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harper

what pack to use with a back-injury (lumbar? or...??)

hello all --

i've injured my upper back and can't carry a backpack anymore (for now.)

so i need a lumbar pack -- except that my lower back isn't in great shape either, and that means it's GOT to be light.

what i'm looking for, i think, is a small lumbar pack that will allow me to carry water (1.5-2 liters would be good) and a bit of food for rather non-strenuous 1/2 day hikes
(that's all that's possible at the moment. better than it was. for a while i could not hike at all. ack!!)

the pack needs to be comfortable and light -- the ones i've tried so far haven't worked out very well.
one was a north-face lumbar pack (i forget which, way too big and heavy for me -- 5.4 and 135 lbs -- and only tried it 1x)
the other a medium sized dajo pack (better, still not really good.)

now i'm looking at the osprey talon 4 -- but before i buy it, i would like to know if anyone here has experience with it and likes it?
or is there another light lumbar pack you might suggest?
( i do, of course, realize, that many of you here are hard-core hikers and not into small light lumbar packs.
but i thought i'd try this forum. i'd trust you guys' opinion over anyone else's.)

also -- anyone else here who has problems with their back -- how do you manage? what pack do you use?

thanks --

harper
(it'll be a cold day in hell before i stop hiking, back-injury or no)
Z

http://www.rei.com/product/795509/rei-double-shot-waistpack I have this for trailrunning / shorter dayhiking, I think works pretty well. I think the main question would be how much storage space you need. in the main compartment i can fit wallet, phone, camera, cliff bar, with a little space left over.
MattCav

like Ze, I love my doubleshot pack.  It's cheap and does the job.
However, whenever I have a customer come in who has a bad back injury like yours, I recommend a 20-30L daypack with a good frame that will drop whatever weight is in the pack down to the hips.   My wife has some severe back injuries (scoliosis in her L5, sciatica, and a chronic injury to her trapezius) and she has hiked with an REI Ridgeline 65 pack because of how good the weight drops to her hips with that prominent frame.

Given your body type, I'd probably recommend the Deuter Futura 30 or one of the Osprey Talons (as long as the weight in your pack is <10).  Both packs tend to fit narrow and small people very well.   The Gregory Z and Tarne series is also excellent but tends to fit wider.  Just make sure to fit the pack correctly.   A tutorial on how to do that can be found here:
http://www.rei.com/expertadvice/articles/backpacks+adjusting+fit.html
Best of luck!  I hope things work out and you're able to get outside again soon!
harper

thank you both!

i'll definitely look into that double-shot pack for shorter walks.

and matt, for something a little larger your suggestion sounds terrific!

my problems are similar to your wife's actually, with trapezius and scalenes involvement in the upper body and nerve pain down my arms --
as well as lower back stuff (L4 and 5 and sciatica.)

that vulnerability to scalenes strain makes carrying weight higher on the body impossible, and the lumbar packs i've tried hurt my lower back.

i think i'll try what you recommended.

meanwhile -- yes, i've been on a 4 hour hike today (alas, not in the wilderness, as i would have liked.)

but wonderful weather and lots of flora and fauna (just not a good pack. ha!)

:-)harper

p.s. matt, which of the osprey talons would you suggest?
MattCav

Harper-
  It all depends on how much you want to take with you.   My rule of thumb for pack size tends to be (more or less):
Under an hour hike: REI Doubleshot
1-2 hours: I use a racing pack like the Salomon XA Pro 20 or Nathan HPL020
2-6 hours: I use a 30L pack
6+ hours of dayhiking: I use my Gregory Z35

Therefore, if you really wanted the Talon, I'd probably recommend the 22 liter version (Talon 22).  You also want to make sure you get it in a S/M torso size, from the sounds of it.   The thing with the Talon is that you want to keep your weight carried in it pretty low, since it is an ultralight frame.   If you put more than 10 or 15 pounds in it, you may start to feel more of the weight on your back.   Packs like the Osprey Kestrel, Gregory Z's or Tarne, REI Venturi 30's, and Deuter Futura's weight a little more but have a stronger frame, which normally does an excellent job of keeping weight off the shoulders.  That's pretty much the name of the game.  I'd also recommend something that has adjustable load lifters (If I remember right, the Talon's lifters are some fixed).  

I work at the REI in Arcadia.  If you ever want to be fitted or pointed in the right direction, drop on in and I'll measure your torso and suggest more specific options for you.  

Hope that helps!
harper

hi matt --

it helps plenty!
and i would *love* to have you help me with this in the store in arcadia!
what are your hours there??

:-)hh
MattCav

hey harper-
  this week my work sched is a bit weird because im training some new employees and won't be on the floor as much as usual.   however friday i'll be there from open til 2pm and on saturday 11am-3pm.   perhaps that'll work?   otherwise i'll be on the floor way more next week.
harper

hi matt --

sorry about the late reply: work ate me up this week.

i'll try to make it there saturday (tomorrow).
weekends are really the only possibility for me in any case, alas.
so if i can't get there tomorrow, it'll have to wait until the weekned after.
but i *will* come Smile
should i just ask for matt?

thaanks a LOT!

:-)hh
Illusive

harper wrote:
hi matt --

sorry about the late reply: work ate me up this week.

i'll try to make it there saturday (tomorrow).
weekends are really the only possibility for me in any case, alas.
so if i can't get there tomorrow, it'll have to wait until the weekned after.
but i *will* come Smile
should i just ask for matt?

thaanks a LOT!

:-)hh


Just look for the big tall white guy with a green vest.  He is easy enough to spot amongst the other employee's ;D
MattCav

no worries, harper.  will be there 11-7 tomorrow.
PackerGreg

harper

matt: i'll try to make it today!

greg: wow, you can actually *lift* this lovely creature Smile

hh
harper

matt, i pm-ed you.
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