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  1. #1
    Registered User goody5534's Avatar
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    Default Pack Choice please help!

    Gregory Baltoro vs. Z series

    Osprey Aether vs Gregory Baltoro


    I am currently leaning towards Gregory for flexibility in fitting options since I am a XXL hiker, but could be persuaded based on opinions of packs after extended use issues: tearing, water repelling, etc...

  2. #2
    Hike smarter, not harder.
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    In the ultralight forum? How about a ULA Circuit?
    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

  3. #3
    Bloomer Bloomer's Avatar
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    Have to agree with Skinewmexico and go with ULA. If your base-weight isn't in the Circuit range, go with the Catalyst. I've hiked with the Gregory Baltaro for many years and am happy with how it peformed, However; I grew tired of carring that extra 4 pound of backpack and discovered lighter backpacks like ULA packs. I bought a new Baltaro, my second, from REI and sent it back and ordered a ULA Catalyst. Also, going to get a Circuit in the spring for lighter summer loads.

  4. #4
    Hiker bigcranky's Avatar
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    Yeah, none of the packs you mention would interest an ultralight hiker. They are all solid lightweight choices, don't get me wrong, but they aren't UL. No big deal, though, they are all excellent packs. I've used a Baltoro and an Aether, and my wife has used the Z series and now uses an Ariel 55 (women's Aether.) If I had to choose from those three, I would take the Aether 60. For me it had the best balance of comfort, carrying ability, and weight. It carried 35 pounds in comfort, and it would easily swallow my winter gear. I used it happily for several years.

    Now that my base weight is lower, I use a ULA Circuit. It can carry 30 pounds in comfort, but weighs about half as much as my old Aether.
    Ken B
    'Big Cranky'
    Our Long Trail journal

  5. #5
    Registered User corialice81's Avatar
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    Agreed. ULA Circuit. Contact Chris, tell 'em your needs and he'll fit you with the appropriate pack.

  6. #6
    Registered User Papa D's Avatar
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    I like the Osprey Aether but I'm not an XL hiker - I'm actually pretty small - 5'8, 150 lbs

  7. #7

    Default

    The OP said he's XXL, so I have a feeling he's going to need a good sized pack too. Anything Ultralight isn't going to cut it for the bulk he will likely need to carry. Gregory packs are generally bullet proof and on the larger size. The extra pound or so isn't going to be much of an issue.
    The AT - It has it's ups and downs...

  8. #8
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    +1 on the ULA packs!!!

  9. #9
    Registered User wwbriggs's Avatar
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    I have a ULA Catalyst and an OHM. Use the Catalyst if I need more room in the winter or if my son's go along and I end up carrying some things for the younger one. OHM for my shorter week or less light trips. I recently go a six moon designs swift because of it's extremely light weight. On the surface the weight factor is really an improvement, but in reality I think the OHM 2 is a much nicer pack overall. You won't go wrong with the ULA. It is worth a little extra over some of the others out there.


    Billie Blazes

  10. #10
    Registered User 3_dogs's Avatar
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    Go to an outdoor store with a variety of packs and try them. Different manufacturers packs fit differently. They can throw weight into the packs and let you walk around a bit. You don't want to get on the trail and find out the pack you chose is the opposite shape as your body.

  11. #11
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    The Lowe Alpine ultralight series is pretty sweet. I actually just picked up a Nanon 50:60. Its super light and has a ton of cool features.

  12. #12
    AT NOBO2010 / SOBO2011 Maddog's Avatar
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    +1 on ULA! I have the Catalyst and the CDT.
    "You do more hiking with your head than your feet!" Emma "Grandma" Gatewood...HYOY!!!
    http://www.hammockforums.net/?

  13. #13

    Default

    I had the Baltero 75, and the weight was 5 lbs 10 oz. Great pack! But, weight. - I sold it.

    Then I bought a REI Flash 65 - only 3 lbs 2 oz. And $ reasonable. Again, great pack - very traditional. I may/may not use it. This would be a great choice if your base weight was 20-25 lbs. I have not tried out a ULA, but they are well reviewed.

    Finally, I went with a zpacks exo (less than a lb, but still has a frame). Should be arriving any day now! Got my base weight down to 13-15 lbs, so hope this is a good fit for my upcoming AT Thru.

  14. #14
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    I own a ULA Catalyst, love it

    Bought a cuben fiber Hyperlite Mountain Gear pack, super love it

    Amazingly comfortable..........if not big enough, ask nice, they will probably make you a larger one for a bit more $$

    Great new gear................cuben fiber tent is next

  15. #15

    Default

    From personal experience I'd recommend ULA or Osprey.

    Both are EXCELLENT packs.. well designed, extremely rugged, comfortable, etc, and both companies have -outstanding- customer service.

  16. #16

    Default

    Another option is the HMG Porter packs, available in 3400 cu/in (26.5 oz) and 4400 cu/in (27 oz).

  17. #17
    Registered User goody5534's Avatar
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    Default

    Bought Atmos 65...

  18. #18
    BYGE "Biggie" TOMP's Avatar
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    I have a gregory Z55 that is great, and it is designed for airflow against your back so it is my go to summer hiking pack. I think gregory is the best backpack manufacturer as far as quality. Not UL though.

  19. #19
    Saw Man tuswm's Avatar
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    I would suggest at least looking at the osprey atmos 65 if you go to a store like REI. I just got the newest model as a warranty replacement. its adjustable and has huge straps.

    If you want a ULA pack I ordered mine with straps made for my measurements.
    "you cant grow old if you never grow up" ~TUswm

  20. #20
    Registered User 300winmag's Avatar
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    Look at the Osprey EXOS 58 if you want to talk about an Osprey pack that is truly UL but large enough for week long trips.
    With aftermarket side pockets you could add another 800 cubic inches and have needed items like water treatment, 1st aid and toilet kit readily accessable when carrying bulky colder weather clothing.

    If a pack seems "just right" except for being a bit too small in overall capacity then the side pocket route could help get you into that pack.

    I personally carry about 28 to 30 pounds on the first day of a 7 day trip so I NEED a frame pack. "Frameless" packs using mattresses for support become uncomfortable after a few hours. The calories I save by carrying with a relatively comfortable frame pack makes up for the little bit of extra weight. I carry that much weight B/C, being a ski patroller, I'm the "designated 1st aid guy" and carry a larger community 1st aid kit.

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