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Lightweight Internal Frame Packs: a State of the Market Report - Part 1A: Testing Overview and List of Packs Tested
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Dan Durston
(dandydan) - M

Locale: Cascadia
Re: Lightweight Internal Frame Packs on 09/01/2010 14:24:54 MDT Print View

The OHM is omitted, but the Circuit isn't. Yet they employ the same carbon hoop."

The Circuit has the same hoop as the Ohm but it also has an additional 'dense internal foam frame'. That's probably why they slotted the Circuit into this review and the Ohm will likely be in the 'frameless with stays' review.

Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
Lightweight Internal Frame Packs on 09/01/2010 14:27:13 MDT Print View

I forgot about the backpad. My 2007 version of the Circuit doesn't. But then it weighs 31oz as well.

Lynn Tramper
(retropump) - F

Locale: The Antipodes of La Coruna
Re: Lightweight Internal Frame Packs on 09/01/2010 16:14:03 MDT Print View

I think it's unreasonable to expect BPL to review every single pack on the market that fits the review criteria. aside from cost and availability, it would be a mammoth undertaking. As for gear not available in USA, I would argue that the US can do like the rest of the world does with US made gear...import it at a high postage cost. If lack of availability were a criteria, there are very few packs in tin the review hat I could buy locally, but I still have owned some of them.

RE: hydration
I know the argument well, and suffered under this premise for many years with a pocket-less MacPac Ascent. Comfy pack, but a PITA to get to stuff quickly without risking rain getting into your gear, and lack of outer pockets meant I only drank every few hours or when I crossed a creek. For over a decade I also suffered bad migraines when I went hiking, until a sports doctor friend mentioned I might try more frequent and larger volumes of water. I got a bladder and never looked back. No more migraines. So YMMV. I'll take a hydration pocket at the very least. This is why I couldn't cope with Aarn packs. Speaking of which, the Aarn Featherlite Freedom has a minimum trail weight of 1.2-1.3kg and claimed 50-55 litre volume...

nanook ofthenorth
(nanookofthenorth) - MLife
cilo on 09/01/2010 16:14:20 MDT Print View

Hi David - you wrote "ClioGear makes climbing specific packs, which based on the initial criteria, would not fit in well with the group."

Cruk (uk) specifically makes climbing packs which were included in the review. Thats not a reason to exclude the Cilos

Considering that the review was for packs for "For walkers going on longer trips, or going up in the mountains where the weather is more variable and requires more gear for safety, a slightly larger pack is needed." My point is that Cilogear packs should have been included.

I for one would like to see a bit more mountain focus on gear for the AB/BC Rockies. I've heard so much about these packs, been curious about them, but have been wanting to read a really good independent review on them.
Its too bad BPL did not include the Cilogeat packs despite them clearly matching the review critera, as well as all the publicity on the net about them.

Anyways, I dont care too much about it - but I'd like to see them reviewed and indexed into this series. Seems like their exclusion was an oversight.

Cas Berentsen
(P9QX) - MLife
shop testing on 09/01/2010 16:45:27 MDT Print View

(Since this will be my first post - nice to meet you!)

Nice comparison, curious to the results of the field test

I did some "shop testing" of the Lowe Alpine Nanon & the Osprey Exos 58. Being tall (over 6'3") with a tall backbone I needed the largest versions. I loaded both with 15kg of sand bags and walked in the shop for approximately half an hour. For the Exos 15kg this appeared to be above its load limit as the lower end of the pack starts hanging. Unfortunately, the hipbelt of the Nanon appeared to be too wide for me.

I actually want(ed) the Gossammer Mariposa but since (this year) my start weight would be over 15kg I decided to skip this till more of my gear will be in line with that pack.

Eventually I ordered the Lightwave Ultrahike because of the design of its hip belt. Walking for 20 days in the Pyrenees with a weight between 12 and 18 kg I absolutely didn't regret my choice. For me that pack is very comfortable and, for my slim hips, the hip belt is simply superb. The only minor complaint I have is that the foam used at the "harness-face" is slightly warm.
( Sofar I always carry the water bladder in one of the outer pockets )

David Chenault
(DaveC) - BPL Staff - F

Locale: Crown of the Continent
water access in packs on 09/01/2010 17:13:23 MDT Print View

Lynn, I agree. Drinking water at 2 hour intervals and backpacking at anything other than a truly tepid pace in cool weather means you will become dehydrated. A non-negotiable physiological reality.

Relevant because good water access, in whatever form it takes, it central to a decent backpack.

Lynn Tramper
(retropump) - F

Locale: The Antipodes of La Coruna
Re: shop testing on 09/01/2010 17:17:19 MDT Print View

" I loaded both with 15kg of sand bags and walked in the shop for approximately half an hour. For the Exos 15kg this appeared to be above its load limit as the lower end of the pack starts hanging. "

Sand bag testing is inherently flawed in this respect. All the weight end up concentrated at the bottom of the back, exaggerating the downwards pull. When I shop test a pack, I actually take my gear in with me and load it up with a representative heavy-ish load, distributed in a way to keep the centre of gravity as close to my back as possible.

Cas Berentsen
(P9QX) - MLife
sand bag testing on 09/01/2010 17:24:11 MDT Print View

Sorry, I actually meant sand bag loading in combination with fluffy plastics bags. Weight of sand was concentrated in middle against back.

Edited by P9QX on 09/01/2010 17:27:25 MDT.

Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
Lightweight Internal Frame Packs on 09/01/2010 17:31:22 MDT Print View

"Cruk (uk) specifically makes climbing packs which were included in the review. Thats not a reason to exclude the Cilos"

I completely missed that Robert! Thanks.

Wesley Witt
(weswitt)

Locale: Northwest
Re: Re: Re: Cilogear on 09/01/2010 18:57:28 MDT Print View

I vote for McHale. His packs are the best for sure.

Franco Darioli
(Franco) - M

Locale: Melbourne
Lightweight Internal Frame Packs on 09/01/2010 19:25:40 MDT Print View

Kind of disappointing that some are ...disappointed that the review ONLY has 26 packs considering that it is limited to a fairly narrow criteria.

One point I did not see considered is that with both the ping pong ball and Roger's version ( I came up independently with that 'solution" also)of the volume test, I am sure that you could add a few liters of water in between the balls , therefore taking it much closer to the claimed capacity.
Maybe a thin bladder (like a dry sack) filled with water could give a better measurement.
But of course even if the numbers are not correct the review does offer a comparison between the models tested.

As for the roll-top standard, I used that 3x bit also to measure the difference between the old and the new Circuit, however often I only fold my Aarn twice and that is enough to keep it dry. (the Aarns have a dry sack built in)

Franco

Eric Blumensaadt
(Danepacker) - MLife

Locale: Mojave Desert
Thanks Roger on 09/01/2010 20:20:55 MDT Print View

A good review of volume. Now on to more subjective topics like adjustability, hip belt comfort, shoulder strap comfort, lift straps (yes/no), side pocket attatchment provisions (yes/no) etc.

And thanks for introducing the self-descriptive terms "harness face" and "back face". I like them and hope the industry will adopt them as well. Perhaps if we all began using those terms in out posts industry WILL catch on.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Lightweight Internal Frame Packs on 09/01/2010 20:37:44 MDT Print View

"Maybe a thin bladder (like a dry sack) filled with water could give a better measurement."

+1

Or maybe a trash compactor bag used to line the pack before filling with water.

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife

Locale: Gateway to Columbia River Gorge
Lightweight Internal Frame Packs: a State of the Market Report on 09/01/2010 20:47:48 MDT Print View

While I found the the pack selection rather disappointing, I was definitely interested in the volume measurements. Roger's findings confirmed something I always suspected!

Despite some disappointments, I'm looking forward to the future articles!

Ike Mouser
(isaac.mouser) - F
cilo gear on 09/01/2010 20:49:55 MDT Print View

cilo gear packs are $750+? Wow, bet they wont sell very many, thats insane.

Tom Clark
(TomClark) - MLife

Locale: East Coast
Re: re GG & SMD on 09/01/2010 20:53:38 MDT Print View

"We discussed these, and Will decided they should fall into a difference category - sort of 'frameless with just a little stay'. So they WILL appear, but in a different review."

It would be nice to get some comment(s) in that next review to help link the two categories since I might not separate packs into the same categories as Roger did.

Tom

Ike Mouser
(isaac.mouser) - F
wow on 09/01/2010 21:31:50 MDT Print View

holy crapola, they have a 1200+ backpack. Will suck when that thing rips falling down a hill. ouch, but i guess if you can afford that you can afford a few of them.

eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F
like reviewing shoes on 09/01/2010 21:49:42 MDT Print View

while i appreciate all the hardwork put in ... IMO reviewing packs is like reviewing shoes ... you cannot quantify the most important thing ... the fit of the pack ... what works for one may not work for another

youre left with stuff you can get by looking at the manuf websites ... like weight, volume, features, materials ...

the only way to figure out what pack works for you IMO is to try it on

everyone likes different features and different fits ... all the discussion about missing packs just shows it

Andrew Dolman
(andydolman) - M
Measururing volume on 09/02/2010 02:04:49 MDT Print View

"One point I did not see considered is that with both the ping pong ball and Roger's version ... of the volume test, I am sure that you could add a few liters of water in between the balls, therefore taking it much closer to the claimed capacity."

The ping pong balls/poly peanuts have the same air gaps between them when they are in the in the box as they do in the packs - so this is not an issue with the method. ie. you measure the volume of balls+air in the box - not just the volume of the balls.

Andrew Dolman
(andydolman) - M
Availability on 09/02/2010 02:26:53 MDT Print View

"If all of the packs mentioned are available in your parts, but only 1/2 are available in the US, where the majority of membership resides, then I would opine that this is not a particularly robust sample."

I wish all the packs were available in the UK. Elemental Horizons, JanSport, Montbell, One Planet, REI, and ULA are all very hard to come by here. We can of course import them sight-unseen - as can you with the Crux and Lightwave packs.

"To comment that "a fairly sizeable portion" and then immediately ask what that percentage would be suggests that you should first ask the question""

I suppose you have a point, but I know that there is a portion of the readership who are not North America based, what portion I don't know so I asked. 7 non NA readers have commented in this thread - so it's not tiny.


", get the answer, and then provide an irrelevant comment."

Have a nice day!

Edited by andydolman on 09/02/2010 02:28:19 MDT.