- Nov 7, 2018 at 7:21 pm #3563074
Dan DurstonBPL Member
Thanks Paul. Makes sense. I appreciate the clear information.Nov 7, 2018 at 11:21 pm #3563106
Thanks for the pics Paul. That seems to be what some companies try to achieve with a single buckle belt, but with 2 tighten I straps on either side. I can see how two completely separate belts make that more efficient now.Nov 8, 2018 at 3:34 am #3563133
Ryan “Rudy” OuryBPL Member
@ohdogg79Locale: Mountains above Santa Fe, NM
I’ll just add a couple things of my experience w/ my Arc Blast, in response to a couple questions/comments.
1- I’ve never been able to come close to the arch Zpacks shows on their website when the pack is loaded. It might technically be doable, but I’m a little scared to wrench on the straps hard enough. But what often happens if I “over tension” the trampoline, is the carbon rod stays/bows become more of an “S” than an arc… basically they refuse to push back on the pack anymore so kinda buckle forward.
2- the few times I have worn the pack w/o the trampoline tightened at all, I have NOT felt any rubbing from the horizontal bars. I’d say mostly because the contents tent to pooch out around them a little so they’re indented slightly. Or to say it another way, my back is touching the body of the pack, not the bar.
3- My Arc Blast has the single buckle w/ two straps per side going to two ladder locks, thus allowing the ability to separately tension the top and bottom of the hip belt. I always set the top tight then snug up the bottom second. While I’m sure Paul’s setup w/ two completely separate buckles would be more comfortable, I do LOVE this setup. I will never own a hip belt that doesn’t at least offer my current setup.Nov 8, 2018 at 3:40 am #3563135
Craig BBPL Member
One thing I find conspicuously lacking from pretty much all conversations on how much weight a pack can carry ‘comfortably’, is the percentage weight of the pack vs wearer. When someone says they can carry 30 lbs comfortably with pack X, and they weigh 200 lbs, I highly doubt someone that weighs 130 lbs (me!) will have the same experience. Even carrying 20 lbs on a long hike feels very difficult for me nowadays as I approach 50. It would be very illuminating if people give pack weights as a percentage of body weight when describing their experiences.Nov 8, 2018 at 4:32 am #3563152
Craig, to answer your question. 47 years old, 170lbs… Did a backpacking trip last week with around 30 on my back (my pack currently is over 3 lbs and I admittedly hiked with more water than needed as water was a-plenty.)
Tbh I don’t think it’s about % of body weight as much as it’s about fitness period. How do you prepare? Backpacking isn’t much different than training for my 5k runs or centuries on the bike.
Maybe I was wrong when. I thought the following. Tomorrow I have the day off from work so I will go to French Creek and do at least 6 miles with 800 ft of climbing with at least 25 lbs on my back with my current almost 4 lbs pack. Want to do something physical, train to do it
Because of this attitude for myself my current pack worked however I need a pack that would accommodate more because I need to carry some stuff “for two”.
Nov 8, 2018 at 5:37 am #3563161
- This reply was modified 1 week, 6 days ago by John S.
@redgumLocale: Aussie in exile in the PNW
Interesting. Perhaps pack weight as a percentage of height would be more relevant? I ask this because if you, Craig, at your height, weighed 180 instead of 130, would carrying 30 pounds be easier or harder?Nov 8, 2018 at 9:47 pm #3563234
Craig BBPL Member
Haha! Yes indeed, fitness is as important as any measure of weight, but perhaps even more difficult to quantify for most people. I trained 3-4 times a week for many months before my trip wearing my pack loaded to 23 Lbs to prepare, so when I went down to 17 Lbs on the actual trip it felt much lighter!
Maybe think about an extreme example to put things in perspective; each member of an army platoon has to carry the same 60Lbs(?) of gear. They all weigh something different, maybe have similar levels of fitness when not carrying anything. In general who will have the most trouble/discomfort when carrying the 60Lb pack? The lightest people or the heaviest people?
I remember way back in high school hearing my football playing friend talk about how much different members of the team could bench press, and they were all ranked. However they were ranked on what percentage of their body weight they could press first, and the total weight second, with the top ranked person pressing 2x his weight, which was NOT the highest total weight. Height was irrelevant in this of course, as it will be for backpacking.Nov 8, 2018 at 11:20 pm #3563248
Craig, in terms of the size of people I think it’s a little more complicated than that. This applies to calories/food as well. The bigger a person is the more weight they carry right out of the gate and so they need to burn more energy. Also leg and core strength, at least in my experience, is something that one can train that bellies size to an extent.
1 lbs of muscle burns 10 calories a day, even at rest. This is one of the reasons that you often see the bigger people tap out of Alone (on the history channel) quicker than smaller people as they just can’t get enough calories.
Now since we are talking about an activity that is a combination of leg and core strength AND cardio, things kinda start to balance out. One person feels the weight more out of the gate, the other person likely getting fatigued at a faster rate because they are lugging more weight in total up that hill.
Because of all of the above I think that, so long as a person has a pack that properly transfers the weight to the hip belt, size isnt a huge issue (within reason).
Nov 9, 2018 at 12:58 pm #3563315
- This reply was modified 1 week, 4 days ago by John S. Reason: Cleaned up
wiiawiwb wiiawiwbBPL Member
Backpack comfort is akin to foot comfort as it is very personal and one shoe that is a dream to one may be a nightmare to another. Having said that, I have a few of the packs mentioned in this thread… a ZPacks Arc Blast, McHale SARC, and a Seek Outside. Those along with another half dozen others.
Every since I got my Seek Outside, the ZPacks is relegated to day hike use, the McHale is now a backup pack if a friend needs one, and all the others collect dust. My Seek Outside Revolution Fortress is the most comfortable pack I’ve ever had and no other pack is a close second including my McHale. I never thought I would say that. I use the SO for all of my backpacking and even on day hikes where I want to carry some equipment with me that would not carry well with the ZPacks.
I’ll gladly carry more weight if it’s more comfortable. At day’s end with the SO, I no longer have hot spots that hurt. In the final analysis, the SO pack has been my magic elixir. I only wish I knew about them a few years ago.
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