Aug 14, 2012 at 11:48 am #1292967
Hey all- deep into the backpack search, and was curious if there's anyone in the area w/ the above… it would be awesome to get an in-person peek at these things. Many thanks. -RAug 14, 2012 at 1:06 pm #1902635
None of the above packs. I am in Nashville and I have an MLD Exodus FS pack though that I talk about to anyone that will listen :D
Good luck. I have seen a couple of posters on here from Nashville. Maybe one of them has the packs that you are looking to buyAug 14, 2012 at 1:13 pm #1902638
Its pretty far away from you, but the NOC in Gatlinburg carries ULA packs. I was pretty happy to get a look at the Ohm 2.0 and compare it with my current Ohm 1.1 (original Ohm with the original upgraded hip belt).Aug 14, 2012 at 1:21 pm #1902642
There is also a Nashville Backpacker meetup. Maybe someone there has one of the packs that you are looking for.Aug 14, 2012 at 6:56 pm #1902734
Well, believe it or not, for the small price of return shipping, you can try one out in the comfort of your own home. $15. I tell people all the time, its money well spent.Aug 21, 2012 at 2:42 pm #1904637
thanks, MB, that's exactly where I'm headed.Aug 21, 2012 at 7:58 pm #1904748
I have a diy g4 that probably won't help you at all.
In my opinion, gg has a stronger line.Aug 22, 2012 at 5:07 am #1904867
Prevailing opinion seems to be that MLD, ULA, Zpacks and GG are the move. But reading opinions only go so far- I'm new to this, so I did a lot of reading, and there's a lot of love out there for osprey, but I hit REI in Brentwood (and had excellent help from an associate there) and discovered that the osprey fit me all wrong.
Nashville isn't Seattle so the local options are limited, although I haven't hit Cumberland Transit yet, maybe they have some stuff. We're planning on a trip in a few weeks so my options for a cottage pack may be limited by the build time. And I don't really care about esoteric or expensive, I just want a durable pack that fits me well.
Anyway, any and all opinions, especially local, are most welcome! Many thanks.Aug 22, 2012 at 7:00 am #1904880
Finding a new pack amongst the many cottage manufactures can be a difficult and somewhat expensive (shipping costs!) adventure. Buying from REI or EMS has a definite advantage, considering you can try out the pack in-store and more importantly have the security of the no questions asked return policy. From what I've seen, the real only lightweight options they have are osprey (exos/talon) and granite gear (crown VC, blaze AC).
When looking at cottage packs, there seems to be much more variance in the quality and most importantly the suspension system. For someone without a ton of lightweight backpacking experience, the suspension system my main problem.
I have experience with Gossamer Gear, ULA and HMG. If you are really intent on getting the right pack, I'd recommend getting the candidate packs in two sizes, unless you are absolutely sure. Gossamer Gear seems to have everything in stock, and will ship items very promptly, great customer service. For ULA, I bought from next adventure http://nextadventure.net/camping-and-hiking/backpacks/?subcats=Y&features_hash=V890 because they have free shipping and a 30 day return policy, they shipped the pack pretty much the next day I ordered. Lastly, my HMG pack took a little longer to ship out (approx 1 week), and their return policy isn't as flexible at only 15 days.
Keep in mind that if you find the pack just doesn't work for you after using it (most return polices stipulate that the bag be in never used condition), you can always sell it here on gear swap for usually around 80-90% of the purchase price.
Gear swap is also something you could look into, assuming you don't need it now, as people tend to sell used packs for up to 50% off. This would give you a nice cheap avenue towards trying out a cottage pack.
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