest part was mentioning it to them, I was always internally cringing in anticipation of their reaction. Most people were receptive though.

    IronGutsTommy, I personally think you'd have looked even tougher with diva poles.

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
++ New Posts ++

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •