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Backpack Advice Needed

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Re: Backpack Advice Needed

Postby shearmodulus » Tue Mar 18, 2014 9:56 pm

Yes.

There's a limit to what you should deem acceptable hanging outside your pack. For me, it's a grand total of one item - my Z-Lite. Too much risk of damage or loss if it's attached to the outside.

Not to mention you look like a gaper.

It's better to have surplus space in a large pack than a ton of $hit hanging off of a smaller one, for the above reasons, but also from a balance and comfort standpoint.
"Roads? Where we're going, we don't need roads...."

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Re: Backpack Advice Needed

Postby JTOlson26 » Mon Mar 31, 2014 8:32 pm

I'm going to try to piggy-back off of this thread...

I love Osprey: their customer service, their design, their aesthetics, their functionality, etc.

I currently have a Talon 22 and a Talon 44. The Talon 44 I use for everything from overnights to 4 nights. It has served me well for the past 5 years, but I bought it on sale a size too large and am ready to move up to something else as my "hauler."

I will be doing a decent amount of backpacking this summer with a friend who is fairly new to it so I want to plan to have a little extra room just in case. I also want to be able to carry my tent inside the pack and only have my sleeping pad on the outside.

I am currently looking at:

--Exos 58: it has received rave reviews with the new design, but I am a tad worried about it's ultralight nature. And it doesn't have a sleeping bag compartment. For those of you who have them, do you find them very useful? Or could you do fine without said compartment?

--Aether 60 (or 70): I don't necessarily think I need a 70L pack, but for only a few ounces more and another $40 or so, should I go ahead and get the 70L if I decide to go with the Aether? I have heard both the 60 and 70 are fairly compressible and functional even without largish loads. Any opinions out there on such? AND the hipbelt can be molded for custom fit.

--Atmos 65: A tad lighter than the Aether, but no custom hipbelt molding available that I know of.

What are your opinions?

Thanks in advance!

JT

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Re: Backpack Advice Needed

Postby dpage » Mon Mar 31, 2014 9:00 pm

Does anyone buy their gear that they plan on using, then buy the pack to fit your needs? Seems this would be the best way to determine what size pack with which features you would need to buy.

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Re: Backpack Advice Needed

Postby JTOlson26 » Mon Mar 31, 2014 9:02 pm

dpage wrote:Does anyone buy their gear that they plan on using, then buy the pack to fit your needs? Seems this would be the best way to determine what size pack with which features you would need to buy.


Got the gear...trouble is, I could pack 35L of stuff or 65L of stuff depending on how light I want (or don't want) to go. My old Talon 44 was sometimes overpacked and made 4-5 days kind of uncomfortable, especially with a tent and a sleeping pad on the outside.

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Re: Backpack Advice Needed

Postby Danny504 » Mon Mar 31, 2014 9:36 pm

I use three packs right now but 2 that apply. Osprey Kestrel 38 for most over nights.
I also have a North Face Terra 65 which is a beast.
Try on some packs, take your gear to the store and pack it up and see how it fits.
(Most places are cool with it but ask first so you're not THAT guy)

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Re: Backpack Advice Needed

Postby San Juan Ron » Mon Mar 31, 2014 9:40 pm

JTOlson26 wrote:I'm going to try to piggy-back off of this thread...

I love Osprey: their customer service, their design, their aesthetics, their functionality, etc.

I currently have a Talon 22 and a Talon 44. The Talon 44 I use for everything from overnights to 4 nights. It has served me well for the past 5 years, but I bought it on sale a size too large and am ready to move up to something else as my "hauler."

I will be doing a decent amount of backpacking this summer with a friend who is fairly new to it so I want to plan to have a little extra room just in case. I also want to be able to carry my tent inside the pack and only have my sleeping pad on the outside.

I am currently looking at:

--Exos 58: it has received rave reviews with the new design, but I am a tad worried about it's ultralight nature. And it doesn't have a sleeping bag compartment. For those of you who have them, do you find them very useful? Or could you do fine without said compartment?

--Aether 60 (or 70): I don't necessarily think I need a 70L pack, but for only a few ounces more and another $40 or so, should I go ahead and get the 70L if I decide to go with the Aether? I have heard both the 60 and 70 are fairly compressible and functional even without largish loads. Any opinions out there on such? AND the hipbelt can be molded for custom fit.

--Atmos 65: A tad lighter than the Aether, but no custom hipbelt molding available that I know of.

What are your opinions?

Thanks in advance!

JT


I am doing the CT again this year and will be downsizing from the Atmos 65 to the Exos 58. Just purchased the Exos 58 this past weekend. Love the new adjustable hip belt and the very padded shoulder straps. I do hate giving up some of the nice compartments on the Atmos, but my back wins out with the lighter weight of the Exos. SJ Ron :)
"The mountains are calling and I must go" -- Muir

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Re: Backpack Advice Needed

Postby Buckie06 » Mon Mar 31, 2014 9:56 pm

I'd agree that you should size your gear first, then buy a pack.

Lay out everything you would take on a backpack trip and measure the volume. You can place everything in a box or one of those plastic storage bins and estimate the cubic liters. Then go and pick out a pack.

If you get one too small you'll have to return it or replace your gear with more compact able gear. If you get the pack too large you'll have the tendency of bringing along extra things since you have the room

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Re: Backpack Advice Needed

Postby GregMiller » Tue Apr 01, 2014 6:40 am

I'd definitely go with the sizing advice above. As far as the Aether 70, I've had one for a couple years, and it's a great hauler pack. However, I use it maybe twice a year, because it's just so big, and I can fit 1-2 nights worth of stuff in/on my Variant 52. The 70 was nice for a 5 day backpack I did last August, and it's nice when I have to haul a bear bin (because those f'ers are HEAVY), but I could get away with a 60 the rest of the time (and I pack like a boy scout, so take 5-10 liters off of that for how a normal person packs).
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Re: Backpack Advice Needed

Postby Turtle Boy » Tue Apr 01, 2014 7:12 am

--Aether 60 (or 70): I don't necessarily think I need a 70L pack, but for only a few ounces more and another $40 or so, should I go ahead and get the 70L if I decide to go with the Aether? I have heard both the 60 and 70 are fairly compressible and functional even without largish loads. Any opinions out there on such? AND the hipbelt can be molded for custom fit.


After several packs, some real torture machines, I've settled on the Osprey as well due to the great fit for my body. As per your comment, I went with the extra couple of ounces and the Aether 70. I don't regret it. For shorter trips I just compress the pack but I still have the room for early shoulder season stuff where I'm packing more insulation (read high volume). Furthermore I do a lot of off trail backpacking. The larger volume allows me to get everything inside the pack including the bear canister (if required) and fishing gear.

That said, I do have an Osprey Stratos 40 I can use for a simple front range overnight like your Talon. The Aether 70 is my big hauler purchased for flexibility. You can't go wrong with the Aether 60 either you just have to decide how much flexibility you need size wise.

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Re: Backpack Advice Needed

Postby Johnson » Tue Apr 01, 2014 7:19 am

I two BD packs. Both are excellent for me. I have the Speed 55 and even when fully loaded it rides very well. Here is the speed 40: http://blackdiamondequipment.com/en/climbing-packs/speed-40-pack-BD681082_cfg.html?dwvar_BD681082__cfg_color=Lava#q=speed&start=1
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Re: Backpack Advice Needed

Postby JTOlson26 » Tue Apr 01, 2014 7:26 pm

Thanks for the advice, everyone!

I think I have settled on the Aether 70. It gives me some flexibility, and while a bit bigger than what I will probably need on many trips, the features it comes with to cinch and compress allow it to pack small if need be.

I went to a local shop and had one sized. Therein lies my last bit of confusion: she measured my torso at 18 inches and my waist/hips at 29 inches and then recommended a medium. I thought that seemed a bit weird, but I played along: she's the expert after all, right? So, when I got home I checked the size specs online and they are as follows:

Small: fits 16-19 inch torso, 27-31 inch waist/hips
Medium: fits 18-21 inch torso, 30-34 inch waist/hips

Logic points to me buying a small. Anyone disagree? She mentioned that she thought it would be better to have the adjustable torso feature on the medium all the way down compared to have it all the way up on the small, but according to the specs it wouldn't be all the way up on the small anyways, and I was really cinching down the hipbelt in the store to get a snug, fit.

Please correct me if something seems wrong.

Thanks again for the advice!

JT

Re: Backpack Advice Needed

Postby Turtle Boy » Wed Apr 02, 2014 10:00 am

JT -

I would have a hard time commenting on your particular case even with all the hours I have with Ospreys.

In the general case, they should allow you to load the pack with weight and then spend some time walking around the store looking for sore spots and seeing how it feels. General observation on the load lifters and other adjustments in the mirror will also help. A good general resource:

http://www.rei.com/learn/expert-advice/backpacks-adjusting-fit.html

However, just like boots, none of this matters if it doesn't feel good after humping around with weight in the pack.

Hope this helps.

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