May 20, 2016 at 12:15 pm #3403657
REI is having a sale this week and the family is heading down to get a backpack for my wife. I think we are going to shoot for 65L size since we pack for the kids too. Everyone seems to love the Osprey packs and they have a really great warranty, I believe they will replace or repair if anything happens to the pack, ever. Is that right? The Rei traverse packs look nice to and I think they made some upgrades this season.
We’ll try them both on with weight and see what she likes best.
Other than weight, does anyone have a reason to not get either of these two? Both packs are just over 4 pounds, we can try the flash as well, it is about a pound lighter.
If you’ve used them is there anything to be aware of that might not present itself while in the store?
Should I load up my pack with the gear she will carry and take to the store so she can test load to see how it fits, maybe she could get away with a 50L? Do people actually do this, or use the weighted bags in the store? I’m assuming the store is going to be pretty busy.May 20, 2016 at 1:07 pm #3403667
(oops, you already mentioned the Flash sorry!)
Also take a look at the REI Flash 65. I tried it on, and it seems like a good pack, but it’s just more than I need.
It’s very similar to the Traverse, but more than a pound lighter.May 20, 2016 at 1:17 pm #3403668
Maybe this answer will be a bit more helpful than my last one. :)
My suggestion: Rather than bring your stuff into the store, figure out which bag you think is the most comfortable, using the bean bags at REI to get the weight to your estimated pack weight and walking around the store for a while (take your time). Narrow it down to your favorite choice, and take it home.
Without removing the tags, load up the pack with your gear, see if it fits, and how it feels. Return it if it doesn’t work for you. REI is very reasonable.
If you’re considering two sizes, and don’t mind putting them both on your card for a moment, buy them both, and return the one that is right for you. You can be upfront and tell REI that’s exactly what you intend to do, and I’m sure they’ll be fine with that.May 20, 2016 at 1:20 pm #3403670Jenny ABPL Member
@jenniferaLocale: Front Range
All of the packs mentioned so far are great packs, provided they fit. Have your wife’s torso measured, and then try on each of the packs loaded with 20-25 lbs of beanbags. (No need to load heavier; if the pack isn’t comfy with these weights, it won’t be with more. And use REI’s weights. It WILL be busy, and would be difficult to transfer your gear back and forth between packs multiple times. Do that at home.)
The Traverse and Atmos packs will probably be comfortable with slightly more weight than the Flash. I have a Flash and like it for maximum weights of 25-30 lbs, but more than that overwhelms the suspension. The pack has been redesigned this season, though, so that might have changed.
Go with what’s comfortable for her!May 20, 2016 at 1:44 pm #3403677
Thanks you too! You’re pretty much confirming what I thought, which is good. 25-30 lbs is probably fine, I’ll try to get a weight before we head down but I don’t want her to carry more than that, I’ll make up any difference.
The bean bags and bringing a couple home is good advice as well as getting fitted. That’s the real reason for going down, to try some things on.
Thanks.May 20, 2016 at 6:44 pm #3403732
By the way, I see that Outdoor Gear Lab updated their backpack reviews to include the updated Flash 65. They give their editor’s choice to the Atmos AG. They do not review the Traverse.
The reviews could be helpful, but of course the review that matters most is hers.May 20, 2016 at 8:27 pm #3403748Mordecai _BPL Member
The volume consideration: a smaller pack is usually more comfortable.
If 25-30 pounds is the limit, that would usually translate into a max 50L of volume. I would aim for that unless there are particularly bulky kids’ items. Contrary to the other knowledgeable comments, I say bring all of your wife’s load, and try to fit it into a smaller pack. (Remember to add some dummy weight for food and water.) No, not many people do this. So what? Not many people shop with a scale, but they should do that too.
Important: Marketing aside, REI is still a big box store. There will be an amiable salesperson there, talking about all the features. DO NOT buy into their “expertise”. The info they are trained to impart is biased to a customer that has little experience, and thus it is a lowest common denominator situation. If you are up to it, just cut off the spiel. Go in with an idea of precisely what features you want, and don’t start adding on to that once you get there. Set your minds that you are there to see how the packs feel. Don’t let them convince you of how whatever suspension feature works so well. Go with your feel. Also remember that the overall weight of the pack will affect how your wife feels after some actual miles, on an actual hike. Point being, a lighter pack should get extra points beyond how it feels in the store.
The reason to buy from REI is their guarantee, and that you can try things on. That’s good, but you won’t know for certain that the pack is right until you put some trail miles on it. If you then find that the pack is not working, you still can and should hold them to their guarantee.May 21, 2016 at 6:55 pm #3403903Jenny ABPL Member
@jenniferaLocale: Front Range
“Important: Marketing aside, REI is still a big box store. There will be an amiable salesperson there, talking about all the features. DO NOT buy into their “expertise”. The info they are trained to impart is biased to a customer that has little experience, and thus it is a lowest common denominator situation. If you are up to it, just cut off the spiel. Go in with an idea of precisely what features you want, and don’t start adding on to that once you get there. Set your minds that you are there to see how the packs feel. Don’t let them convince you of how whatever suspension feature works so well. Go with your feel. Also remember that the overall weight of the pack will affect how your wife feels after some actual miles, on an actual hike. Point being, a lighter pack should get extra points beyond how it feels in the store.”
Mordecai, I beg to differ. I am an REI employee who sells packs to people, and I can tell you that our training (and experience, in most cases), is to get people into the pack that both fits best and meets their needs. We do not have to try to talk folks into something that they do not want. Most of us take pride in our ability to listen to what the customer needs and wants and go from there. You might consider REI to be a “big box” store (as would many others here), but that doesn’t mean shoppers can’t get what they need there.
I also don’t recommend bringing their own gear in during this big sale simply because it will be a royal pain for them. It is going to be horrendously busy (at least at our location), and there just won’t be a ton of space to pack and unpack camping gear. But that is certainly an option if they choose.
I’ll be curious to see what pack the OP’s wife chooses!May 21, 2016 at 9:55 pm #3403928Mordecai _BPL Member
Isn’t it more of a pain to make two trips down to the store? Shouldn’t they try for a smaller pack if all of gear will fit into it? Why guess as to whether they need a 50L or 65L? It really isn’t that hard to transfer it from one pack to another, especially if their gear is in stuff sacks.
I’m glad that your approach differs from my experience, but my learning curve started at REI, and I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been given bad advice from a salesperson there. (examples: heavy waterproof boots over breathable trail runners, nalgenes, stoves that work on everest, heavy 3-layer hard shells for 3-season use, 3 pound sleeping bags…) I’m sure there are plenty more that I am failing to remember.
You say, “…that doesn’t mean that shoppers can’t get what they need there.” But I think most people on this site would say that there are usually better options elsewhere. Take packs as an example, since you sell them. Wouldn’t you prefer to have the option to sell ULA and HMG and Katabatic and even GG and MLD? Don’t you think, if that was your inventory, you could better meet the specific needs of specific customers?
The OP is talking 25-30 pounds of load. The consensus from folks here on BPL at the implied price point would probably be: http://www.ula-equipment.com/product_p/circuit.htm
Its a little more expensive than either option quoted ($42 and $56 vs the sale prices), but also considerably lighter (about 1 lb at size M). This translates to more comfort on the trail. If the OP’s wife really takes to hiking, she will be wishing she had started with lighter gear purchases. Don’t you think???
(edited to fix $ math)May 22, 2016 at 3:18 pm #3404062
mordeci- good points. One of the hiccups I found is trying to determine actual pack volume. Sure all the stupid pockets can be nice but they are not really functional when it comes to storing the main items.
I thought by going a little bigger than absolutely needed it would allow to compress the down a little less. Sure you can smash it down to almost nothing but I’d rather not if we can avoid it. It would also free up some space if we went on a really cold winter trip and needed more gear. That said. a smaller pack is not only less weight but usually less expensive. I’ll admit I like the lifetime warranty on the osprey. We’ll see how they fit.
Does anyone know if I become a member that day can I get the extra 20% off? Also if we took 2 home would they let me have the discount on the one we kept?May 22, 2016 at 3:22 pm #3404063Link .BPL Member
It gives all that info on their website here is what it says on the home page
Join the co-op and save now with REI member coupons
Just $20 gets you a lifetime membership, with benefits starting right away.
They give you the 20% discount on the most expensive item you are buying so they will give it to you on the most expensive pack you buy. I am sure if you have any concerns you can talk to them when you are at the store.May 22, 2016 at 4:32 pm #3404074
Keep in mind that the 20% off is only on full price items. So the Osprey and Traverse packs, being on sale, would not qualify; the discounts don’t stack.May 22, 2016 at 5:35 pm #3404093
Okay I put together roughly what is going to be in her pack. Less food and water. We’re hopping to get out on a trip soon so that will be a little better guide for what we actually take. Including down jacket and camp/sleep clothes, rain jackets. it comes in at about 15lbs. Pack not included. So figure 19lbs then a few more for water and food. I think she’ll be under 25 for a weekend trip.
Now my pack 90L is stuffed full, I didn’t use the lid or any pockets since they don’t all have them. I looked at some specs for the atmos and I think the 65 is similar. Well have to see.
She’s got an extra hammock, tarp and top quilt to carry, plus kids down jacket and spare clothes.
I appreciate everyones advice, I’ll let you know what we end up with.May 22, 2016 at 5:36 pm #3404094May 22, 2016 at 10:07 pm #3404135Link .BPL Member
Again It gives all that info on their website
you also get a 20% discount off of 1 outlet item also but neither of those packs are in the outlet section but just in case you see something in the outlet
TERMS AND CONDITIONS :
May 27, 2016 at 6:35 pm #3405122
- Offer valid 5/20/16 12:01am—5/30/16 11:59pm Pacific Time.
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The trip to rei was great. We ended up with the osprey 65 aura. She really liked the the feel of it. Getting it home and loaded up it fits all the gear very well. The rei traverse is also a really great pack, it didn’t fit quite as well but was great. I think it was a toss up but the ag hip belt sold her. Surprisingly she also liked the dieter 60+10 but the quality didn’t seem to be there.
The flash was also great but seemed a little too small for our needs. I’ll also add that I was really impressed with the build of the new rei packs.
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