Do you have a "Winter Backpack"
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Home › Forums › General Forums › Winter Hiking › Do you have a "Winter Backpack"
- This topic has 51 replies, 14 voices, and was last updated 1 month, 2 weeks ago by Steve Collins.
Jan 4, 2020 at 2:55 pm #3625549
Do you use a “winter-specific” backpack?
Recently I bought a Deuter Air Contact Lite 65 +10 pack at 4.2 lbs. to replace my 7.5 lbs. Dana Designs Terraplane.
For 3 season use I have an Osprey EXOS 58 (size Large) that works very well but is is too small for winter’s bulkier gear and not meant for loads over 30 lbs.
Try as I may I can’t get bulkier gear to fit the EXOS 58. And items like white gas fuel and a bulky down camp parka just won’t fit.Jan 4, 2020 at 4:19 pm #3625567
Following! Im been eyeing Seek Outside’s Unaweep 4800 series without the talon, so that I can carry a 25” RidgeRest pad/Shovel vertically. 75Ls seems like an ideal capacity for all my winter stuff.Jan 4, 2020 at 7:55 pm #3625589Kevin RBPL Member
I may be moving in that direction. I don’t think I need anywhere near the weight capacity or volume mentioned above (“winter” may be different for me here in the southeast- typically not going anywhere below 0F), but I have found that many of the current ultralight packs are quite narrow (6″ wide seems to be something of a standard). This works alright for summer, and gives you a nice slender looking pack, but trying to fit winter sleeping bags and insulation in them is almost impossible without ditching stuffs sacks and just filling the shape of the pack. So, I may end up getting a winter pack that is thicker and wider to help accommodate those shapes more easily and keep the load lower.Jan 4, 2020 at 10:53 pm #3625596Russ WBPL Member
@gatome83Locale: Southeastern US
Continue to use a HMG 3400.Porter with an added pouch. Perfect for me for packing the bulky stuff.Jan 5, 2020 at 12:03 pm #3625653Doug GBPL Member
I use the exact same pack as Garrett in the winter. 4800 Unaweep. Only difference is I use the day talon. Nice extra storage for swapping layers, and items I want on the quick when winter camping. Nice pack.
I use the Seek Outside Divide or HMG Southwest in the summer, depending on what I am carrying.Jan 5, 2020 at 12:23 pm #3625658HkNewmanBPL Member
@hknewmanLocale: The West is (still) the Best
My bigger volume Zimmerbuilt ZB-2 (in black) is what I use now. Still has a roll-top entrance, so I’d probably search for a lidded pack if going up to 75L (+).
Honestly I don’t really search for much snow camping anymore, though I may go for UL shoulder seasons with a mid sans bug net sort of deal.Jan 5, 2020 at 2:54 pm #3625677dirtbagBPL Member
Jan 7, 2020 at 8:54 am #3625924
- My winter pack is Gossamer Gear Mariposa. This will be my second winter using it so far it has worked perfectly for me.. there it is packed and ready from a trip last winter … The one on left.
I just switched over from a ULA Catalyst to a Seek Outside Divide. The Catalyst could barely fit everything (I carry an obscene amount of down) and the suspension started sagging with snowshoes attached, especially if I also had other heavy stuff like a shovel, ice axe, crampons, or a lot of food. It really sucks when you’re booting up thousands of feet to get to the snowline with the suspension sagging.
I’m very happy with the Divide. It carries really well, is customizable, and is waterproof so it doesn’t just absorb water.Jan 7, 2020 at 12:44 pm #3625956Ken LarsonBPL Member
@kenlarsonLocale: Western Michigan
Have you ever thought …PULK SLED?Jan 7, 2020 at 1:31 pm #3625961
Adam, is the Divide really that much larger than the Catalyst? Did you mean the Circuit? I have to admit, I just placed an order on the Unaweep 4800 and you now have me worried haha.
I had the Catalyst awhile back and that bag had plenty of volume. Like you said, the real limitation is the suspension. I use to have the Baltoro 65L backpack and while it was heavy when holding it in my “hands”, it felt MUCH lighter than the Catalyst on my back.
Anytime I approach 25lbs+ in base weight is when I need a backpack with a good suspension. With winter, you will get many different answers, but I’d imagine much of the choices fluctuate between whether or not the individual is carrying snowshoes, shovels, 4 season tent, etc.Jan 11, 2020 at 2:10 pm #3626581
I still have the wands and harness from my old sled I used in Pennsylvania but mountains are too steep and long here in Nevada.Jan 12, 2020 at 9:36 am #3626650Tipi WalterBPL Member
My winter backpack is a recently acquired McHale load hauler in the 8,000 cubic inch capacity. It has to carry 24 days worth of food and fuel without resupply and has to carry my winter geese gear like down parka and down mittens and down pants etc. I think Dan McHale calls it a Critical Mass pack.Jan 13, 2020 at 6:12 pm #3626945
Garrett, the Divide is considerably larger than the Catalyst. I was filling my Catalyst to the brim with my winter gear. I have quite a bit more space in the Divide. I wonder if I even need the space, although I did fill it to the brim when traveling on a bus and shoving all of my gear (including boots and clothes) inside. The front pocket is enormous too.Jan 13, 2020 at 8:03 pm #3626959
I’ve been using my hunting pack (Stone Glacier) which has plenty of volume- ~ 85 liters, but is much heavier than necessary for winter backpacking; so I believe a Divide is in my future. Will make a nice multi-day winter pack and also for longer trips in the “summer”Jan 13, 2020 at 10:18 pm #3626969
Divide vs Catalyst. It’s hard to entirely appreciate, but the front pocket on the Divide is enormous. During the last trip, I fit the HMG ultamid, 8 snow stakes, an avalanche shovel, and a large Tyvek groundcloth. I probably could have fit crampons in there as well, although it would be tight.Jan 14, 2020 at 9:29 am #3627041
Thanks for the follow up Adam. Your right it does look quite a bit taller. Luckily it’s a roll top, so it shouldn’t be much of an issue for me.Jan 15, 2020 at 8:33 am #3627193
I just bit the bullet and ordered a Divide. My current packs jump from 45 liters (Exped Lightning) to 90 liters (Stone Glacier hunting pack)- this should work well for winter trips where higher volume is needed, but generally not heavy and longer backpacking trips outside of winter
Have a trip planned for the following weekend, so should be able to get a good sense of it’s abilities :)Jan 15, 2020 at 9:15 am #3627199
I hope you love the Divide. It is the most adjustable pack I’ve ever owned. Spend some time at home trying to get it adjusted. You’ll probably need to tweak it after the trip. It took me 3 trips to really dial it in.Jan 15, 2020 at 6:38 pm #3627312Jeffs ElevenBPL Member
I have a cilo 40b that goes to about 60L but its too small for me for winter. I opined for a Divide but I think 73L is still too small. There is a cilo that goes to 80 but the cilo that goes to 90 has a zipper on the bottom that really intrigues me. Plus it still shrinks to 50L so it wont necessarily be too too big.
I dont know what to do man. My heart wants the Divide. My reason says get the 80L cilo. But my wife is like just get the 90 cause it will never be too small but it compresses well so it wont be too floppy either.
I love the way cilos carry everything but i really want the frame of the SOs
I should just go unaweep but for some reason they just dont strike my eye.
edit- For those with Unaweeps… how are they with attaching snow stuff like crampons and axes and pokey things?Jan 15, 2020 at 7:02 pm #3627320
Get the Divide! Worst case scenario is that you catch and release it and make someone else on BPL very happy.
But seriously, the Divide is really big. Anything that can get wet such as tent, stakes, ground cloth, etc can go in the front pocket. That frees up a lot of internal space.
A top lid adds 8 L. The hipbelt pockets are enormous (can hold 2 cans of soda). You can also add talons. There are so many attachment points to lash things to the side, bottom, and top. It’s really customizable, and you can take off components as you see fit. It also does collapse quite well.Jan 27, 2020 at 6:59 pm #3628980
Well my Divide arrived one day before a snowshoe trip I had planned; futzed a little adjusting the shoulder harness and loaded it up :)
It really carried nice, I think about 35 lbs at the start (that’s w/ 6.5 lbs of water and 4 lbs of snowshoes)
Plenty of room for a winter trip or long “summer” trip. I like the mesh pocket on the back (front?)- very roomy, but it’s also the most robust mesh pocket I have ever seen.
The fabric looks pretty burly (I snagged it several times w/ no consequences) and pretty water resistant.
Anyways I think this going to fit the bill exactly as I had hoped.Jan 27, 2020 at 7:26 pm #3628984Brad RogersBPL Member
@mocs123Locale: Southeast Tennessee
As you can probably tell, I think the Seek Outside frame and suspension is absolutely top notch. I hope you enjoy the pack and know you’ll put it to good use.Jan 31, 2020 at 7:07 pm #3629430
I received my new SO Unaweep 4800 about the same time as Mike did. The backpack exceeded my expectations. I put only 20lbs in my ULA Circuit to compare and man… was there a difference. It carries just like my old Baltoro 65 did, except without all the heavy unnecessary padding and fabric. Seek Outside really did a good job at putting weight in only the areas that really needed it. It’s not as wide as I thought it would be, which was a delight. The ULA Catalyst felt much wider than the Unaweep did. In regards to volume, and to my surprise, the Unaweep did not have as much capacity internally as the Catalyst did. I know this is different than Adam’s experience and photo above. The slant of the frame reduces the internal volume dramatically, especially when you compare it to the Catalyst. It can only be seen from the top looking down though. Plenty of space for me and my winter gear though.Feb 1, 2020 at 11:29 pm #3629560
Guys, I wish you would have listed capacity in liters. That helps a lot in comparisons.
But natch, you can’t add to your posts now B/C this site limits that to a day or two. Tsk, tsk!Feb 2, 2020 at 2:14 pm #3629608
SO Unaweep 4800 – 78L
ULA Catalyst – 75L
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