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Ron Moak
(rmoak) - F
Re: Potential Essense long pad ideas on 02/03/2006 08:22:23 MST Print View

Robert,

That's an interesting way to cut up a pad. It'd probably work though I'm not sure how many people I could convence to do it.

Also the longer the pad, the more likely it is to start collapsing at a lower pack weight.

Still it's something to think about.

Thanks,
Ron

Miguel Arboleda
(butuki) - MLife

Locale: Kanto Plain, Japan
Re: Potential Essence long pad ideas on 02/03/2006 08:48:16 MST Print View

I'm not sure how many people would take to this heavier idea here, but something I do when using an inflatable pad is open the valve, fold the pad in half, put it first into the pack so that it lies along the back, bottom, and (depending on how long the pad is) front of the pack, fill the pack with my gear, and finally blow into the inflatable pad to fill out the pack space and create a rigid pack. Not sure if this idea could be incorporated into the side opening Essence, but with an inflatable pad like the TorsoLite could the pad be folded and blown up into different sizes according to the size of the back panel of the Essence pack? Depending on the volume of air in the inflatable pad the rigidity of the pack could be adjusted accordingly.

Edited by butuki on 02/03/2006 08:50:50 MST.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Potential Essense long pad ideas on 02/03/2006 10:59:35 MST Print View

I use a blue foam pad. If you fold it to the desired configuration and then put weights on it for a day (Encyclopedia Americana is perfect for this!), it will 'remember' its configuration, making future folding a snap! There is no need to cut or score at the folds at all.

paul johnson
(pj) - F

Locale: LazyBoy in my Den - miss the forest
Re: Re: Potential Essense long pad ideas on 02/03/2006 11:46:42 MST Print View

Ben, good tip. I'm going to give that a suggestion a try.

Tony Burnett
(tlbj6142) - F

Locale: OH--IO
Potential Essense long pad ideas on 02/03/2006 12:57:56 MST Print View

It does work quite well. I've done the same thing with my blue pad (I put mine under the mattress in the guest bedroom) and it actually folds up better than the "scored" GG NightLight torso length pad.

Plus my guests don't sleep as well so their visits are typically shorter. "Honey, I have no idea why your Mom doesn't sleep well when she visits."<g>

Edited by tlbj6142 on 02/03/2006 12:59:24 MST.

Mark Verber
(verber) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
When you don't use a pad with the essense on 02/03/2006 20:07:02 MST Print View

I don't use a foam pad for sleeping caused I don't sleep without more padding. Yeah, I am a wimp. I can tell you that an air mattress makes a port support in the essense. But I expected that. I figured that an extra few ounces worth of foam still keeps the essense under 1lb so I gave it a try.

As I was playing around with a variety of support options I stumbled onto a good dual use. I use an A16 bug bivy with my tarp. The fiberglass rod in mine is a bit shorter (I broke it and the repaired it.) If I roll the A16 up once rather than the standard twice, my shorted pole is just about the right size for the pad straps. So I have two thin pieces of foam (~1oz) which I put the A16 between and I found that I most comfortable support option for me from both a comfort and weight perspective.

--Mark

Robert Miller
(procab) - F
SMD Essence pics on 02/03/2006 21:20:42 MST Print View

Here are some pics of the Essence loaded down with 28+ pounds and ready to go:
view of right side
view of right side

view of back side
view of back side

The Office
The Office. Note the size of the belt pockets!

extension collar cord lock
Extension collar cord lock after 3 hours on the trail slipped little if any.

Edited by procab on 02/03/2006 21:28:04 MST.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: SMD Essence pics on 02/03/2006 22:23:43 MST Print View

Hi Robert:

Thanks for the pics. One question -- those hipbelt pockets look like they are removable. Is that correct?

Robert Miller
(procab) - F
Re: Re: SMD Essence pics on 02/03/2006 22:48:17 MST Print View

Ben,

No, they are integrated into the belt. The shoulder straps are anchored to them too. The look huge but on the trail I never noticed them. It may be a different issue with someone with fuller hips who didn't use poles.

Robert

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Re: Re: SMD Essence pics on 02/03/2006 23:49:20 MST Print View

Thanks, Robert. I was hoping they were removable so I could perhaps order two from Ron, to sew onto my own pack. I really want hipbelt pockets! Oh well.

Miguel Arboleda
(butuki) - MLife

Locale: Kanto Plain, Japan
Re: SMD Essence pics on 02/04/2006 00:53:24 MST Print View

Wow. What a difference some good pics make. Looking at the pack in use with clear, sharp resolution really gives me a good idea about what the pack would be like. I've been wresting with two packs that I'd like to get, either the ULA Conduit, or this, the Essence. Now I think I know which one would be my choice. Thanks!

That side pocket really is huge, isn't it!

Edited by butuki on 02/04/2006 00:54:48 MST.

paul johnson
(pj) - F

Locale: LazyBoy in my Den - miss the forest
Re: SMD Essence pics on 02/04/2006 03:19:24 MST Print View

Robert, Great pics. Thanks for posting them. You know...what might be helpful to all reading this is a list of the gear and how many days food you had stuffed into the Essence. That way others could get a little better idea of how much of their gear they could fit into it. What do you think? Would you mind posting a list of the gear you were carrying in the Essence?

Miguel, notice that the relatively small lower right web/mesh pocket is empty. I fit two water bottles in mine - easy to reach.

Edited by pj on 02/04/2006 03:22:07 MST.

paul johnson
(pj) - F

Locale: LazyBoy in my Den - miss the forest
Re: Re: Re: Re: SMD Essence pics on 02/04/2006 03:24:55 MST Print View

Ben, check out Brawny's Dancing Light Gear website (sorry, i forget the URL - do web search for it, or search BPL - they've reviewed her gear). She sells silnylon fanny packs. They seem to be about the right size for what you would want to do with them. I've seen the photos and you might easily be able to sew them onto your belt's pack. Also, ask her if she does custom work (it shouldn't be very difficult in this case) to get the right sized "pack"/pocket that you want.

DLG website

DLG silnylon FP

Edited by pj on 02/04/2006 03:26:24 MST.

Miguel Arboleda
(butuki) - MLife

Locale: Kanto Plain, Japan
Re: SMD Essence pics on 02/04/2006 03:38:36 MST Print View

I do have one question for you, Robert and Paul. When the pack is only half full and the volume is sagging how does th pack hold up? can it be cinched tight to take up the excess material? Because it doesn't seem to have side compression straps would that make the pack sag? You see, I do a lot of photography and drawing in the mountains, and I like to leave my shelter pitched while I take day trips with just essential gear. Since I only want to use one pack, I need something that won't get all collapsed when only partially filled. Any thoughts on this?

Thanks!

paul johnson
(pj) - F

Locale: LazyBoy in my Den - miss the forest
Re: Re: SMD Essence pics on 02/04/2006 04:36:57 MST Print View

Miguel,

Only compression available is for the ext. collar/storm flap. These are the five buckles and webbing straps, plus the non-elastic lacing to react the force/"pull" of four of the webbing compression straps (presumably to reduce stress on the webbing attachment points/stiching on the storm flap). Beyond that, you can't compress the pack's main compartment. However, I'm not sure if this is a weak point. While I haven't had it partially loaded, only full (both with and w/o ext. collar use), it seems to me that:

1) the pad v-frame holds the pack upright just fine, so you will need to just place your sleep pad back in the pack to function as a v-frame. At least it did so when the pack was otherwise completely empty. And...

2) there are so many other pockets to store your gear in that you won't have much (or anything) left in the main compartment under the circumstances you describe. That is, your tent and sleep gear is set up and not in the pack; and your food is hanging somewhere. These are the main items you might normally carry inside of the main compartment. Now, in your case you might also carry some photo & drawing gear in the main pack compartment??? If so, then they would be lying in the bottom (when the pack is being worn) of the main compartment.

Not sure I can be more helpful until I try the pack under the circumstances you mention.

Robert Miller
(procab) - F
Re: SMD Essence pics on 02/04/2006 08:53:48 MST Print View

-

Edited by procab on 02/04/2006 17:26:18 MST.

Mark Verber
(verber) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Re: SMD Essence pics on 02/04/2006 10:30:10 MST Print View

I wouldn't recommend using the essense 1/2 empty. IMHO the compression system is not designed to take up that much slack. A foam pad as the V-frame isn't that effective (tends to bend) unless the pack is mostly fully which limits the range of motion of the pad. Also, if the pack isn't pretty full, the bottom of the pack will be slack, and dense items will hang down lower than you might want.

Keep in mind that the essense is a very purpose driven pack. It's designed for thru-hikers or other ultralight / light weight packers who are using their pack day in, day out. It's not a day pack. It's not a summit / climbing pack.

--Mark

Edited by verber on 02/04/2006 10:35:26 MST.

paul johnson
(pj) - F

Locale: LazyBoy in my Den - miss the forest
Re: Re: Re: SMD Essence pics on 02/04/2006 11:27:26 MST Print View

Miguel, Unloaded Essence's main compartment, but left the gear in the external pockets, including the top pocket. Pack will stand up when set on the floor, but the pad doesn't inhibit much flexing front-to-rear. Pack was very light with no food or gear in the main compartment. It was under five pounds.

Robert Miller
(procab) - F
Re: SMD Essence pics on 02/04/2006 17:32:26 MST Print View

The following is how the pack was loaded in the earlier pictures.

left belt pocket - 9.52 oz - Aquamira bottles, knife, whistle, two photons, mirror, toothbrush, toothpaste in straws, chapstick, short pencil, paper, safety pins, cellphone, gps, headlamp, first aid kit, some TP and a box of matches.

right belt pocket - 10.62 oz - camera, windshell and possumdown gloves

top pocket - 16.76 oz - Montbell UL down inner liner, possumdown beanie and Drop Stoppers top

left side pocket - 22.22 oz - Silshelter, six Ti stakes, two carbon fiber tubes (to stiffen pad if it started to bend, they went unused) and my homework (the long white cylindrical object is a couple of pages of architectural drawings)

right side upper pocket - 5.26 oz - 3 x 8 Tyvek groundcloth

right side lower pocket - 0 oz - all my XUL gear was located here ;-)

Main body - 378.30 oz - 20 x 40 GG ThinLight 3/8" pad. I used a Marmot Hydrogen (long) in a stuff sack at the bottom of the pack to elevate the two gallons of water I started with as high as possible. One gallon was in a Costco cranberry juice jug the other in a 4 liter Platypus Water Tank with hoser attachment. These items filled out a layer immediately adjacent to the pad. The next layer outward from the pad featured my food bag and cooking gear on the bottom. Above it an Exped Downmat 7 short that nestled into the Platypus.

Essence pack weight - 13 oz

Total carried - 28.48 lbs

Knowing what I know now how would I pack it?

Belt pockets would contain camera, TP, chapstick, beanie, gloves and windshell. At lunch I moved the windshell to ease putting my camera away. Late in the day I was switchbacking up the shady side of a ridge and it would have been nice to pop the windshell on to lessen the effects of flash cooling during my frequent "catch my breath" stops.

The Aquamira, repair kit and first aid items would move out of the belt pocket. If any of those items are needed most likely you are stopped and your pack is off.

All of my lunches would go in the top pocket for ease of access.

Edited by procab on 02/05/2006 15:46:23 MST.

paul johnson
(pj) - F

Locale: LazyBoy in my Den - miss the forest
Re: Re: SMD Essence pics on 02/05/2006 04:45:07 MST Print View

Robert, many thanks. Very instructional. Enjoy your Essence pack.