Dec 28, 2010 at 10:48 pm #1267046
I'm planning on hiking the PCT either this season or next and am looking into packs now. I have been torn between going with a frameless pack or a ultralight pack with a frame. I have been looking at the Osprey Exos 58 but am not sure about its durability over the course of a thru hike. Also been looking at the ULA Catalyst and the GG Mariposa Plus. I'm hoping to get on the trail this season but its looking more like spring 2012.. Regardless i need pack help! Thanks for any feedback i get!Dec 29, 2010 at 6:58 am #1678593
Jerry AdamsBPL Member
@retiredjerryLocale: Oregon and Washington
How much weight/volume do you carry?Dec 29, 2010 at 10:39 am #1678688
My base pack weight is 15.8 pounds.. i usually carry between 30 and 35 pounds with food and water. My current pack is an 85L REI pack that was given to me as a gift and I can't even get close to filling it up.. that being said I don't want my next pack to be filled to the brink of exploding at every resupply. Thanks for the reply!Dec 29, 2010 at 10:46 am #1678690
@truenorthLocale: San Francisco, CA
ULA Circuit = Awesome! I love this pack. Quality manufacturing and carries loads in your stated range comfortably.Dec 29, 2010 at 11:17 am #1678702
Thanks a bunch! I think I've narrowed it down to either the Circuit or the Catalyst.. being quite indecisive it will take a few sleepless nights to come to a conclusion but I appreciate the help!
Has anyone loaded the circuit up to capacity, and if so how did it hold up? I'm hoping for my pack to last the length of the PCT and beyond into my post-college world travels.
Thanks for all the help!Dec 29, 2010 at 11:31 am #1678708
Jerry AdamsBPL Member
@retiredjerryLocale: Oregon and Washington
Sorry for the unsolicited off topic comment, but, it seems like if you're doing the PCT you should reduce your base weight by a few pounds, maybe to 12 pounds. Probably wouldn't affect which pack you used though.
I'm no PCT thru hiker so what do I know : )Dec 29, 2010 at 11:41 am #1678711
I really appreciate it Jerry, I am no thru-hiker either… yet! I have been slowly but surely shaving my pack weight down from the ungodly loads I carried as a kid.. and I assume that by the time I actually get on the trail i will have taken a pound or two more off my base weight but being engulfed in college with future student loan payments looming, money is ultimately the decider when it comes to upgrading to lighter gear. However I have hiked sections j-l with my current base weight and have not found it too much of a burden to carry at all.. I appreciate the help tho! Hopefully my monthly 1$ lotto tickets will soon pay off and i can upgrade to some lighter gear!
As for my pack.. i'm leaning towards the catalyst but the climactic pulling of the trigger will not take place until i have see-sawed between the two packs for another month or so! If theres one thing college has not taught me it's decisiveness.. Thanks for the help everyone!Dec 29, 2010 at 1:42 pm #1678745
Ryley BreiddalBPL Member
@ryleybLocale: Pacific Northwest
I thru hiked the PCT in 2007 and met a TON of people using the Catalyst. I have a similar base weight to you, and I've since purchased one for myself. I found that given the water and food capacity I needed to support on the PCT, the extra volume was necessary.Dec 30, 2010 at 2:11 am #1678908
thanks a ton! i think i've gotten enough feedback and i'm gonna get the catalyst! Thanks for all the help! best wishes to all and happy trails!Dec 30, 2010 at 12:31 pm #1679002
@brianleLocale: Pacific NW
I used a Gossamer Gear pack when I did the PCT, but more recently have been carrying a ULA Circuit.
For your base weight, I would guess that the Circuit would be fine for most of the trail at least; the one thing I'm not sure of would be in the Sierras — in particular carrying a bear can, as well as perhaps some additional warm clothing. Ice axe on back should be fine with any pack, but the bear can is the big issue (literally).
With my Mariposa Plus I initially tried strapping the can to the outside of the pack; this seemed to work on a pre-trip shakedown, but at some point early on past Kennedy Meadows I swapped stuff around to fit the can inside the pack, hanging more stuff outside the pack and in the mesh to make room. A tight fit, but it worked.
If you can make that work for you with the Circuit, then I'd go for the Circuit over the Catalyst.Dec 30, 2010 at 2:10 pm #1679034
Joe ClementBPL Member
I have a Circuit and Catalyst, and I'd call the Catalyst too big. I think this should be more of a comparison of a Circuit and Mariposa Plus (got one of those too)Dec 30, 2010 at 3:11 pm #1679049
@kevperroLocale: Washington State
The Catalyst would be my choice. You may be able to get by with the Ohm but for long hikes where you are going to be forced to carry bear containers, long resupplies, lots of water and you are getting in shape anyway the Catalyst is probably a better choice.Jan 1, 2011 at 12:23 pm #1679493
Joe LBPL Member
@heyyouLocale: Cutting brush off of the Arizona Tr
Your decision to get a ULA pack is a good one due to the water weight that you will need to carry in the desert areas. Seems like GG packs are moving towards being better heavy weight carriers. Competition is good for consumers.Jan 1, 2011 at 2:11 pm #1679522
@pittsburghLocale: Bay Area
I'm no thru-hiker yet either (have to do one to be one?) but I'm making my attempt this Spring. I think all the packs listed are good packs. If you want it to last and last, McHale has a good rep for durability but is not cheap. Osprey and ULA Circuit are both good, I've seen a bunch of PCT'ers with GG Gorilla's too.
Hope to see you on the trail!Jan 1, 2011 at 3:34 pm #1679547
@eeooo4Locale: California, Central Valley
I will be hiking in 2011 and am just graduating college as well! I recently got a circuit and I really like it, comfy and also customizable to your comfort with the removable stay etc. Chris at ULA was really awesome and sent me 2 packs, upon request, and only asking for me to pay for 1. Then I obviously sent the other one back (shipping costs extra $$$ if you do this), but I got to try them out and walk around and feel it out. Im sure hed do the same for you. My girlfriend will be using the smaller osprey exos and loves it. Its got a really well ventilated back panel which Ill be jealous of for the desert section. Good luck!
-TobyJan 2, 2011 at 1:44 am #1679714
I think all you guys and gals are just awesome for doing these 1000s of miles long thru hikes.More power to you and stay safe………….KevinJan 2, 2011 at 1:44 am #1679716
I think all you guys and gals are awesome for doing these 1000s of miles long thru hikes.More power to you and stay safeJan 2, 2011 at 1:44 am #1679717
I think all of you guys and gals that are doing these multi 1000 mile long thru hike are awesome.More power to you and stay safe…………..KevinJan 2, 2011 at 10:31 am #1679803
@cwayman1Locale: East Tennessee, US
>As for my pack.. i'm leaning towards the catalyst but the climactic pulling of the trigger will not take place until i have see-sawed between the two packs for another month or so! If theres one thing college has not taught me it's decisiveness.. Thanks for the help everyone!<
>thanks a ton! i think i've gotten enough feedback and i'm gonna get the catalyst! Thanks for all the help! best wishes to all and happy trails!<
Well that didn't take too long =P!
Best wishes on your pre-trip planning!
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