Jun 28, 2011 at 12:31 pm #1276036
@addiebedfordLocale: MontanaJun 28, 2011 at 1:35 pm #1754043
@hikinggrannyLocale: Gateway to Columbia River Gorge
This was a really interesting article! Especially interesting were the results of the various pad configurations. I always wondered about the coiled vs. folded CCF pad. Since I can't use a CCF pad but only carry a 20" x 30" CCF pad for my dog (plus an inflatable for me), I never had a chance to try the coiled CCF pad. I appreciate your including these configurations in your testing!
My own pack is a discontinued SMD pack (2005 model Comet, smaller version of their Starlite), used with the removable stays. The closest to the packs you tested would be the SMD Traveler. I did, on one occasion, carry 35-36 lbs. in it–that was with the stays and with my dog's CCF pad folded in thirds in the pad pocket. My shoulders, back and hips were fine, although my knees and feet were screaming! Re the load lifters–in my SMD pack I do find that they contribute to load transfer, although for me their most important function is to keep the shoulder straps from putting pressure on my extremely pressure-sensitive shoulders.Jun 28, 2011 at 2:04 pm #1754051
@davecLocale: Crown of the Continent
Well done sir.
I think one of reasons the Golites do so well is the way the belt is anchored to the pack, as well as the stiff foam in the belt. Very little sag in the belt to pack interface.Jun 28, 2011 at 2:59 pm #1754071
Not sure if I missed it – there are packs listed in the initial chart (indeed, the GG Virga is shown in pictures) that were not tested for torso collapse. Why was that?Jun 28, 2011 at 3:58 pm #1754091
@abhittLocale: southern appalachians or desert SW
"Not sure if I missed it – there are packs listed in the initial chart (indeed, the GG Virga is shown in pictures) that were not tested for torso collapse. Why was that?"
David, Will said that they had a number of packs on the original list that they couldn't get from the manufacturer to actually test. The Virga may have been one. I was disappointed that the SMD Swift was not tested too but they must have only gotten the Traveler to test. Being a panel loader it may well have tested differently than a top loader.
I can say that having used both the Starlite and the Swift that the folded CCF pad results did not surprise me as that is how the SMD packs work. I think the folded CCF pad in a pocket that holds it firmly in place does an amazing job. I have used the Swift, without stays, to 30 pounds and it carried very comfortably but I could tell that was about it before some "torso collapse" would begin to happen.Jun 28, 2011 at 4:34 pm #1754108
Thanks Alex.Jun 28, 2011 at 4:38 pm #1754109
@nzbazzaLocale: New Zealand
It's there, check out Figure 3.Jun 28, 2011 at 4:44 pm #1754113
But yet not tested with a rolled pad?Jun 28, 2011 at 5:21 pm #1754124
I'm sort of curious why the ULA Ohm wasn't included when it came time to test lightweight internal frame packs. It is lighter than all 3 packs tested and will carry up to 25 pounds comfortably, and up to 30 pounds bearably. IME, it's a great little pack that straddles the framed and frameless worlds. It is also lighter than about half of the frameless packs in the test group and carries more weight comfortably. Did I miss some details in the selection criteria that led to testing only Osprey internal frame packs?Jun 28, 2011 at 6:22 pm #1754149
@hikinggrannyLocale: Gateway to Columbia River Gorge
If you look at the responses to the first article in the series, you'll see that the ULA Ohm didn't qualify as a "frameless" pack because the frame is supposedly connected to the hip belt (or some such thing). I believe there were some other criteria (size, maybe?) that caused the Ohm to be omitted from the lightweight internal frame packs articles (or maybe those authors considered it to be frameless?). It seems a shame that this popular pack (which will be my first choice to try if I have to replace my current pack) was ignored by both SOM reviews. I'd really like to see a review of the Ohm using the testing criteria that this article series uses for the "frameless" packs.
I still learned a lot from both series of articles, though! They are well worth reading just for the general information!
Re the Granite Gear Virga–I've read in several places that it has been discontinued.Jun 28, 2011 at 7:32 pm #1754166
"If you look at the responses to the first article in the series, you'll see that the ULA Ohm didn't qualify as a "frameless" pack because the frame is supposedly connected to the hip belt (or some such thing). I believe there were some other criteria (size, maybe?) that caused the Ohm to be omitted from the lightweight internal frame packs articles (or maybe those authors considered it to be frameless?)."
I vaguely remember something about the frame not being removable, but that is also the case with the Exos packs, if I'm not mistaken. As for size, if it can carry 25#, it seems it would be of adequate size given the nature of the gear carried by most folks here. I guess we'll have to hope Will sheds some light on the matter. I wouldn't even have mentioned it until I saw the 3 internal frame packs that were tested. No big deal, I was just curious.Jun 28, 2011 at 7:52 pm #1754177
@davecLocale: Crown of the Continent
The Exos and Hornet were cited in this article as comparisions; they're two examples of the oft cited "lighter and better carrying framed packs" argument against frameless packs.
The Ohm fell into a crack between Roger's Internal Frame SOTMR, which tested the large ULA packs, and this one which only tested the CDT.
My main take away is that there's a lot of gray between framed and frameless. We're really going for as little frame as possible for a given load.Jun 28, 2011 at 9:10 pm #1754202
"I vaguely remember something about [Ohm] frame not being removable,"
I had never removed the frame from my Ohm before, but after the comment in the earlier thread about it being difficult to remove and thus more a 'part of the pack', I had to give it a shot. Having never done this before or even contemplating how to do it, I had the frame out of my Ohm in about 5 seconds. It's super easy.
I believe the main reason the Ohm was omitted was because the stays connect at the hipbelt, supposedly qualifying the Ohm as an internal framed pack. For the BPL review on internal frame packs they considered the Ohm to be a 'pack with stays' but now for the 'pack with stays' test, the Ohm is considered an internal frame pack so it got omitted from both tests. Regardless of what you call it, anchoring the stays to the hipbelt is just smart design and it's probably the best way to do stays.
Anyways….this article is truly outstanding. The information is awesome. I'm surprised the Windrider didn't receive more raving in the articles text, because when equipped with its stays it is a stand out pack at 20 lbs. It's even better at avoiding torso collapse then those internal framed packs that were added to the comparo.Jun 28, 2011 at 9:58 pm #1754218
@happycamperLocale: South Bayish
I noticed a few differences between the GG Gorilla pack in the article pics and the one I purchased this year. The velcro straps to hold the stays are different and it looks like the y strap closure is different( i don't see the webbing loop above the main mesh pocket.) I wonder is this new version, maybe old version??Jun 29, 2011 at 6:00 am #1754266
@trevor83Locale: ATL -- Zurich -- SF Bay Area
Will and Janet, thank you very much for this part of the review. I think it is well written and very informative!
I will add onto the Ohm discussion that it would be very interesting to see it also tested against these criteria…perhaps in a future review as suggested?Jun 29, 2011 at 7:02 am #1754279
Wow, this SOTMR is amazing. Thank you Janet and Will for bringing us this incredible series of articles.Jun 29, 2011 at 8:01 am #1754308
Will – what happened to the Windrider above about 22lbs or so? It looks like the 'soft' stays completely disintegrated….Jun 29, 2011 at 8:48 am #1754320
@hknewmanLocale: Western US
This will definitely help me choose a bigger pack in the 50l range. ThanksJun 29, 2011 at 9:02 am #1754323
this is an awesome review!
has anyone tried replacing a foam backpanel (such as in the golite) with a stiffer plastic backpanel when carrying heavier loads? has this worked well?Jun 29, 2011 at 11:23 am #1754373
BPL community – For a sub 20 lb. load, how much do you find a hip-belt adds to comfort? Compared to no belt, with that load.
Does a 1" webbing hip-belt really transfer weight to the hips well? Or is a padded 3-5oz. belt preferred?Jun 29, 2011 at 11:45 am #1754381
"For loads over 15 pounds (6.8 kg), a pack with removable contoured stays is better when you use an inflatable sleeping pad."
Curious exactly how this is done, thanks ( & if any pics, all the better)Jun 29, 2011 at 2:55 pm #1754447
I'm curious – since a folded CCF sleep pad was measured best for torso support, and the Gorilla & Mariposa's back panel are both designed for utilizing just that … yet, these two packs did not fare as well the others tested.
Hence my question: did this evaluation use a folded CCF sleep pad in the back panel during evaluation? or perhaps only used a sit pad in the back panel??Jun 29, 2011 at 3:53 pm #1754465
"My main take away is that there's a lot of gray between framed and frameless."
+1 Some of them seem to try to have the best of both worlds, with varying success.
"We're really going for as little frame as possible for a given load."
Enter the Ohm. It's hard to imagine a lighter frame using current materials, but if there is, I'd sure like to know about it. I love my Ohm for the type of trips I do, but I'm not married to it or anything romantic like that.Jun 29, 2011 at 4:54 pm #1754491
@mad777Locale: South Florida
Thanks Will & Janet for another very informative series of articles. Well done!
I will add my disappointment at the omission of the Ohm.
I am still digesting all the data but my eye keeps going to the Elemental Horizons Aquilo. I've never heard of this pack before but am impressed with both it's ability to compress loads (very important IMO) and it's rigidity. And, I am firmly in the camp favoring substantial hip belts. As a last observation, it is made in the USA.Jun 29, 2011 at 6:26 pm #1754531
great article and attention to detail- thanks!
like many others would have liked to see the Ohm included here (or in the previous internal frame SMR)
I'm thinking that many of us who already have the Ohm have a pretty good idea how it would fair though :)
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