Forum Index » Editor's Roundtable » Lightweight Internal Frame Packs: a State of the Market Report - Part 1C: Main Bag & Comfort


Display Avatars Sort By:
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