Nov 10, 2010 at 10:46 am #1265335
I am planning a Thru-hike of the PCT comming up in 6 months. The GG Gorilla weighs in 23.2 Oz with 2,800 Cubic inches total capacity. It also Comes with a new aluminum curved stay.
…On the other hand the Zpack Blast 26 weighs in at 19z with the Carbon Fiber stays option,etc /2,600 Cubic Inches Total capacity.
How are the strait Stays on the Zpack Blast compared to the Curved stays on the Gorilla? Will the strait stays of the blast create a frame that will help support load transfer in a big way?
All in all I am looking for the most comferable pack to carry a max weight of 25 Lbs while an average weight of much less.
What pack would you prefer and why? Also, If anyone here has used the Zpack with stays please share your experience with them, and how much they help with the load.
-Thanks for reading..Nov 10, 2010 at 10:47 am #1662877
The blast is 9oz total, (correction)Nov 10, 2010 at 11:26 am #1662900
@paintplongoLocale: Hopefully on the Trail
Why is ULA not an option listed? The Circuit is among the best choices for the PCT because it can carry a bear vault and all the gear/food you'll need for the longer stretches between resups.Nov 10, 2010 at 11:30 am #1662904
Perhaps because a Circuit weighs 36 ounces?
edit: I think it is a very well designed pack. I just can't get past the weight. (I currently use an Ohm.)Nov 10, 2010 at 12:28 pm #1662921
I think the extra ounces are put to good use. The Circuit carries better than the OHM, even at lower weights.Nov 10, 2010 at 12:45 pm #1662931
Try them on if you can … Or order from a place with a good return policy
fit is everything … I can recommend the best and lightest pack in the world which is useless if it doesnt fit you
dont be afraid of a few ounces for a better fitNov 10, 2010 at 12:49 pm #1662935
I thought the Ohm and Circuit have the same "hooped" suspension system.
Does the Circuit's "…dense internal foam frame…" add much more than CCF pad in the right place?
Enough to warrant accepting an additional 14 ounces?Nov 10, 2010 at 1:02 pm #1662938
Greg, it's actually the belt that is far superior. Much wider, and a bit thicker with dual buckles that allow an almost custom fit. It is the combination and integration of the belt and suspension that work so well.Nov 10, 2010 at 1:11 pm #1662943
+1 on the belt.
I had ULA put a Large belt on my Medium Ohm to improve the carry.
I love Ohm. I have other packs that don't get used. Brian really hit all the design points to make these work. Now, about those 14 ounces…Nov 10, 2010 at 5:00 pm #1663010
I did the PCT before I bought my Zpacks blast, but I am considering doing the CDT in the next few years with it. I have the 2600 (no stays, 6.9 oz) and have comfortably carried 30 lbs with it. Also, a bear canister will fit in it upright, though you have to pack everything else around it in the correct fashion, which isn't always as convenient. A small solo bear can will fit sideways, but isn't enough food in the high sierra unless you get out at Bishop or Lone Pine.
Also, I'd recommend hip belt pockets. I had one on my pack when i did the PCT and I regret not ordering them on my Blast, perfect for camera, snacks, bandana.Nov 10, 2010 at 5:27 pm #1663018
"comfortably carried 30 lbs with it"
Come on….no way. Frameless packs are not comfortable at that weight.Nov 11, 2010 at 7:22 am #1663156
The Circuit also has a hard foam frame-sheet with a single alum. stay as well.
It would be on my shortlist for a Thru-Hike, but so would the McHale LBP36.Nov 11, 2010 at 6:45 pm #1663337
I notised the GG Gorilla is $154 dollars right now, where the Blast is around $250, and the circuit is $200. Is the Gorilla really comfertable? I mean Between the Ohm, Circuit, Gorilla, and the Blast. Is the Gorilla a great comfort for the price or since im doing the thru-hike would it be better to invest in a better pack.Nov 11, 2010 at 8:08 pm #1663362
From the packs you list above, my money would be on the Circuit.Dec 8, 2010 at 8:29 pm #1672443
I am still a bit unsure on going with the Blast 26 or the Gorilla for the upcoming PCT. Will the Blast 26 with the optional stays be as comfortable/ load bearing as the curved stays of the Gorilla? I have looked a quite a few reviews on both of these packs and no one has really addressed the comfort of the Blast with the stays option. To be honest, if the blast with stays can be comfortable up to say 20-25lbs then Thats the way I would go. My plan is to have a base weight of 7-9 lbs; I will also mention I have very little experience with backpacking in general and this will be my first thru-hike. Having that said… and thanks for your patience with me… Can anyone that has a Blast pack with stays share there experience with the pack/stays option. Also looking forward to hearing any GG Gorilla pack owners. Thanks again for taking the time to help me out.
-Joshua-Dec 8, 2010 at 9:06 pm #1672454
@jephotoLocale: New Zealand
I have been pleased with the Gorilla so far and have not read any bad reviews. However pack fit is a personal thing. Also the Gorilla isn't huge and may not be large enough for certain sections.
If I was choosing a pack for such a long hike I would personally order two or three options and try each one out for an overnighter and then sell the ones I didn't keep here on gear swap. I know this will cost a bit, but you really need a pack you are happy with for a thru hike and I have found you can't really tell enough by loading them up at home and walking round the house.Dec 8, 2010 at 9:06 pm #1672455
@brendansLocale: Fruita CO
I have a gorilla and love it, although I haven't tried the other packs you're looking at. The gorilla is super comfortable and carries very well. The curved stays are awesome.Dec 8, 2010 at 9:14 pm #1672458
@kevperroLocale: Washington State
For a long hike I'd rather have a heavier pack with an actual suspension. I'll happily carry the extra weight in the pack to do so.
Just my .02Dec 8, 2010 at 9:18 pm #1672459
I haven't tried the Blast, but I have and like the Gorilla. For trips where the temp will be > 30 F, I remove everything removable (including hip belt and sternum strap). This gives me a 15.7 oz pack. For loads <= 15 lbs, maybe 20 lbs, it's more comfortable this way, and with an inflatable pad folded inside for padding and load transfer. The curved stay is nice for heavier loads. I used it as a guide for bending the stays in my old 3 lb Kelty winter pack. I don't think I've ever had the Gorilla loaded up with more than 20 lbs, but I think I read a post somewhere where someone who had tried both the Gorilla and ULA Ohm (with straight hoop frame) said that they both carried equally well.Dec 8, 2010 at 11:08 pm #1672483
@pittsburghLocale: Bay Area
I commented on pack weight in another thread a while back, but I'll say the same thing:
In my opinion (and I'm no expert, but I know what I like) the one single place I would not skimp is your pack. Without going all Gregory Baltoro on anyone, the options are excellent out there. I say anything under 3lbs (yes, I meant to type 'lbs' not 'oz' haha) is still plenty good for a thru-hike. I've hiked with heavier for shorter, but the one thing I don't want is hurting shoulders, trapezius, or other back issues. Just make sure the pack has the features you want (pockets, mesh holders, water storage/bladder hooks, whatever) and that it fits your gear, and that includes a bear canister.
People used to (errr…still do) hike the PCT, CDT, AT, etc., with all styles of packs, some newer and some older.
Find a pack that fits, find a pack that fits your style, find a pack that fits your gear, find a pack that fits your budget….THEN and only then start looking at ounces.
Again, my opinion, and one that may not be popular with some. Cut your tags off, cut your toothbrush, cut your hair, get a colonoscopy, but don't skimp on your pack for a 4 month hike. :)Dec 8, 2010 at 11:29 pm #1672486
@dirk9827Locale: Pacific Northwest
The argument for a larger pack with a suspension is ampliphied by the bear canister requirement in the Sierras (ok, technically not a requirement but it is highly unlikekly you are going to hike the miles between bear storage containers in a single day in some sections).
Regardless, if you need to carry a bear canister larger than the very smallest models, having a pack capable of holding the necessary volume becomes a bit of a trick. People do manage it, but it just becomes more difficult. You will want a pack that carries that weight well. People do manage with small packs – but it requires compromises and discipline. Add to this the possible necessity to carry and ice axe and crampons or at least micro spikes, you will likely be carrying your heaviest loads of the trip through this section.
Best of luck!
DirkDec 8, 2010 at 11:35 pm #1672487
@jasongLocale: iceberg lake
I agree with Jason elsworth.. You have 6 months.. Buy all 3 and try them for a weekend. Take each out with ur normal base weight for the first day and throw some rocks in for the second day to simulate your heaviest load. Sell the ones u don't like in gear swap.. And obviously try to buy them in gear swap for a little cheaper.. And even if u bought a circuit for $200 new and use it one weekend u could prob resell for $180-190. So u only pay 10-20 to 'rent/demo' a pack that you will have on your back everyday for 3-6 months.. Well worth it..
(hell.. I'll let u borrow mine for a weekend if u pay for shipping.(lrg torso,med hip)Dec 9, 2010 at 12:24 am #1672491
@carazLocale: bay area
Take him up on his offer to try it out if you think it will fit. Base weight is great to keep low, but if you are going to be carrying 20+ lbs at any time having another 6 oz in a great suspension will pay huge dividends for the length of a thru-hike. If you want to make it happen, the more prepared you are the greater your chances of reaching your goal. You can't get too fixated on one pack over another (gorilla or blast… blast or gorilla). To echo the advice of sage's in this culture through time, there isn't a pack that will carry itself, you will feel the weight on your back regardless of what pack you are wearing. The one that save's hotspots or sore shoulders due to an effective fit and weight transfer is going to be the one that will be for you over the others. To add, low volume packs are sweet and look sexy, but if you haven't a lot of experience backpacking you should give yourself some room to work with. Do you know if you are going to be sleeping in a quilt? Using a full shelter? I only ask because a pack the size of the gorilla will mean that you will have to sacrifice some luxuries for packability. It would be hard to use a fully enclosed shelter, sleepingbag or foam pad without making a big sacrifice for space somewhere else, while wearing any of the lower volume packs, especially if you consider 5+ days of food and a bearcan…its not happening. The gorilla is 46 liters counting the pockets. Your going to need a bigger pack. The sixmoondesigns starlite with the stays comes in at 30oz and 67 liters. Their panelloader is 31oz with stays and 62 liters. The circuit is right at 36oz and 68 liters. I think a new perspective is in order, not to be overwhelmed but to look at the gear from a more holistic approach. Rather than be fixated on the minutia of ounces and an idea of having the most expensive gear on the trail, focus on what it will take to get you to the end. Comfort is high on that list. After 2 months your body isn't going to be the same as it was when you started, especially if you have a pack overloaded for its size and pulling at funny angles.Dec 9, 2010 at 11:00 am #1672608
Great tips here…
I have the gorilla and used it this summer for 5 months on the PCT. I loved it- very good livability. I fit the Bearikade Expedition (large one) from Lone Pine to Echo Lake no problem (not much else though!)
I carried a lot of weight in it sometimes and it worked well. I found the back pad to be useless and ditched it. Favorite feature was the stretch mesh on the back and sides.
Really love this pack but fit is key, and it worked for me!
EvanDec 9, 2010 at 5:41 pm #1672746
I recieved the Gorilla and tried it out… I put in 27 lbs and went for a walk for about an hour. I felt like it carried the weight verry well, but the shoulder straps dug into my neck. I ended up sending it back today… I am going to start looking at the Exos and the Circuit.
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