Dec 6, 2010 at 10:10 am #1266288
Right now I'm rockin' a GG Nimbus Ozone unfortunately set on the lowest torso size–14 inches. Like it just fine (hipbelt could be less bulky…) but I would like to try out a frameless pack. My summer base weight is about 7 pounds without the pack. I have cut the pack itself down to 2.6 pounds, but would like to try a pack weighing closer to a pound.
After research, I am leaning towards making my own–but I'd rather not if I don't have to!
At this point, I have three main questions about available packs before I fully commit to planning to make my own.
1) Gossamer Gear's packs say they fit a range of torso sizes–small should fit sizes 12-16, I think, on most models. Since they're not adjustable (as I understand it), what does this mean practically? Does it mean they'll fit a 16 inch torso well, and the rest a little large? Or a 14 inch torso well perhaps–right in the middle?
2) MLD sells their Prophet in XS–a kids' size. Do any small people have experience with that size? Looks good, but I'm reluctant to shell out the $180 price tag. I would, however (after saving for a while :), if it was going to be just the right pack.
3) Can anyone with a torso size smaller than 15 inches comment on a frameless pack which fit them acceptably well in a 15 inch (small) size? (Golite, ULA, GG, MLD etc.)
Your help is much appreciated!Dec 9, 2010 at 6:43 pm #1672767
@emmatLocale: Bay Area
I am lucky if I am 4'11" .. not positive of the torso length – but I'm even proportion :).. I love the Mariposa Plus (small) – I've only been on one 5 day hike with it (Rae Lakes loop), but I am planning a 2011 PCT hike and will use it for the whole thing.Dec 9, 2010 at 7:07 pm #1672773
Answer: Custom, or as you already stated, MYOG. "–but I'd rather not if I don't have to!; This is a mistake, no offense. It will be a challenge, but you'll enjoy it greatly and have a better pack (on the third try), for you, than anything you can buy. Once you get to the point that I'm at, where you're sick of making your own gear because you feel obligated to make *ALL* of it, then you can feel justified in buying pre-made gear again, not before.
If you need any help, let me know.
edit: f'ing forward slash.Dec 9, 2010 at 7:28 pm #1672777
@bcampriniLocale: Southern Appalachians
The Golite Jam in a women's small might fit you well. According to their website, they only make the women's Jam in Med and Large now (both would be too big for you), but a google search found some old smalls online (i.e. Campsaver $112). My son who also has a 14" torso has one and it's a great fit on him. It's a very well made pack with some great features.Dec 9, 2010 at 10:08 pm #1672813
@cameronLocale: Idaho Falls
Sounds like you have some options with ready made packs. Just a few thoughts.
1. I have used frameless packs almost exclusively the last couple of years, In my opinion their are some inherent limitations to the frameless design. I like frameless packs because mine are significantly lighter than a comperable framed pack. I might question the wisdom of switching to a heavier frameless pack (like a Jam at almost 2 pounds) if your GG pack is already 2.6 pounds. I'm not sure that much weight savings is worth losing the frame.
2. Don't be afraid to try making your own, it can be fun but be aware your first pack may not be perfect. I would start with durable fabric like dyeema so if you mess up you can cut the seams and start over again. The materials for a 10 oz dyeema pack cost me about $30. Even assuming you want to rebuild it after learning from mistakes thats still cheaper (assuming you have a sewing machine, if you factor that as a purchase its not as cheap).
3. If you want to build one let me know, I'd be happy to help.
LukeDec 14, 2010 at 9:10 am #1674168
re: Golite sizing, the women's Jams sizes were renamed this season… the current medium corresponds to the former small, and the current large corresponds to the former medium. The current medium should just fit you.
Outside of cottage industry, most womens smalls (practically speaking) bottom out between 15-16" torso. When I'm fitting someone at 14" we tend to go for XS Gregory, Granite Gear W's short, or a kids pack… Generally speaking I find that it can be difficult to fit someone at the bottom range of a pack frame size, though of course there are exceptions.Dec 14, 2010 at 9:19 am #1674171
Note that a torso measure for a framed pack can a bit different than a for a frameless one. In general- the measure for a framed pack is about 2" shorter than for a frameless one. Framed at 14" = about 16" frameless when the frameless pack is measured from the bottom of the pack/waistbelt to where the shoulder straps connect to the pack.
Of course- many mfgr measures it all a little different.
The No#1 reason we get a pack returns for a size exchanges is that they get measured for a framed pack somewhere and then extrapolate a SM measure for the MLD SM torso and then they end up needing a taller pack torso.
SO- look at the individual makers torso info closely. We've found using a height measure corresponds very well to the pack torso needed vs any specific back measurement- ymmvDec 14, 2010 at 10:16 am #1674180
@cgrafLocale: So Cal
"We've found using a height measure corresponds very well to the pack torso needed vs any specific back measurement- ymmv"
Trying numerous packs (both framed and frameless) purchased solely on torso measurement the fit was extremely variable and many uncomfortable. I then purchased an MLD Burn, size small, based on my height (5'4") and it by far has been the best carrying pack to date…so I purchased a Prophet as well.Dec 14, 2010 at 12:01 pm #1674193
Hey guys, thanks for all the insight! Much appreciated!
I was not at all aware that framed and frameless packs were sized differently–that's excellent information, and I'll have to look at all my options again in a new light :)
Wonder why I've never read that before?!?!
In that case, I think I'm leaning ever more heavily towards the Prophet… looks like XS is for users under 5'2", and at 5" that should fit me.
Re: MYOG: I'm certainly not totally against making my own, and might even do that if I buy a frameless pack as well–just for fun :) In fact, I found an excellent stretchy mesh running shirt at the thrift store a month ago and bought it "just in case" to chop up for pockets.
I have made lots…and lots… of outdoor gear already, and I'm just about at that point of exhaustion. Let somebody else do it for once! ;o)
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