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Please Help – Apparently my Body is Deformed and I Cannot Find a Pack that Fits


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Home Forums Gear Forums Gear (General) Please Help – Apparently my Body is Deformed and I Cannot Find a Pack that Fits

Viewing 25 posts - 1 through 25 (of 37 total)
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  • #3721033
    Lowell k
    BPL Member

    @drk

    I am trying, trying really hard to find a UL pack. But I have not found one that fits.

    MLD Exodus – frameless did not work for me, too much weight on my shoulders no matter how much I adjusted the way I pack

    HMG 3400 – my shoulders are too tight to reach the water bottles in the side pockets

    Osprey Exos – weight shifted and I felt too unstable

    Flex Capacitor 40-60 – the M/L hip belt cushioned area doesn’t cover my hip bones forward enough and I cannot find the XL size anywhere. I have used this pack the most, a few hundred miles, and I am always uncomfortable after a couple of hours because it doesn’t ride well enough on my hips.

    ULA Circuit – couldn’t get a comfortable harness fit, tried their different harnesses

    There are some other brands I have not tried yet, like Gossamer Gear, but I am wondering if UL pack s are just not made for my body type. I am 5-7, 210 lbs., very fit and muscular.

    I used to own an old Dana Designs backpack that fit well. I am thinking maybe I need to get a Mystery Ranch pack, but they are heavy (i.e. the MR Ravine weighs 4.5 pound), but maybe I just need to pay a weight penalty.

    Any thoughts or suggestions much appreciated.

    Lowell

    #3721034
    Mark Messonnier
    BPL Member

    @qzm3

    I have had a devil of a time finding a pack with water bottle pockets I can reach.  LiteAF and Gossamer Gear packs work for me, but I also told my physical therapist that I wanted to be able to reach the pockets on my HMG pack.  He came up with stretches that worked wonders.  Might be worth looking into.

    #3721036
    Jim Morrison
    Spectator

    @pliny

    Locale: Pacific Northwest

    When I purchased my Flash 50 at REI they had some sort of device that measured me so they could fit the pack to my back and hips. Are you close to an REI?  Perhaps they could explain the unusual problems or help with fitting at least. Personally, I have had no problems with packs and only rarely feel like I have to adjust anything.  I think UL packs often lack the vertical support that helps distribute the weight between hips and shoulders.  A friend of mine made his UL pack stiffer by adding carbon fiber dowels (arrow shafts actually) the full length of the pack on both port and starboard sides.

    #3721049
    Iago Vazquez
    BPL Member

    @iago

    Locale: Boston & Galicia, Spain

    Did the HMG pack fit you well? If so, consider keeping it perhaps and come up with a workaround for hydration.

    I am unable to reach water bottle pockets on most packs. And even when I can, then I often can’t put the bottle back in–which is what I do after drinking. So I don’t care whether I can Reach the water bottle pockets or not. I am glad many of you can :)

    I tried hydration bladders for a while, but these days I prefer to have a 500-700 mL bottle attached to my shoulder strap. I have noticed a couple of manufacturers also moving the bottles to the hip belt, which I think it’s great. I don’t have any of those newer packs…

    Also, HMG makes some 32 oz and 20 oz bottle holders for the Porter line that could perhaps work for you. I used to have an old Ice Pack, and the 32 oz Porter holder worked well with that pack too.

    Good luck!

    #3721063
    Turley
    BPL Member

    @turley

    Locale: So Cal

    Once I found a pack that fit I couldn’t easily reach water Bottles on the side pockets and have been using this Evernew Hydration Tube that fits on Smartwater bottles:

    https://www.traildesigns.com/products/evernew-hydration-tube-for-water-carry-eby271

    #3721064
    Paul McLaughlin
    BPL Member

    @paul-1

    This will be expensive – but you will get a really, really good pack that fits you, definitely:

    http://www.mchalepacks.com/

    #3721079
    Lowell k
    BPL Member

    @drk

    Jim Morrison – On your suggestion i went to REI, they are only 15 minutes away. The device says I am a medium, 19 inch torso. That was helpful because I measured myself as a 18 inch torso.

    Iago Vasquez – the HMG pulled me backwards and I concluded I need load lifters. I saw a way to attach those to a HMG but I don’t really want to do that sort of thing.

    Turley – hydration tube looks really interesting, sounds like you are happy with that.

    Paul – maybe someday :)

    #3721081
    dirtbag
    BPL Member

    @dirtbaghiker

    I can’t reach any water bottles on my packs. Well, sometimes I can contorsion and snag the bottle out.. But can never get it back in. Now, I have finally decided, my packs weigh so little, it doesn’t matter.. I can keep walking and slide my arm out and grab the bottle, drink, put it back in pocket and get the pack back on with little effort.  It also does not hurt to stop for 35 or 40 seconds and slide pack off one arm and drink water.. Remount and continue walking.  You could always use a shoulder water bottle holder ( I have used them but decided it was annoying having a bottle of water in front of me hanging there).

    #3721082
    Lowell k
    BPL Member

    @drk

    Dirtbag – what pack(s) are you using?

    #3721083
    dirtbag
    BPL Member

    @dirtbaghiker

    I have used many many packs. Finally settled on Gossamer Gear Kumo for warmer weather and shorter trips, Gossamer Gear G4-20 for longer trips or some colder weather when heavier gear needed and Gossamer Gear Mariposa for cold winter trips. I love them all and use them accordingly. The G4-20 may be my favorite though. I also do not use hip belts with any of my packs. ..

    #3721084
    Lowell k
    BPL Member

    @drk

    Dirtbag – GG is a brand I have not tried. It sounds like you do not get fatigued shoulders from not using a hip belt. I don’t know how you can do that :)

     

    #3721085
    Roger Caffin
    BPL Member

    @rcaffin

    Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe

    I don’t use a hip belt with my MYOG frame packs either. The full mesh backpanel (Osprey-style?) transfers most of the load to my back. Yeah, looks strange, but it works well.

    Cheers

    #3721087
    matthew k
    Moderator

    @matthewkphx

    Possible derail but I actually feel like I get pretty good load transfer to the hipbelt on my 2017 or 2018 Kumo with its 1.5” waistbelt and the pad keepers on the back.

    Lowell, I may have missed a mention of what kind of weight and volume you are looking for here.

    #3721108
    Bonzo
    BPL Member

    @bon-zo

    Locale: Virgo Supercluster

    Lowell, I may have missed a mention of what kind of weight and volume you are looking for here.

    That would be helpful info.  Also, Lowell – and not to be indelicate, here – exactly how are you deformed?  I’m asking because I had similar complaints, albeit to a lesser extent.  I can see that if you’re 5′-7″ and 210, you may have VERY wide shoulders or a wide space between them, which could well be the cause of some of the discomfort and limited-access issues that you’re experiencing, all of which seem shoulder- or hip-related.   Shoulder width and hip configuration were problems for me, and the solution was a custom-built pack that accounted for my shoulder width by spacing the shoulder straps outwards a bit – wider gap between them, and a hip belt that curved to fit me correctly.  These factors, although minor, made a LOT of difference.  You may not have to go the full-custom route to solve your issue, though: if you can identify the source of the discomfort it might be possible to get a standard pack semi-customized by one of the makers listed above, or by someone else.

    #3721111
    Lowell k
    BPL Member

    @drk

    The most I would be carrying is 35 lbs. and I tend to be in the 20 lb. to 25 lb. range. I primarily hike in the Sierras, overnights to 1 week trips. I can get my gear into a 5oL pack for a week long trip and a 40L pack for the smaller trips.

    Deformed was said tongue in cheek, probably poor taste to say that though, sorry. My intent was to poke humor at myself for not being able to find a pack that works.

    My chest is 48″ and I have a thick upper body. My waist is 36″ and my torso is 18″-19″.

    I expanded my search and have a SO Divide 4800. The harness must be too narrow for me because it bunches up a bit in the middle between the shoulder blades and pushes into my neck at the C7 level.

    The Flex Capacitor actually fits my upper body the best (the hip belt does not). I tried the REI Flash 55 yesterday but I could not get my hands to even come close to the water bottles.

    Where did you get your custom pack made?

    #3721119
    Bonzo
    BPL Member

    @bon-zo

    Locale: Virgo Supercluster

    Poor taste is usually in the eye of the objector: no objections here, so no apology needed.  I got what you were saying. 😉

    From what you’re describing, I would definitely recommend talking with a custom or semi-custom pack maker.  My pack was made by Alpine Luddites; definitely not an ultralight option.  50L is a great size, though.  Not that I’m biased or anything. 😉

    #3721122
    matthew k
    Moderator

    @matthewkphx

    Lowell, I’m 5’6” with a 44” chest. I find Gossamer Gear’s shoulder straps to be comfortable. You mention weights of 20–25#. I think that means a frame. Maybe you should try a GG Gorilla?

    #3721125
    Lowell k
    BPL Member

    @drk

    Bonzo – thanks, I am looking at their site, maybe they can build a Flex Capacitor type pack for me, or maybe just a belt that works with my existing Flex.

    Mathew – I am on the search for the GG Gorilla. Do you find not having load lifters is an issue?

    #3721129
    Brad Rogers
    BPL Member

    @mocs123

    Locale: Southeast Tennessee

    I too am not the worlds most flexible person and water bottle pockets where I can get a bottle in and out of the pocket on the move is a must have feature for me.

    For your freakishly deformed body (jk) you might look at something like the Seek Outside Divide.  It’s not super UL but light, and it’s technically an external frame so it fits differnt.   I don’t have a Divide but I do have an Unaweep (I bought before the Divide was offered) and it carry’s like a dream and the water bottle pockets are easy to use.

    For a more UL pack, I used a prototype of the Seek Outside Flight and was able to get a bottle out with one arm (but not the other) and it was a really nice pack.  I also have a SWD Long Haul 50 that I really like and the water bottle pockets work well (though it look like the pack got an update for ’21)

    #3721134
    Lowell k
    BPL Member

    @drk

    Brad – I just sold my SO Divide that I bought on BPL last week. I was able to get the water bottles out without too much trouble, but the harness kept bunching up and pushing into my shoulders between my shoulder blades. I tried adjusting it and the capture mode did not seem to solve the problem. I took off the 2 inch extenders but then the load lifters lost their angle too much. Maybe I should have called SO for advise but I kinda gave up and sold it. On a positive note, buying used packs on BPL is allowing me to experiment a lot.

    Would you describe the SWD Long Haul 50 as being like the HMG Southwest but with load lifters?

    #3721135
    Brad Rogers
    BPL Member

    @mocs123

    Locale: Southeast Tennessee

    I’ve never used a Southwest but I have tried an HMG Porter 4400 and the Long Haul is similar but the fit is different (the HMG didn’t fit me well at all for whatever reason).  The SWD has a more substantial hipbelt and shoulder straps.   Mine has load lifters but I believe they are an option and not standard on SWD packs.

    I’m 6ft 160lb (when I’m in shape 170 now) with a 21.5″ torso.

    #3721137
    matthew k
    Moderator

    @matthewkphx

    Matthew – I am on the search for the GG Gorilla. Do you find not having load lifters is an issue?

    I have used plenty of packs without load lifters that work well but the fit has to be right. Tangential but if I was ordering a custom frameless (or framed) pack I would want load lifters to tweak the fit.

    In the interest of transparency, I have not used a Gorilla. I just thought it might be a good choice for you.

    #3721139
    Lowell k
    BPL Member

    @drk

    Matthew – transparency appreciated, thanks. I read the GG 50 reviews and read enough to give it a try, seems like 25 lbs. is working well without the load lifters for plenty of folks.

    #3721140
    Bonzo
    BPL Member

    @bon-zo

    Locale: Virgo Supercluster

    Bonzo – thanks, I am looking at their site, maybe they can build a Flex Capacitor type pack for me, or maybe just a belt that works with my existing Flex.

    John’s waitlist on packs is about eight months as of the e-mail that I got today.  I’m sure he can build something that would work for you, but if you need a solution sooner rather than eight-months-later I would suggest looking at other builders that can get to you quicker…and if you’re concerned about weight, you might want to check the people favor the lighter end of the spectrum.  I don’t even want to tell you what my Alpine Machine 50 weighs in full dress. ;)

    I might have missed it, but did anyone suggest a custom 46L Curve from LiteAF?

    https://liteaf.com/ultralight-packs/46l-curve-full-suspension/

    #3721142
    matthew k
    Moderator

    @matthewkphx

    LiteAF is an excellent suggestion. Their pockets are extremely easy to reach and they tend to build packs that are wider and more shallow than many other builders. I think this keeps the center of mass in place that is friendly to one’s back.

    Unfortunately their build time is extremely long right now except for their XPac bags.

    Lowell, you could probably have a Gossamer Gear pack at your house by this weekend if you ordered today and be able to return it if it doesn’t work (please check their return policy out for yourself, I’m not familiar with it off the top of my head)

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