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Lightweight Internal Frame Packs: a State of the Market Report - Part 1C: Main Bag & Comfort
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Addie Bedford
(addiebedford) - MLife

Locale: Montana
Lightweight Internal Frame Packs: a State of the Market Report - Part 1C: Main Bag & Comfort on 09/14/2010 14:27:22 MDT Print View

Companion forum thread to:

Lightweight Internal Frame Packs: a State of the Market Report - Part 1C: Main Bag & Comfort

Steven Paris
(saparisor) - M

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Part 1C: Main Bag & Comfort: Osprey side pockets on 09/14/2010 16:47:37 MDT Print View

Thanks for the very detailed report (revealed in weekly installments like a Charles Dickens' novel).

Btw, the Osprey pockets have gaps on the sides to give the option of having a water bottle either upright or tilted towards the wearer for (slightly) better access. Like all side pockets, their use can be greatly affected by how full the main bag is, but that's what they are for.

Lynn Tramper
(retropump) - F

Locale: The Antipodes of La Coruna
Re: Lightweight Internal Frame Packs: a State of the Market Report - Part 1C: Main Bag & Comfort on 09/14/2010 18:19:41 MDT Print View

Sternum straps: totally agree. if the pack fits properly these seem totally unnecessary to me. But these are easy to remove if you don't want them, so I don't count this against a pack.

Hydration bladders: Totally disagree as mentioned previously. YOU may not 'need' to drink all the time, and even I can go a couple of hours without drinking, but for me the migraines this causes is just not worth it. And after a decade of using hydration bladder, I have never had one leak (yet). I DO wish more packs had drainage holes at the bottom for IF the bladder ever failed, and for the inevitable rain leakage that occurs in most packs during heavy prolonged rain.

Hipbelt pockets: Some are nice. The Osprey Exos has decent sized pockets which can hold a lot of instant access or wet items. Many other pockets are too small.

Excess straps and other doo-dads are easily removed. I think I removed around 200 grams of these doo-dads from my Exos.

Top pockets: again, this varies by pack and again, the Exos has a decent sized top pocket IMHO.

Side pockets: again, I find these useful. Even the odd arrangement of pockets on the Exos are more than adequate to hold stuff that the author probably doesn't carry, or carries elsewhere, like camp shoes or gas canisters. These things are not bothered by rain, and don't tend to fall out either. However, i find the fabric the outside pockets are made from can cause problems in scrub. the very open mesh of the Exos is terrible in scrub. I prefer a solid durable outer pocket fabric, but that's just because, like Roger, I do a lot of off trail hiking. This is not a problem for much of the European and North American market.

Volume: Outside and top pockets definitely count. We've just come through a very cold winter and I've had no problem fitting everything I need into an Exos, with room to spare, and everything easily accessible, by utilising these extra pockets (including the kangaroo pouch) and floating lid design. I really don't miss the days of the single bag, pocketless design of the likes of NZs traditional alpine packs.

I reiterate that Roger has bravely taken on an impossible task. Pack fit, comfort and features are such individual preferences that a survey of this sort is inevitably going to miss the mark with many readers. But you've got to acknowledge that Roger has done the best job he could, given his preferences and hiking needs, with a very broad range of packs.

That funny little MP3 pocket on the Exos is also easily removed. I thought it was for holding sunglasses...

Robert Blean
(blean) - MLife

Locale: San Jose -- too far from Sierras
Re: Re: Lightweight Internal Frame Packs: a State of the Market Report - Part 1C: Main Bag & Comfort on 09/14/2010 22:15:30 MDT Print View

Roger,

Thanks for another nice report. You are presenting a good series.

I agree with a lot that Lynn said.

Sternum straps -- perhaps I have just had badly sized or designed packs, but for me a properly tensioned sternum strap is great for moving pressure off my shoulder joint and onto my core -- a HUGE win.

Bladder -- I do not understand the interior bladder pockets. How are you supposed to refill such a bladder, assuming the pack is pretty full itself? As the the "why", though -- I have become a convert to them. I put an electrolyte & carbohydrate solution in them. If I am sweating a lot, then the ongoing electrolytes are helpful. The carbs give a steady calorie stream as I am hiking which (for me) really helps keep my energy up. Just stopping to tank up with plain water every couple of hours does neither of these.

-- MV

Edited by blean on 09/14/2010 22:16:11 MDT.

Larry Dyer
(veriest1) - F

Locale: Texas
Bulging Bottoms on 09/15/2010 01:51:26 MDT Print View

I find the bulge at the bottom of a pack to be a great feature as a lightweight backpacker for the exact reason you touched on. I've never dealt with traditional gear enough to have an opinion but I figure the results would be the same - just on a grander scale. The bulge at the bottom of some packs has been great for swallowing my insulation items since these tend to be the bulkiest but also the lightest for their size. I find it aesthetically pleasing as well.

By using a pack liner to water proof my gear I've never ran into the problem of an item being to big for the pack opening. I figure that it's probably a non-issue with quality gear and good technique.

I guess I just find it odd that you seem, not opposed, but maybe divided on this feature. I thought it was ingenious from the first time I started packing such a bag up.

dale stuart
(onetwolaugh) - M

Locale: Pacific NW
backpack designs on 09/15/2010 09:57:27 MDT Print View

I agree with the no hydration pockets- I have 2 sports bottle holsters, one on each shoulder strap to handle my water needs.Theory says that it would offset weight from my back - sounds good anyway If I need to really bulk up with water I can slip a 2 ltr in each side mesh pocket.
side view
water holters

I like the roll top style closures with expansion collar. This allows me to get a compressed pack with variable volume.

I like hip belt pockets, just right for carrying bug spray, suntan lotion, camera, glasses on one side and a days worth of trail snacks on the other.

Ross Bleakney
(rossbleakney) - MLife

Locale: Cascades
Re: Lightweight Internal Frame Packs: a State of the Market Report - Part 1C: Main Bag & Comfort on 09/15/2010 09:57:56 MDT Print View

A few comments:

Bladder Sleeve: I never use a bladder connected to a tube. However, when I carry water, I always put my platypus in there and think it is a good idea. I've never crushed the water bottle, nor have I ever heard of anyone crushing their water bottle in that manner. On the other hand, I've heard of folks losing their water bottle, when it is on the outside of the pack. You also ignore one of the main benefits of having the water sitting there. If your water container is full, it is likely the heaviest item you are carrying, as well as the most dense*. For that reason, it makes sense to carry it very close to the back (to reduce torque).

* I'm not sure how the density of water compares to the density of other items (that's your job and you folks at BPL usually do it really well).

Zippers vs. Drawstrings: By and large, zippers are heavy. A small zipper to hold a wallet may not weigh much, but a heavy zipper securing a compartment will weigh more than a drawstring. Zippers are also limiting. You can over stuff a compartment and still secure everything when you have a drawstring opening -- not so with a zipper.

Extra Compartments: Like extra zippers, extra compartments add weight.

Pack Bag Weight: This is why it is difficult to just compare the weight of a backpack, the way you would a different piece of gear (like a tent). If one backpack weight two pounds because it has a very firm hip belt and shoulder strap, along with a solid frame, then the extra weight may be worth it. One the other hand, if a pack is flimsy, but has lots of straps, zippers and extra compartments, then you're just carrying extra weight. It may be more convenient, but ultralight backpacking is (to me anyway) about doing without some conveniences to save weight. Judging the efficiency of the pack bag itself would lead to a much better comparison. I would love it if pack makers listed the weight of just the pack bag. That way, you could easily see whether an extra zipper, compartment, or even a bladder sleeve, is worth it.

eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F
alpine on 09/15/2010 10:17:05 MDT Print View

i use any pack for scrambling and alpine as well

hydration ... you might be in a situation where you dont have both hands free ... a platy works wonders then ... a pocket helps keep the weight close to yr back

pockets ... the less the better as they get caught against rocks, against shrubs when bushwacking ... the only real pocket thats useful for me are crampons/shovel and wand pockets

zippers ... they break, a drawstring you can easily fix

shape ... alpine packs are narrow at the bottom ... you need this in order to climb without the hipbelt on ... in case of rockfall you pull the pack over the top of yr head

floating lid ... only lid to go, should be removable ... in alpine you need the extra space for yr rope

weight ... light as possible as long as its comfortable and lasts awhile ... lightness is useless if it doesn't fit right

durability ... must be able to take chimneys, hauling, scree descents, sharp bushwaking

the fact is that unless you are willing to have multiple packs ... you will pay a weight penalty if you intend to use yr pack for alpine/scrambling/bushwacking as well as normal trail use

Ross Bleakney
(rossbleakney) - MLife

Locale: Cascades
Re: Re: Lightweight Internal Frame Packs: a State of the Market Report - Part 1C: Main Bag & Comfort on 09/15/2010 10:20:12 MDT Print View

In response to:

Bob: "Bladder -- I do not understand the interior bladder pockets. How are you supposed to refill such a bladder, assuming the pack is pretty full itself?"

Good question. It is not ideal, but I've managed to do it. To get the water out, is pretty easy (since it is along the "back" wall of the pack). To put it back, I've found it handy to cup the bottom of the platypus with my hand (basically holding the bladder upright, from the bottom, leaning against my forearm) then sliding my fist (or almost a fist) against the side wall, into the sleeve. Once there, I open my hand and slide it out. It really isn't too hard, unless there is a bunch of stuff in there. At worse, I pull stuff out to get the water in. Ironically, I am using it in opposite way of the design. It was added so that drinking water would be more convenient. In my case, it is less convenient, but more comfortable on my back.

Dale: Good idea. That looks like a poor man's Aarn. Either way, it sits in an ideal spot from a balance perspective, even better than the way water sits in a sleeve. Looking at the picture, I would think that maybe a bit of structure for the front might make sense. Just as there is a frame on the back to shift weight to your hips, perhaps a frame on the front might make sense. Of course, now I'm getting closer to building an Aarn.

Cas Berentsen
(P9QX) - MLife
bladders & side pockets on 09/15/2010 10:28:50 MDT Print View

So, I guess that besides comfort bladders and side pockets are personal choices as well.

Although I find the bladder sleeve and the "hole" in the backpack redundant as well I'm accustomed to carry the bladder in the side pocket. I like the ability to drink at any moment with minimized effort and to check the content of the bladder. I never experienced balance issues.

The other side pocket I usually use for clothes to react fast in rapidly changing weather conditions.

Reducing weight of backpack, sleeping bag, tent or stove will outweight any removal of side pockets.

Frank Steele
(knarfster) - F

Locale: Arizona
Re: Part 1C: Main Bag & Comfort: Osprey side pockets on 09/15/2010 11:16:27 MDT Print View

Sorry, I find his reporting and lack of understanding tiresome.(as you pointed out the purpose of the osprey pack side pockets 2 opening could have been discovered with any casual research)

Charles S. Forstall
(csforstall) - F

Locale: The Appalachian Foothills of TN
A lack of knowledge on your part... on 09/15/2010 12:27:49 MDT Print View

I find the idea of continuous drinking while walking (not to mention the pseudo-scientific name) to be rather silly.

I can respect your opinion, but I must question weather you have even bothered experimenting with the concept you despise?

You can save a great deal of energy while walking with a bladder. I urge you to experiment first, before you condemn a system you are clearly unfamiliar and uncomfortable with.

The idea of having a flexible bladder of water stuffed down inside the back of the pack being crushed by the rest of my gear seems to me to be the height of stupidity: there is every chance of it bursting under some minor extra impact.

This is an erroneous and completely incorrect statement. In five years in the army, with much heavier packs then what anyone on this site would ever carry, I never popped a bladder while it was in my rucksack. If 45 lbs won't pop a bladder 25 lbs won't.

That's the problem with bad marketing spin.

Again, I urge you to try before you condemn. I think it is a bit out of place, and really beyond the scope of just this article for a reviewer to call ALL bladder pockets on ALL backpacks, "Bad Marketing Spin." That is an extreme position that doesn't address the fact a large number of people are comfortable with its application and use.

I understand that a bladder pocket itself is not necessary for proper application of the system being condemned as "stupid" by the author. I believe his dislike comes from the extra weight added by the separate sleeve in these larger volume packs. I agree and understand that sentiment. What I don't understand is the utter dismissal by the author of one of the most effective systems for maintaining hydration during extended physical activity.

Edited by csforstall on 09/15/2010 12:36:55 MDT.

Graeme Finley
(gfinley001) - F

Locale: SF Bay Area
Re: Part 1C: Main Bag & Comfort: Osprey side pockets on 09/15/2010 14:04:52 MDT Print View

I always enjoy Roger's reviews and generally agree with most of what he says, but I have to say that I disagree with almost everything in this article. I think it's because I'm coming from the perspective of a past thru-hiker, and most of the comments Roger raised either don't apply or are (in my opinion) simply wrong for those thru-hiking in the US. I'd appreciate the viewpoints of other people who have done long, multi-week hikes, but my experience has been:

Side/back pockets are invaluable, especially for stashing wet gear (e.g. a wet tarp the morning after rain) or for drying socks/underwear on the outside of the pack (a true sign of someone on a long distance hike). I've also found accessing water purification drops etc much faster when I could just dip into a mesh pocket without opening the pack. Sames goes for snacks like energy bars/GU gel.

I would have 'died' in the desert on the PCT without a water bladder. I started without one, then bought one in Idyllwild and found my hiking experience to be completely different - I drank more (simply because the hose was always at my mouth) and I hiked faster (because I didn't have to stop every 15 minutes to take out a water bottle and drink a cup of water). I never hike without one of these now, even when I'm using frameless packs that don't have a hydration port.

Lyan Jordan
(redmonk)

Locale: Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem
Lightweight Internal Frame Packs: a State of the Market Report - Part 1C: Main Bag & Comfort on 09/15/2010 14:33:15 MDT Print View

I use a three step process to insert a water bladder into my loaded pack

1) Grab bladder at the cap end. It has a nice solid chunk of plastic that makes a nice grip.

2) Shove the bladder into the sleeve

3) Remove my hand from the sleeve, leaving the bladder in place.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Lightweight Internal Frame Packs: a State of the Market Report - Part 1C: Main Bag & Comfort on 09/15/2010 14:42:44 MDT Print View

Aha! The "what is best" conversation.

So what should a pack do?

- Carry & protect our gear.

- Allow us to access our gear in an effective, efficient, and functional manner.

- Allow us to hike in comfort.

All of this means is that there are many individual preferences. Bladders, pockets, zippers, draw cords, lids, etc. are all options that work for some and not for others. But none are perfect or correct for everyone.

It is just like a house. My floor plan is ideal for me. And you may hate it. But as long as it works for me, your needs are irrelevant.

Many of us (myself included) get fixated on weight only. At the end of the day the most important question is, "Is it easy for me to live out of my pack?"

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Re: Re: Lightweight Internal Frame Packs: a State of the Market Report - Part 1C: Main Bag & Comfort on 09/15/2010 16:06:31 MDT Print View

> Just stopping to tank up with plain water every couple of hours does neither

Have you tried adding fresh coffee grounds? :-)

Cheers

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: A lack of knowledge on your part... on 09/15/2010 16:15:25 MDT Print View

Hi Charles

> I must question weather you have even bothered experimenting with
> the concept you despise?

Basic BackpackingLight rule: we test before we comment. Yes, of course I have tried out the bladder plus hose idea! And yes, I have been walking in the desert and extreme heat.

> You can save a great deal of energy while walking with a bladder.
Huh???? That's a new one on me. Saving time I have heard about, but saving energy?
The energy spent getting a bottle out of my pack after I have sat down for a rest at the end of 2.5 hours walking pales into utter insignificance compared with the effort spent climbing 1000 m in the last 2.5 hrs. Come on!

Ah well, my 2c worth. Ymmv, and that's fine.

Cheers

Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Re: Re: Lightweight Internal Frame Packs: a State of the Market Report - Part 1C: Main Bag & Comfort on 09/15/2010 16:17:11 MDT Print View

>At the end of the day the most important question is, "Is it easy for me to live out of my pack?"

Nick brings up a good point. Also remember that the gear we carry is a complete system, and any given pack will work differently with different systems. So a pack must not only fit our personal quirks, but it must work well with the rest of our stuff we carry as well.

To a person who doesn't like hydration bladders, the hydration bladder sleeve would seem superfluous.

To a person who doesn't find the need for side pockets, most likely the gear they carry hasn't required the need for them.

And so on.

I'd like to see a lighweight pack that is both top loading and panel loading. Many would think that's weird.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Re: Part 1C: Main Bag & Comfort: Osprey side pockets on 09/15/2010 16:19:13 MDT Print View

Hi Graeme

Who wants boring pallid reviews anyhow?
But please note that we have done many multi-month walks around the European mountains.

> Side/back pockets are invaluable, especially for stashing wet gear (e.g. a wet tarp
> the morning after rain)
Goes under my pack lid on top of the waterproof throat. Never had a problem that way.

> or for drying socks/underwear on the outside of the pack (a true sign of someone
> on a long distance hike).
We hang them on some of the bungee cord or webbing across the back of the pack. They get more sun that way and dry faster.

Cheers

Lynn Tramper
(retropump) - F

Locale: The Antipodes of La Coruna
Re: Re: Re: Lightweight Internal Frame Packs: a State of the Market Report - Part 1C: Main Bag & Comfort on 09/15/2010 17:35:59 MDT Print View

Hydration sleeves: another thing that is easily removed if you don't want it. I find the sleeve makes it easy to slide a bladder in and out of the pack. Without a slippery sleeve, the bladder is prone to get caught on less slippery stuff in my pack. Again, I wouldn't mark a pack down because it has this feature. If I didn't want that feature, I would just take a pair of scissors to it.

David Chenault
(DaveC) - BPL Staff - F

Locale: Crown of the Continent
pack details on 09/15/2010 17:59:48 MDT Print View

Roger, you certainly must be commended for tackling such an unruly subject, and without any attempt to artificially constrain or circumscribe it. Bravo!

I do think the comments thus far point to the limitation of choosing to write much of the article(s) as you have, namely with such a pronounced, even ornery bias. While one could debate the utility of taking a more even handed yet wishy washy hypothetical approach (on the one hand, on the other...) to the utility of pack features, much of the first half of this installment comes across as an extended pontification on pack design. It seems I'm not the only one for whom this approach comes up short.


To whit (and to further contribute data points to the pack preferences discussion):

I find pack lids to be superfluous, awkward, and inefficient. If you need things quick other options are better, and if you don't stuff goes in the main body.

(IMO) drinking water at 2 hr intervals is metabolically inefficient. By doing so you are minimizing performance. Period. For some this matters, for others, not. When I can fetch water often I like using bottles in side pockets which are accessible without removing the pack. Otherwise, I use a large dromedary with hose assembly. Very reliable. Packing and unpacking this does require removing items from the pack, but if I use this method of water carrying I'm usually refilling once or twice a day only.

For me a slanted bottom (like the ULA packs) is essential. Squared off, fat butted packs drag and catch when you're scrambling down slopes, a far greater nuisance than them not sitting erect when packing.

Hipbelt (or side) pockets hold snacks in quick to get places and in a much more comfortable way than pants pockets. My favorite hiking pants and shorts all lack such pockets anyway.

The Osprey shoulder strap pockets are great places to store sunscreen and water purification stuff. They can be accessed on the go and left there between trips. Candy bars also fit in the pockets.

Etcetcetc

Eric Blumensaadt
(Danepacker) - MLife

Locale: Mojave Desert
Hydration sleeve on 09/15/2010 22:07:22 MDT Print View

Personally I LIKE hydration bladders for several reasons and adopted them as soon as they came out. I still have a Gregory bladder for my 2007 REI Cruise UL 60 that's working fine & is MUCH lighter than a Camelbak setup, which I also have in other packs.

Therefore I like the bladder sleeve and hose ports on all the new packs. Don't like 'em? Then cut out the sleeve.

"Floating" lids... well they are OK if large enough AND can be converted into a fanny pack (or sew your own webbing belt loops on the lid's underside) for side trips. That means you don't need to bring the extra weight of a small daypack/stuffsack.

Side pockets... I bought my present REI Cruise UL 60 bag in that size because I knew I was going to use aftermarket side pockets. The pack size of over 3,000 cu in. was a bit small for me but problem solved with two 400 cu. in. side pockets.

To me side pockets not only protect the pack when bushwhacking, but they give fast access to items you may need in a hurry, like 1st aid kit, potty kit(TP, hand sanitizer & snow stake digger), stove kit, water treatment kit, toilet kit and other essential stuff. A pack needs side straps or attatchment loops to accomodate side pockets. Again,if you don't have 'em then sew them on.

Edited by Danepacker on 09/15/2010 22:35:02 MDT.

Matt Sanger
(IPARider) - MLife
more data on 09/15/2010 22:34:08 MDT Print View

As others have noted this is a huge project, pretty impossible to do in a way that will please all...thanks for the data on the packs that is in these reports, but I really wish there was much more straight descriptive data and pics on all the packs in the study, and less personal evaluation and theorizing, much of which I find totally off-base.

Larry Dyer
(veriest1) - F

Locale: Texas
Internal Hydration Sleeve on 09/15/2010 23:54:54 MDT Print View

I use a bladder as my main method of carrying water but still can't stand using a sleeve so I cut them out. Instead I pack my water last and between my sleeping pad and other gear (sleeping pad is acting as a frame in this case). Or sometimes I just lay the bladder sideways in the top of the bag. I don't worry about things getting wet because either they're impervious to water or in a trash bag.

I've worried about busting one and because of this I only fill my 2 liter platy up to the 2 liter mark so it isn't completely full. This makes it very malleable and easier to pack as well from I've seen and it should be significantly more difficult to pop one filled this way.

Charles S. Forstall
(csforstall) - F

Locale: The Appalachian Foothills of TN
Re: Re: A lack of knowledge on your part... on 09/16/2010 06:53:05 MDT Print View

@David I am in agreement, with what you have been stating both here and earlier on though this series.


Matt +1

Basic BackpackingLight rule: we test before we comment. Yes, of course I have tried out the bladder plus hose idea! And yes, I have been walking in the desert and extreme heat.

Roger

As I stated previously I can respect your opinion, yet I still think it is out of place to condemn in a State of the Market Report no less, that you yourself aren't comfortable with that system and whatever that might entail in a pack. Aren't these State of the Market Reports for everyone, regardless of choice hiking systems?

I think its great to have your own opinion, I just greatly question the idea of including that opinion in a general review. My ire was raised by what was an obvious breach of the Hike your Own Hike Philosophy.

As well Roger you are still spreading mis-information by claiming that a bladder will burst inside a pack. Given your penchant for empirical data your professing of this untested claim is very out of character for you.


The energy spent getting a bottle out of my pack after I have sat down for a rest at the end of 2.5 hours walking pales into utter insignificance compared with the effort spent climbing 1000 m in the last 2.5 hrs. Come on!

You don't have to stop or sit down, or waste unneeded arm reaching with a bladder! You can wake up and do almost everything on the move until you get to the end of your day! I thought that was the "Efficiency" that Ryan spoke about in the BPL book.

Well to each his own.

Edited by csforstall on 09/16/2010 07:22:57 MDT.

Mike M
(mtwarden) - MLife

Locale: Montana
opinions on 09/16/2010 07:29:47 MDT Print View

I guess it doesn't bother me that Roger has expressed his opinion on different pack options- it doesn't bother me that I disagree w/ some of his opinions- I think that is to be expected

I'll admit I pooh-pooh'd bladders for years until my wife insisted we give them a try (we purchased a couple over a year ago and never tried them). It was nice to be able to drink "on the fly". I, like others have noted, found myself drinking more (and being better hydrated).

I like ULA's approach to these "extras"- they're removable, you don't like (or need) them- simply remove them. While it certainly is plausible to simply cut these unwanted features out- the ability to remove them is a little more appealing (especially when you post your used pack up on Gear Swap! :))

Michael L
(mpl_35) - MLife

Locale: The Palouse
Re: pack details on 09/16/2010 08:20:26 MDT Print View

I pretty much echo David on his points. Especially in regards to stuff like hip belt pockets.

I absolutely despise carrying stuff in my pants pockets. Even regular day and around the office. So when hiking, chapstick, sunscreen, snacks, etc go into the hipbelt pockets and not my pants pockets.

John Davis
(Bukidnon) - F
Lightweight Internal Frame Packs: a State of the Market Report - Part 1C: Main Bag & Comfort on 09/16/2010 10:58:17 MDT Print View

Skimming this article made me think I must put aside a significant amount of time to read it carefully because my initial reaction is that I disagree with almost everything in it. For example-

"Most of the packs had some place where you could securely keep your driver's licence, credit cards, and money. I regard this apparently minor feature as being seriously important in practice. If the pack I chose did not have such a place I would certainly add it somehow."

As sea kayakers and Ray Mears say, if you haven't got it on you, you haven't got it. No matter how badly things go, if you can still move yourself, you can get home with a debit card and some pictorial ID. In this context, a valuables pocket in a rucksack is little more than galloping featuritis and inappropriate for a lightweight pack.

Christopher Knaus
(Knaushouse)

Locale: Northern California
Main Pack Configuration and Bear Canisters on 09/16/2010 14:40:05 MDT Print View

A consideration in configuration of the main pack compartment is whether the user expects to be carrying a bear canister. I routinely hike in Yosemite where a canister is required so this was a major driver for me. When shopping for packs, I observed that some of the narrower packs made packing around a canister difficult.

My Osprey Exos 58 has the "flared-out bottom" which allows the canister to be stored horizontally, at the bottom of the pack (typical sleeping bag position) or vertically, mid-pack, atop the sleeping bag. I vary the configuration based on balancing my load, relative weight of food, water, cnaister and other items, etc. Sometimes, when in the vertical position I have to finagle the canister to avoid the volume and weight of my (dreaded!) hydration bladder. I do appreciate the flexibility which I did not observe in some packs of similar weight and volume.

scott Nelson
(nlsscott) - MLife

Locale: So. Calif.
Origins of the Sternum Strap on 09/16/2010 14:44:08 MDT Print View

I worked at a backpacking store back in the 70's when sternum straps came into fashion. I think it was during a time when cross country skiing was big. The intention for the strap was to prvent the shoulder strap sliding down your arm when you followed thru on your pole plant. As you hand goes behind your hip, you drop your shoulder. As you recover, and bring your arm back forward, you sometimes had to "shrug" the pack shoulder strap back into place. Pretty soon, the sternum strap was a cheap feature to add on every pack, even external frame packs that you would never ski with. Sternum straps interfer with my lungs fully expanding. I have found them useful on pack with shoulder straps that didn't fit me well, and easily cut off packs that fit.

Len Glassner
(lsglass) - MLife

Locale: San Diego
State of the Market? on 09/16/2010 15:33:31 MDT Print View

I like 'boring, pallid' gear reviews.

So far, I don't think I've learned much at all about the State of the Market. But I know a great deal more about Roger Caffin's personality than I might have ever cared to know.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: more data on 09/16/2010 16:35:46 MDT Print View

Hi Matt

> a huge project, pretty impossible to do in a way that will please all
Yeah, seems that way. :-)

> wish there was much more straight descriptive data and pics on all the packs
As mentioned in the Abstract at the start of Part 1A:
"Part 2 in this series covers the individual packs tested."
So yes, Part 2 gives a detailed mini-review of every pack in the survey, with photos.

I note that many have disagreed with my comments about the bladder sleeve. Fair enough. You might note that several pack manufacturers also agreed with my comments, usually adding that it is the retailers who insist on having all the features. Ah well, ymmv.

Cheers

Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Re: Re: more data on 09/16/2010 16:51:11 MDT Print View

The question I have is why the large outpouring of complaints compared to anything a normal member were to submit? If any of us had written this, I'd be shocked to see the same reactions from people.

How about we have a clear, focused *discussion* rather than a rag-fest.

reverse polarity
(reverse_polarity) - F
Re: Re: Re: more data on 09/16/2010 18:09:54 MDT Print View

"The question I have is why the large outpouring of complaints compared to anything a normal member were to submit? If any of us had written this, I'd be shocked to see the same reactions from people."

I think you would see the same reactions no matter who wrote it. The review is littered with very strong personal opinions that outright say that many of the features we like and use in a pack are nothing more than frivolous marketing hype. I mean, really: the author just HAS to have a small zippered pocket to keep keys and driver's license, yet sees no use in a hipbelt pocket. Fair enough the author does not like some features, and considers other essential, but the review is very biased towards the authors personal prejudices and local usage rather than a dispassionate review of the packs features and fit. It's a very unusual way to review packs.

"How about we have a clear, focused *discussion* rather than a rag-fest."

OK, what should we discuss? I'd say there's not a lot, until part 2 comes out.

Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Re: Re: Re: Re: more data on 09/16/2010 18:24:48 MDT Print View

>OK, what should we discuss? I'd say there's not a lot, until part 2 comes out.

Anything is salient discussion, even why Person X likes or dislikes hydration bladders. But when post after post is littered with "this review is crap because...." or "your way is wrong because...." types of comments, it clogs things up. Quite useless, actually.

Why not step away from the sterility of "a dispassionate review" and embrace it as simply another angle of things? It really can help with looking at things differently in comparison with the basic bullet-pointed specs list.

Edited by T.L. on 09/16/2010 18:27:12 MDT.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: pack details on 09/16/2010 18:52:07 MDT Print View

Gosh,

All this banging on Roger. How else would he review the packs if not from his own point of view, based on many years of backpacking experience. Would we prefer a reviewer with little experience? I actually like reviews where the author discusses what he or she likes/dislikes and why. I am not bothered at all with his observations in his reviews and posts. Do I always agree with him? Heck no. Do I respect him? You bet I do.

To be honest, I have enough gear experience, that a reviewer is not going to sway me much to change my style. The review is just once source of information. And I make my own gear decision based on what conclusion I rationally derive from all sources. Just because some well known personality says it is good, does not mean it is good for me.

Also, Roger does not live in the U.S., where I suspect the needs are a little difference.

And who is probably the most famous gear reviewer of all time? Probably Colin Fletcher. And "opinionated" would probably describe him well.

Roger, keep up the good work. A please continue to present your personal opinions and biases.

George Matthews
(gmatthews) - MLife
Re: Lightweight Internal Frame Packs: a State of the Market Report - Part 1C: Main Bag & Comfort on 09/16/2010 18:56:11 MDT Print View

Roger,

Good work.

I'm not picking a side because the passionate differing opinions do not apply to me, but research reports generate creative tension. Good for all have a bit of forum heat now and then.

Please don't get discouraged.

P.S.

I'm waiting for the invention of a device called an utter. It would recycle your real bladder output into your pack bladder. Then you'd really never have to stop hiking. I'm sure when it arrives you will review the Ultralight PissUtter.

John Nausieda
(Meander) - MLife

Locale: PNW
You want to be an astronaut on 09/16/2010 18:59:34 MDT Print View

George: Time to become an astronaut if you want to recycle your precious bodily fluids. Also no backpack weight in orbit.

reverse polarity
(reverse_polarity) - F
Re: Re: pack details on 09/16/2010 19:23:34 MDT Print View

"All this banging on Roger. How else would he review the packs if not from his own point of view, based on many years of backpacking experience. Would we prefer a reviewer with little experience?"

Nothing wrong with his experience and opinions, it just could have been written a lot less hostile. For instance, instead of;

“many American packs have extra pockets at the sides near the bottom or across the outside back of the pack. The American manufacturers seem to love to add these, but why they do so is not clear. Perhaps they are marketing frills, or maybe they have the idea that anything stuffed into an external pocket does not really count when working out the pack weight?”

It would have been adequate to just say that the author doesn’t like extra outside pockets (because where he hikes they get caught in scrub, etc...), but if this is a feature that you are looking for in a pack then consider many of the American models such as brand xxxxxxx


Or instead of;

"“Stuff put in the back pocket might be a bit safer, especially if the back pocket has a zip, but that position has a serious problem. Putting weight that far from your back moves the Centre of Gravity (CoG) away from your back, which is a pretty stupid thing to do. You want the CoG as close to your body as possible. That said, a simple back pocket can be very useful for storing flat things like sit mats (which are usually the last thing to get packed away) and map cases. But so often the extra pockets turned out to have very little useful volume once the main bag had been filled up, so the fancy design on many of them seem almost useless to me.”

Which again implies that most people who use this feature don’t know how to pack their bags, and that they are ‘stupid’ He could have just said which packs had back pockets, which had zippers etc…for those that like this feature, even though the author wouldn’t put anything too heavy in them due to issues with CoG.

It is possible to present an opinion without implying people are stupid, or silly, or just don't know how to pack their bags.

"“Finally, I tried keeping things in such pockets, but the pockets were so small I had to stop and very carefully open the pocket when I wanted something out of one - while being very careful not to lose anything else in that pocket. So I am left skeptical: it seems like another cost-adding marketing feature, and I just don't bother with them. Then there's the little pocket found on the Osprey Exos shoulder straps: I was told it's for holding your iPod or MP3 player. Phooey: Keep It Simple!”

Ummm, not all the packs tested had small pockets, and it would be sufficient to point out to readers which pack had larger hipbelt pockets, which got in the way of arm swing (without poles, which many readers use), which had small pockets, and which had a choice of pocket size, while pointing out the he does not see utility in these pockets, but providing the information for those who prefer hipbelt pockets. Hopefully we will get this useful information in part 2!

There's lots more in the article where the author, though very experienced at his way of doing things, comes across as insulting to people who have differing experiences or opinions. It's just unnecessary and inflammatory journalism and not very professional, again just IMHO.

George Matthews
(gmatthews) - MLife
Re: You want to be an astronaut on 09/16/2010 19:33:53 MDT Print View

John: Actually, I was an astronaut for my first job. Here is a pic...


albert

Eugene Smith
(Eugeneius) - MLife

Locale: Nuevo Mexico
"Lightweight Internal Frame Packs: a State of the Market Report - Part 1C: Main Bag & Comfort" on 09/16/2010 19:34:59 MDT Print View

I think many here have assumed a certain amount of like-mindedness, to the point of group cohesion, we're definitely not an UL conglomerate here. What good would it do any of us if we as BPL members were always being echoed back the same recreated ideas, techniques, methodology, gear lists, etc. with every article or report? Absolutely nothing. What would be the point? Reading Rogers thorough SOTMR only further confirms that: hiking, (S)UL hiking, backpacking, lightweight backpacking, bushwalking (insert label here if you care) is truly an individualist activity with no right or wrong way to do so, it's about the journey first and foremost, the means and tools in which we do so are only a footnote with a broad margin for interpretation and execution.

I too, like some have expressed, found some of the personal biases and musings expressed by Roger concerning hydration and pack design to be slightly off-putting, specifically his 'fashion' comments but then realized my own insecurities were to blame, not Rogers personal reflections. Why do I care that Roger doesn't like outside pockets for hydration? At the end of the day, I don't really and shouldn't, his opinions don't effect my decisions, it's his journey, not mine. I'm definitely enjoying the data and feedback shared in this report Roger, even though I haven't the slightest inkling of interest in acquiring a lightweight internal framed pack! Thanks for the investment you made in this series. Cheers, as you say.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Re: pack details on 09/16/2010 19:46:21 MDT Print View

Maybe we are being too picky or too serious?

For example, I really like Mike C. Hopefully someday I will run into him in the mountains. And my fantasy would be to TP his tarp in the middle of the night:)

Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Re: Re: Re: pack details on 09/16/2010 19:49:07 MDT Print View

@ Nick-- HAHAHAHAHAAHA!!!

George Matthews
(gmatthews) - MLife
Re: Re: Re: pack details on 09/16/2010 19:59:40 MDT Print View

Nick: LOL : )

David Lutz
(davidlutz)

Locale: Bay Area
That is too funny... on 09/16/2010 20:02:26 MDT Print View

and really ought to happen at some point.....

Nicholas Truax
(nicktruax) - F

Locale: Montanada
Re: too funny on 09/16/2010 20:27:03 MDT Print View

@Nick - truly hilarious. Thanks for the laugh!

reverse polarity
(reverse_polarity) - F
Re: "Lightweight Internal Frame Packs: a State of the Market Report - Part 1C: Main Bag & Comfort" on 09/16/2010 20:28:32 MDT Print View

"Why do I care that Roger doesn't like outside pockets for hydration? At the end of the day, I don't really and shouldn't, his opinions don't effect my decisions, it's his journey, not mine"

Ditto. It's not the experienced UL packers that I'm concerned about, as we all have worked out what works best for us by now. It's new people joining this site that are thinking about buying a light internal framed pack, and read this article thinking this is really SOTMR, when much of it is just a rant. I expected a more balanced and less opinionated approach for a SOTMR, not for my benefit, but for those who really don't yet know what they want in a pack.

Mike M
(mtwarden) - MLife

Locale: Montana
good point on 09/16/2010 20:33:21 MDT Print View

I guess I hadn't thought about it from that angle- although from the amount flak dished out- a new person reading this article and the accompanying posts will definitely be getting a wide array of opinions :)

reverse polarity
(reverse_polarity) - F
Re: good point on 09/16/2010 20:56:59 MDT Print View

"although from the amount flak dished out- a new person reading this article and the accompanying posts will definitely be getting a wide array of opinions :)"

Yup, good point :)

Eugene Smith
(Eugeneius) - MLife

Locale: Nuevo Mexico
"Lightweight Internal Frame Packs: a State of the Market Report - Part 1C: Main Bag & Comfort" on 09/16/2010 21:04:03 MDT Print View

"Maybe we are being too picky or too serious?

Perhaps you're right Nick. I think many of us on BPL take ourselves far too serious on occasion. It is just walking outside with "stuff" on our backs at the end of the day, hopefully with a smile on our face.

Edited by Eugeneius on 09/16/2010 21:04:42 MDT.

Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
Re: "Lightweight Internal Frame Packs: a State of the Market Report - Part 1C: Main Bag & Comfort" on 09/16/2010 21:20:24 MDT Print View

"And my fantasy would be to TP his tarp in the middle of the night:)"

That enters the books of classic BPL comedy...

John Davis
(Bukidnon) - F
Lightweight Internal Frame Packs: a State of the Market Report - Part 1C: Main Bag & Comfort on 09/17/2010 00:13:40 MDT Print View

My feelings built up as I read the article. Then I read the comments. On seeing how much negativity the article had generated, I toned my comment down.

If you look back at early BackpackingLight analyses of the performance of various pieces of gear or of materials, you will see that the authors have made such an effort to be objective that the reading is a little awkward but revelations emerge from the preparedness to deal with physics. That has not happened here.

Jim Cowdery
(james.cowdery) - MLife

Locale: Central Florida
TP on 09/17/2010 08:30:44 MDT Print View

Didn't Ryan write an article on alternatives to TP?

Who packs-out the TP???

John Davis
(Bukidnon) - F
Lightweight Internal Frame Packs: a State of the Market Report - Part 1C: Main Bag & Comfort on 09/17/2010 10:03:11 MDT Print View

I really enjoyed the exploding gas canister article, not just because it featured research, graphs and a fun experiment but because I learned something from it. More like that please - stuff that I couldn't read in Trail magazine.

Charles S. Forstall
(csforstall) - F

Locale: The Appalachian Foothills of TN
Responsiblity on 09/17/2010 10:14:17 MDT Print View

Reverse Polarity +1

I always hate how these discussion turn into this. Why must minor and understandable differences in opinion be conflated or disregarded? Yet it seems to be a perpetual issue with this site. I am not trying to be negative.

Reverse Polarity has a real point, and he zeros in on the only thing I am wishing to hold Roger to, his public word.

Reverse Polarity raises the point that insulting the intelligence or choices (intentionally or unintentionally) of your readership isn't a way to build bridges. Thats all I have been trying to get Roger to acknowledge, its not like I hold his choices against him. Contrast this against how he implies in the article that those who happen to use bladder sleeves are making "stupid" decisions.

He shouldn't be surprised to get a little bit of tough love when he prognosticates to an independent bunch to begin with. Its only the Internet folks! Are we all supposed to fall in line? How is any disagreement "negative"? Its just another point of view, and it happens to differ from his.

As other have pointed out we are a diverse community. It shouldn't be surprising when someone liberally throws around the word "stupid" that people might want to at least share a differing opinion as to why that might not be the case.

I am really getting to the point that I think we should cut comments off of these articles since the writers always turn non-responsive or defensive when people legitimately question their published work. If the writer can't deal with slightly disagreeing comments, and "radical transparency" demands from the audience then their should be no comments allowed on their articles to begin with.

I think that the problems happen when people clam up and don't want to talk about it. If you wrote it, you take responsibility for what you have said. That seems a simple concept to me.

Roger published this article series in an open forum that facilitates a process of Peer Review. I don't think it is asking much to answer for what you have publicly stated in any forum, let alone in a public and active community of your peers.

I am sorry if this is "negative" but it is my heartfelt concern. We are a diverse community and we should feel comfortable sharing our opinion without having it shunned into negativity when none such was intended.

Peace.

Edited by csforstall on 09/17/2010 10:20:12 MDT.

Dean F.
(acrosome) - MLife

Locale: Back in the Front Range
Commonwealth style... on 09/17/2010 11:33:30 MDT Print View

Another thing that the mass of Americans here should remember before going fully off the handle about his review is that Roger is from a Commonwealth nation. I'm unsure if this is universal but over the years I have noticed that there is a certian style used to express opinions for Commonwealth members that Americans find abrupt, condescending, and arbitrary. Essentially, if the speaker has any degree of experieince or authority at all the standard practice is to present his opinions as obvious and self-evident truths, and that any alternatives are ridiculous. Those who disagree are expected to do the same in good faith and start a jolly argument which, if all goes well, will result in an entertaining pub brawl and fun for all. :)

But this tone will tend to merely annoy the hell out of almost any American, who will get ruffled feathers and start making snitty comments.

There was a famous British kayaker a decade or so ago who made thousands of enemies on this side of the pond by disparaging American kayak designs and saying stuff such as "they might be sufficient for protected American waters", etc. (And now look- even the British boats are sporting keyhole cockpits. Ha! Joke's on him.)

Roger isn't quite so extreme- doubtless from prior encounters with we touchy Americans- but the basic premise does show a bit.

So don't take it so personally. Sheesh.

Of course, I could turn this all around and remind Roger that the Commonwealth style will innately annoy a lot of Americans, and he should remember who comprises most of his audience...

--BREAK--

So, on the subject of the whole bladder-versus-bottle thing...

I have seen videos of automobiles running over full bladders without causing a puncture. Unless you're hauling a sack of cutlery I doubt that any sort of "minor bump" will cause a leak. Leaks do happen, but usually in defective bladders or ones so old that they develop a crack on a repetetively bent crease or something.

That said I generally only use bladders on dayhikes- and that because they are so admittedly convenient. But on longer hikes I use bottles because it is easier to track how much water I have left when I'm using bottles (in those pockets that Roger hate; personally I find the Exos pockets to be superior), so I can plan where to stop to filter more and tank up. OTOH it's easy to find your bladder going empty when you're between water sources because you generally have to take your pack off, open it, etc., to check on how full your bladder is, and it is hard to remain that diligent over a long hike. Eventually you'll screw up and suffer for it.

If I'm really trying to camel up I'll carry both, but be careful to empty the bladder first. Seems a pretty good solution to me.

Diplomatic Mike
(MikefaeDundee)

Locale: Under a bush in Scotland
Nice work Roger on 09/17/2010 11:51:28 MDT Print View

OK. You can have a dry list of facts, or you can have an opinion. I much prefer an interesting opinion. I can look up specs anywhere.

Disclaimer, i'm one of these bolshie non-US folk. :)

Have a look at recent trip reports. Many are from mountainous and wild areas. Not everyone treks on manicured trails.

P.S.
Us Scots made your country! :)

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Commonwealth style... on 09/17/2010 11:52:05 MDT Print View

"There was a famous British kayaker a decade or so ago who made thousands of enemies on this side of the pond by disparaging American kayak designs and saying stuff such as "they might be sufficient for protected American waters", etc."

That reminded me of a former Canadian poster here who droned on and on about the unforgiving Canadian winters and how ONLY Mystery Ranch and McHale packs will do. The same poster also wrote that he would only buy gear made in Canada, other commonwealth countries, and the US. Jolly good of him to make an exception for us! )

Edited by ben2world on 09/17/2010 11:54:20 MDT.

Dean F.
(acrosome) - MLife

Locale: Back in the Front Range
Re: Nice work Roger on 09/17/2010 12:06:33 MDT Print View

Actually, I would argue that to a large degree Africans made our country.

And, shudder to think of it, without the French we never would have thrown you lot to the curb...

:) Smiley!

Personally, I find the colorful opinionizing rather amusing as well. I'm just trying to impart a little perspective upon My Fellow Americans.

And, I'll give the notable exception- Canadians generally don't do the Commonwealth Style thing. They're universally so polite and considerate that I want to strangle them.

And I have too little experience with Kiwis to make THAT call.

Edited by acrosome on 09/17/2010 12:13:44 MDT.

Diplomatic Mike
(MikefaeDundee)

Locale: Under a bush in Scotland
:) on 09/17/2010 12:18:40 MDT Print View

OK Dean. The US is an African/Franco alliance. :)

An old Scots saying is "We are all Jock Thamsons Bairns"

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Nice vs. Commonwealth on 09/17/2010 12:47:56 MDT Print View

"And, I'll give the notable exception- Canadians generally don't do the Commonwealth Style thing. They're universally so polite and considerate that I want to strangle them. "

Agree in general. Which is why that particular Canadian ex poster stood out...

Jon McConachie
(hyker) - MLife

Locale: Sierra Nevada
bladders and bottles on 09/17/2010 12:51:26 MDT Print View

Don't mean to interrupt the chat room off topic buzz going on, but I'd like to comment that using bladders are very handy when mountaineering or skiing. Bottles have always worked too, I just find it easier getting fluids by using bladders when climbing.

Also, I tend to modify any pack if needed to suit personal choices. If the bag is right for me, I can replace pack straps or waist belts and , for example, add shovel sleeves for winter usefulness. The purchased pack may just be a starting point, go for it.

Thank you Roger. Looking forward to part 2.

Diplomatic Mike
(MikefaeDundee)

Locale: Under a bush in Scotland
Sorry for chaffing. on 09/17/2010 13:07:53 MDT Print View

As for bladders, i find that i usually just need to lean forward and suck on a climb if i need a drink. :)

Hamish McHamish
(El_Canyon) - M

Locale: USA
_ on 09/17/2010 13:57:59 MDT Print View

"just what gear do you have which would fit into one of these pockets safely, and why couldn't you carry it in a pocket in your trousers?"

Lip balm and a couple of food bars to munch on as I walk, all of which can (and has) fallen out of my trouser pockets when I tried that option. Surely someone who spends so much time in the vicious Australian scrub would know...

I'm glad the authors went to all the trouble of putting this review together, really I am. But I'm tired of the myopic thinking behind it, and I've yet to read anything in it that is uniquely perceptive or insightful. Meh.

Edited by El_Canyon on 09/17/2010 13:59:41 MDT.

Mark Krenzien
(MKrenzien) - F - MLife
Side pockets and water intake on 09/17/2010 14:25:23 MDT Print View

The Osprey xos side opening on the side pockets is for easy access to items while wearing the pack (as explained in their product info). With a bit of care such openings work well.

Re water bladder issues (I only use them for trail running) Stopping for water every two hours "at most" might work for camels. Even in the Arctic, active humans should hydrate more often than that

Martin Rye
(rye1966) - F

Locale: UK
Lightweight Internal Frame Packs on 09/17/2010 15:14:30 MDT Print View

This is getting better and better. Last time we are told don't buy a framed pack without load lifter straps despite Backpacking Light giving Gold to such packs in reviews, and at the same time are about to bring to the market a pack with a frame with no load lifters. Based on the photos that is.

Now we read that extra pockets on the back of a pack are are marketing frills. Way to go BPL staff. Some help design a pack that others say we should not consider and has possibly marketing frills. Also those who added to the design across the back a rear pocket we are told - maybe they have the idea that anything stuffed into an external pocket does not really count when working out the pack weight according to Roger.

On Hydration bladders. Roger I use them and have never seen one burst in a pack and hydration as you walk is a good thing I have found, it seems many here as well have found that and is why they don't agree with you.

Edited by rye1966 on 09/17/2010 15:16:42 MDT.

Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Ok people, what gives? on 09/17/2010 15:32:22 MDT Print View

Is something in the water? Why are there so many people to pick such a personal bone with BPL?

If anything, everyone's outward personal aversion to how this review was done is NO DIFFERENT than Roger saying why he doesn't like hydration packs. Who's way should we do it? Yours? Mine? The noob? An experienced hiker? I know, lets just forget any and all articles henceforth. That'll fix the problem.

You don't like the review? That's fine. Either don't comment or politely explain how the review could be better, not laying heavy-handed remarks on how BPL sucks.

How about this? I didn't like any of the nay-sayers' posts. At all. In fact, why don't I neatly list the things I didn't like.....

Oh, wait. I have better things to do.

Flame on.

Hamish McHamish
(El_Canyon) - M

Locale: USA
_ on 09/17/2010 15:47:39 MDT Print View

The mistake here is that the author decided to denigrate styles other than his own. Instead of saying "I can't imagine why you would blah blah blah, unlike me..." he should have said "this is how we worked the packs, here were our impressions, have a nice day". We don't need his opinion on how our methods are unimaginably misguided.

If you put it out there on the 'net, expect to get pushback. If you want no feedback, don't publish it.

Martin Rye
(rye1966) - F

Locale: UK
Re: Ok people, what gives? on 09/17/2010 15:52:24 MDT Print View

Who says we have a bone with BPL. Its called challenging the comments and views. That is what you get with a forum. As for the effort Roger put in to the review I cant complain. But if you contradict other reviews of products and dismiss equipment given Gold by other BPL staff you will get challenged.

If someone does not like hydration packs say so but don't say those who use them are doing something the author sees as silly.

Jacob D
(JacobD) - F

Locale: North Bay
Negativity on 09/17/2010 16:31:35 MDT Print View

It appears as if the negativity in the article has spawned quite a bit more negativity from commenting members. None of it really does any good.

I like to read the state of the market reports to glean a general understanding of what's out there, verification of specs, and an overview of the features along with the reviewer's observations. The down sweater SOTM was approached much differently and seemed to have a very positive response. What I liked in that report was that it presented the facts and allowed me to form my own opinions and conclusion. What we have here comes across more like 'state of reviewer's opinions' with other useful information interspersed.

For those commenting, maybe it would be more useful to offer a simple "thank you for the effort" along with a friendly constructive criticism on the article.

So... Thank You for the effort Roger, and as for myself I'd prefer articles to stick more to the facts and findings seeing how we have plenty of opinionated peoples in the forums :)

Edited by JacobD on 09/17/2010 16:33:52 MDT.

David Chenault
(DaveC) - BPL Staff - F

Locale: Crown of the Continent
re: what gives on 09/17/2010 16:34:03 MDT Print View

First, I think it's cool that BPL is at times internally contradictory. (It's obvious Roger didn't design the Absaroka pack, for instance.) The outdoors are a big tent, and as silly a phrase as I find HYOY to be, it is a useful idea to keep in mind.

Second, I (plainly) don't think that given the article the critcism is out of line, or at all surprising. Just as there are good reasons for the article(s) to be written as they were, so too are there reasons to think that approach inadequate.

Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Re: Re: Ok people, what gives? on 09/17/2010 16:45:11 MDT Print View

I have no problem with challenging or plainly disagreeing with a viewpoint, and Jacob D's comment is all I'm really getting at. He says: "For those commenting, maybe it would be more useful to offer a simple "thank you for the effort" along with a friendly constructive criticism on the article."

However, when posts include statements like:

"This is an erroneous and completely incorrect statement. In five years in the army, with much heavier packs then what anyone on this site would ever carry, I never popped a bladder while it was in my rucksack. If 45 lbs won't pop a bladder 25 lbs won't."

---quite an absolutist statement. While I agree that the chances of the bladder popping are very small, statements like this could benefit from the same criticism directed at the review.

"but the review is very biased towards the authors personal prejudices and local usage rather than a dispassionate review of the packs features and fit. It's a very unusual way to review packs."

---should he attempt to review things from the viewpoint of strangers hundreds and thousands of miles away?

"If the writer can't deal with slightly disagreeing comments, and "radical transparency" demands from the audience then their should be no comments allowed on their articles to begin with."

---"slightly disagreeing" is a bit off, I think. And shutting down comments is worse than anything.

"But I'm tired of the myopic thinking behind it, and I've yet to read anything in it that is uniquely perceptive or insightful. Meh."

--- the review isn't done yet.


"Now we read that extra pockets on the back of a pack are are marketing frills. Way to go BPL staff."

"maybe they have the idea that anything stuffed into an external pocket does not really count when working out the pack weight according to Roger. "

---cheeky comments don't help either.


Again, I'm not against constructive criticism, but many people in this thread took on a viewpoint that is quite stand-offish and unlike the usual genteelness found on BPL threads. Not to mention tiresome to read. Probably like my own post here. Oh well.


Edit: Dean' post reminded me of something regarding the Commonwealth...
I had a professor in Graduate school who had a very similar personality to Roger's (or at least as much as I can tell from this website.) Coincidence or not, she was also an Aussie. Yes, at times she was overbearing and off-putting with her approach to things, but boy did I learn a lot from her and to learn to look at things differently. And that I appreciate.

Edited by T.L. on 09/17/2010 16:58:52 MDT.

Len Glassner
(lsglass) - MLife

Locale: San Diego
Constructive criticism on 09/17/2010 17:00:14 MDT Print View

Is characterizing something as 'the height of stupidity' 'friendly constructive criticism'? IMO, no.

I'd think BPL would welcome feedback on its content, positive and negative.

I have no objections to Mr. Caffin's expressing his opinions, it's the level of intolerance and venom demonstrated in delivering those views that's hard to take. I think any of the other BPL reviewers could have expressed the same opinions without generating this level of disgust.

Trying to be constructive here: I have suggested to BPL that perhaps Mr. Caffin could be given a periodic 'As I See It' column, where he would be free to vent in whatever manner he saw fit. I bet a lot of folks would would tune in, based on the SOTA in TV talk shows.

Edited by lsglass on 09/17/2010 17:09:17 MDT.

folec r
(folecr) - M
subjective... on 09/17/2010 17:02:38 MDT Print View

This is a solid, detailed overview of these backpacks.

However, this particular installment seems to be more subjective than the previous two. It's possibly more useful (IMHO) because it is a subjective opinion but I think that stating it is subjective may actually help.

Edited by folecr on 09/17/2010 17:03:49 MDT.

Eugene Smith
(Eugeneius) - MLife

Locale: Nuevo Mexico
"Lightweight Internal Frame Packs: a State of the Market Report - Part 1C: Main Bag & Comfort" on 09/17/2010 17:30:06 MDT Print View

I think the BPL Absaroka surely should have made it's way in Roger's hands and into this SOTMR considering the "shoe fits" the criterium, or does BPL have a no BPL Gear review policy on their website? I can't remember...anyone? It would have been nice to see the densely shrouded veil of mystery and unanswered questions about the Absaroka be lifted after what has seemed to take a long time to materialize.

Anyways, I'm really looking forward to the 2nd installment in Part 2, the ULA Camino is the pack that has my interest peaked the most. The panel loading design of the ULA Camino (48oz.) sets it apart from the other packs and I'd also like to see where all that weight is coming from, it's listed as being 12oz. heavier than the Circuit, which in itself is quite a large and relatively "heavy" pack by my tastes. If the ULA Camino could only drop into the sub-2lb. range, as it is the weight makes me scratch my head. The Camino (3,600cu in.) is 1 oz. heavier than the 4,600 cu in. Catalyst, arguably their biggest hauler. Huh? Anyone have the ULA Camino yet or care to explain where the weight is coming from?

Doug Linker
(Linker) - F

Locale: Southern Ontario
yep on 09/17/2010 17:39:39 MDT Print View

yep-bladders are stupid! -imagine that from a Canadian- where's my finger smiley? - go BPL!

Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Re: yep on 09/17/2010 17:41:51 MDT Print View

Eugene, you are correct. BPL does not review its own products.....if I remember correctly, that is.

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife

Locale: Gateway to Columbia River Gorge
Lightweight Internal Frame Packs: a State of the Market Report - Part 1C: on 09/17/2010 18:27:50 MDT Print View

Eugene, if you're interested in a lighter panel loading pack that does have a frame, check out the Six Moon Designs Traveler. It's just under 2 lbs. with the "optional" (mandatory, IMHO) aluminum stays. It and the similar Starlite are not being reviewed because, since the stays are removable, BPL evidently considers them "frameless" even though they comfortably support as much weight as the ULA packs.

Edited by hikinggranny on 09/17/2010 18:30:36 MDT.

John Nausieda
(Meander) - MLife

Locale: PNW
You want to be an astronaut on 09/17/2010 19:47:26 MDT Print View

You nailed it right out of The Right Stuff" a monkey's going to make the first flight". And maybe that's what Tang was made of.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Responsiblity on 09/18/2010 02:59:05 MDT Print View

Hi Charles

> the only thing I am wishing to hold Roger to, his public word.
No worries, but I am at a bit of a loss to work out what you mean here? I am very happy to defend any public comment I have made, but which one needs defending?

> a little bit of tough love when he prognosticates to an independent bunch
'tough love'??? You have not seen a real Internet Flame War! (And won't, not in the BPL Forums anyhow.)
I do have a very thick hide you know ... :-)

> the writers always turn non-responsive or defensive when people legitimately
> question their published work.
Not me, mate!
I have been enjoying the comments. Maybe I haven't responded to every single one, but that would seem to be far worse - even paranoid?

OK, we have a very small number of people who have taken exception to my use of the word 'stupid' in the context of bladder sleeves. I wonder what percentage of the overall BPL readership is represented here? Not a large percentage I suspect. But, it's a free world: comment away.

Should I be afraid to express my opinion in an article I write? Nope, and neither should any one else.

Cheers

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Commonwealth style... on 09/18/2010 03:59:19 MDT Print View

Hi Dean

True, very true. There ARE significant style differences between Australia and America. Australians are, as you suggest, a whole lot more blunt. I get reminded of this at regular intervals, and then forget again. :-)

Cheers

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: _ on 09/18/2010 04:01:29 MDT Print View

> Surely someone who spends so much time in the vicious Australian scrub would know...
I make my own trousers as well, and stuff does NOT fall out of the pockets on them.

cheers

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Side pockets and water intake on 09/18/2010 04:03:31 MDT Print View

Hi mark

> Even in the Arctic, active humans should hydrate more often than that (2 hrs)

Citation to published scientific work to support that?

Bear in mind that we do have the counter-evidence that many walkers do only drink every few hours - and go just great.

Cheers

Jon McConachie
(hyker) - MLife

Locale: Sierra Nevada
2 hour hydration timers? on 09/18/2010 09:06:26 MDT Print View

Oh no, now we need 2 hour hydration timers!!!!

Comparative research articles are useful, I think that having subjective input included is a very valuable addition to the data.

Roger's viewpoint is shaped by how he uses a pack, what he stuffs in it and where he goes when wearing it.
Roger has his opinions as do the rest of us, use them as data points in how you choose a pack to suit your needs.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Opinionated Reviews Have Their Place on 09/18/2010 10:25:43 MDT Print View

I much prefer opinionated reviews to some of the mainstream ones that mainly list out features and are written just too carefully to offend no one. Why? Because the opinionated ones will regularly get me "comparing and contrasting" with my own style -- and help determine whether the gear piece will work well for me.

Edited by ben2world on 09/18/2010 10:29:09 MDT.

Eugene Smith
(Eugeneius) - MLife

Locale: Nuevo Mexico
"Lightweight Internal Frame Packs: a State of the Market Report - Part 1C: Main Bag & Comfort" on 09/18/2010 10:47:51 MDT Print View

Roger has his opinions as do the rest of us, use them as data points in how you choose a pack to suit your needs.

Exactly, we all should do our own thing and find our own way. In the instance of Part 1C I'll use his opinions/experience in the report to educate myself on the design features found amongst the various internal packs of the world that I don't have access to or don't care to try. Rogers opinions/experiences also further confirm my own preferences and feature choices in an UL pack, and that the method in which I hydrate is simple, sound, and has been successful for me.

I'm thankful my trips don't require me having to bushwhack on a regular basis, shoulder pocketless packs made out of heavier denier nylon, rely on heavy internal framed systems, and adhere to hydration practices that seem to defy common sense and my idea of what's logical. But I sure as hell enjoy reading accounts of individuals who do! When a majority of my mass in weight consists of water, water being the main transporter of numerous vitals, glucose, electrolytes, and oxygen, "every 2 hours or so at the most" just isn't going to cut it for me and I prefer an UL pack that facilitates efficient hydration for me. Dare I say I want my body to perform at it's best when I'm hiking on or off the trail.

todd harper
(funnymoney) - MLife

Locale: Sunshine State
Re: Re: Opinionated Reviews Have Their Place on 09/18/2010 12:03:37 MDT Print View

"Why? Because the opinionated ones will regularly get me "comparing and contrasting" with my own style -- and help determine whether the gear piece will work well for me."

EXACTLY!!!! Thanks Ben.

Todd

John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: Re: Side pockets and water intake on 09/18/2010 12:21:28 MDT Print View

In the USA, the most referenced article on fluid replacement (before, during, after) is the position stand from the American College of Sports Medicine.
http://tinyurl.com/23gvbq5 (pdf file, 196 KB)

There are numerous websites that reference that information, admittedly aimed more at runners, but still good information. In that article is the recommendation to replace fluids at the rate of sweating, for optimal performance (avoiding >2% body weight loss from water deficit).

"The goal of drinking during exercise is to prevent excessive dehydration (>2% BW loss from water deficit) and excessive changes in electrolyte balance to avert compromised exercise performance. The amount and rate of fluid replacement depends upon the individual sweating rate, exercise duration, and opportunities to drink. Individuals should periodically drink (as opportunities allow) during exercise, if it is expected they will become excessively dehydrated. Care should be taken in determining fluid replacement rates, particularly in prolonged exercise lasting greater than 3 h. The longer the exercise duration the greater the cumulative effects of slight mismatches between fluid needs and replacement, which can excessive dehydration or dilutional hyponatremia." (typo, word left out, in last sentence I think)

"It is difficult to recommend a specific fluid and electrolyte replacement schedule because of different exercise tasks (metabolic requirements, duration, clothing, equipment), weather conditions, and other factors (e.g., genetic predisposition, heat acclimatization and training status) influencing a person`s sweating rate and sweat electrolyte concentrations."

BOTTOM LINE: NEVER TELL ANYONE HOW THEY SHOULD HYDRATE THEMSELVES.

Edited by jshann on 09/18/2010 12:23:51 MDT.

Jason Elsworth
(jephoto) - M

Locale: New Zealand
Lightweight Internal Frame Packs: a State of the Market Report - Part 1C: Main Bag & Comfort on 09/18/2010 14:53:34 MDT Print View

I have only used a bladder system on one multi day hike and if anything I think I over hydrated, which can also be problematic. However, when I used to have my water bottle in my pack and only drunk at rest stops I think I probably under hydrated. I have settled on having water bottle holders on my shoulder straps and this works for me. I am also experimenting with Perpetuem, which supposedly doesn't work well in a bladder system.

I know what to expect from Roger and enjoy his reviewing style. It isn't the way I would do it, but variety is the spice of life etc.

Charles S. Forstall
(csforstall) - F

Locale: The Appalachian Foothills of TN
Re: Re: Responsiblity on 09/18/2010 15:07:23 MDT Print View

Roger

I am not suggesting that you do not share your opinion. What I want you to realize that the manner in which you chose to phrase your opinion matters. Especially for someone in your position of influence.

I am suggesting and imploring you to write your opinion into your articles in a more off handed manner that doesn't just happen to question or insult some of your readerships' intelligence or their choices'. I think more then just a minority would agree with that. I would never have vocalized if you had the tact to acknowledge, in your writing, the fact that some folk actually might use a system that's different from yours. You're a smart guy Roger, I thought you might understand that you trap more flies with sugar then vinegar.

You finally owned up, I a way I suppose. I guess I found the "negativity" that you bemoaned early and often as a direct result of your choice of language. I felt it was a rather obvious and that you really had no room to bemoan commenter's "negativity" as you yourself touched it off at start with your original language. That's what I am getting at with the idea of a writer's responsibility, your words have more effect then you give them credit for.

Obviously I don't know you as well as you suppose I do. Strangely, you suggest that I should by your most recent response. I quite honestly don't know what to tell you. In general, I try and take people here and elsewhere at their word, or by what they say or write. I don't normally live or work with you so appealing to your personality doesn't help either of us much at all.

Now if I already known such things about you, perhaps I might have just gone on my jolly way with no harm and no foul. But that's not how the Internet works. I'm here and you're there, and I can't discern who you are as a person through a couple articles and a few forum posts. So please don't expect me to know how thick you skin might or might not be.

I am asking that you realize that you will be repeatedly commented on in a similar vein by other joe-ultralights who don't know you or your personality. They take you at your word for what you decided to write. I am only offering this as advise that might improve your readership and stop this pointless re-testing of your skin's thickness in what seems to be a perpetual theme here.

Soldiers aren't the only ones who can be too rough around the edges in both word and action.

Peace.

Edited by csforstall on 09/18/2010 15:38:31 MDT.

Cas Berentsen
(P9QX) - MLife
de-hydration and water intake on 09/18/2010 15:30:01 MDT Print View

From intro [1] ”Similarly, it has been documented that minor dehydration (i.e., -1 to -2% of body weight) augments core temperature and cardiovascular strain that the increase in these variables is directly related to the thismagnitude of dehydration accrued during prolonged exercise and that the optimal rate of rehydration approximates the rate of sweat production [2].”

From [3]: “Healthy older subjects may be more prone to dehydration than their younger counterparts because of a blunted thirst sensation leading to a reduced fluid intake ([4], [5])”

[1] further states that one should keep drinking on par with sweating rate and in excess of sweating rate in hypo hydrated state.

Refs
[1] ARMSTRONG, MARESH et al (1997), “Thermal and circulatory responses during exercise: effects of hypohydration, dehydration, and water intake”, J Appl Physiol 82:2028-2035, 1997.

[2] Montain, S. J., and E. F. Coyle (1992). “The influence of graded dehydration on hyperthermia and cardiovascular drift during exercise”. J. Appl. Physiol. 73: 1340–1350.

[3] P. N. Ainslie et al (2002) ,” Energy balance, metabolism, hydration, and performance during strenuous hill walking: the effect of age“ J Appl Physiol 93:714-723, doi:10.1152/japplphysiol.01249.2001

[4] Kenney LW and Chiu P. “Influence of age on thirst and fluid intake.” Med Sci Sports Exerc 33: 1524–1532, 2001

[5] Sawka MN and Montain (2000) “SJ. Fluid and electrolyte supplementation for exercise heat stress. Am J Clin Nutr 72: 564–572,”

Edited: 0h10 (GMT+1)
Edited: 10h48 typo on percentages updated

Edited by P9QX on 09/19/2010 02:49:38 MDT.

Charles S. Forstall
(csforstall) - F

Locale: The Appalachian Foothills of TN
Re: Re: Ok people, what gives? on 09/18/2010 16:38:25 MDT Print View

@Travis

You've got me completely confused.

quite an absolutist statement. While I agree that the chances of the bladder popping are very small, statements like this could benefit from the same criticism directed at the review.

Absolutist? I am hardly commenting from the left field of philosophy. My comments are directly from experience, and I was providing countervailing evidence. Now, as I have said in other points in this discussion I felt Roger's comments on hydration bladders are not backed up by any research or evidence. I am offering my own evidence to support my side, I am not sure why you think this is so wrong and "stand-offish" on our part.

This lack of research is rather unusual on Roger's part as he is one who always seems to research everything, but when it comes to hydration bladders he appears to have not done his homework. I'm not asking for much when I ask Roger to produce data that backs up his statement. You Travis are the one who is demanding absolution of the original writer.

Again, I'm not against constructive criticism, but many people in this thread took on a viewpoint that is quite stand-offish

I must ask you Travis, since when has it been "stand-offish" to ask for evidence?

I think you are off your rocker if you don't take every statement with grain of salt. And its not asking much for Roger to proffer evidence to back his up his claims. How is that not constructive? Why should I absolve the writer if his claims on a small part of his article are indeed incorrect?

Hamish McHamish
(El_Canyon) - M

Locale: USA
_ on 09/18/2010 17:19:42 MDT Print View

>> Surely someone who spends so much time in the vicious Australian scrub would know...

>I make my own trousers as well, and stuff does NOT fall out of the pockets on them.

This is exactly the kind of thing you do that irks people, man. Just write in your review "I use homemade pants with well designed secure pockets, thus I don't find much use for zip pouches on a pack's waistbelt. Those zip pouches may be more valuable if your pants pockets aren't too secure". Geez.

Edited by El_Canyon on 09/18/2010 17:22:02 MDT.

Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Re: Re: Re: Ok people, what gives? on 09/18/2010 18:20:21 MDT Print View

Charles,

"Absolutist": noun- any theory holding that values, principles, etc., are absolute and not relative, dependent, or changeable.

Even though Roger was giving his personal thoughts on water bladders, albeit provokingly worded, you counter with a statement that is full of absolutes. Your posts are also filled with the same type of rhetoric you complain about in the review.

As far as being stand-offish...Asking for evidence is not. The way people went about it is.

"I think you are off your rocker if you don't take every statement with grain of salt."
---back at ya. Works both ways. You and anyone may certainly ask anyone else to back up claims, but your tone in some statements was again, no different than what many were complaining about in the review.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: water intake on 09/18/2010 18:36:21 MDT Print View

Hi John

> he most referenced article on fluid replacement
Thank you for that. A valuable scientific contribution. I do agree with your conclusion, that each person is different.

> prevent excessive dehydration (>2% BW loss from water deficit)
By way of reference, for everyone else to consider: I weigh ~64 kg. 2% of that is 1.28 kg or 1.28 L of water. There is absolutely NO WAY that I can drink that much water in the space of 2.5 hours of walking. Can you? Should you? (The answer to the last is No: you can kill yourself that way.)

* Typically we have breakfast and a good drink. Then we walk for 2.5 hours and stop for morning tea/coffee Total fluid intake at morning tea would be about 0.4 L each.
* Then we walk for 2.5 hrs to lunch, and drink maybe another 0.4 L each.
* Then we walk to snack time and drink maybe another 0.4 L each.
* Finally we walk to camp time. Over dinner and the evening we might take in about 0.8 L each - but that includes all the water I put in dinner etc.

How do I know this? Because I use 1.25 L PET bottles for water storage and carriage, and over the years I have carefully monitored our water consumption so we can camp on top of mountains without having to carry excessive amounts of water. I am not saying this to prove that PET bottles are the best; rather I am trying to explain why I can say we don't need to be sucking on a teat as we walk.
(OK, that last bit is inflammatory! So take it as it is intended, with a grin. Remember: I am a highly biased Australian.)

Cheers

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Re: water intake on 09/18/2010 18:42:29 MDT Print View

" I am a highly biased Australian.)"

Reminds me of that other highly biased Australian -- Mel Gibson. :)

John Nausieda
(Meander) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Lightweight Internal Frame Packs: a State of the Market Report - Part 1C: Main Bag & Comfort" on 09/18/2010 18:46:00 MDT Print View

This is getting pretty old fast. When you come right down to it Roger is probably one of the top 5 reviewers at BPL and his Engineering background sets him apart as well as his ability to build gear. His pack and tent are at odds with most other thinking but I admire that . From my own perspective I'm still not convinced that external frame packs aren't superior in concept and sometime execution and I've been backpacking since 1972. His take on cooking in tents and Co2 has been eye opening. I'm still waiting for the ultimate article on pot circumference to complete the others. Let me put it this way-I've been tuned up by him on occasion but so what I can take it , but frankly I think BPL is lucky to have him. Consider that Ray Jardine came from a similar background and turned Backpacking upside down and then got trashed at BPL for being a mystic and weirdo. Well, artists who are engineers are the antennae of the race pardon me Ezra Pound, and you might not be so light or different or quilted or tarped without takes like this.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: de-hydration and water intake on 09/18/2010 18:47:01 MDT Print View

Hi Cas

> ”Similarly, it has been documented that minor dehydration (i.e., 21 to 22% of
> body weight) augments core temperature and cardiovascular strain

Access to ref 2 requires a subscription, which I don't have.

But I really do hope you have a typo in your quote! dehydration by 21% of body weight means I would have lost over 12 kg of water! I'd be dead, most likely.

Cheers

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Re: Re: water intake on 09/18/2010 18:48:34 MDT Print View

> Reminds me of that other highly biased Australian -- Mel Gibson. :)

Don't know him. What does he do?

Cheers

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Lightweight Internal Frame Packs: a State of the Market Report - Part 1C: Main Bag & Comfort" on 09/18/2010 18:55:24 MDT Print View

Hi John

> I'm still not convinced that external frame packs aren't superior in concept
Ahem. The packs I make do have an external frame ... :-)

> I'm still waiting for the ultimate article on pot circumference
It's coming!
Yes, a lot of the metrology has been done (you can thank Tony Beasley for that), and the results are quite interesting. Some anticipated, some not. Stay tuned. No pre-releases though.

Cheers

John Nausieda
(Meander) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Lightweight Internal Frame Packs: a State of the Market Report - Part 1C: Main Bag & Comfort" on 09/18/2010 19:05:43 MDT Print View

Yeah Roger I noticed . Your remark about your build and fit made sense or at least threw off the partisans. For me it was just history and luck I ended up with an expedition frame that is freestanding and very light. I've since bought other even lighter frames built of PVC that look promising . Better ventilation too. The jury is still out. I have a Mountainsmith ghost and will try my Daughter's Golite Odyssey soon as our torso's are the same. To mangle Melville, " Your gear is on i'ts passage out and not a voyage complete"

Tony Beasley
(tbeasley) - MLife

Locale: Pigeon House Mt from the Castle
Re: Re: Lightweight Internal Frame Packs: a State of the Market Report - Part 1C: Main Bag & Comfort" on 09/18/2010 19:26:03 MDT Print View

> I'm still waiting for the ultimate article on pot circumference
It's coming!
Yes, a lot of the metrology has been done (you can thank Tony Beasley for that), and the results are quite interesting. Some anticipated, some not. Stay tuned. No pre-releases though.

Its coming, as of this week I am taking a days leave per week to get the article finished.

A lot of people on this forum do not realize how much time and effort can go into some of these articles, my last two articles made me 20c/hour and that does not take into account the costs involved, the pot article is going to be similar. I am sure many other authors of BPL article have similar experiences, it is my hobby.

To the people doing the criticizing, if do not like they way Roger has presented his pack review you are welcome to do one yourselves.

Tony

John Nausieda
(Meander) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Lightweight Internal Frame Packs: a State of the Market Report - Part 1C: Main Bag & Comfort" on 09/18/2010 20:00:35 MDT Print View

As far as I'm concerned the installment about pots circumference is a bigger deal than the next Stephen Spielberg, and I wish it had that budget. Ive placed my bets with a wide REI set with bottom ribs to keep the sliding down. it's the windscreen coverage and airgap I'm waiting to adjust. And I agree . Don't ask your walkers to take a hike unless you are going to go to bat. I think turnabout would be fair or foul play. A review of Aussie and Britpacks by some Southern Caliphs and Gramweenies?

Edited by Meander on 09/18/2010 20:07:24 MDT.

Charles S. Forstall
(csforstall) - F

Locale: The Appalachian Foothills of TN
Re: Re: Re: Re: Ok people, what gives? on 09/18/2010 20:20:01 MDT Print View

Travis I still must disagree.

If you look closely at your definition you see that it begins "any theory." As I tried to make clear in my last post I was not basing my comments on "theory" so my statement could not be absolutist as it is not based on "any theory" but rather upon my direct observation.
(Roger's claim as worded is strictly theoretical).

You are confusing "tone" with with the "burden of proof." You are welcome to tell me to tone down but it is no defense of the original question as you would have it.

One of my criticism of the initial language of the piece was that Roger made an unsupported claim. Still after all this, this matter has not been addressed. Rather I am called an "absolutist" for discussing actual experience that contrasts and refutes Roger's theoretical claim. See where I am going with this? You are committing a logical fallacy. Just becuase you don't like my tone that doesn't make my question any less valid.

See why I bring up radical transparency? I am trying to get Roger to account for his claim. Insofar he has not responded to this simple request for his evidence behind his contention, that, "bladders will burst when packed inside a pack."

OK so I myself made a mistake for echoing the tone that was used in the original article. I'm sorry if I offended you.

Now may we actually get the evidence behind Roger's claim that a bladder with burst when it is packed inside of a rucksack? All this mess goes away if one simple request is fulfilled.

Roger made a claim, we want proof, simple. I think the tone you hate so much Travis grows and grows as the orginal question gets brushed under the rug and everyone circles their wagons. This entire diologue wouldn't have ever gone this far if Roger had done one of two things.

1) Admited me might have made a mistake and that he has no proof of his claim. There are enough members here who DO use them. Either way, the members here would not hold it against him for admitting he made a mistake. Hey none of us are perfect, we understand.

2) He provided evidence of his claim that it really is stupid to put a bladder in your pack. I.e. he tells us how on one or several trips though the brush he and his hiking partner both burst their hydration bladders' while they rode shotgun inside the pack.

Thats it. That's all I've been asking for this entire time. 1) or 2) that it. Writer's responsibility, Accountability. Whatever you want to call it. That what the Internet is all about. If you say in publicly in the square own up to your claims. Travis, I am sorry if you feel I am the one that is out of line. Perhaps we have different concepts of personal accountability, I don't know. But if you said it, you own it, you account for it. Call me out of line all you like, but that doesn't free the original writer from the burden of proof.

Edited by csforstall on 09/18/2010 20:22:03 MDT.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Re: Re: Re: water intake on 09/18/2010 20:39:05 MDT Print View

In the world of running, if a runner gets dehydrated to the point of 2.5% of body weight, that is considered a big warning. If 5%, then that is a huge warning not to continue until it can be overcome.

--B.G.--

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Ok people, what gives? on 09/18/2010 22:26:49 MDT Print View

Hi Charles

I think we might have to agree to disagree.

For the record, I did not say that a bladder WILL burst when packed inside a rucksack. I said that a bladder inside MY pack stuffed full of MY gear might burst:

'When I fill my pack with gear the pack is generally fairly tightly done up, to keep all the gear secure and stop the pack from flopping around. The idea of having a flexible bladder of water stuffed down inside the back of the pack being crushed by the rest of my gear seems to me to be the height of stupidity: there is every chance of it bursting under some minor extra impact.'

Yes, I do know of one case where that happened. That was some time ago and I do not remember the details. I have also had other containers inside my pack damaged by hard objects (pitons, I think). But if a bladder works for you, go for it.

Cheers

Arapiles .
(Arapiles) - M

Locale: Melbourne
Re: Commonwealth style... on 09/19/2010 00:33:54 MDT Print View

"Another thing that the mass of Americans here should remember before going fully off the handle about his review is that Roger is from a Commonwealth nation. I'm unsure if this is universal but over the years I have noticed that there is a certian style used to express opinions for Commonwealth members that Americans find abrupt, condescending, and arbitrary"

May I point out that here are also differences in personality amongst people from Commonwealth countries? Some may be abrupt and others may be almost like Uriah Heep.

Well, since we're talking about reviews - and cultural differences - and this is a comment I've made here before - a lot of the user reviews on this site read like the author is submitting reviews for Outside (which I've subscribed to for about 20 years). It seems like no-one wants to give any item less than 5 out of 5. The classic case in point was the review of a Patagonia Houdini which gave it a 5/5 but went on to note that it wasn't particularly breathable: since breathability is the key point of a windshirt (anything can be windproof - windproof and breathable is the issue) wouldn't that automatically mean that it wasn't a 5? The result of this is that I don't check reviews on this website because rather than being warts and all there's barely a wart in view - but in contrast, if you check the reviews on Outdoorsmagic they can be hilariously biting - and far, far more open about a product's failings. And if I'm going to spend a large chunk of my declining salary on gear then I don't want to buy a lemon on the basis of some puff piece that's been copied from the manufacturer's sales copy.

Re the bottom of packs: I think that angled bottoms are a sign of good design - Macpacs always had them - disagree with Roger on that and I also like big mesh side pockets but prefer solid zipped ones on the back. But they do need to have a "3D" design to be useful when the main pack is full.

Edited by Arapiles on 09/19/2010 04:59:33 MDT.

Arapiles .
(Arapiles) - M

Locale: Melbourne
Re: Re: Canadians are nice on 09/19/2010 00:36:51 MDT Print View

"They're universally so polite and considerate that I want to strangle them."

Us Australians are like that too.

But it has to be said that the Canadians aren't really members of the Commonwealth - they don't play cricket.

Edited by Arapiles on 09/19/2010 00:46:26 MDT.

Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Ok people, what gives? on 09/19/2010 00:45:01 MDT Print View

Charles,
No, nobody has offended me here, including you. No feelings have really been hurt. One of the major shortcomings of indirect contact (internet) is the complete lack of personal delivery. It's amazing how the way a person actually says something can differ completely from how words on a page make it seem like it comes across.

I do appreciate your staunch defense of your position, and I shall stick to mine. However, I also believe much of the debate is simply due to the communicative restrictiveness of faceless technology.

Rhetoric can really get in the way of progress, be it intentional or not, on either side of the fence. History has yet to teach that to politicians.

How did George Gershwin put it? "You say potato, I say potatho. Let's call the whole thing off."


By the way, you have to admit that Roger is probably having quite the time watching the back and forth banter in this thread. I can imagine him, much like my fiancee sits down and reads the comics every morning, sitting down to a cup of coffee reading our interplay and having a good laugh at our expense!

No matter. I do the same thing when I read the news every morning and the Democrats and Republicans sound like a bunch of uneducated, whiny, spoiled, brats yelling back and forth at each other.

Robert Cowman
(rcowman) - F

Locale: Canadian Rockies
Canadians on 09/19/2010 00:54:40 MDT Print View

It`s too cold to wack a weird ball with a funny looking paddle...

And personally I hate bladders. I have had them pop in may pack. weight Isn`t a factor in that its whats pushing against it. Opinionated Views are very informative I find. Working in the industry, all they do is sell staff on what features they add. Most of the sales reps spend the whole time talking about features but pack fitting maybe 10 min. I had a Mountain Hardwear PK wear we were never told how to fit a pack. Pretty awesome for new staff, `heres what the pack has` fitting it doesn`t mean much...

Edited by rcowman on 09/19/2010 00:55:37 MDT.

Larry Dyer
(veriest1) - F

Locale: Texas
Wowzers on 09/19/2010 01:44:36 MDT Print View

I didn't even realize this was a "flame-war" until someone said it was. I thought it was just opinionated discussion and I was enjoying every bit of it. I found the various differences to be enlightening and cause for much self reflection on my own gear choices and how I've been doing things. Have I changed anything because of it? Not yet, however, I have had my eyes opened to what works for others in other parts of the world. These differences I will keep in mind as I outfit myself and pack on future trips.

I was in no way offended by the article. In fact I enjoyed it better than the lame-o wishy washy style of writing that tries not to offend anyone. I hope Roger continues to post informative and opinionated pieces as they provide insight as to not just how something worked for the author but also a glimpse at why it worked.

Cas Berentsen
(P9QX) - MLife
dehydration on 09/19/2010 02:52:11 MDT Print View

hi roger

lol, yes 15kg of body water loss doesn't sound healthy
I corrected typo

Tony Beasley
(tbeasley) - MLife

Locale: Pigeon House Mt from the Castle
Re: Lightweight Internal Frame Packs: a State of the Market Report - Part 1C: Main Bag & Comfort" on 09/19/2010 04:13:12 MDT Print View

Hi John,

>As far as I'm concerned the installment about pots circumference is a bigger deal than the next Stephen Spielberg, and I wish it had that budget. Ive placed my bets with a wide REI set with bottom ribs to keep the sliding down

I wish I had the Spielberg budget too, if you want to send me one of these ribbed bottom REI pots I would be happy to include it in the pots size tests.

>it's the windscreen coverage and airgap I'm waiting to adjust.

maybe sometime soon ???

> A review of Aussie and Britpacks by some Southern Caliphs and Gramweenies?

I would too but good luck finding any Aussie designed pack that is lightweight by BPL standards.

Tony

folec r
(folecr) - M
Re: Re: water intake on 09/19/2010 08:57:15 MDT Print View

>> prevent excessive dehydration (>2% BW loss from water deficit)
>By way of reference, for everyone else to consider: I weigh ~64 kg. 2% of that is 1.28 kg or 1.28 L of water. There is absolutely NO WAY that I can drink that much water in the space of 2.5 hours of walking. Can you? Should you? (The answer to the last is No: you can kill yourself that way.)

Not true. Hike in high desert? That's exactly how much water was right for me when at ~13000 ft in the Eastern Sierra. Similar body weight. It was 85F (30C) outside.

As mentioned earlier : individuals are different. Environments are different. Maybe someone drank too much vodka the previous night? Maybe something else...

Drink enough to stay hydrated.

Edited by folecr on 09/19/2010 09:00:48 MDT.

David Chenault
(DaveC) - BPL Staff - F

Locale: Crown of the Continent
dehydration and hyponatremia on 09/19/2010 11:01:24 MDT Print View

While it is indeed possible to kill yourself by drinking too much, data suggests that most of the time the fluid volume is not the culprit, but rather a lack of electrolyte consumption.*

The aforementioned ACSM position stand measures fluid loss rates for various sports. Assuming that backpacking is more like tennis and running than any of the other examples used, at least when going uphill, we can assume that sweat rates of 1-2 liters an hour are quite common while hiking. Add to this the work of Rehrer et al**, which while noting the substantial variability between individuals still seems to suggest that the rate at which fluids can be absorbed via the stomach and small intestine is usually a good bit below 1 liter an hour.

These articles seem to suggest (individual variations make it difficult to say so with statistical significance) that gradual and sustained fluid intake promotes gastric emptying: ie you will hydrate better and be less like to bloat and become hyponatremic if fluid consumption is not intensely episodic.





*Consensus Statement of the 1st International Exercise-Associated Hyponatremia, Consensus Development Conference, Cape Town, South Africa 2005. Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine. 15(4):208-213, July 2005.

**Rehrer et al. Exercise and Training Effects on Gastric Emptying of Carbohydrat Beverages. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise 21:5.

Mina Loomis
(elmvine) - MLife

Locale: Central Texas
Water bladders on 09/19/2010 11:48:20 MDT Print View

I offer a specific experience of exactly how a hydration bladder can fail in a pack. My husband wanted a neatsy cool Camelbak bladder for his pack for our Wonderland Trail hike. So I got him one and he installed it in his Atmos 65 pack. And he packed it all pretty tightly, all the way up to the top. (Yes he brings more clothes and gear than I do but does not learn well from me lecturing...) For a few days all was well. Then the leaking began. What happened? The Camelbak (I won't speak for other brands but some others are similar designs) has a wide round fill-opening at the top, with a rigid collar that makes filling and cleaning easier. When he packed the pack tightly to the top with the bladder only partially full (because, say, he was rummaging in the pack for something and did not have occasion at that point to top off the partially-drained bladder), the collar, with stuff pressed against it from above, acted as a "cookie cutter" against the opposite soft plastic surface, and eventually it cut through. No effect until after the next time the bladder was refilled and the pack repacked to the top. Then he got this mysterious seeping of water onto the contents of his pack.

He threw the neatsy cool Camelbak into a trash can at the next road intersection, and accepted one of my two 1L Aquafina bottles for the rest of the hike.

Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Re: Water bladders on 09/19/2010 12:10:12 MDT Print View

All this talk of how a bladder can fail *inside* a pack, and I totally forgot of how they can fail *outside* the pack!

My finacee had her Platypus laying out next to her pack after we had set up camp. We went off to play in the lake, and came back to a chewed bladder. Some deer had its way with it and put a few small holes right near the seams. That was on day 1 of 6. Luckily, I was able to repair it with seam grip and superglue, but the rest of the trip we were really worried about it leaking again.

Eugene Smith
(Eugeneius) - MLife

Locale: Nuevo Mexico
"Lightweight Internal Frame Packs: a State of the Market Report - Part 1C: Main Bag & Comfort" on 09/19/2010 13:12:57 MDT Print View

If a person chooses to use a hydration bladder inside their pack there shouldn't really be ANY major concern for it excessively leaking or bursting onto the contents inside the pack assuming that person has used safe practice and placed all moisture sensitive items inside a waterproof/resistant barrier such as a cuben sac, pack liner, trashbag, drysac, etc. If in the event the bladder does happen to malfunction by user error, product defect, or what have you, the only thing getting doused in water is the main pack body and bottom and perhaps a few less vital items. It's easy to blame a hydration pack for wet gear and write it off as a silly method, however, if gear shouldn't be getting wet in the first place then it should be protected accordingly. Bottles are excellent and work for some, others don't like the fiddle factor on the trail using a bottle and prefer the simplicity of use while hiking found in a bladder. Both methods have a certain set of precautionary measures, and simple techniques that when followed should put no gear at risk. In the end, sufficient practice and application of both hydration methods should find the person proficient at acquiring water, storing, and hydrating along the way. I prefer bottles and would likely find using a hydration bladder fussy and cumbersome, mostly due to my lack of experience with it and nothing else.

Lynn Tramper
(retropump) - F

Locale: The Antipodes of La Coruna
Re: "Lightweight Internal Frame Packs: a State of the Market Report - Part 1C: Main Bag & Comfort" on 09/19/2010 14:56:34 MDT Print View

PLEASE don't lump us Kiwis in the same category of manners as those rude Australians!!!

;)

Though we are, of course, as opinionated as anyone else on the planet.

And come to think of it, many Indians (as in the subcontinent) are very polite, at least to your face. I've met a lot of really polite British people too. And many others. To be fair, Roger is always polite. He can tell you your choices are stupid or silly, and then say *cheers* :)

I like bladders, end of story. They solved an ongoing problem for me in terms of migraines, which can be triggered by very subtle states of dehydration. However, I do recognise, peer-reviewed research aside, that heat and drought adapted humans can go a long time without drinking. Just think of the Kalahari bush-people...everyone is different.

Edited by retropump on 09/19/2010 15:20:23 MDT.

Robert Blean
(blean) - MLife

Locale: San Jose -- too far from Sierras
Re: Re: water intake on 09/19/2010 15:38:02 MDT Print View

>> prevent excessive dehydration (>2% BW loss from water deficit)
> By way of reference, for everyone else to consider: I weigh ~64 kg. 2% of that is 1.28 kg or 1.28 L of water.
> There is absolutely NO WAY that I can drink that much water in the space of 2.5 hours of walking.
> Can you? Should you? (The answer to the last is No: you can kill yourself that way.)

Roger,

Different folks have different needs. Perhaps what you say is true for you.

In my case, however, when doing a strenuous workout at the gym or when hiking vigorously in warm weather, I can easily drink 1L/hr of electrolyte drink (which includes about 6% carbohydrates).

A more common rate for summer hikes would be 1L per 2 hrs -- still a rate that you say would kill me. Since I am here and posting this, I guess it did not kill me :)

-- MV

Edited by blean on 09/19/2010 15:39:33 MDT.

Lynn Tramper
(retropump) - F

Locale: The Antipodes of La Coruna
Re: Re: "Lightweight Internal Frame Packs: a State of the Market Report - Part 1C: Main Bag & Comfort" on 09/19/2010 15:41:47 MDT Print View

I just came across this bit of research, and it made me think of this *discussion*:

"We Only Trust Experts If They Agree With Us

We only consider scientists to be experts when their argument is in line with our own previously held beliefs.

We think we trust experts. But a new study finds that what really influences our opinions, more than listening to any expert, is our own beliefs.

Researchers told study subjects about a scientific expert who accepted climate change as real. Subjects who thought that commerce can be environmentally damaging were ready to accept the scientist as an expert. But those who came into the study believing that economic activity could not hurt the environment were 70 percent less likely to accept that the scientist really was an expert.

Then the researchers flipped the situation. They told different subjects that the same hypothetical scientist, with the same accreditation, was skeptical of climate change. Now those who thought that economic activity cannot harm the environment accepted the expert, and the other group was 50 percent less likely to believe in his expertise. The study was published in the Journal of Risk Research.

The investigators found similar results for various other issues, from nuclear waste disposal to gun control. Said one of the authors, “People tend to keep a biased score of what experts believe, counting a scientist as an 'expert' only when that scientist agrees with the position they find culturally congenial."

David Chenault
(DaveC) - BPL Staff - F

Locale: Crown of the Continent
bladder durability on 09/19/2010 15:43:28 MDT Print View

If you own an MSR Dromedary bag, here's a neat trick:

Fill it mostly full, put on the lid. Take it into the yard, put it on the ground, and leap upwards, landing on the bladder with both feet and your full weight. The lid will fly off, water will go everywhere, and the Dromedary will be unharmed.

I'd never use a mere Camelbak type bladder on a trip where loosing my water would be problematic.

Lynn Tramper
(retropump) - F

Locale: The Antipodes of La Coruna
Re: bladder durability on 09/19/2010 16:00:00 MDT Print View

I Use this bladder:

http://www.kathmandu.co.nz/Accessories/Active/60484/Hydration_Bladder_-_Widepac.html

And it appears to be as close to indestructible as any I've found.

Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Re: bladder durability on 09/19/2010 16:21:08 MDT Print View

David,
While that sounds like a neat trick, I don't think I'm going to try that! :)

I used the Dromlite 4L during a desert trip. I was glad to have the capacity and durabliliy.

Dondo .
(Dondo) - F

Locale: Colorado Rockies
Re: bladder durability on 09/19/2010 16:25:45 MDT Print View

I'll take your word for that, Dave. ;-). Having had several Platypus and Nalgene bladders spring a leak while in the backcountry, I really don't trust them anymore. Now I mostly use an exterior water bottle plus a Dromlite when I need to carry extra water.

Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Re: Re: bladder durability on 09/19/2010 16:48:26 MDT Print View

Dondo,
Could you describe the conditions surrounding your leaks? (terrain, temperature, placement in pack, location of leak on bladder, what exactly caused the leak, etc...)

Ken Thompson
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: Behind the Redwood Curtain
Re: bladder durability on 09/19/2010 16:57:45 MDT Print View

Shouldn't this subject be moved to a different thread since it has strayed so far from the article?

Lynn Tramper
(retropump) - F

Locale: The Antipodes of La Coruna
Re: Re: bladder durability on 09/19/2010 17:26:48 MDT Print View

"Shouldn't this subject be moved to a different thread since it has strayed so far from the article?"

Dunno. The article discusses the author's fear of bladder leaking in his pack, so it seems pretty relevant to me. I doubt that stomping on a bladder would break it (at least not the bladder I use, though camelbacks seem a lot less durable). However there is no doubt a sharp object could cause problems. More of an argument for careful packing than avoiding bladders IMHO.

Dondo .
(Dondo) - F

Locale: Colorado Rockies
Re: Re: Re: bladder durability on 09/19/2010 17:26:56 MDT Print View

Ken,is right. I'll start another thread on this.

Charles S. Forstall
(csforstall) - F

Locale: The Appalachian Foothills of TN
RE: Agree to Disagree on 09/20/2010 09:34:02 MDT Print View

I think we might have to agree to disagree.

Roger

I suppose thats what's best. However I will do so with a few caveats.

I will encourage you not to use such leading language (especially in the absence of data) in the future. Honestly for all the data you have developed it still was really out of character for you Roger to formulate a sentence with "might." I am sure you disagree, but I am leaving you with a friendly reminder. Some other new guy to this site is just as likely to cause another friendly scuffle over minutia. This is just the nature of the beast, another downside to this whole World Wide Web thing.


Travis

Yes, I agree that the Internet and text messaging is in many ways a limited form of communication.

Peace

Robert Blean
(blean) - MLife

Locale: San Jose -- too far from Sierras
A couple more comments on 09/20/2010 18:32:22 MDT Print View

1) I do not know whether is is cause-and-effect, or coincidence, but as I think back my serious bladder/tube use started when I took up using hiking poles (thus encumbering my hands). Just a thought.

2) Pants pockets -- I'm not going to argue for or against hipbelt pockets (though I have hung my gorp sack from my hipbelt for decades -- sort of a pocket, I guess). But I will argue against the idea of using pants pockets instead. I strongly dislike putting anything non-trivial in my pants pockets. Doing so just causes way too much drag.

--MV

Lowe Alpine
(lowealpine) - F
Re: Re: Re: Lightweight Internal Frame Packs: a State of the Market Report - Part 1C: Main Bag & Comfort on 09/21/2010 14:44:14 MDT Print View

Hi T-Funk,

Re: "I'd like to see a lighweight pack that is both top loading and panel loading." You should check out the Nanon products from Lowe Alpine - they balance weight and durability through the use of Dyneema material along with a side access (ok, so almost panel loading.)

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife

Locale: Gateway to Columbia River Gorge
Lightweight Internal Frame Packs: a State of the Market Report - Part 1C: on 09/21/2010 16:30:03 MDT Print View

We can argue all over the place about the utility of such things as pack lids, hydration bladders and side pockets, as we have been doing for 7 pages. IMHO, there's nothing wrong with the author's stating his own prejudices as long as he recognizes that contrary arguments have equal value in their own environment and at least tries not to let his own prejudices skew the upcoming ratings.

I personally want those outside pockets (tent on one side, water bottle and snacks on the other, rain gear on the front. I don't want a hydration bladder (my own personal prejudice) or a pack lid (adds weight). (Note that Mike C! is forever telling us to chop off our pack lids!) I really like going through the day without having to open up my pack. I am sure that if most of my backpacking were off-trail in devil's club and slide alder (the Pacific NW equivalent of Australia's bush), I would change my mind about pack pockets, especially mesh, in a hurry! I won't carry anything in my pants pockets; the pockets of women's pants, even those made for backpacking, are so shallow I'm scared of losing stuff out of them.

Not covered in the article, understandably so since the problem does not exist in Australia (lucky you!), is an extremely important issue for many US backpackers. Will the pack will hold a large bear canister (Bear Vault 500, Bearikade Expedition or Garcia 812)? More and more jurisdictions in the US require them (Grand Teton and Rocky Mountain National Parks started just this year, and Olympic National Park, which requires them in some areas, is discussing requiring them everywhere). Many backpacks won't hold a large size canister or will hold one only vertically,making it difficult to pack everything else. The answer can usually only be discovered by trial and error. Many US pack manufacturers are silent on this subject. Others state that the pack is "bear canister compatible" but don't mention the size of canister (the brands differ) or whether the pack will hold a large canister horizontally. The issue is important to me even though I do only one backpack per year where canisters are required. I can barely (pun not intended) squeeze a Bearikade Weekender horizontally into my pack (old model SMD Comet, since discontinued). The very slightly larger Bear Vault 500 won't go in horizontally, and obviously the largest Bearikade won't either.

It's obviously too late for Roger to include such info in his article, but it would be wonderful to have a future article surveying the pack vs. bear canister problem!

Edited by hikinggranny on 09/21/2010 16:39:03 MDT.

John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: Lightweight Internal Frame Packs: a State of the Market Report - Part 1C: on 09/21/2010 17:07:37 MDT Print View

On some future trip I'd like to try Rogers way of not using outside pockets to see what it's like.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Lightweight Internal Frame Packs: a State of the Market Report - Part 1C: on 09/21/2010 19:44:44 MDT Print View

Hi Mary

> Will the pack will hold a large bear canister
OOPS!
You are right: this question was never even considered. You are also right in guessing why, but that is a poor excuse. My apologies about this omission.

Hum - we will have to try to remedy that somehow, someday. Not sure how.

Perhaps you or someone else with experience in this area could tell me whether it is realistic to tie the empty canister onto the top of the pack - or even (shudder) sling it underneath? I am assuming the canisters themselves are not that heavy.

Cheers

Lynn Tramper
(retropump) - F

Locale: The Antipodes of La Coruna
Re: Re: Lightweight Internal Frame Packs: a State of the Market Report - Part 1C: on 09/21/2010 19:50:08 MDT Print View

"> Will the pack will hold a large bear canister"

If you give us the dimensions of the canisters you carry, I'm sure those of us who own these packs could work out if they will fit or not.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Bear Cannisters on 09/21/2010 20:11:45 MDT Print View

Roger,

This is a difficult thing to categorize. There are several brands, sizes and weights. Also, there are many best practices. Some people even carry them empty outside the pack, and then fill them up at the end of the day. Some can be carried under the top lid (in theory), and after actually trying it, they are slippery and move around. Many weigh over 2 lbs.

It probably needs to be a separate article. However when you look at the combinations of lets say 8 packs and 4 different canisters, there are a lot of combinations.

Dan Healy
(electricpanda)

Locale: Queensland
Re: backpack designs on 09/21/2010 20:53:30 MDT Print View

A lively discussion for sure...

however ...

Dale, ... noticed your water bottle attachment method as a singel loop of 3mm bungee cord around the top of your bottle.
Can I suggest another idea that was stolen off an adventure racing pack I use...
A single loop of 3mm bugee that goes around the top and bottom of the bottle. It is held securely even when jogging, is light, and very quick to use.

harness mounted water bottle

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife

Locale: Gateway to Columbia River Gorge
Bear canister details on 09/23/2010 20:21:58 MDT Print View

Most commonly used bear canisters--there are smaller ones, but these are the ones that can or do give problems when trying to get them into the pack:

Bear Vault 500 http://www.bearvault.com/bearvault_details.php

Wild Ideas Bearikade Weekender http://www.wild-ideas.net/b_weekender.html Not their largest size, but nearly as big as the Bear Vault 500 and a tight squeeze for my pack

Wild Ideas Bearikade Expedition http://www.wild-ideas.net/b_expedition.html

Garcia Backpackers Cache http://www.backpackerscache.com/products.asp

Edited by hikinggranny on 09/24/2010 17:48:27 MDT.

Einstein X
(EinsteinX) - F

Locale: The Netherlands
Re: Lightweight Internal Frame Packs: a State of the Market Report - Part 1C: Main Bag & Comfort on 10/07/2010 07:23:26 MDT Print View

Roger,

Since there are seven pages of comment, I did not take time to read all of them. I'm sure from reading only the first page that much has been said about water bladders. For what it's worth I'd like to add my comment.

In the time I was still working in an outdoor gear shop, some customers were also worried that the bladder might pop. For this reason we had a filled test model in our shop and we would always ask our customers to stand on the test bladder with both feet and their full weight. It never popped, so I guess it also won't by tightly packing the stuff in your pack.

Having said that, this test bladder survived only until my boss decided to actually jump onto it and indeed then it popped. It's unlikely that such misuse will ever happen in the field.

Then again I have had bladders develop leak holes after some extended use which will wet the inside of your pack. Also I once didn't tighten the hose well which drained water into my pack.

So as you said, YMMV.

Michiel

John G
(JohnG10) - F

Locale: Mid-Atlantic via Upstate NY
Opinionated on 11/11/2010 14:33:38 MST Print View

Since I am a relative newcomer to UL, and the type of person these articles may influence, I thought I'd chime in even though I'm late to the party.

I like articles that express what a reviewer didn't like and why. Even better are listings of what they think works better, or would like to see instead. Especially if the commnets espouse different gear packing or usage techniques / styles. Sometimes those comments give me good ideas to try ;)

I general, if a reviewer didn't say anything negative, I usually assume I can't trust their review since they may be too afraid to say something that would endanger thier relationship with the advertizers or are overly worried about what other forum members may say to be totally forthright...

If I just want to read reviews that don't say anything negative about a product, I can just read backpacker magazine's reviews.