Backpack Advice

Info on gear, conditioning, and preparation for hiking/climbing. Gear Classifieds
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Backpack Advice

Postby Upstate Hiker » Sat Nov 17, 2012 10:28 am

My uncle asked me for advice for a new backpack he is looking to purchase, but its been such a long time since I have been in the market for a new pack that I have no idea what's out there. I have been told price doesn't matter and am going to encourage him to make his selection based on fit. His only specifications are that he wants an internal frame and 6000cc carrying capacity. In his younger years my uncle was quite the adventurer, and he helped influence me getting into backpacking so I want to make sure he gets sound advice. Thanks for your help!

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Re: Backpack Advice

Postby climbingaggie03 » Sat Nov 17, 2012 10:47 am

that's a huge capacity, depending on where he falls in the lightweight/durable spectrum the two packs that come to mind for me are the cilogear 75L worksack or the gregory denali pro I'd bet there are other options out there, but those are my two favorite big expedition packs.

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Re: Backpack Advice

Postby Vincopotamus » Sat Nov 17, 2012 10:53 am

Mystery Ranch makes bomber packs, are made in Bozeman, MT and are designed by the legendary Dana Gleason (of Dana Designs). They're not too light, but if he wants at least 6000cc, he's apparently not gram counter.

I'm also a big fan of the Arcteryx Bora if you're carrying big loads and not concerned about pack weight. Also bomber.
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Re: Backpack Advice

Postby pvnisher » Sat Nov 17, 2012 12:26 pm

Gregory Baltoro 65

TNF used to make a 70L waterproof one, the name eludes me at the moment, it was great, but sadly I had to sell it.

But really, go to a store and handle a few and try them on. Some of the Osprey and Sierra Designs hipbelts just rub me the wrong way.

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Re: Backpack Advice

Postby yedi » Sat Nov 17, 2012 2:51 pm

Just as a counter-point, I've had good luck finding Osprey packs that fit me well (I've got an Aether 70 and a Variant 37, both of which I really like if I'm not going lightweight). I haven't had as much luck with the fit of Arcteryx or Black Diamond packs, though I think they're both quality brands. I think your advice to buy based on fit is spot-on.

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Re: Backpack Advice

Postby gdthomas » Sat Nov 17, 2012 7:46 pm

Your uncle should get fitted and then try on several packs in his size to see which ones work for him. You can ask people for their advice as you have here but any initial recommendation you get will not be all that helpful.

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Re: Backpack Advice

Postby Ron » Sun Nov 18, 2012 9:03 am

A couple of other quality large packs are those from McHale and Kifaru . McHales are custom packs that are custom fitted and made and you have a lot of flexibility in determining the pack design. They are not stock items. I have a McHale and it's well worth the extra cost and time involved. I don't have any personal experience with the Kifaru packs but they are oriented more to the hunting crowd and have large capacity and can carry a lot of weight.

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Re: Backpack Advice

Postby nyker » Sun Nov 18, 2012 10:29 am

For a pack of that size, implying heavy loads over long treks, I agree with other comments that he should devote some time in a couple shops testing a few different packs (loaded with at least 40lbs) and see how each pack fits his body moving around. He may have a long/short torso or be large/small framed himself, so while I like my Osprey 85L Aether, it may not fit him well (and also is only about 5200cc).

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Re: Backpack Advice

Postby Steve Gio » Mon Nov 19, 2012 3:09 pm

I picked up a Deuter Act lite 65+10 pack this year to replace my Baltoro 75. Was mainly for the weight savings (3 pound difference) but after using it on a couple outings, (3 day and 6 day) I found this pack to fit everything I could with the Baltoro with space to spare. It also hugs the body better and is highly adjustable. My trail weight with food and water is 33lbs. I filled it to 55lbs at REI and wondered the store for a while. Jumping, jogging, buying other cool stuff... I like it. Sleeping bag compartment is massive and fit my bag, thermarest, pillow, gloves.

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Re: Backpack Advice

Postby DeucesWild » Mon Nov 19, 2012 7:54 pm

Deuter packs kick ass. They're durable, well thought out with features that really work instead of bulls**t gimmicks, and they're very light too. And dollar for dollar they're a bargain.

I've had two, and both have served me well.
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Re: Backpack Advice

Postby RyGuy » Thu Nov 22, 2012 2:15 am

DeucesWild wrote:Deuter packs kick ass. They're durable, well thought out with features that really work instead of bulls**t gimmicks, and they're very light too. And dollar for dollar they're a bargain.

I've had two, and both have served me well.

Seconded. I have a Deuter AirContact 75+10, and a Deuter Guide 45+. They are both SOLID packs. Like DeucesWild said, they are very well thought out (German engineering) and big on useful features. I would highly recommend them to anyone.
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Re: Backpack Advice

Postby MuchosPixels » Thu Nov 22, 2012 8:50 am

There are a lot of really good packs available today. The most important aspects are fit and capacity. An uncomfortable pack is just misery no matter how good it looks or how good it works for someone else. So best thing is to try a few. Regarding capacity well its best to use a slightly larger bag cinched down a tad than to overload a small one and overwhelm the suspension.

Also some packs have features for specific activities. That would be a third consideration.

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