Feb 7, 2009 at 2:43 pm #1233872
I have two questions, actually. I have a new G4 pack if that helps but the questions are more general.
1. I may be a wuss, but I like 12 panels on my z-rest. That is too thick to stuff into the place where the pad is supposed to go behind my back. Makes the pack feel strange, too. So I cut the pad in half but it still feels like the pack is too far away from my back.
Is that common for other people? Do you resort to putting the pad inside or on top?
2. Without pockets and a lid now I'm faced with tossing all kinds of things into my pack willy-nilly. Do you recommend a system to neaten this up?Feb 7, 2009 at 2:57 pm #1476086
todd harperBPL Member
@funnymoLocale: Sunshine State
gotta go to a Daddy-Daughter dance – 2 of my three anyway, the youngest has fever and is crying 'cause she can't go:(
so I only have time for #2.
I don't have to pack my frameless packs "willy-nilly". Side pockets help w/ water bottles & snacks, and perhaps a tarp. But inside my main packbag, I place my quilt, food sack, clothing and 1st aid / hygiene baggie & cook kit inside. Pretty well-organized.
What items are you putting in the main sack? With that list, I'm sure we can help you out with organization.
ToddFeb 7, 2009 at 3:05 pm #1476087
@jdw01776Locale: Southeast Texas
I don't own a Gossamer Gear pack, but it looks like the GG SitLight sit pad would be a good alternative for the pad pocket.
I use a ULA Conduit, which also has no pack lid, and the pad goes inside. Water bottle and maps go in side pockets, rain and wind gear go into the back mesh pocket. Food, clothing, sleeping, tent go inside. All my little items are stored in a single stuff sack, right under the top opening.Feb 7, 2009 at 3:14 pm #1476090
@rcaffinLocale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
It seems very strange to stick all that ultra-light stuff between your back and your pack. It has to be the most ANTI-ergonomic idea I have met for quite some time. It probably nullifies most of your efforts at reducing your pack weight.
Yes, I know this goes against the establishment line that using a mat as a pack stiffener against your back is 'the thing', but quite frankly, I don't care. Stupid is stupid.
CheersFeb 7, 2009 at 3:41 pm #1476094
Use a sitlight pad. Or even better, get a POE inflatable, and put it in there partially inflated. You'll sleep a lot better too. Shelter in the outside pocket, and a few UL stuff sacks to gather this up inside.Feb 7, 2009 at 5:06 pm #1476110
I have an old thermarest and tried it in the pocket instead but it was no better.
It seems the issue is that putting anything in the pocket pushes the pack far away. All the way loosened, the shoulder straps feel tight and uncomfortable. I may have to just put my pad on top or inside. Or half inside and half on top now that I cut it in half. Then I can at least sit on half of it on rest breaks without unpacking all my stuff.
As for the stuff inside that seems disorganized, I have:
– a small baggie with gloves and silk long johns
– a bivy
– a pair of rain chaps
– a bag with toiletries and first aid
– a bag with a spare camera battery and reading glasses
– my pot/stove
– my tarp in a bag
– my journal and pen, maps and permits in a bag
– my TP in a bag (I think I'll try going without, but I'm not there yet)
It's a lot of little bags.
If I don't put stuff inside the pack, then it's all just in the pockets and the pack itself is quite empty.Feb 7, 2009 at 9:01 pm #1476145
I'd still get a sitlight pad for the pocket, then put half of the z-rest flat inside, and the other half outside. Well, I'd actually replace the z-rest, but that's just me. If you don't have a lot of weight, you won't need a lot of frame. Or swap it for the new Mariposa, the curved stays fit your back closely.Feb 8, 2009 at 4:07 pm #1476317
Inaki Diaz de EturaBPL Member
@inaki-1Locale: Iberia highlands
> It seems the issue is that putting anything in the pocket pushes the pack far away
indeed and this is a bad thing. I don't like pad pockets unless the pad in them is thin. I do like the cilinder inside though: it adds shape and rigidity but the pack keeps close against your back. I guess you can try this with a Z-rest.
I actually like stuff sacks better than pack pockets. If you think you have too many bags, and at the risk of stating the obvious, try to join the contents of some where functions are similar (like all clothing in the same bag). If the problem with too many bags is weight, you can use lighter bags (plastic ziplocks may work for some stuff). If the problem is too many little bags, you can put one inside another and keep things organized without too many items to worry about when packing/unpacking.Feb 9, 2009 at 9:44 am #1476459
Roger writes >> Yes, I know this goes against the establishment line that using a mat as a pack stiffener against your back is 'the thing', but quite frankly, I don't care. Stupid is stupid. <<
I read lots of comments on various forums that I find to be pretty absurd. For the most part I simply ignore them and go on with my day. However given the author of the comments posted above, I felt some response is warranted. Roger is, I believe, a member of the editorial staff of BPL and written numerous article and countless posts on these forums. As such his comments bring with them a certain amount of gravitas.
However, his comments on packs that utilize pads for pack frames displays a great deal of arrogance that in my mind runs counter to the whole ultralight philosophy. This philosophy calls for seeking a balance between the individual, the gear and the environment though which they travel.
Ultimately it’s a balance that only the individual can make. As individuals, we all differ in our wants and needs and our travels vary wildly over vast differences in terrain and environments. The gear we select to take us safely and comfortably through our journeys will vary significantly from person to person. What may well work for some may be painful for others.
As educators for people entering the world of ultralight, it is our duty to enlighten and inform people of the possibilities. We must undertake this task with a degree of humility and understanding. That despite the number of miles under our shoes and the number of nights spent sleeping under the stars, we do not have all the answers.
It is perfectly fine for Roger to have an opinion about where these kinds of packs work for him. Stating flatly that the whole idea of using a pad as structure is stupid, is an opinion and not a fact. Thousands of users use them quite successfully each summer.
I would hope that in the future Roger takes more care in his choice of words. If he chooses to enlighten us with what gear makes his backcountry adventures more meaningful and exciting, we are the all the better for it. However, simply dismissing an idea simply because it fails to fit his needs, only serves to limit our choices and diminish our horizons.
Six Moon DesignsFeb 9, 2009 at 10:05 am #1476460
.Feb 9, 2009 at 10:19 am #1476465
@quoddyLocale: New York/Vermont Border
Strangely enough, I agree with both Roger and Ron. When I first began using a pad for a frame I placed the folded pad in the pack in the area against my back. Toward the end of a month long hike I began having the same thought that Roger is eluding to, that I'm moving the heavier items away from my back which is ergonomically not a smart thing to do. At that time, and ever since, I've used the pad ringed inside the circumference of the pack with no significant loss of support. So yes, I'll agree that the pad gives good support to the pack, and yes, I'll agree that using the entire pad in the area against my back is not the smartest thing to do.Feb 9, 2009 at 10:25 am #1476468
"It seems the issue is that putting anything in the pocket pushes the pack far away."
That would be my guess. In my experience folding the pad flat and using that as a frame only works with torso sized pads. I use a GG nighlight torso combined with a 1/8 thinlight and only use the nightlight for the frame. I have done this with a Golite Gust (no pad pockets but with the pad against the back which is pretty much the same concept) and more recently with a G4 with pad in the pad pockets). With only 3 sections the pad only puts your load back about 2 1/2 inches (My nightlight pad has been used alot, a new one will be a little thicker). For me, this works great for loads under 20 pounds, and is tolerable for a couple days at 25.
The only advantage to the outside pad pockets is easy access to the pad (which is a huge advantage).
With that many zrest sections your best bet is to use the rolled pad with gear inside as a frame.Feb 9, 2009 at 10:42 am #1476472
te – waBPL Member
using some of these statements as a model, isnt it fair to say that packs with a breathable backpanel installed in the support system is going to ruin your center of gravity? isnt there a trend in packs with this style of frame? (osprey, deuter, others)
I can tell you that these breathable back panels are going to leave a gap of a couple inches, which seems to me no better than using a flat (folded) pad against your back. If it does, Osprey better change their line-up, no?
maybe stupid IS stupid..Feb 9, 2009 at 10:49 am #1476473
W I S N E R !BPL Member
If using a pad as a pack support defies all ergonomics, why after countless miles does this technique work so well for me?
If I have nullified my efforts at reducing my pack weight through poor ergonomics, why is my pack so light and comfortable to carry- more so than any other configuration I've tried?
Roger, you're really messing with my head!
Are my experiences the product of some strange hallucination (perhaps I've been picking the wrong edibles)?
"Stupid is stupid".
Wow.Feb 9, 2009 at 11:12 am #1476480
Tom CaldwellBPL Member
I don't like pads, I like hammocks. A lightweight frame is lighter than a pad that I don't have any use for.Feb 9, 2009 at 11:18 am #1476482
te – waBPL Member
but i still use a sitlight as a pack frame, and i guarantee your pack frame doesnt come anywhere close to 1.4 ounces* not that it really matters, im just sayin'
for me, its a fire fanner, a freezer bag cozy (when folded in half) a sit pad (when hammock is too anti-social) and a booster for feet warmth. Man, I cant believe you'd have no use for a sitlight. But, my pack is always under 15 lbs with it so if you pack heavier you may not reap the benefits. I would hope that anyone who curses the idea of frameless packs is not discounting the quality and philosophies of Ron Moak, Ron Bell, Brain Frankle, Joe Valesko, Dmitri Couponous, Ray Jardine, Grant Sible/GVP, and others. That would be stupid!Feb 9, 2009 at 1:21 pm #1476518
Rog TallblokeBPL Member
@tallblokeLocale: DON'T LOOK DOWN!!
I agree with John. I roll my thermarest loosely, after rolling it tight to get all the air out, shove it in the pack and unroll it tight to the sides, drop my sleeping bag and tent in the bottom, tighten the bottom with clothes etc ouside the thermarest. Then everything else like cookgear and food, washkit and first aid kit goes in. Voila, tight, comfortable load. The roll gives the entire pack structure, which improves hipbelt mounting point stiffness, and makes the pack look neat from the outside, without lumps and bumps showing through.Feb 9, 2009 at 1:53 pm #1476530
@rcaffinLocale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
I wonder if you have misunderstood me a bit? Perhaps the immediate context of my posting was missed. If I did not make the context clear, my apologies.
My comment was meant to be that using a whole Z-Rest pad or even half a Z-Rest pad as the 'frame' for a pack (between the pack contents and your back) is stupid, and I will stand by that statement. The total thickness of a folded Z-Rest is huge, and the offset it creates is unreal.
But using a single layer of foam as a 'frame' is quite another matter. The benefit from the stiffness it contributes probably overwhelms the slight offset due to a single layer of foam. For that matter, the sprung frame on my own packs is probably at least the thickness of a single layer of foam.
So maybe we are not that far apart?
PS: calling an idea stupid is not the same as calling a person stupid. For the record, I am not calling Diane stupid: she is smart enough to question the IDEA herself:
'but it still feels like the pack is too far away from my back'.Feb 9, 2009 at 2:19 pm #1476537
@thangfishLocale: S. Central NC, USA
> It seems very strange to stick all that ultra-light stuff between your back and your pack.
What is "all that ultra-light stuff" you are referring to here? The OP stated that her pad pushed her pack too far away from her back and seemed to be asking for advise for an alternative. Maybe you intended to call *her* stupid?
The second post didn't mention anything like that.
The third poster suggested a sitlight pad for the pad pocket, so maybe a 10 x 19 x 3/4 in. pad is what you are calling "all that ultra-light stuff"?
That might be an anti-ergonomic idea for you, but others find it quite efficient and comfortable.
To suggest that "It probably nullifies most of your efforts at reducing your pack weight" is ludicrous.
>Yes, I know this goes against the establishment line that using a mat as a pack stiffener against your back is 'the thing', but quite frankly, I don't care.
At least 90% of the people I see hiking with a backpack are using a big heavy pack with a frame and the sleeping pad tied on to the outside. Maybe I just don't know what you mean by "establishment".
Maybe you were just talking about the people that roll a sleeping pad as a liner inside their ultra-light packs for support and protection?
If so, I suspect that you are calling a majority of the members of BPL stupid.
Ron Moak's post came off as being much more informed, literate and useful than your own… ie not stupid.
Ok, Roger's reply explaining his original post wasn't there when I posted this.
Now I see that indeed he was effectively calling Diane, even as she asked for advise, stupid.
Ain't that a nice 'un.Feb 9, 2009 at 2:42 pm #1476545
Scott BentzBPL Member
@scottbentzLocale: Southern California
I don't use a Z-Rest but hike with many that do. You can either take a full size Z-Rest or one that's cut shorter. Just put it outside on the very top of the pack using the Y-Strap. I would not want to use a whole Z-Rest as a pack frame.
I am like others. i just use a GG SitLight pad or I have even just folded up a 1/8" Thinlight pad and stuffed it in there. I use a Mariposa Plus. Similar to a G4 with just a bit less volume.Feb 9, 2009 at 2:48 pm #1476546
@thangfishLocale: S. Central NC, USA
Do the convolutions on the sitlight pad offer any benefits (comfort, ventilation, whatever) over a flat pad like the thinlight against your back?
thanksFeb 9, 2009 at 4:12 pm #1476561
At what thickness will a pad force the pack far enough from the center of gravity to have to have a noticeable impact on pack comfort? That’s a difficult question to answer. Simply because the gap between the pack and wear’s back is not the only factor in the equation. So narrowing the discussion solely to pad thickness misses the mark.
Over the years I’ve carried numerous external and internal framed packs over thousands of trail miles. My frame packs frequently left gaps of 1 to 2 inches between my back and the contents of the pack. The same is true of many internal frame packs with multiple thickness of materials and thick layers of foam. The old wooden frame packs use by hut keepers in the White Mountains to carry loads of a hundred pounds or more were quite thick. They were also very tall to push loads high and closer to your center of gravity.
It’s also not uncommon to see people carrying large traditional packs walk with a noticeable forward lean. The idea of walking upright and relatively unencumbered over numerous trail miles is a relatively recent phenomena. I don’t know how many times I’ve heard people who’ve recently adopted an ultralight style, comment on the joy seeing the world around them as they hike and not having to focus on the trail a few feet in front of them.
One of the niceties of a frame is that they help to compensate for a poorly packed pack. While they can’t overcome some user errors, like hanging a three liter water bag on the back of the pack. Frames do simply the process of making a pack stable and more comfortable to carry.
Our packs utilize pad pockets that are 2 inches deep. Is that too deep? Not that we’ve seen, either in direct usage or in reports back from the field. I do recommend that you experiment with pack loading in order to better dial in the weight distribution. This especially when pushing weights beyond 25 pounds. I also recommend keeping the pack weight to the point where it doesn’t matter one way or the other.
Virtual frames can and do work. However like most of the practices in ultralight hiking, it does require developing additional skills to maximize the value. But then isn’t one the primary goals of ultralight hiking the substitution skill for brawn?
Ron MoakFeb 9, 2009 at 5:07 pm #1476585
I don't know that my complaint was as much about where the center of gravity was but that even with half my z-rest (6 sections) the shoulder straps barely fit me. There was too much space used up between where they attach and where my body is. Maybe I'm too fat for the small size. Well, I won't be so fat after a couple months on the trail. Or it could be that the z-rest is too tall. The pads GG sells are only 18" tall and I think the z-rest is taller.
So for me right now it works best with the whole pad inside the pack. The unfortunate effect of that will be to not have easy access to my pad on rest stops.
I have to put the whole pad inside anyway to hike in my local area. It's so brushy here you find little bits of blue pads on some of the trails like you're following Hansel and Gretel. And often there's nothing but bushes, so I don't think I would want to rely on a hammock.
Oh, and I decided to take the bivy out of its bag and just fold it up at the bottom of my pack. That way it can serve double-duty as extra protection in case I set the pack down on something wet. So that's one less little bag inside to keep track of. Maybe I'll do the same with the chaps.Feb 9, 2009 at 6:08 pm #1476611
Tad EnglundBPL Member
@bestbuilderLocale: Pacific Northwest
Diane, I have a G G5 and I use a 14 panel z-rest sometimes. I cut the panel into 6 and 8 and glued 2 small Velcro strips to each side to hold it together when sleeping. I find that it works ok. I asked the guys at GG about this and they said that this was as thick as they would go and they suggested 4 panels would be better which would be double thickness, and 2 panels would be even lighter.
I wanted to try the 6 panel before I cut up the pad any more. Now I might try 2 panels which seem about the same thickness as a standard backpack pad. I can use the Velcro to hold everything together.
The next problem is where to put the rest of the pad- the G5 is so fragile that if something would tear a pad strapped on the outside it would also shred the pack itself. I only take this pack on open trails.Feb 9, 2009 at 6:15 pm #1476615
So what kind of glue do you use for the velcro. I was cutting up a GG Nightlight to use in my son's G4, and the velcro didn't stick.
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