Jul 4, 2020 at 3:56 pm #3656213Adrian GriffinBPL Member
@desolationmanLocale: SacramentoJul 4, 2020 at 7:55 pm #3656246Craig BBPL Member
I had an Arc-Blast with an extra lumbar pad, and I thought it stopped carrying well at about 10 Lbs. The patented ‘arc’ suspension didn’t work for me, and my shoulder blades were rubbed raw where the shoulder straps attached to the pack. I also thought the ‘load transferring’ abilities of the hip belt were pretty non existent since it just deformed and pressed all the weight into the small of my back. I’m 5′ 10″ and weigh 135, so am generally bonier than most people though. I sold the pack to a female colleague at work whose even skinnier than me, and she loves it. It’s a pretty darn light pack, but the most uncomfortable carry I’ve owned.Jul 6, 2020 at 7:09 am #3656421Erica RBPL Member
I guess packs must be like shoes. Its all about the fit, not the design or materials. I don’t buy extra packs because the Arc Blast fits me so well. The weight transfer to my waist is excellent.Jul 6, 2020 at 12:12 pm #3656490Murali CBPL Member
What? No HMG recommendations? HMG 3400 carries 30 lbs and under pretty well for me at least. The black one – 5osy – will last a long time. It stands upright when you place it on ground. Use it as carry on in the planes. Waterproof. I feel it is the closest to a frameless comfort. You will just have to make sure to get the right size…..else it may not fit properly.
Sierra Designs Flex Capacitor is another very good pack which I have used – carries weight very well.Jul 6, 2020 at 8:23 pm #3656723EnyawBPL Member
I’ve only carried a couple packs in my life, but would recommend my current pack, the ULA Circuit wholeheartedly. Every pack’s a compromise, but the Circuit hits most of the important criteria for me. It’s good balance of comfort, lightweight, rugged, and affordable. There are lighter packs out there, but this pack’s still light while being rugged enough that I don’t have to worry about rubbing against a boulder or tree and the pack easily tearing.Jul 8, 2020 at 9:45 am #3656988PedestrianBPL Member
+1 on the ULA Circuit.Jul 8, 2020 at 9:57 am #3656992Lennox NBPL Member
Thank you for all the suggestions. There are WAY more backpacks available out there than I was aware of. Rather confusing trying to figure it all out. I knew about most of the popular packs, certainly the ones available through REI. But there are many smaller companies out there that I had never heard of.
From my research, the ones that seem the most interesting to me were the Elemental Horizons Kalais and the Seek Outside Gila and Flight One packs. I tried contacting both companies. I have still not heard back from Elemental Horizons, but a nice person from Seek Outside called me back right away. Sooner than I expected. I have ordered a Seek Outside Gila pack. I will give that a try first.
Thanks again for all the excellent suggestions. I think that all of the suggested packs are excellent quality. This is a tough decision. Much like trying to find shoes that fit perfectly. It will likely be a while before the new pack arrives, but I will plan on commenting here about how it works out.
LennoxJul 8, 2020 at 10:09 am #3656993David UBPL Member
Smart choice. The Gila is brilliant.Jul 8, 2020 at 11:47 am #3657005Mike MBPL Member
^ agreed; my buddy has one and loves itJul 8, 2020 at 5:17 pm #3657061Brad RogersBPL Member
@mocs123Locale: Southeast Tennessee
It’s not the lightest pack for it’s volume, but the Gila will carry like a dream and handle anything you throw at it. It has the same basic frame that Seek Outside uses for their hunting packs that people carry 100lb Elk quarters out with.Jul 8, 2020 at 5:54 pm #3657071Lennox NBPL Member
Thanks Brad. I was not looking for the lightest pack for the volume. I want something in the 3-3.5 lb range that puts most weight on my hips and is relatively comfortable carrying 25-30 lbs. I think (or hope) that I have found that with the SO Gila pack.
LennoxJul 8, 2020 at 6:38 pm #3657077PedestrianBPL Member
Please do report back on how you like/dislike the Gila.Jul 9, 2020 at 10:28 pm #3657319Jul 10, 2020 at 5:18 pm #3657448Dave HeissBPL Member
@daveheissLocale: Pacific Northwest
I took my Arc Haul out for another training hike today, this time loaded up at 26 pounds. It still carried very nicely for me (6’2″ and 180 lbs) but after 5 miles of ups and downs I think my comfort limit with this pack is going to top out at around 30 pounds. I could probably push it to 35 pounds if I needed to, and I’m sure the pack would handle it, but I don’t think it would be as comfortable. I’m going to try to avoid carrying loads that are heavier than 30 pounds. Which is fine because I rarely go over 30 pounds anyway, even for a week long trip.Jul 10, 2020 at 5:58 pm #3657455Adrian GriffinBPL Member
That’s consistent with my experience with the Arc Blast. With a full walkout weight of 26lb (i.e. including the weight of the pack), it carries great. But at a full walkout weight of 29 lb, I start the see the advantages of my JanSport Yosemite/Carson hybrid with its hip arm belt. But the Jansport is nearly 4 lb heavier, which would make the walkout weight 33lb. So at least at that weight, the Arc Blast wins.
So the Arc Blast or Arc Haul might not be the right pack if you’re carrying more than 35 lb or so for most days of your hike.
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