Mar 5, 2010 at 6:36 am #1256095
Hi BPL community
I'm upgrading my trusty old REI brand pack. It worked well for me but weighs 5 lbs, considered light 12 years ago!
I've spend a couple hours lugging sandbags around REI and have narrowed to 2 packs, Osprey Exos 58 (42oz) or REI Flash 65 (50oz), both in the large.
Both are comfortable when standing still. When walking, the Osprey gives me just a little bit of annoying "feedback" — the load bounces/reverbrates just a little (external frame trait?) and gets a little out of sync with my steps. It isn't terrible but is a small extra stress that bugs me.
Since I've not seen this complaint in any reviews, I'm wondering if the sandbags in the REI are causing this and when packed with real gear the Exos will quiet down a little? All things being equal I'd like to save the 1/2 pound, but as it stand I'm happier walking with the REI pack.
I carry about 18-25 lbs of stuff (can hit 30 if I'm with heavy-packing friends who want to share luxuries) and am 6'3", 210lbs with just a little bit of the athletic starting to slide to the middle ;)
thanks very much — I've been a lurker for years and appreciate the all the good advice and the civil spirit of this forum.Mar 5, 2010 at 7:19 am #1582233
I don't notice it with mine, but I'm guessing it's a combination of the stretchy straps and trampoline back panel.
I like mine – but if you like carrying the REI pack better, then buy it!Mar 5, 2010 at 7:32 am #1582244
I noticed the same trampoline style effect with the Exos. It annoyed me a little bit as well.
I ended up returning the exos for other reasons though. The shaped frame pieces rubbed my rear end the wrong way.Mar 5, 2010 at 7:52 am #1582263
Thank you! Let me streamline my question:
Is it likely the Exos will bounce less packed with real gear than the sandbags REI offers for testing?
Outside of the slight wiggling/bouncing of the loaded Exos I have no preference so would go with the lighter pack.
Also, is it normal for one to wear stretchy straps tighter than non-stretchy straps? Tightening helps a bit but I'm not sure about the effect after many hours …Mar 5, 2010 at 9:08 am #1582311
I have the Exos 34, not sure how well this translates but… I find that by pulling in the load lifters virtually all the way you get a very nice ride.
Just curious..why the 58? The 34 can GENERALLY do 7 days (just) @ 25 lbs incl food and 2L water . The 58 makes sense to me for 2 week trips or heavier loads (extra water, carrying kids stuff). No judgement – just genuinely curious.Mar 5, 2010 at 9:22 am #1582318
I never bother with the sandbags as I want to know how a pack carries with my gear. I suggest buying the pack, take it home load your gear (including some food and water) and walk around the house/neighborhood for an hour. Only way to know if it's going to work for you. If it doesn't feel totally great than return it. Anything you notice that doesn't feel perfect will almost always be a bigger problem on the trail. I don't consider this abusing the REI return policy. Any manufacturer should accept a return in this condition.Mar 5, 2010 at 9:48 am #1582330
Paul — I'm not sure why I'm going w/ bigger — I assumed my stuff plus food needed a "normal sized" pack but maybe not … I'll drag my gear into REI and see. I'm tall and have thoroughly thrashed my body in 42 years so I sleep on an embarassingly heavy pad (40oz), solo (plus dog) w/ a 2.4 lbs BA Fly Creek 2 (which fits and contains my dog), and a 2 lbs bag. Outside of those (relatively bulky) luxuries I'm happy w/ all meals from a bag, boiling water in a ti bowl on a catfood can, not having a cup, thermawrap or light down, etc. So comfort on the big 3 and not a lot extras. Maybe I could pull off a smaller bag with that sort of gear?
Nia — 5 or 6 miles around the neighborhood with the tags on, huh? Sounds fair enough. When I get down to two final choices I'll buy and do the home demo w/ my stuff that you suggest.
Paul again — as for load lifters, is is kosher to pull them all the way in? I often do, but feel like I'm doing something wrong/counterproductive. Is there a philosophy about how load lifters should be adjusted on a properly-fitting pack or is it simply if it feels good do it?
thanks for the advice!Mar 5, 2010 at 9:59 am #1582334
Load lifters should be set just to the point where they get tight and create 45 degrees without causing your shoulder straps to pickup and away from your shoulders.
check this video out
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H5kmSReIx40Mar 5, 2010 at 10:15 am #1582340
Once in a while my Exos 58 will squeak, but it usually doesn't last long. As far as how it carries, a lot has to do with your individual kit and how you pack it. I agree with the other poster regarding loadlifters. I know they're supposed to be at a 45 degree angle, but I always have mine pulled all the way. The Exos rides really well for me, and I love the pack!
I also agree with the poster that said buy one from REI and try it out around the house and neighborhood. That's not abusing REI's policy in my opinion, but if you start to take it out on trips and still want to return it, then I'd probably sell it here.Mar 5, 2010 at 10:29 am #1582350
The Exos 34 will probably have too little volume for you but I would suggest at least trying your gear in the Exos 46. You might want to mimic 1 weeks worth of food. The added cost and weight aside, having too much volume can make for an awkward carry.
The Exos series is better suited to stuffing your sleeping bag in a liner bag (I use a trash compactor bag) as opposed to a stuff sack; filling out the entire volume in the bottom. If you don't already do this you may be suprised how much more you can get in the pack this way. Plus is firms up the pack.
Normally, I wouldn't hall on the load lifters all the way, but it works well for me on the Exos, I think the because of the "give" of the backpanel. YMMV.
+1 on giving this a good road test – fully packed. Good luck.Mar 5, 2010 at 10:40 am #1582355
Both of my Exos' bounced under a normal load, and worked they're way down until the skinny hip belt cut me in to. They work for my skinny friends though. Unloaded them both, and am now a proud supporter of made in the US cottage industries.Mar 5, 2010 at 12:13 pm #1582412
@acrosomeLocale: Back in the Front Range
I've got an Exos 58, with the intent of using it as a high-volume winter pack. I have noticed that it can be difficult to keep it from "sloshing" as you describe if it isn't full, but when full it is fine. otherwise I'm rather fond of it.
I assume that you have read the BPL reviews of both the Exos and the Flash, by the way?Mar 5, 2010 at 1:25 pm #1582448
The 58 is the ideal choice for a full set of clubs :) By the way, good technique .. elbow in, wrist break.Mar 5, 2010 at 7:26 pm #1582613
I haven't looked at the BPL reviews — as you can see I'm not sporting the scarlett M. Maybe before too long …
64 tomorrow in Seattle. I'm sure the whole town is going hiking!Mar 6, 2010 at 2:01 pm #1582867
@acrosomeLocale: Back in the Front Range
It's a very challenging course, though. A 175-yard par 3 to clear the Kunar River from a tee atop the FOB Naray latrine. Note the razor-wire hazard. :o)
Here's a better picture, of one of my nurses, with the ball caught in flight:
The local urchins would collect the balls and sell them back to us for a nickel apiece. Shortly they were pulling down the biggest paychecks in their families, and we had to close the "driving range" because adults came out swinging switches to drive off other people's children so that their own could collect all of the balls.Mar 6, 2010 at 2:32 pm #1582880
@Henry: I recommend the membership if only for Will's product reviews. Roger Caffin's articles are also fantastic.Mar 6, 2010 at 3:53 pm #1582913
as I'm on a geeked out gear tuning kick right now. It should subside in about a year or so …
the podcasts are good so the written stuff should be great!Mar 7, 2010 at 10:01 am #1583170
@Dean – adds a whole new meaning to "rough" and "hazard". A little "closest to" for a buck (closest to what – Pakistan)? Great pic too with the ball coming off the club.
@Henry – Welcome comrade member. Let us know if you pull the trigger on the Exos.Mar 7, 2010 at 3:02 pm #1583278
I used a 46 all last summer and never experienced any weird feedback, the pack tended to be on the loaded side though
unless your doing very lengthy trips or carrying big gear, I think the 46 will suffice for week long trips (does for me), 34 would do 2-3 day trips w/o any issuesMar 7, 2010 at 3:17 pm #1583284
@retropumpLocale: The Antipodes of La Coruna
I use the Exos 58 for all my trips. Shorter trips I just leave the top pocket at home, longer trips I throw it on. No wobble problems so far. Just light and comfy.Mar 7, 2010 at 3:48 pm #1583295
"Load lifters should be set just to the point where they get tight and create 45 degrees without causing your shoulder straps to pickup and away from your shoulders."
Not exactly. Depends on the size of the pack and how tall the frame is.Mar 7, 2010 at 7:33 pm #1583361
my exos 58 is nice for really anything from a dayhike to a week between resupplies. i don't have that bouncing issue nor the belts cutting into me. the only concern i have is that sometimes the clip at the waistbelt sticks when i try to unhook it.
i'm glad i went with the 58. i'd have trouble getting a week's resupply of food into the 46Mar 8, 2010 at 10:58 am #1583562
@retropumpLocale: The Antipodes of La Coruna
"i'm glad i went with the 58. i'd have trouble getting a week's resupply of food into the 46"
+1 The volume you will need is entirely individual. I carry too many bulky items to fit it all into the Exos 46 without having junk hanging off the outside (which I wish to avoid like the plague).Mar 8, 2010 at 7:19 pm #1583803
@rayestrellaLocale: Northern Minnesota
Henry I am much like you. I am tall and have worn my body out. I don't have a dog though…
I do have an Exos 58 and really like it a lot. As it does not allow for torso adjustment make sure you get the right size though. I use a large, I am 6' 3" with a 20" torso.Mar 8, 2010 at 8:04 pm #1583833
@jameslantzLocale: North Georgia
I've used the Exos 34 for trips up to 4 days with room to spare. It would easily carry more food for longer trips with a summer gear set. I could see that a winter gear set would push its limits not in weight but perhaps in volume. Paul's advice for packing technique is "spot on" to give a comfortable carry. Take a look at the 46 & 34. You will be surprised at how much they can carry & how comfortably they can do so.
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