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Need Input - I'm buying a Backpack

Posted: Mar 29 2013 11:51 am
by outdoor_lover
Ok folks, I've just committed to a 6 Day Backpack Trip. I am taking the plunge and buying a Backpack. I have some limitations though. I will be getting it at REI so I can take advantage of a gift card, my dividend, and my coupon. Gregory is out. Although I really like my Z40 I've seen alot of bad reviews on their bigger packs, with the waistbelts failing. I will be getting a bigger pack that can handle multiple nights. My Z40 is sufficient for overnights. I will most likely never have the budget for multiple packs, so this one has got to be able to handle every scenario.

It will be a Men's pack, as they seem to "fit" me much better. The Z40 is a Men's medium. I really like having some external pockets and I know some packs actually have an option of a removable butt pack which would probably be nice to have. I know Ospreys are known for comfort, but it seems like they don't have quite the weight capacity as some of the other brands do...

Have at it guys, whatcha all think?

Re: Need Input - I'm buying a Backpack

Posted: Mar 29 2013 12:05 pm
by gummo
Where are you going?

Re: Need Input - I'm buying a Backpack

Posted: Mar 29 2013 12:12 pm
by big_load
I'll be using an Osprey Aether 70, modified with a hip belt from the now-defunct Osprey Crescent for better weight capacity. The current Aether 70 has a beefier suspension than mine (from 2007), so it's probably more comfortable in default configuration. However, with backpacks, like shoes, it's all about fit. I would try on everything they have in your target capacity range.

Re: Need Input - I'm buying a Backpack

Posted: Mar 29 2013 12:15 pm
by Tough_Boots
My recommendation is get your other gear first and then figure out what your weight and size needs will be before buying a pack. Osprey is my recommendation-- they are amazingly comfortable and unless you're getting one of the UL packs like I have, they'll hold whatever weight you can carry.

Re: Need Input - I'm buying a Backpack

Posted: Mar 29 2013 12:23 pm
by beterarcher
Take some dumbells to the store. It's hard to judge the fit and comfort without weight in the bag.

Re: Need Input - I'm buying a Backpack

Posted: Mar 29 2013 1:20 pm
by outdoor_lover
@gummo
Grand Gulch.

@Tough_Boots
I have just about everything else already. I just bought a used Big Agnes 4 season bivy that weighs about 1 1/2 lbs and will use that with a small lightweight tarp, if I don't get a tent before that. I have 2 sleeping bags, 1 lightweight for summer and a down 30 degree bag, a sleeping pad, Jetboil, filter, etc. I did an overnight in Aravaipa with my Z40 with my summer bag, pad, small 2 person tent, and 5 liters. I need a small lightweight tarp, a Ratsack, a rope, and a few minor incidentals and I should be set. I'm thinking that a 65 might be sufficient? Or a 70 at the top end? Anything bigger than that I may start having difficulty with. I will probably haul alot of water on this trip especially if it's warm, as I tend to go thru and require a lot.

@beterarcher
I did that when I bought the Z40, so I will do it again with this purchase as well. :)

Re: Need Input - I'm buying a Backpack

Posted: Mar 29 2013 1:24 pm
by big_load
Most REIs have calibrated sandbags available for pack testing. I usually wear the candidates with max expected weight for half an hour (unless one feels wrong sooner), and I wear my final pick for as long as possible before buying. The last one I wore for another hour after the first half-hour test, and that was a smaller pack. I wore my big pack for two hours with max weight before buying.

Re: Need Input - I'm buying a Backpack

Posted: Mar 29 2013 1:32 pm
by Tough_Boots
@big_load
you do this at the store? :lol:

Re: Need Input - I'm buying a Backpack

Posted: Mar 29 2013 1:36 pm
by outdoor_lover
@big_load
And whatever I buy will get field yested before GG. Trust me on that. I have one other overnight trip planned although I'm going minimalist and using the Z40 on it since it will be heavy canyoneering, but I'll be planning another to try out the pack I get.

Re: Need Input - I'm buying a Backpack

Posted: Mar 29 2013 1:52 pm
by big_load
Tough_Boots wrote:@big_load
you do this at the store? :lol:
Definitely! I also find out who is working in backpacks before I do anything. It helps to have an experience pack fitter. Packs and boots are items I will only buy from a trusted outfitter.

Re: Need Input - I'm buying a Backpack

Posted: Mar 29 2013 1:55 pm
by paulhubbard
beterarcher wrote:Take some dumbells to the store. It's hard to judge...
Pam, if you invite me to go shopping I'll only be slightly insulted... :sl:

Re: Need Input - I'm buying a Backpack

Posted: Mar 29 2013 2:13 pm
by outdoor_lover
@paulhubbard
Paul, as far as I know, the only dumb thing you've done since I've known you, is you deciding to get "hitched"! :o :sl:
And no one would want to go shopping with me, I hate shopping. I get grumpy and can be a real b**** if the sales people patronize me or try to "con" me. :o

Re: Need Input - I'm buying a Backpack

Posted: Mar 29 2013 3:49 pm
by paulhubbard
Outdoor Lover wrote:the only dumb thing
Funny, I think that's the only smart thing I've done in a long time (and Kat would say it took way too long... :D ) :y:
We're going to be in the market for backpacks in the near future (just for 1 or 2 night trips), So I'm watching this thread closely, thanks!!

Re: Need Input - I'm buying a Backpack

Posted: Mar 29 2013 4:42 pm
by te_wa
before you discount all womens packs, try on the Vapor Ki (granite gear)
it sounds like your gear list will fit. it's about 45 L iirc.
REI also carries some GoLite packs, and a couple of REI brands are just as good as the above 2 brands, but 30% less money.

i'll have you into a 7oz Zpacks Cuben "blast" before you know it, kid.. :y:

Re: Need Input - I'm buying a Backpack

Posted: Mar 29 2013 6:08 pm
by Trishness
Outdoor Lover wrote:@paulhubbard
Paul, as far as I know, the only dumb thing you've done since I've known you, is you deciding to get "hitched"! :o :sl:
And no one would want to go shopping with me, I hate shopping. I get grumpy and can be a real b**** if the sales people patronize me or try to "con" me. :o
I'll go shopping with you Pam and then we'll see who can be bitchier. ;)

Re: Need Input - I'm buying a Backpack

Posted: Mar 29 2013 6:59 pm
by RedRoxx44
Off trail I've used for years an Osprey pack that is designed as an approach pack that is pretty light and tough for what it is. I've gone out for 7 days in it. My most recent pack is a Granite Gear Blaze AC 60; it is pretty light and made of rather durable materials which is what I faulted some of the ultralight stuff on. I did obtain the lid for it so added a little weight. It has a good waist belt which is important for me. However what you put in it is important-- what shelter, bag and pad those usually take up the most and will most always be on a trip. That stuff has to ride in there well.

Re: Need Input - I'm buying a Backpack

Posted: Mar 29 2013 9:17 pm
by azbackpackr
I like my golite. I also liked the fact that certain words did not pumpkin.

Re: Need Input - I'm buying a Backpack

Posted: Mar 30 2013 8:24 am
by mikehikes
I'm tempted to try to slip something past the 'pumpkin' thingy but am afraid I'd be banned for life or something. Oh what the hell.

Re: Need Input - I'm buying a Backpack

Posted: Apr 05 2013 6:33 pm
by outdoor_lover
Well, I just picked up an Osprey Aether 70...Apparently, REI does sell Granite Gear, but only Online, not in stores. This felt very comfortable and seemed more comfortable the longer I wore it. Had a really good person who fit and adjusted it for me too, I've dealt with him before and he really seems to know his stuff...Wandered around the store with about 40 pounds for an hour....Backpack will be going on it's maiden voyage this Sunday for 2 nights/3 days....Will also be getting more acquainted with the Water filtering techniques, both with my Katadyn and the Sawyer Squeeze I just got as a backup.... :)

Re: Need Input - I'm buying a Backpack

Posted: Apr 05 2013 6:39 pm
by big_load
What color is it? Are we going to be twins?