- Jun 13, 2019 at 3:46 pm #3597647
Grant DBPL Member
First post, been lurking for years, joined up today.
I use 4 packs; a ULA and a teton from amazon, both about 65L, a ~10 year old gossamer gorilla, and a Kelty redwing from the 90s that’s about 50L. the Kelty is *by far* my favorite, but i can’t find a replacement like it.
New packs have a sack-shaped design where the main compartment is effectively a cylinder that opens at the top. This means digging through a hole to find my stuff. I end up unpacking every night and re-packing every morning. Most importantly, the weight centers further away from my back, lowering my performance on the trail.
The kelty has a wrap-around zipper at the far-edge of a rectangle-shaped main compartment. This means that I can open the pack like a suitcase and grab what I need, everything is laid down in one layer. Once closed, gear gets flush with my back. With the weight centered just 4 inches behind me, there’s no pendulum-effect while I clamber over stuff. I squirm through narrow sections more reliably. Bonus points for always getting past carry-on at the airport. Sugar-on-top: it doesn’t fall over when I lean it up against something.
I understand the benefits of the top-opening design: more waterproof, lighter, durability, no zipper to fail…
I don’t care! The performance of the Kelty in the wilderness is superior!
It also comfortably carries 30 pounds… not bad for a 3 pound pack from the 90s, and thats about all you can fit in 50L anyway. The ULA is maxed out at that weight.
Help? Is anybody out there making a wide, shallow zip-open pack?
Jun 13, 2019 at 3:57 pm #3597649
- This topic was modified 3 months, 1 week ago by matthew k.
W I S N E R !BPL Member
ULA Camino 2 comes to mind:Jun 13, 2019 at 9:37 pm #3597730
Geoff CaplanBPL Member
@geoffcaplanLocale: Dartmoor, Devon
You want to search for “panel loader backpack”.
Kelty still make a 50L panel loader called the Redwing:Jun 13, 2019 at 10:12 pm #3597738
James MarcoBPL Member
@jamesdmarcoLocale: Finger Lakes
Panel loader, Clam shell, wrap-around, etc. Different terms for the same thing.Jul 9, 2019 at 7:26 pm #3601297
I also find hiking packs quite annoying, rummaging around a big floppy cylinder in hopes of feeling for that item that fell to the bottom. I do usually pack pretty minimally and end up using most everything in the evening anyway, but then all my stuff is strewn about. At home I don’t mind a bit of a mess, but I get very particular about keeping my shit in order while camping and I end up spending a lot of time moving items around.
Perhaps a pack with many pockets would help. I love my Jansport Right Pack (your basic school-style backpack) so much I even hiked Corcovado with it, but it’s a tad small to carry a tent and quilt and lots of food.Jul 9, 2019 at 7:43 pm #3601301
On a side note, why is it so hard to make cheap, strong, light “backpacking” backpacks?
Compare my cheapo Jansport to that HMG fancy-pack.
Jansport is 4x cheaper
Jansport is probably 4x more durable.
Jansport has 82% more internal volume.
Jansport opens wide and has a lot of organizing pockets.
I just got a multi pack and a shoulder pouch, so maybe I’ll start using the jansport more for backpacking.Jul 10, 2019 at 12:56 am #3601338
Bruce TolleyBPL Member
@btolleyLocale: San Francisco Bay Area
Above someone referenced the SMD panel pack.
Marmot also makes a panel pack, the Graviton 34 liters at about 2 lbs.
I do not own one but considering a purchase to haul camera gear plus backpacking gear.
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