Mar 29, 2020 at 7:12 pm #3638565
Another vote for the Aarn bodypacks.
It’s the only lightweight pack system that works from a different principle – distributing the weight between the front and the back of your body so you can walk with a natural center of gravity. It’s unlike any other type of pack.
It’s been proven in the ergonomics lab to enable a more natural posture, and in the field many people with bad backs have found it transformational.
Personally, I find I can walk for weeks without a single ache or pain in my shoulders, back and hips – something I have never experienced with other packs. I also find it reduces fatigue and improves balance.
I do have some reservations about the detail of the designs – I think they could be made lighter and simpler. But if you’re walking with back-pain you really should give the bodypacks a try and see if they help.
My only advice would be to give them a fair try – at first they feel a bit unfamiliar and it can take you a little time to get the fit dialled in.Mar 29, 2020 at 9:58 pm #3638603StumphgesBPL Member
Geoff, which Aarn do you have?Mar 30, 2020 at 5:58 am #3638635
I have an older version of the Mountain Magic.
It’s a bit small for my requirements – a tight squeeze with 3.5 season gear and a few days of food. Makes packing a bit of a pain. And the hip belt is very minimal indeed compared to his larger packs, though surprisingly effective in use.
As I said, I love the basic concept but have reservations about the implementation. Aarn has a tendency to over-complicate – adding features that offer marginal value. It’s the brilliant front pouch design that delivers most of the benefit. You probably want the Sports pockets – the Expedition is massive, and the others are probably too small to offer the full benefits of weight distribution.
I like the concept enough that I’m prototyping my own MYOG version to address some of the issues I have with the stock versions. But don’t let that put you off – they are still pretty good packs that offer unique benefits.
The website is good on the general design principles, but very poor in giving you details on the actual packs. So you’d probably be best to contact your local distributor for more detailed advice on current models.Mar 30, 2020 at 8:49 am #3638666James MarcoBPL Member
@jamesdmarcoLocale: Finger Lakes
I do not recommend any front loading pack, drink containers on shoulder straps, front packs, etc. They seem to place more pressure on my spine than simply transferring the weight through a hip belt.
Get you pack weight below 20 pounds for a weekend trip.
Get as much weight as possible off your spine.Mar 30, 2020 at 9:00 am #3638668
The whole point of the front pockets in the Aarn packs is to get the load off your spine. The front pockets have a strut that transfers the load to your hip belt.
Once it’s set up, you literally don’t even need the shoulder straps – 100% of the weight is on your hips. They are only there to make it easier to put on the pack, and so you can use it without the front pockets.Mar 30, 2020 at 9:04 am #3638669James MarcoBPL Member
@jamesdmarcoLocale: Finger Lakes
If you can eliminate 100% of the weight, go for it.
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