Aug 31, 2010 at 2:52 pm #1262841
@addiebedfordLocale: MontanaAug 31, 2010 at 3:21 pm #1641986
While I realize ALL the available lightweight internal frame packs can't be tested … but I'm forced to admit that I was a bit disappointed that the Gossamer Gear and Six Moon Designs lines were not included … maybe they didn't meet the volume requirement?Aug 31, 2010 at 3:51 pm #1641994
This report is right on time ! I'm using a ULA Catalyst this weekend for a test run on the southern AT. I'm looking forward to the next installments. When will they be published on the website?Aug 31, 2010 at 4:09 pm #1641999
@camsLocale: Brisbane, Australia
Very interested in the results from this article. Good to see the One Planet in there. Will be interested to see how it goes.Aug 31, 2010 at 4:16 pm #1642003
@davecLocale: Crown of the Continent
Good work. If nothing else the volume testing and comparision will be very useful for many future pack buyers.
While there are some extraordinary benefits to having one person/team do all the testing (the rigor and consistency of the data is certainly the foremost), the article also highlights two limitations, of time and perspective. While a case might be made that pack suspension can be assessed on a dayhike (I don't believe it can be), carry comfort is only one aspect of a good pack. Durability and useable/accessible space are two other attributes which come to mind. The useable space issue segues nicely into the second point, that such a comprehensive review is best served by diverse perspectives.
Readers know that the Caffin's do most of their backpacking off trail, in thick scrub, in a certain fashion (leisurely, tea breaks, etc), and in a fairly particular geographic area. Many, indeed most of the BPL readership differs profoundly on at least three of these. I think the feature sets seen on American designed and produced packs reflect these differences. It'd be useful for a review to be able to highlight strengths and weaknesses in a more pluralistic way than this initial article leads me to assume will happen. I'd like to see trail hikers, bushwackers, canyoneers, snowshoers, and skiers giving input. Some folks will find accessible side pockets essential, others will disdain them. Some people will find snowshoe/ski/ice axe/etc attachment points relevant. Others will avoid them or cut them off straightaway.
I'd encourage future reviews to take such things under consideration.Aug 31, 2010 at 4:19 pm #1642004
Not surprised to see the smaller actual volume of a lot of these packs. Manufacturing marketing at its best!
Can't wait for part 2.Aug 31, 2010 at 4:34 pm #1642009
@hikinggrannyLocale: Gateway to Columbia River Gorge
I also am wondering why the Six Moon Designs Starlight and Traveler were excluded. Admittedly the stays in the Starlight and Traveler are removable, but with the stays it is a fully framed pack and will support up to 35 lbs. comfortably.
Re volume: SMD, like ULA, gives a volume for the main bag, extension collar and each of the pockets, and adds all these for the total. Gossamer Gear gives the total for main bag + extension collar and for all pockets, and adds the two for the total volume. It appears that this may be the "standard" for US "cottage" manufacturers?
I'm looking forward to more articles, but I am disappointed that my favorites (and perhaps the lightest of the fully framed packs) have been omitted. This article can hardly be called a "state of the market" report without them, IMHO.Aug 31, 2010 at 4:45 pm #1642012
Good start. Will be interesting market research.Aug 31, 2010 at 4:49 pm #1642013
We discussed these, and Will decided they should fall into a difference category – sort of 'frameless with just a little stay'. So they WILL appear, but in a different review.
CheersAug 31, 2010 at 4:58 pm #1642018
> Readers know that the Caffin's do most of their backpacking off trail,
> in thick scrub, in a certain fashion (leisurely, tea breaks, etc), and in
> a fairly particular geographic area.
* Off trail – check
* Thick scrub – some of the time, but not always
* Leisurely – nope, not ever. Flat-out in between the food stops.
* Fairly particular geographical area – depends on how you define that. Scrub and canyons of the Blue Mountains, open alpine regions of Australian Alps, made tracks across Europe, even ski touring.
> the feature sets seen on American designed and produced packs reflect these differences.
Yes, you may be right here, in that the outside pockets are a peculiarly American thing. The rest of the world does not like them. For the rest of the features – not really.
> I'd like to see trail hikers, bushwackers, canyoneers, snowshoers, and skiers giving input.
Well, yes, but we have to get the review written in a finite time! As it was, we spent nearly 6 months on this review. Since we (Sue and me) do in fact cover all the activities listed, we decided that would have to be enough.
However, many of these packs have been farmed out to other walkers for a second opinion, and it may be that over the next 6 months we will see some more in-depth reviews of some of them. Here's hoping.
CheersAug 31, 2010 at 5:34 pm #1642030
"We discussed these, and Will decided they should fall into a difference category – sort of 'frameless with just a little stay'. So they WILL appear, but in a different review."
That will be an interesting review. Packs with light stays are starting to become a pretty popular segment here at BPL. Packs like the GG Gorilla, ULA Ohm, HMG Windrider, SMD Packs, Zpacks with stays etc are all pretty neat options.Aug 31, 2010 at 5:52 pm #1642036
Light stays? All stays are light.
The OHM is omitted, but the Circuit isn't. Yet they employ the same carbon hoop. I also notice that several of the packs in the list aren't even available in North America……?Aug 31, 2010 at 5:55 pm #1642038
@retropumpLocale: The Antipodes of La Coruna
Ahh, Roger. You've taken on a mammoth task, maybe impossible. Although I don't like mesh side pockets (they get caught in scrub), I do find side pockets (preferably durable fabric) useful for carry stuff like gas canisters and camp shoes. Stuff that can take a beating. Such largish items are not prone to falling out in my experience…and the hipbelt pockets that some packs have (I'm thinking Exos here) are of substantial size and utility. Even the back zippered pockets on the Exos are useful from an organisational point of view. I put my windshirt, hat and gloves in one and maps in the other, Not bulky items, but very handy to have accessible. Back pockets are great for (non-inflatable) sleeping mats, but you wouldn't want to put your water in them. So I think that these features should be taken into account. If you don't like a feature, you don't have to use it (I cut off many metres of webbing and cord from most of my packs). It would have been nice (though admittedly a bigger job) to have the volumes of all these extras, as they can add up to several more litres. I'm sure looking forward to the next installment. Nice work.Aug 31, 2010 at 7:11 pm #1642064
If European packs do not usually have outside pockets, how do they carry their water typically? All containers, hard side or collapsible, on the inside only? Curious.
It would seem a drag to stop and open a pack every time I wanted a drink.Aug 31, 2010 at 7:22 pm #1642068
@retropumpLocale: The Antipodes of La Coruna
"If European packs do not usually have outside pockets, how do they carry their water typically? "
*Most* packs will have some sort of back pocket or cord attachment to hold water. Many folks now also use internal bladders. This is my preference because it keeps the heaviest stuff in my pack close to my centre of gravity. Bladders might be problematic for those who need to refill and treat your water often. Not usually a problem in this part of the world. Plenty of clean water to drink along the way most of the time.Aug 31, 2010 at 7:47 pm #1642077
Very much looking forward to the next installment!
"We discussed these, and Will decided they should fall into a difference category – sort of 'frameless with just a little stay'. So they WILL appear, but in a different review"
How about a pack like the Osprey Talon 44? It's got the upside-down U shaped frame, but I guess it could be considered a beefier single stay.Aug 31, 2010 at 9:32 pm #1642107
its too bad that the Cilogear packs were not included in the review. It would be interesting to see how they stacked up in a comprehensive review of this sort and at the very least some of their dynema packs would have been eligible to review, alternativly the worksacks could be reviewed as a stand in for the dynema models considering their identical design.Sep 1, 2010 at 12:11 am #1642128
> If European packs do not usually have outside pockets, how do they carry their water?
The same way we carry it in Australia – in a bottle inside the pack. Been that way for the last 50 years.
> It would seem a drag to stop and open a pack every time I wanted a drink.
We stop maybe once every 2.5 hours, for food and drink. Despite the urgings of the bladder vendors, it is NOT necessary to be drinking all the time. For proof of this I offer the practices of the rest of the world.
CheersSep 1, 2010 at 12:13 am #1642129
> How about a pack like the Osprey Talon 44
44 L – too small.
CheersSep 1, 2010 at 12:15 am #1642130
> its too bad that the Cilogear packs were not included in the review.
Either too small or too heavy. We checked.
CheersSep 1, 2010 at 12:59 am #1642140
"I also notice that several of the packs in the list aren't even available in North America……?"
A fairly sizeable portion of the BPL readership aren't available in North America either.
Actually, what % is that?Sep 1, 2010 at 2:30 am #1642155
@arcticmanLocale: Southern California
No Deuter act zero 60+10 ???Sep 1, 2010 at 5:16 am #1642165
I'm looking forward to the other instalments.
One nitpick – in the 7th para you refer to 11kg as 41 lb – I think that should be 24.5 lb as discussed a bit further down in the article.Sep 1, 2010 at 7:33 am #1642200
@vdealLocale: West Virginia
I'm looking forward to the review of the Nanon – I'm thinking of getting one.Sep 1, 2010 at 7:37 am #1642203
"A fairly sizeable portion of the BPL readership aren't available in North America either."
If all of the packs mentioned are available in your parts, but only 1/2 are available in the US, where the majority of membership resides, then I would opine that this is not a particularly robust sample.
To comment that "a fairly sizeable portion" and then immediately ask what that percentage would be suggests that you should first ask the question, get the answer, and then provide an irrelevant comment.
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