Nov 2, 2009 at 8:48 am #1241307
@thinairLocale: 6237' - Manitou Springs
My normal packweight is less than 20#, baseweight around 10-12, and has been as low as 7#.
I typically use a 4400 cu GoLite Pinnacle and have used a MLD Revelation for short trips.
I'm planning a 2 week climbing trip that will push my pack weight at the start of the trip over 40#, maybe 45#, with comsumables and climbing gear.
Can you recommend a light, high volume pack capable of those loads?
I'm experimenting with an SMD StarLite but it doesn't have the necessary volume and probably wouldn't like the load either.
I hate to go back to a +5# pack.
TimNov 2, 2009 at 9:01 am #1541846
For comfort at that weight, I would recommend the Mystery Ranch Big Sky with lightweight yoke. Sorry, but it is about 4.25 pounds with the yoke. Good news is that you won't feel any pressure points with this pack at that weight.Nov 2, 2009 at 9:07 am #1541848
@nerdboy52Locale: "Alas, poor Yogi.I knew him well."
The trouble with a carry weight of 40# is that you're going to need some heavy-duty materials just to hold the stuff it and at least an internal frame to provide some back support and weight distribution.
An example: A year and a half ago, I used a Gregory Z55 to carry about 35# for three weeks on the AT. It was surprisingly comfortable because of a very clever support system, and I'm sure it will handle 40#.
I managed to trim about half a pound from its 3.5 pound weight just by cutting out the internal hydration sleeve and shortening up its large number of straps.
However, after that trip, I got religion in the form of BPL, so I'll probably never use the danged thing again. :-)
Just to show you where this forum is at, I tried to sell the thing for a song here, and there were exactly zero inquiries.
There are a lot of 3600 cc BP's in that weight range these days that will handle 40#. (All the mainstream manufacturers seem to make one these days.) A trip to your local outfitter (if any) will reveal half a dozen or more.
P.S. I'd be curious to find out if anybody else here is carrying 40# and under what circumstances (why) they are doing so. Is it mostly climbing? Lack of resupply opportunities?Nov 2, 2009 at 10:28 am #1541870
I have a 95 Liter GoLite Odyssey that is 3.5 lbs, and is rated to 50 lbs. I have carried 40+ lbs in it on a 10 day trip and it was manageable. I'd be willing to part with it for $100…Nov 2, 2009 at 10:29 am #1541872
@kieranLocale: Seattle, WA
Your question "I'd be curious to find out if anybody else here is carrying 40# and under what circumstances (why) they are doing so. Is it mostly climbing?"
My answer is probably more unique than most. My wife developed MS 3 years ago. We were active until then, and have finally pulled ourselves out of that shock and bewilderment stage and are ready to be getting out in the wilderness again. For many, this would be the end of activities such as backpacking and hiking, but for the sake of us and our son, we're going to get out as much as possible while she still can.
Because of her condition, her exertion tolerance is far below a "normal" person's. What this translates to is her not carrying a thing besides maybe her water bottle, and I am the pack mule. I'm optimistic that if I do some things like maybe make a ray-way 2 person quilt, I can carry both our stuff at under 30 lbs before food and water. I'm working this winter to get our stuff skinnied down as much as possible. My hope is to be able to fit it all in 4000 cu in, so i can get the REI Flash 65 (3# with an internal frame). If I can't get it down that far, I'll probably have to use one of those 5000 cu in 6# or 7# packs.
It's not a huge deal for me if I am carrying 40 or 50#, because she won't be able to cover more than 4 or 5 miles in a day anyways, but still a pound is a pound.Nov 2, 2009 at 10:43 am #1541879
N/ANov 2, 2009 at 10:47 am #1541881
@thinairLocale: 6237' - Manitou Springs
David, I'm curious about the McHale packs but have a hard time weeding through the website. Do you have personal experience with one of his packs?Nov 2, 2009 at 10:55 am #1541884
I wouldn't recommend a Mchale pack for a number of reasons – feel free to PM me.Nov 2, 2009 at 11:17 am #1541894
Have you considered Cold Cold World packs?
You don't *need* a 5 pound pack to carry a 40 pound load. Or a frame/yoke for that matter.Nov 2, 2009 at 11:20 am #1541898
True – but if I have to carry heavier weights for climbing I like the best combination of comfort and durability. Shaving 1-2 lbs off your pack weight is pretty irrelevant if you are already carrying 40 plus pounds.Nov 2, 2009 at 11:22 am #1541899
@vigilguyLocale: Northern Utah
Tim- I own 3 McHale packs. An SCM-II, a Chasm, and a Merkebeiner.
If you have the money, you won't regret going with a McHale.
His suspensions will hold up to any amount of weight that you can physically carry.
I trained with the SCM-II every day for 6 months…had it loaded to 60 lbs of weight, and was able to carry the load without discomfort.
There is lots of information on his website once you get the hang of it.
I have used an ArcTeryx Bora 80, a Mystery Ranch G5000, and a Granite Gear pack, and none of them have provided the load distribution and comfort that the McHale has.
After awhile, the production packs were killing my hips, but I never have felt pain with the McHale.
email me at vigilguy at gmail dot com if I can answer more questions for you.
Dan has always been pleasant to work with…and he is a stickler for detail. He will want it to fit perfectly for you.Nov 2, 2009 at 11:23 am #1541900
@foundLocale: Sacramento, CA
I've carried over 55 lbs in a ULA Catalyst it's not comfortable. But i'd consider buying a pack that you might also want to use after your trip. You'll only be gone for two weeks, but you'll have the pack for much longer after that.
Consider a Catalyst or GG Nimbus Ozone… 40 pounds ain't that much.Nov 2, 2009 at 11:26 am #1541902
@thomdarrahLocale: Southern Oregon
I would be happy to try and help with any questions regarding McHale packs. PM for email contact info.Nov 2, 2009 at 11:28 am #1541903
"i'd consider buying a pack that you might also want to use after your trip. You'll only be gone for two weeks, but you'll have the pack for much longer after that."
This is great advice, especially since that 40 pounds on day one decreases each day.Nov 2, 2009 at 11:44 am #1541907
Larry De La BriandaisParticipant
@hitechLocale: SF Bay Area
"P.S. I'd be curious to find out if anybody else here is carrying 40# and under what circumstances (why) they are doing so."
I do. The real reason is because it isn't that hard. Thus far I always go to the same place and it's a short trip down a steep trail. I carry all fresh (and wet) food (sealed bags in the river are almost like refrigeration). My starting weight is somewhere close to 80 lbs, over half of it consumables.
Since I'm the fastest on the walk out already, there is no reason to be any lighter.
However, I'm planning on broadening my horizons. So, I'm looking to get a little lighter than a 38 lb base weight. ;-)Nov 2, 2009 at 11:44 am #1541908
@cameronLocale: Idaho Falls
Someone mentioned the Gregory Z-55. I have one and its a great pack but I think 35 pounds is the upper limit of comfort. Doing 40 is tolerable however especially for short periods. For a totally different approach my brother likes his old simple external frame pack. It weights about 2 pounds but he's carried 60 pounds in it.Nov 2, 2009 at 11:45 am #1541909
"This is great advice, especially since that 40 pounds on day one decreases each day."
Yes – but if a pack is comfortable at 40 pounds, it will be a dream at 20. If a pack is barely tolerable at 40, then it will be….Nov 2, 2009 at 11:49 am #1541911
"Yes – but if a pack is comfortable at 40 pounds, it will be a dream at 20. If a pack is barely tolerable at 40, then it will be…."
a dream at 20. And much lighter, too!Nov 2, 2009 at 11:54 am #1541913
@timalanLocale: Mid Atlantic
I'm new to BPL, and new to the ultralight philosophy, so I've got a mix of gear and am nowhere near ultralight yet… so I'm still using a Gregory Z-55, because when I was originally looking for a pack, it was the lightest/best/highest-recommended pack I could find from a mainstream manufacturer. That said, carrying 35# in it is pretty easy. I don't think I've ever hiked in it at more than ~38#, but I have no hesitation that it would do 40-45# in relative comfort, especially at the 4-5 mile distances you are talking about.
I'm not adverse to swapping to a different pack, but right now I'm doing most of my hiking with my girlfriend, and so reducing gear weight really comes with 2X cost, since I'm trying to do so for both of us as we go along — I don't want to be out there with a 15# pack to her #30 pack, and she doesn't have the money for any new gear. So it's likely to be a long, slow process to go ultralight, contingent on finding great clearance specials.
But that said, I like the Z55 well enough that I am not in a hurry to replace it. I give it very high marks for comfort and durability. And for what it's worth, I'm 5'10" and weigh ~160#, and it still works well for me even at 35#+.Nov 2, 2009 at 11:57 am #1541914
@bfornshellLocale: Southern Texas
If you have questions about a McHale Pack just give him a call. I have talked to him a couple of times.
Phone number 1-206-533-1479.
If you are in really great shape you could carry 40 pounds in a potato sack, if not go with a McHale Pack.Nov 2, 2009 at 12:03 pm #1541915
""Yes – but if a pack is comfortable at 40 pounds, it will be a dream at 20. If a pack is barely tolerable at 40, then it will be…."
a dream at 20. And much lighter, too!"
My feeling is that if you can carry 15 pounds in a potato bag but somehow can't carry 18 pounds in a fully framed pack, something is missing…like a few screws.Nov 2, 2009 at 12:09 pm #1541917
@nerdboy52Locale: "Alas, poor Yogi.I knew him well."
Seriously, as someone who used to carry 65# in my misspent youth, let me say, there's this magic threshold (at least for me) at 35 pounds. Above that, the pack is a burden. At 35, it doesn't seem so bad. If you can find a way of trimming that five pounds, you'll be glad you did.
Of course, YMMV. It's just my opinion (and perhaps unique personal experience). I could be wrong.
P.S. When I was carrying 65#, I was 20 years old, weighed 120 on a 5' 11" frame. What was I thinking?Nov 2, 2009 at 12:11 pm #1541919
@cameronLocale: Idaho Falls
You're right it will carry more than 35 pounds fairly well its just the edge of its design parametors. The Z-55 is a bit overbuilt and priced for what its supposed to do but I don't mind because it fits me well.
For Tim I think a bigger issue is the space available. I'm not sure a Z-55 has enough volume for what he's wanting to carry.Nov 2, 2009 at 12:14 pm #1541921
"At 35, it doesn't seem so bad. If you can find a way of trimming that five pounds, you'll be glad you did."
It doesn't work that way. Any load has an effect on your musculature, but if the pack you are carrying is designed to carry a heavy weight then it will be effective at transferring the load to your hips and evenly throughout your back, thereby reducing pressure points and maximizing load transfer and stability. You simply get less stress on the body.
So trim the weight of the pack by a pound or two to get a pack that struggles to carry at 35 pounds comfortably?Nov 2, 2009 at 12:16 pm #1541922
@rcaffinLocale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
If you really have to carry a really big load – which sometimes happens, then you should be using an external frame pack like a Kelty or a Luxurylight. You will have to forget the delights of frameless packs of course. The most I have carried with an external frame pack was 120 lb. That was all my gear, half a sack of concrete and a 6' x 6" square hardwood post, up a mountain. We were hut building.
If you just want to carry an 'ordinary' big load then an internal frame pack is suitable, but because it will have to have a solid harness system the pack won't be light. You should be looking at something like a Macpac Cascade or a similar USA design. The pack itself will weigh maybe 3.5 – 4.5 lb. I have carried up to 60 lb that way, into a ski base camp.
Your big problem in the second category will be separating the crap from the good ones, I know. Brand name helps here.
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