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Birdman

New Packpack

Hoping for some advice on a new packpack.

I need a backpack to do mainly one/two nights trips, trying to travel light and walking fairly long days.

I love the styling of the climbing backpacks (i.e. Black diamond Speed 55 and Gregory Alpinista 50) but are they suitable for  short backpacking trips? Would i be better with a bulkier, but potentially more comfortable Gregory Baltoro 65, especially given this would cost me twice as much.
Any thoughts, or other good backpacks to consider? Money is a consideration, so Arteryx is out!

Plus if anyone wants to make me an offer on a huge (80l?)older Mountainsmith pack in pretty good condition, im all ears!

Many thanks

Josh
mattmaxon

my suggestion would be to gather the gear & supplies  for a 2 day trip and see if it fits in the smaller pack.

some peoples gotta have gear is anothers hunk of dead weight


so as a wise man said "it depends "
Hikin_Jim

Matt has got some wisdom there.  It really depends on what you pack.

The PCT through hikers that I've been seeing have been carrying the ULA Catalyst.  It seems really popular.  It's a UL backpack with a frame.

I've heard good things about the Gossamer Gear Mariposa.

I have a frameless GoLite Pinnacle.  It works for my style of lightweight backpacking.  I can handle up to about 35 lbs before I start wishing it had a frame.

HJ
Birdman

All packs ive not heard of, so thanks, i'll take a look.

I'm not a light packer, but i aspire to be so i think maybe buying a 50l(ish) bag may force my hand!

Thanks for the advice so far, feel free to keep it coming
mangus7175

As what Matt and Jim have stated, it would be a good idea to gather what gear you currently have, take your gear to an REI and they will let you try out various bags.  Depending on how much gear you carry, it's possible you might not even need a 50L pack at all.  

Currently, all my 3 season gear fits in a 35L pack with enough room for a small 275ci bear canister (if needed)
blueshammer

I have the REI Flash 65, which I bought almost three years ago. It's on clearance now for a pretty cheap price.

http://www.rei.com/product/847925...ash-65-pack-mens-2013-special-buy

As the reviews indicate (4.9 out of 5 stars), it is great. I absolutely love the pack and don't need any other. I went on a two-day short trip last month, and I fit a large sleeping bag, sleeping pad, a two-person tent, clothing, 5-6 liters of water, food, and more in that thing. It's waterproof and pretty comfortable to wear.

bsmith

what they all said.

i've also recently done research on the very same issue.

the unaddressed issue here so far is the cost / benefit ratio.

the big variable weights are pack, tent, bag and pad.

you can get each of those down to a very low weight - but to do so could set you back close to $1,000.00.

so you have to ask yourself, "how deep are my pockets and how heavy do i want to be?
mangus7175

bsmith wrote:
what they all said.

i've also recently done research on the very same issue.

the unaddressed issue here so far is the cost / benefit ratio.

the big variable weights are pack, tent, bag and pad.

you can get each of those down to a very low weight - but to do so could set you back close to $1,000.00.

so you have to ask yourself, "how deep are my pockets and how heavy do i want to be?


I'll have to disagree with that price range actually.  Here's a sample breakdown of the big three +1

Pack: Golite Jam 50L (1lbs 14oz) - $100
Sleeping Bag: Marmot NanoWave 45 (2lbs) - $79
Sleeping Pad: Thermarest Z-Lite (14oz) - $40
Tent: ALPS Mountaineering Mystique (3lbs 11oz) - $110

Again the above are just examples off the top of my head if you're on a budget.  Total cost of the Big 3 +1 would be approximately $329 (minus tax) with a starting weight of around 7lbs.  

There are a lot of lightweight options out there, you just have to hunt them down. Craigslist, REI Gear Sales, Forum Sales, etc.  Granted, if you're a gear junkie like me, I agree, you will be spending a ton of $$$ but that isn't always the case.

You just have to shop around, be patient, and don't settle...really look around and deal can be had.  Here's an example of my current 3 season gear list - http://www.geargrams.com/list?id=7137

Most of the gear I own aren't name brand items (especially clothing). Through research, I have found many non-name brand alternatives that work just as good as those name brand ones.
bsmith

my point is that one can always go lighter - but at a cost.

using the figures below i have cut your weight (using your figures = 8 lbs 3 oz) in half - but at an additional  cost (retail / no taxes) of $771.00.

    pack:  gossamer gear mariposa -    4244 ci 1lb 11oz $235.00
    bag:  western mountaineering highlite                1lb $305.00
    thermarest neoair xlite short                               8oz $130.00
    zpacks tent                                                            1lb $430.00
                                                                       3lb 19oz $1,100.00
    total weight = 4lbs 3oz


and yes, you really need to shop - it does pay off.
mangus7175

bsmith wrote:
my point is that one can always go lighter - but at a cost.


If put that way, yes, I can agree to that.  If money wasn't an option, one could go cuben all the way and cut that base weight even lighter.

Personally, going a little off topic, I can't see myself going cuben though...I just can't justify the price per ounce...
mattmaxon

The weight / cost issue is like the speed/cost issue and all play directly into the misery index.

It seems to me the people who are carrying the "Refrigerator packs" are miserable.

My personal pack decision has several factors . One is my back is a mess I broke a chunk off one of the vertebra in my lower back. To backpack I have to keep my pack weight low and do plenty of conditioning/training.

Keeping the pack light reduces your misery just look at the faces of people carrying their packs. It seems mostly the bigger the pack. More misery is there. Yes there are exceptions. Most of us are not exceptional.

The fit of the pack is paramount. If it doesn't fit it should be off your list all packs should be tried with pack weight 30-50 lbs

I for one have to have lots of ventilation and won't consider a pack without a mesh back / pack interface..

The pack is going to have to hold my bearikade expedition & weeekender, "if it doesn't it's off the list"

One thing I have found is durability for the UL gear is the price you pay for UL gear unless it is a Ti pot or cup.

Get a copy of The Pacific Crest Trail Hikers Handbook by Ray Jardine

It maybe a bit dated now but sage advice from the founding father of UL trekking is never dated. But timeless principals to pack by

I guess the point of my rambling is cost should not be the only factor. If it doesn't work for you I don't care how inexpensive it is. If I had that $600 million powerball ticket I'd have custom UL gear made But being a working schmuck I have to find a balance of cost / weight / durability

Hell if I had the $600 million PB ticket I'd perfect the "Anitgravity pack" Then I could carry my $$$ in gold on the trail  Laughing
JeffH

Packs are a really personal item, what works for one person may be totally wrong for someone else. As suggested, go to a store and try some packs with a typical load, see what is comfortable. Make sure to invest some time walking around so you get a good idea of the fit.
I have an Osprey Atmos 50, it felt best to me when I purchased it about five years ago.
I carry a relatively heavy sleeping bag but it's an inexpensive down, the Marmot Sawtooth 15 degree.
I also don't like just a thin pad so I carry a Big Agnes Air Core. And a pillow, sleep is important.
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