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Cheap Packs- Are they ok?

Info on gear, conditioning, and preparation for hiking/climbing. Gear Classifieds
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Postby tonyw » Thu Oct 25, 2007 9:43 am

There were TONS of packs at the gear swap last weekend in Golden.

Postby lordhelmut » Thu Oct 25, 2007 9:57 am

Walmart is a rich man's goodwill, only thing I get from there is coolers and propane tanks for my grills, portable and backyard.

REI or any other outdoor store will have some cheap packs as well, just gotta search a little harder. I got a Jansport Solstice about 6 years ago and was my summer daypack up until this past summer, where I snagged a North Face Chugach board pack for 40$, which worked out absolutely perfectly.

The Solstice is like 35 or 40$ brand new, has good room in the main compartment, a separate compartment for a camelpack and a hole to stick it through and even a strap on the bottom for an axe or straps on the side for poles. It has a waist strap that helps and a shoulder strap that is kind of useless, but better than nothing. In terms of durability, I think it holding up for 6 years w/o a tear speaks for itself and it also saved my life when I descended North Maroon Pk. Here is the product info and a pic of it from the top of the Needle :

http://www.14ers.com/images/trips/cnee/ ... 234279c42d

http://www.campmor.com/webapp/wcs/store ... word=64756

30$ at campmor isn't too shabby.

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Postby cushman » Thu Oct 25, 2007 10:09 am

Have you checked outlet sites like Sierra Trading Post, REI-Outlet and Backcountry Outlet? Also sales at Mountain Gear, Campmor, EMS, etc.? I'm sure you can pick up a decent daypack for under $30 that will likely last you longer than a Wal-Mart special.
Fourteener? I hardly knew her!
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Postby quiznberry » Thu Oct 25, 2007 11:51 am

I have a "cheap" pack right now and am looking for an upgrade. I am going to hold off for now because I am going to New Zealand in May and hear that you can get a good pack there. Will be doing some research on that in the mean while. :-k
Count it all joy when you encounter various trials. James 1:2

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Postby mcdonnellms » Thu Oct 25, 2007 12:43 pm

If you really want a "bombproof" cheap pack I recommend a military surplus ALICE pack. They carry pretty well for loads up to around 30# or so. With a frame even more.

MarkImage

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Postby Tornadoman » Thu Oct 25, 2007 1:36 pm

http://www.campmor.com/webapp/wcs/store ... word=64756

Thanks, for the link. Is 1550 cubic inches big enough for like 3 liters (or maybe 4 liters, I'm a water hog) of water plus rain gear, extra clothes and other essentials?

Looks like a decent pack.

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Re: Cheap Packs- Are they ok?

Postby MtnHermit » Thu Oct 25, 2007 2:04 pm

Tornadoman wrote:Has anyone ever purchased a 'cheap day pack' and how did it work out? I was in walmart today, and saw some day packs made by Outdoor Products. The two that stuck out at me were the 'Morph' which has 2,300 cu in. capacity, and the 'Vortex' which has 2,600 cu. inches. The cost of the Morph was something like $16, while the Vortex was at $21. I looked for these packs online, and can't seem to find them, otherwise, I would post a link for more details. They did have at least a couple decent compartments and were hydration compatible though.

Does anyone have any experience with these packs or any similar to them and know of any reason why I shouldn't save money and buy 2 of these, (one for me and one for wife), rather than buy more expensive packs? In case it's relevant we will be mainly using these on easy/moderate hikes, and probably no more than 3 or so per year.

Thanks for the help.


I got one of the Outdoor Products daypacks from W-M a couple of years ago. It has held up fine. I use it as a daypack which I carry in my backpack. My criteria, light and cheap.

It weighs ~1# and cost ~$10. It will hold my 3-liter Unibottle and I've attached a 4-section tripod. So overall, I'm pleased.

Somethings to watch for:
- Check all the zippers, quality control is lacking.
- Put something heavy in it and put it on.

Happy Hiking
Hermit

Postby lordhelmut » Thu Oct 25, 2007 2:50 pm

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

http://www.campmor.com/webapp/wcs/store ... word=64756

Thanks, for the link. Is 1550 cubic inches big enough for like 3 liters (or maybe 4 liters, I'm a water hog) of water plus rain gear, extra clothes and other essentials?

Looks like a decent pack.



Tornadoman,

its got water bottle compartments on both sides that hold Nalgenes or 32oz Gatorades well. Behind the main compartment, there is a smaller compartment that I would use to store my 96oz camelpack and the straw went right out the top. The main body would hold my raincoat or fleece, food, crampons in a bag (if needed), sunscreen and other essentials quite well. If you put too much stuff in there, it starts to slump on your back a bit, but overall, its a great pack for the price. Not the nicest thing you can get from REI, but a hell of a lot better than something from Walmart.

Also, there is a spongy pad that cushions your back, probably the best feature of the Solstice. My brother and I jerry rigged all our extra gear into it on our trip up to Lake Como last summer :

http://www.14ers.com/images/trips/litt/ ... 031191.jpg

fit him on the front side just as easily and comfortably. Kind of unorthodox but it worked, easier than tieing it on to the overnight pack.

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Postby Spam » Sun Oct 28, 2007 9:53 am

cushman wrote:Have you checked outlet sites like Sierra Trading Post, REI-Outlet and Backcountry Outlet? Also sales at Mountain Gear, Campmor, EMS, etc.? I'm sure you can pick up a decent daypack for under $30 that will likely last you longer than a Wal-Mart special.


Ditto!

No one has mentioned the gear section here. Here is one that is currently on there:

http://www.14ers.com/php14ers/gearclass ... m=gearmain

there are other packs, you can always post your want on there also and people will respond to you, that is how I got new crampons for a great price. there are a couple god ads in there right now: http://www.14ers.com/php14ers/gearmain.php

I am a gear hound that is officially on "gear restriction". My wife has seen too much gear coming into the house. I am on a strict can look but don't touch policy. I do want a GPS for xmas, maybe Santa will help me out!
"Getting to the top is optional, getting down is mandatory." -- Ed Viesturs

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Postby Tornadoman » Mon Oct 29, 2007 2:53 pm

lordhelmut wrote:The Solstice is like 35 or 40$ brand new, has good room in the main compartment, a separate compartment for a camelpack and a hole to stick it through and even a strap on the bottom for an axe or straps on the side for poles. It has a waist strap that helps and a shoulder strap that is kind of useless, but better than nothing. In terms of durability, I think it holding up for 6 years w/o a tear speaks for itself and it also saved my life when I descended North Maroon Pk. Here is the product info and a pic of it from the top of the Needle :

http://www.14ers.com/images/trips/cnee/ ... 234279c42d

http://www.campmor.com/webapp/wcs/store ... word=64756

30$ at campmor isn't too shabby.



I decided to go with the Jansport Solstice, and have 2 on the way!

I would love to hear the story about how the pack saved your life on North Maroon if you have time.

-Tornadoman

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Postby CoulCat » Mon Oct 29, 2007 4:27 pm

I would "suck it up" and go for a better pack. You won't catch a hiking buzz if you are uncomfortable and have sore shoulders for a week. The cheaper packs have no back support and will fall apart if you grab a strap with it fully loaded. Also, go somewhere where you will properly fitted, (NOT Walmart) then choose a lesser priced pack to better fit your budget.
Only those that attempt the absurd can achieve the impossible. ~Albert Einstein~

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Postby strat1080 » Tue Nov 27, 2007 8:28 pm

Just keep your eyes open for a pack that is on sale. Earlier this year, I purchased an REI UL45 pack that has been excellent for about $40. It is an ultralight weekend pack(50L) that weighs 2.75# and is comfortable carrying 30# loads. The compression strap system allows it to be squeezed together small enough for use as a day or summit pack. I use it as my main pack for most outings now.

Just keep in mind that it isn't possible to climb all the 14ers with a daypack. Some require long approaches and overnight gear, unless you are Superman or have supercompact ultralight gear that is. I'm thinking that shortly most gear shops will have sales on this year's models to make room for the 08 models. That is how I purchased my pack for less than half the original price, which was an '06 closeout.
Quit whining and move your %$# up that mountain.

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