May 5, 2014 at 5:49 pm #1316488
Anyone have hands on experience with this pack?
Please report!May 5, 2014 at 7:25 pm #2099569
Its only been available for ~2 weeks… a dozen or so hikers on the PCT are using it after buying them at the Kickoff.May 6, 2014 at 4:39 am #2099637
Have you heard back from anyone over there how they like it?
and yes. thank you for your hands on experience with the pack!May 6, 2014 at 10:15 am #2099724
Aaron SorensenBPL Member
@awsorensenLocale: South of Forester Pass
For a pack that I think will be a game changer in the industry, there is nothing out on it yet.
There was a small scale sale of them sold a few months ago so there are some that have been out there for more than just 2 weeks.
I was expecting fireworks by now, from people wanting to get the word out on how much they like them.
I guess as John said, they are all hiking.
But come on, there has got to be someone that has loaded this baby up and cranked out a weekend trip on it and has something to say about it.
Anybody???May 6, 2014 at 10:41 am #2099740
I may have to just buy and it and review it for the sake of BPL!May 6, 2014 at 10:48 am #2099747
i was backpacking with a guy last weekend that had one. all i can tell you is what he said. he said he was carrying abou 30lbs. i asked him after saturdays hike(15-17 miles) how he felt and how the pack carried the weight. he said, he felt great and was very happy how the pack carried the weight.
hthMay 6, 2014 at 10:52 am #2099752
i just read on the SMD website that these are NOT made in the USA… I think that might highly sway my decision…
not that its a big deal. but it matters to me… shouldn't it?May 6, 2014 at 10:53 am #2099755
I am desperately hard-to-fit with packs [5'6" with a 15" torso(!), broad shoulders and medium hips] — dying to hear more before I order one…hoping the wide range of adjustments will allow it it FIT me.
Still hesitating before I pull the trigger, 'cuz it's a big chunk 'o change to buy a pack…worried that the capacity of the main compartment might be small-ish once I put a BearVault BV500 in there, so I'd LOVE to hear more about that, and the fit/comfort (esp. the hip belt).May 6, 2014 at 10:55 am #2099757
your all legs aren't you valerie?! :)
and yes for me its a big chunk of change as well.
I know the review of the ULA circuit are good and am debating between the two!May 6, 2014 at 11:08 am #2099765
Nathan W — that's EXACTLY where I'm at: SMD Fusion 65 vs ULA Circuit!!!! Gotta decide in the next few weeks, sigh.
Hoping someone who has received an SMD 65 will see this, and be willing to talk about their initial impressions, esp. size-wise and carrying comfort with weight. BTW, I heard from another BPL member who owns the Fusion 50, and he said he felt like the main compartment was on the smaller side (but I'd like to hear from more than one person, and would like to hear about the 65 specifically).May 6, 2014 at 11:24 am #2099778
David ChenaultBPL Member
@davecLocale: The West Slope
You have to give Ron Moak respect for honesty and saying publically what many/most will not. I think it's safe to assume one could insert "affordable" or "competitive" between for and US.
Only you can decide if domestic production is something worth paying for, but it's certainly a reasonable thing to consider.May 6, 2014 at 11:33 am #2099783
the main compartment from my understanding isn't 65liters, its 3100 cu. inches. with the addition of the volume of the pockets it equals 65
same thing with the circuit albeit the circuit has an even smaller main compartment at 2400 cu in.
i think i might pull the trigger on the Fusion and give it a try. I'm pretty pick on features but have not had a pack that doesn't fit me yet.May 6, 2014 at 3:06 pm #2099865
Chad BBPL Member
I have a Fusion 50 and have had it out on a few day hikes but don't feel that I'm at a place to really give it even an initial review yet. I have a week long trip coming up later this month where I will be hauling a lot of water. I'll probably post some opinions on the pack after that trip.
And Valerie, where in AZ are you? If we can work it out, you are more than welcome to try out the Fusion 50 to check torso sizing.May 6, 2014 at 5:04 pm #2099920
Bought one at The Mountain Shop in Portland about 10 days ago and tried it out this last weekend in the Columbia Gorge, so not much experience with it yet, but here is my initial reaction. Regular size shoulder yoke, and medium hipbelt. The shoulder yoke is infinitely adjustable as it attaches to the yoke with velcro. I'm 6'2"+ and I had to extend it above the large about an inch. Not sure how much more adjustment there would be. SMD only has small and regular sized shoulder yokes. The hip belt is substantial and has good adjustment with an upper and lower adjuster on each side. I liked how this worked and was surprised what a difference a small adjustment made. The back main pocket expands to hold a lot and is secure. The side pockets expand well. One complaint is that the tops of the side pockets are easily expandable too with no way to secure larger items. Seems like some items may work there way out. Didn't have any problem but concerned me. The shoulder harness pockets are high up, very small, and I found them to be hard to access, so didn't (and doubt will ever) use them. Lots of rain over the weekend and seemed to be pretty water resistant, but not water proof. Took extra stuff/water to 25-30 lbs as I wanted to test it. Very comfortable, stable (compression straps work very well), and easy to pack, and easily handled all of my gear with enough room for extra water if needed. Last week I put in my daughters Bearikade Weekender. Fits vertically, but not quite horizontally. They are 9" round and 10.5" high.
Overall Seems like a very nice packMay 6, 2014 at 5:17 pm #2099927
Bless you, Mark!!!!!
Thank you — This is exactly the type of stuff I wanted to know. One more question, if I may have your indulgence:
When the Bearikade Weekender was in the main compartment (vertically), how much room was left in that compartment for sleeping bag, clothes, misc. stuff? Would there still be adequate room for that stuff if it was a Bearikade Expedition instead of the Weekender?May 6, 2014 at 5:55 pm #2099945
Greg MihalikBPL Member
14.5" versus 10.5" respectively.May 6, 2014 at 9:30 pm #2100018
You aren't going to get any bulky gear to fit next to the vertical bearikade. My sleeping bag, full food bag, or tarp wouldn't fit. But there is room to stuff smaller gear. Probably about 24-26" usable height in pack, maybe a little more so the expedition would fill a lot of this pack, as it would a lot of other packs.May 6, 2014 at 9:48 pm #2100022
Val, I didn't spend much time with the bearikade, just put it in to see horizontal vs vertical fit. All the bulky items I mentioned would fit with a little adjustment. I'll get the bearikade in the next couple of days and pack some stuff around it and let you know.May 7, 2014 at 2:13 am #2100060
Edward JursekBPL Member
@nedjursekgmail-comLocale: Pacific Northwest
Read " far too complex for US production" as being "far too expensive and hard on our profit margin for US production." Plenty of great packs made in America, just at higher prices then the market SMD is aiming for. I found the comment unfortunate and offensive.May 7, 2014 at 3:27 am #2100065
editedMay 7, 2014 at 4:10 am #2100067
Evan E.BPL Member
@evaneisLocale: New England
I totally agree with Edward J.'s comment. But even with the outsourced(underpaid) labor SMD's packs aren't much cheaper than excellent U.S. made packs like Zpacks, Elemental Horizons, and MLD (is ULA still made in Utah?). I will always try to buy from those companies first.May 7, 2014 at 4:50 am #2100075
"worth paying for"
the domestic production pieces are priced the same as the fusion pack, yet the fusion pack is not made in the US. With the cost savings of moving an item overseas (assuming there is a cost savings) i would like to see it reflected in the price. no?
SMD Fusion at 230
ULA Circuit at 225
MLD Exodus at 205
GG Mariposa at 235
can you guess by price which ones are made overseas and in the US? Again, I am assuming it would be cheaper to outsource the pack… but you know what assuming gets!May 7, 2014 at 6:36 am #2100099
Are Gossamer Gear's packs still made in Texas? Also, there must be a significant difference in the production process between say, the Exodus and the new SMD packs. If made in the U.S. by a cottage manufacturer, the price would likely be much higher than it is.May 7, 2014 at 6:46 am #2100104
Yea thats what we can only assume.
with all that said. I'm still interested in the pack and would like to hear anyone's feedback. Thinking of just buying the pack and trying out around the house before making a final decision. I figure if i don't like it the return shipping would be like a "rental" fee. Worth a shotMay 7, 2014 at 7:00 am #2100107
Ken T.BPL Member
Gossamer Gear sewn in Mexico.
Exodus-Fusion comparison, framed vs. framless, unfair to compare.
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