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Backpacks

Discussion in 'The Great Outdoors' started by bigjbear, Mar 5, 2004.

  1. bigjbear

    bigjbear 1 ton status Staff Member Moderator

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    I'm thinking about retiring my old external frame Jansport backpack and getting something new. If I do I want to upgrade not just swap out for some piece of crap. I know I will need to go to the store and try several but give me some ideas about what you are using and if you like it. I have REI & Galyan's local and will buy it from one of them. I like mail order places like Campmor, but not for something like this. (I know about REI's political issues & take them into account when I buy, but its not the only thing I consider)

    I've got a day pack I like, now I'm looking for something for a w/e or longer. What I have now is light, and normally comforatable but its dated and the fabric is begining to wear. It has two main pockets that both load from the back, which is fine as long as you don't have anything (like a sleeping pad) lashed to the back. If one of the pockets was top loading that might be better. It also has two small side pockets for a stove and fuel, at least that is what I use them for. The waist belt is wide but not padded. There are 6 lashing points, 2 on the back, 2 on the top & 2 on the bottom; the ones on the back are sewn in while the others are slip through and reinforced w/ leather pads. This pack was probably state-of-the-art 15 years ago.

    I'm looking in the $150-300 range. The brands I'm currently considering are: Gregory, REI, Jansport, & Kelty. Any others you guys recomend?
     
  2. atlantak-5er

    atlantak-5er 1/2 ton status

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    I had an old osprey pack that burned up in a fire. It was good but expensive ($300.00). This christmas I got an REI pack from my brother. I cant remeber the name, but it is big (tan & black in color). It has lots of straps that can be sinched down to make it work when you are not using its full capacity. I like it much better than my old pack and I think he got it on sale for about $150.00. I am impressed with the quality and versitility at that price. The other brand I like is gregory. My college buddy design packs for them and they just got a military contract so you know they are good. I bought the "diva" Gregory pack for my girlfriend and it is top notch. They have sealed zippers and ripstop nylon. They are mroe cash though. I got hers at galyan's. Just some info from my experience. Good luck finding a pack. They have come a long way in the past couple of years.
     
  3. bigjbear

    bigjbear 1 ton status Staff Member Moderator

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    [ QUOTE ]
    They have come a long way in the past couple of years.


    [/ QUOTE ]
    That is the truth!

    I was looking at the Gregory Z-pack on line and it seems to be well designed. Were there any models you found that you liked better than others?

    You are the first person I've talked to who's had an Ospery. Did you feel it was worth the $$$?

    Where do you hike?
     
  4. Can Can

    Can Can Pusher Man Staff Member Super Moderator

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    Aw man, there was a time I could have quoted you the specs of all the best overnight packs by heart...... /forums/images/graemlins/doah.gif

    Whatever you do, choose a bag with a built-in hydration system pocket, preferably along the back of the pack. Of course, that option is probably standard now- when I bought my last pack 10 years ago, hydration gear was just getting mainstream and most of the companies weren't offering it yet......

    Sorry I couldn't help much more. I know a couple of hardcore backcountry guys here in town. If you're interested I can probably get some feedback from them.
     
  5. bigjbear

    bigjbear 1 ton status Staff Member Moderator

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    [ QUOTE ]
    Sorry I couldn't help much more. I know a couple of hardcore backcountry guys here in town. If you're interested I can probably get some feedback from them.

    [/ QUOTE ]
    Thanks, that would be great. I'm looking for a good weekend pack, so far a couple different Gregorys are in the lead. It looks like the hydration system pockets are standard now. That kind of supprised me because some people really don't like them. That might just be a local thing, though. Personally, I think they are great. Heck the daypack I bought my daughter uses 1/2 its capicty for the water bladder, if she were using water bottles the whole pack would be full. If she managed to stuff some extra socks in something like that they would be wet due to no seperate pouch. I'm sold on hydration systems 100%.

    BTW can you ask them what they like for treking poles. I've had it w/ my cheep ones
     
  6. Pookster

    Pookster 1/2 ton status

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    I have a Lowe alpine, Contour something or other- I got it in 98, so they've made a few rather nice updates.

    The hydration pack is great- it really does let you keep your steady walk pace, especially if your using poles.

    Mine is a 7200 or 7500 CU size. Its a little larger for what I normally need it for, but if you plan on doing any winter camping, it is a plus to have that extra space.

    The new versions have a few extra externally mounted side pockets- good to keep your water purifier in, and also your first aid stuff in.

    the pack has all sorts of straps- but most importantly, has a torso height adjustment. This is loads more comfortable in trying to find just the right fitment.

    The Northface Vapor is a nother nice one, and can be mail ordered/ northface store pretty reasonably priced. I think its 5500 CU. Its pretty light weight, cause the bigger the pack, the more stagnant weight you have to carry.

    If you have a chance, check out Mountain Equipment Co-Op, from Canada. You have to sign up for a membership to get stuff from them, but they make some really really nice items, I have a mountaineering day pack from them, that is from 1993- its still going strong. The straps just get a little stiff if the temp drops below 30.
     
  7. bigjbear

    bigjbear 1 ton status Staff Member Moderator

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  8. Can Can

    Can Can Pusher Man Staff Member Super Moderator

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    That's the one, brother. My wife and I used to visit the MEC in Calgary once a month. I didn't know that they shipped to the USA. FWIW, their MEC-brand stuff is awesome!!!! I own quite a few of their products- a sleeping bag, an inflatable sleeping mat, a day pack, several stuff sacks, a few odds 'n ends, and lots of clothes. I've been wearing a pair of their Rad pants on a regular basis for over 8 years and the things are indestructable!!!!

    I'll get ahold of a couple of the guys I know and see what they recommend......What capacity are you interested in?
     
  9. Can Can

    Can Can Pusher Man Staff Member Super Moderator

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    [ QUOTE ]
    If you have a chance, check out Mountain Equipment Co-Op, from Canada. You have to sign up for a membership to get stuff from them

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Just so you guys know, the membership is only $5 CDN(only $3.79 USD /forums/images/graemlins/eek.gif). It's been that price for as long as I can remember.........
     
  10. bigjbear

    bigjbear 1 ton status Staff Member Moderator

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    How do you deal w/ the US$ vs C$, or do they take care of that for you?
     
  11. bigjbear

    bigjbear 1 ton status Staff Member Moderator

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    [ QUOTE ]
    What capacity are you interested in?


    [/ QUOTE ]
    Around 3000 c.i. (+/-500 c.i.), under 5 lbs.
     
  12. Pookster

    Pookster 1/2 ton status

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    its been years, but last I recall, they just charge you the candiaan rate. You pay by Credit card, and the rest is done automatically by the CC company.

    their stuff is really made very well. Other brands which I've had very good luck with are Go-Lite (for clothing), MSR (for just about anything else, I have a pair of their denali ascent snow shoes, and their cooking equipment. all iwll last at least 10 yearS). I also have a few items by coleman, an APEX II stove (had it for at least 4 years of constant abuse in sand and boiled over pasta) and found a 1940's white gas lantern for 20 bucks at a flea market.

    in terms of boots, I really like walmart commanders. I've had all these fancy smancy medium weight boots, but the commanders are really comfortable. Its my everyday boot, and I also use it for hunting and hiking. /forums/images/graemlins/waytogo.gif
     

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