May 3, 2012 at 12:15 pm #1289500
I have a family of 5 so my wife is hiking with the baby in a Kelty carrier and my other kids are 5 and 7 so that leaves me to carry most of the stuff besides their bag and clothes which they carry. I ordered the golite 5 tent and 1 season bags for me and my wife so there is not much more weight to lose on the big 3. Our pads weigh 12oz each. I added up everything with food for 4 days and it looks like its going to be about 40lbs. I bought a kelty 80L but that thing is a beast at 5lb9oz. I was thinking framesless golite jam 70 at 2lb2oz or maybe their framed pack at 3lb9oz. what do you guys think with that weight. Is the 1lb7oz penalty worth having a frame? Thanks gang.May 3, 2012 at 12:29 pm #1874022
In my experience if your going to be carrying a fairly heavy load (and it sound like you are) the slightly heavier framed packs are more comfortable.. When you get your gear weights down then the frame doesn't matter as much.
Your results may vary though.
I still carry my Osprey Aether 60 just because its comfortable to me..May 3, 2012 at 1:00 pm #1874038
I would use the Kelty. If I was looking to reduce my load from 46lbs to 43lbs like you are proposing, I would try to find a different way of accomplishing it that doesn't involve removing the frame from my pack.
If you were going from 23lbs to 20lbs that would be a different story.
If your heart is set on buying a new pack for the sake of buying a new pack, I always liked my old Osprey Atmos for weights around 40lb, but I don't think that'd save you much weight if that is also one of your goals. I've got a McHale now that feels pretty awesome, but haven't had a chance to use it yet.May 3, 2012 at 1:11 pm #1874043
"What would you carry 35-40 lbs with?"
A porter? ;-)
Seriously, the Kelty or some other framed pack. The more weight you carry, the more you need good structure to support it.May 3, 2012 at 1:16 pm #1874045
@dwambaughLocale: Pacific Northwest
Use the Kelty and survive :) REI still has the Flash 65 on sale for $105 (http://www.rei.com/product/830303/rei-flash-65-pack-mens-special-buy), so you can have your frame and eat it too– and pull it out for lighter trips. I wouldn't go frameless with anything over 30 pounds.
I would go for *short* overnighters with your load and tribe anyway. Car camping and day hikes can be a joy with kids that age and you can eat whatever you want, have camp fires (assuming camping in a park where there are fire rings), etc. You can probably cover more ground with day hikes than heavily loaded multi-day trips and rejuvenate at the campground.May 3, 2012 at 1:17 pm #1874046
Larry De La BriandaisParticipant
@hitechLocale: SF Bay Area
I would suggest a framed pack. You should certainly be able to beat 5.5 lbs however. At least it is not as bad as my buddies old denali at 8 lbs!May 3, 2012 at 1:18 pm #1874047
Yeah I may just keep that Kelly then. It's pretty comfy.May 3, 2012 at 1:20 pm #1874050
Jansport D5.May 3, 2012 at 1:21 pm #1874051
@stephen-mLocale: Way up North
For that weight I would be using a Ula Catalyst or a 4 wheel drive :-)May 3, 2012 at 1:36 pm #1874055
A post near the top mentioned this pack. I have it and I love it. I rarely fill it up, or have it maxed out on weight, but I still use it most times because it is super comfy, for me anyway.
I carry 25ish lbs with my Aether 60, but it could easily do 35-40 lbs with comfort.May 3, 2012 at 1:38 pm #1874058
@davidinkenaiLocale: North Woods. Far North.
Sounds like my family's trips. We did a 3-nighter with mom carrying the childcarrier, another obviously on the way (6 months pregnant) and I carried everything else, which was pretty much everything. It was an era of cabin trips so as to avoid the
Currently, our 7-year-old can take her snacks, outer clothes and stuffed animal. Our 12-year-old can start to take some weight and more so, some of the volume, but not all of his own gear (a big motivation of mine to switch to more UL gear and techniques).
That leaves me on the father-son trip and my wife and I on the family trips to split most of the gear and food for 4 people between us.
I use a Kelty framed pack with large stuff sacks high and low. Heavy stuff goes in the main pack bag and a few sleeping bags and sleeping pads go into each large stuff sack.
My 12-year gets my Jam 35 or Jam 70 at about 12-15 pounds and as much volume as I can shift his way.
I'm at about 45 pounds and my wife at 35-40.
In answer to your original Q, it depends on how far you're going. If you're only going in 3 miles, you can carry anything for 2 hours (and, yes, it will take you 2-3 hours to do 3 miles with your crew). If it longer than that, I'd go with a comfortable framed pack, use as much UL gear and techniques as you can to keep the weight down, but accept that a traditional pack is in some ways better for heavier loads.May 3, 2012 at 2:07 pm #1874067
Granite Gear Nimbus Meridian – fantastic suspension. Or ULA Catalyst (another vote)May 3, 2012 at 2:17 pm #1874070
I've been working through a similar predicament — trying to find a high volume backpack for family trekking. I was seriously considering the GG Nimbus Meridian or Trace 62, but recently ended up with an Aether 60 (an older and lighter design than current model). There was a used, yet very well kept Nimbus Meridian I was going to purchase — if you're interested I could pass on contact info for its owner.May 3, 2012 at 2:32 pm #1874073
I've used an older Kelty Red Cloud 90L (5600 cu in) which weighs around 7 lbs to carry 60-70 lbs of gear for our family of 6. I was carrying everything except the oldest daughter's sleeping bag. At these loads, the sturdy pack is worth the weight!
(and I looked like a walking skyscraper!)May 3, 2012 at 2:41 pm #1874075
Nimbus meridian or the ozone, both really comfortable at those weights.May 3, 2012 at 2:43 pm #1874076
Yeah that sounds about where I am. I think I will keep it. I like it a lot. It's heavy but sturdy and very comfortable.May 3, 2012 at 2:55 pm #1874082
@cameronLocale: Idaho Falls
I would keep the Kelty for now, let me explain why.
With 40+ pounds on your back you won't notice much differenct if you have a pack thats 1 or 2 pounds lighter. So its not really a good us of funds.
Second really lightweight internal frame packs like the Circuit aren't normally designed to carry more than 35-40 pounds. You will be carrying about 40 pounds on a good day but you could very well excede that at some point. You might need to carry more water a some point or you migth want to take some weight off a kid's back or you might realized at the last minute you need a few more things that add weight.
I would suggest going out with what you have and seeing how it works. You can change your gear as you learn more and as your kids get stronger.
Edit – You said it was 40 pounds of gear and food. I'm not sure if you remembered water in there. Water weight adds up quickly. Again this would exceded the comfort level of most lightweight packs.May 3, 2012 at 2:55 pm #1874083
ya, this pack is a beast and is heavy but it has a very good suspension system that you can adjust to your frame and the waste belt does a great job of carrying the load instead of your back… and after 40 pounds what's an extra couple… your gonna be hurtin either way.May 3, 2012 at 2:57 pm #1874086
@nigelhealyLocale: San Francisco bay area
My babies all grown up now but when I had the similar problem >10 years ago I used a bike as a type of load-carrying solution. The reasons were I owned the bike, the bike could take a lot of weight and it acted as a sit-on for the smaller child who would stabilize via grabbing the handlebars. The "trail" underfoot could not be too bad as it would be an issue for the children so hence it was usually good for a bike's wheels.
The bike also had some uses as a transport device at the destination, such as if the kids were settled one parent could head back to car or home to get something that might have been forgotten.
Bikes obviously also have trailers if the volume needs were ever to become massive, e.g. my trailer is 100L, my panniers 40L. Trailers make it easier to handle the bike but trailers demand more of the quality of the surface. I'm not suggesting anyone BUYS a bike but it might be an easier no-cost alternative.May 3, 2012 at 5:57 pm #1874143
Seems like the general consensus (and my personal experience as well) that you're not going to be able to comfortably carry 40lbs+ without using a back thats 3lbs+.
I'd say stick with the Kelty. However, if you were in the market for a new pack that's a bit lighter, then I agree with the Granite Gear nimbus meridian or ULA Catalyst.
I own both, but I use them for different applications. I find both of them extremely comfortable and capable of heavy loads, but I enjoy the hipbelt on the catalyst more, as it contours to my hips more (no bruising).
The catalyst is a lot more livable than the nimbus meridian, so more suited for backpacking. It's easier to organize and see where gear is stashed.
The nimbus meridian is my winter pack. It's got a very clean exterior with plenty of daisy chains for tools, shovels, etc.May 4, 2012 at 6:38 am #1874292
Oh, yeah, I think once you're over 35lb, you need a pack with genuine, structural stability and the capacity to keep the weight on your suspension system, rather than your spine. I've been in your situation many times, and still will be in the future (at least in terms of weight), and I also use a Kelty. My Kelty's a bit older, but I'm cheap…
Now, I would suggest this: spend time and effort to lighten your components, carried gear and to take a very keen eye to the project. That's what brought me here: my mega load and the load of youths I need to keep truly light. You WILL find ways and "locations" in your gear list if you read in the "Multiple Use Gear" forum, this Gear forum and the General Backpacking forum, and this won't necessarily mean you have to spend a mint or reduce your sleeping pads to 3mm vapor lace (or whatever the masochists have come up with lately).
Someone above said something to the effect that, once you're over 40 lb, what's a few more? Ha Ha, well, the answer is, "what it is, is WAY more". Do not take that attitude, at the peril of your back, your fun and your enjoyment. Remember, if you lighten your systems now, they'll only get lighter as the kids grow (in your case, several years) and start to carry a portion of what you have in the pack, now.
Ironically, it's the opposite: if you're only carrying 20lb, another ounce for a better knife or stove is freaking nothing other than digits on a spreadsheet.
Somebody else mentioned 70 pounds above! Aside from mirth at the prospect of how many particular readers here undoubtedly shrieked in horror at even the sight of such a number, I recoiled in the pain of "little brotherhood": I've carried 60 –far, far less than 70– many times and it just plain sucks. Sure, I remember the 1970's and 1980's machismo of "heavier back, further back" and I still marvel at a dude we used to meet deep in the Sespe with a 10" cast iron skillet we'd cook bacon on, but times change and frankly, that was dumb then, too. Dear 70lb packer: you owe it to yourself to shave weight and you easily can — my full 60 rig is down to 49 and I've added a second bear canister. Of course, I'm also working hard to avoid needing the 49 and will be much happier with 45… 70? Crazy Train.May 4, 2012 at 8:57 am #1874350
@socal-nomadLocale: North San Diego county
Mystery Ranch Trance xxx so you can get all your family stuff in it will carry 40 lbs plus.Or if by your self Mystery Ranch Big sky a 50 liter pack. If you need to carry 100 lbs. plus the Get a Mystery ranch Nice frame paired with a pack. Mystery Ranch is the designed and owned by Dana Gleason of Dana design They have recreation line they also have Hunting,Military,Hot shot line for fireman. Because they need to carry packs that are bomb proof and will carry a really heavy load easily. Also made in the USA in Bozeman ,Montana.
TerryMay 4, 2012 at 9:02 am #1874352
@jrozesLocale: Pacific Wonderland
The Kifaru KU5200 is an 85L pack that weighs 2 lb, 13 oz and is rated to comfortably carry 100 lb.
There's also a KU3700 60L pack that weighs 2 lb, 9 oz and is rated for 70 lb.
They are full suspension packs with laminated wood and carbon fiber stays. I don't have direct experience with either, but they seem well regarded.
Downsides are price and the ~6 week lead time.May 4, 2012 at 1:17 pm #1874427
@tauneutrinoLocale: Upper Galilee
I mean that gear should be different: stove, tent …
Mine are 3 and 6 years (we plan more though), soon I will face same issues.May 4, 2012 at 1:47 pm #1874437
A family forum would be fantastic. My own kids are 4 and 6. The older one is getting 2 short trips this summer, the younger will go out next year probably. When hauling for 3 I'll definitely be consumed with (affordable) family UL packing tricks.
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