- Apr 3, 2012 at 11:06 am #1288250
Addie BedfordBPL Member
Companion forum thread to:Apr 3, 2012 at 1:31 pm #1863155
I've had one of these since they came out and haven't looked back since, so it's great to see someone else flying the flag. I'm amazed there aren't more of these out in the hills – in fact, I've never seen anyone using one.
I disagree with you about the winter use – I used it this winter scrambling and climbing in the Cairngorms and it's still as good as new. And I love the load lifter straps.
You are right about the compression – it's basic, and seems like an afterthought. And I'd go as far as to say that the chest pocket is so badly designed that it's almost useless – the narrow opening means that what could've been good for maps and a compass is only usable for bars and snacks. And then of course there's the colour scheme… But, it's the cheapest frameless backpack here (UK), so I'd definitely give it a recommended rather than just above average.
Thanks for the review.
JakeApr 4, 2012 at 4:55 am #1863413
It is always interesting for me to read reviews of European gear by Danny and Kristin. Thank you! More euro and AR gear! :)Apr 4, 2012 at 6:47 am #1863436
I always find it interesting to see pictures of frameless packs on people. By the pics alone, I would suggest that the pack torso length is too short. But if the testers didn't complain….Apr 4, 2012 at 8:41 am #1863481
Jacob – Thank you for your insight. I'm glad you've had success with using this pack. What kind of activities are you doing in the winter with it? I would think anything technical – involving an ice ax, shovel, or skies – would just tear through the mesh. But cross country skiing, snowshoeing and winter hiking would probably be just fine.
Роман – Спасибо за комплимент. Мы замечательно провели время в Европе. Мы хотели бы вернуться в ближайшее время. Три месяца в России было недостаточно.
David – Good eye. Yes, the pack was a bit small for me but I got used to it. That often happens with a one-size-fits-all pack. I find it helps let it ride higher on my hips. Also, had the pack torso been properly sized, perhaps I could have pushed the comfortable carrying load a bit higher.Apr 4, 2012 at 9:35 am #1863505
Дэнни, читаю ваши записи в обоих ваших блогах, как всегда было интересно посмотреть на свою страну со стороны. И вообще история пары которая решила все бросить и объездить весь мир внушает уважение.
P.s. Меня зовут Роман :)Apr 4, 2012 at 10:01 am #1863514
Роман – Я рад, что вы читаете наши блоги. И, самое главное, нашли их интересными. Наши путешествия были, как говорят, замечательно, но сложной задачей. Где вы живете? Было бы хорошо встретиться с вами в следующий раз мы в России. Я был там шесть раз, но не зимой. Я хочу пойти на лыжные поездки, и увидеть северное сияние.
Ваше имя – поправил я его. Я не знаю, почему я напечатал это.Apr 4, 2012 at 10:27 am #1863524
Дэнни, ответил в PM. Т.к. боюсь другим не очень приятно читать диалог на непонятном языке :)Apr 4, 2012 at 10:29 am #1863526
Кто сказал, что этот сайт предназначен только для американцев?
Очень здорово! (Надежда Google есть что право …)Apr 4, 2012 at 10:36 am #1863530
Roman – agreed, let's move the conversation to PM.
Douglas – True, BPL is for the UL hikers of the world! I'm always happy to see members from other countries, and I think BPL has been expanding to include reviews from non-US companies. I think that the next time Kristin and I go traveling, we'll do a tour to visit BPL members.Apr 4, 2012 at 11:04 am #1863560
Douglas – Google Translate is a great thing! (especially on China and Japan sites for me).
Danny – we already have three "UL packing" sites, considering total number of UL packers < 50 (as i suppose):
But we have rather strong AR community, and a lot of classic so called "turists" – backpackers, water-, ski-, bike- let's say travelers.Apr 4, 2012 at 11:06 am #1863563
Danny – Nothing too drastic. I've carried an ice axe on it and snowshoes in the side pockets, but nothing more. There isn't enough snow here most of the time to really justify skis, though I know Chris Townsend always seems to find some. You're probably right about the mesh, but I put a strip of duct tape over the area that comes into contact with the axe so no problems there. And the main material has coped fine with being dragged up and down scree slopes, grit boulders and iced up scrambling routes. I've never carried a shovel in it, but I've no reason to think that it would be any more damaging than snowshoes.
David – It is short, but it doesn't seem to make a difference. My back is 23.5", so on the long side. It feels short at first (I'm used to ula and golite packs), but I've found that by lengthening the shoulder straps until it sits on my hips and then pulling the load lifters in, it carries well. Besides, with the sorts of loads I carry in this (the most has been 30lbs) it's perfectly comfortable. The belt is excellent at stabilising the pack, in fact that's the intention, as it's meant to carry high to allow complete freedom of movement in the hips for running.Apr 8, 2012 at 6:17 pm #1865120
Danny, very interesting pack and great observations. You said "The Octans 40 is definitely light, but there are several backpacks on the market that are A) lighter, B) weigh the same but also have a frame, or C) weigh the same and use more durable materials." It would have been nice to see a table of the packs that you think compare to this one.
I too first thought when I saw this pack that the torso is quite short. I've never wore one this short in the field but did try one on in an outdoors store and for me it was uncomfortable. Wanted to buy it because it was light and had all the features I wanted but was probably 16" in the torso and so the shoulder straps and sternum strap pulled across my chest and shoulders. Couldn't get it to fit right. But maybe that's why its more of a running pack. Fits more tightly or snuggly on the body for minimal bounce. Again, nice article.Apr 11, 2012 at 8:57 am #1866117
Warren – Thanks for the note. Glad to hear the review was helpful.
Last year Will wrote an incredibly thorough, 5-part series on the State of the Market for Lightweight Frameless Packs. It far surpasses any comparison that I could have done in the limited space of this article. You can start with Will's first article.Apr 12, 2012 at 7:56 pm #1866709
I've read that report a couple of times. It just sounded like you had a few other packs in mind. Anyway, nor worries.
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