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Gorilla or Blast for PCT 2011
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Joshua Thomas

Locale: SE Michigan
Gorilla or Blast for PCT 2011 on 11/10/2010 11:46:36 MST Print View

I am planning a Thru-hike of the PCT comming up in 6 months. The GG Gorilla weighs in 23.2 Oz with 2,800 Cubic inches total capacity. It also Comes with a new aluminum curved stay.

...On the other hand the Zpack Blast 26 weighs in at 19z with the Carbon Fiber stays option,etc /2,600 Cubic Inches Total capacity.

How are the strait Stays on the Zpack Blast compared to the Curved stays on the Gorilla? Will the strait stays of the blast create a frame that will help support load transfer in a big way?

All in all I am looking for the most comferable pack to carry a max weight of 25 Lbs while an average weight of much less.

What pack would you prefer and why? Also, If anyone here has used the Zpack with stays please share your experience with them, and how much they help with the load.
-Thanks for reading..

Joshua Thomas

Locale: SE Michigan
Blast with stays on 11/10/2010 11:47:45 MST Print View

The blast is 9oz total, (correction)

Peter Longobardi
(paintplongo) - F

Locale: Hopefully on the Trail
ULA on 11/10/2010 12:26:25 MST Print View

Why is ULA not an option listed? The Circuit is among the best choices for the PCT because it can carry a bear vault and all the gear/food you'll need for the longer stretches between resups.

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: ULA on 11/10/2010 12:30:11 MST Print View

Perhaps because a Circuit weighs 36 ounces?

edit: I think it is a very well designed pack. I just can't get past the weight. (I currently use an Ohm.)

Edited by greg23 on 11/10/2010 12:32:14 MST.

Dave -
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Up there
Gorilla or Blast for PCT 2011 on 11/10/2010 13:28:06 MST Print View

I think the extra ounces are put to good use. The Circuit carries better than the OHM, even at lower weights.

eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F
Fit on 11/10/2010 13:45:13 MST Print View

Try them on if you can ... Or order from a place with a good return policy

fit is everything ... I can recommend the best and lightest pack in the world which is useless if it doesnt fit you

dont be afraid of a few ounces for a better fit

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: Gorilla or Blast for PCT 2011 on 11/10/2010 13:49:33 MST Print View

I thought the Ohm and Circuit have the same "hooped" suspension system.

Does the Circuit's "...dense internal foam frame..." add much more than CCF pad in the right place?

Enough to warrant accepting an additional 14 ounces?

Dave -
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Up there
Circuit on 11/10/2010 14:02:39 MST Print View

Greg, it's actually the belt that is far superior. Much wider, and a bit thicker with dual buckles that allow an almost custom fit. It is the combination and integration of the belt and suspension that work so well.

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: Circuit on 11/10/2010 14:11:59 MST Print View

+1 on the belt.

I had ULA put a Large belt on my Medium Ohm to improve the carry.

I love Ohm. I have other packs that don't get used. Brian really hit all the design points to make these work. Now, about those 14 ounces...

Edited by greg23 on 11/10/2010 14:46:19 MST.

Travis Naibert
(outwest) - F
Blast on 11/10/2010 18:00:51 MST Print View

I did the PCT before I bought my Zpacks blast, but I am considering doing the CDT in the next few years with it. I have the 2600 (no stays, 6.9 oz) and have comfortably carried 30 lbs with it. Also, a bear canister will fit in it upright, though you have to pack everything else around it in the correct fashion, which isn't always as convenient. A small solo bear can will fit sideways, but isn't enough food in the high sierra unless you get out at Bishop or Lone Pine.

Also, I'd recommend hip belt pockets. I had one on my pack when i did the PCT and I regret not ordering them on my Blast, perfect for camera, snacks, bandana.

Dave -
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Up there
Blast on 11/10/2010 18:27:55 MST Print View

"comfortably carried 30 lbs with it"

Come way. Frameless packs are not comfortable at that weight.

Michael Fogarty
(mfog1) - MLife

Locale: Midwest
frame-sheet on 11/11/2010 08:22:39 MST Print View

The Circuit also has a hard foam frame-sheet with a single alum. stay as well.
It would be on my shortlist for a Thru-Hike, but so would the McHale LBP36.

Joshua Thomas

Locale: SE Michigan
PCT pack on 11/11/2010 19:45:38 MST Print View

I notised the GG Gorilla is $154 dollars right now, where the Blast is around $250, and the circuit is $200. Is the Gorilla really comfertable? I mean Between the Ohm, Circuit, Gorilla, and the Blast. Is the Gorilla a great comfort for the price or since im doing the thru-hike would it be better to invest in a better pack.

Michael Fogarty
(mfog1) - MLife

Locale: Midwest
ULA Circuit on 11/11/2010 21:08:20 MST Print View

From the packs you list above, my money would be on the Circuit.

Edited by mfog1 on 11/11/2010 23:08:49 MST.

Joshua Thomas

Locale: SE Michigan
Blast 2/stays or Gorilla on 12/08/2010 21:29:55 MST Print View

I am still a bit unsure on going with the Blast 26 or the Gorilla for the upcoming PCT. Will the Blast 26 with the optional stays be as comfortable/ load bearing as the curved stays of the Gorilla? I have looked a quite a few reviews on both of these packs and no one has really addressed the comfort of the Blast with the stays option. To be honest, if the blast with stays can be comfortable up to say 20-25lbs then Thats the way I would go. My plan is to have a base weight of 7-9 lbs; I will also mention I have very little experience with backpacking in general and this will be my first thru-hike. Having that said... and thanks for your patience with me... Can anyone that has a Blast pack with stays share there experience with the pack/stays option. Also looking forward to hearing any GG Gorilla pack owners. Thanks again for taking the time to help me out.

Jason Elsworth
(jephoto) - M

Locale: New Zealand
GG Gorilla on 12/08/2010 22:06:06 MST Print View

I have been pleased with the Gorilla so far and have not read any bad reviews. However pack fit is a personal thing. Also the Gorilla isn't huge and may not be large enough for certain sections.

If I was choosing a pack for such a long hike I would personally order two or three options and try each one out for an overnighter and then sell the ones I didn't keep here on gear swap. I know this will cost a bit, but you really need a pack you are happy with for a thru hike and I have found you can't really tell enough by loading them up at home and walking round the house.

Brendan S
(brendans) - MLife

Locale: Fruita CO
gorilla on 12/08/2010 22:06:22 MST Print View

I have a gorilla and love it, although I haven't tried the other packs you're looking at. The gorilla is super comfortable and carries very well. The curved stays are awesome.

Kevin Haskins
(kevperro) - F

Locale: Washington State
Carry the extra weight on 12/08/2010 22:14:39 MST Print View

For a long hike I'd rather have a heavier pack with an actual suspension. I'll happily carry the extra weight in the pack to do so.

Just my .02

Andy F
(AndyF) - M

Locale: Midwest/Midatlantic
Re: Blast 2/stays or Gorilla on 12/08/2010 22:18:59 MST Print View

I haven't tried the Blast, but I have and like the Gorilla. For trips where the temp will be > 30 F, I remove everything removable (including hip belt and sternum strap). This gives me a 15.7 oz pack. For loads <= 15 lbs, maybe 20 lbs, it's more comfortable this way, and with an inflatable pad folded inside for padding and load transfer. The curved stay is nice for heavier loads. I used it as a guide for bending the stays in my old 3 lb Kelty winter pack. I don't think I've ever had the Gorilla loaded up with more than 20 lbs, but I think I read a post somewhere where someone who had tried both the Gorilla and ULA Ohm (with straight hoop frame) said that they both carried equally well.

Dug Shelby
(Pittsburgh) - F

Locale: Bay Area
36 oz 'heavy'? on 12/09/2010 00:08:56 MST Print View

I commented on pack weight in another thread a while back, but I'll say the same thing:

In my opinion (and I'm no expert, but I know what I like) the one single place I would not skimp is your pack. Without going all Gregory Baltoro on anyone, the options are excellent out there. I say anything under 3lbs (yes, I meant to type 'lbs' not 'oz' haha) is still plenty good for a thru-hike. I've hiked with heavier for shorter, but the one thing I don't want is hurting shoulders, trapezius, or other back issues. Just make sure the pack has the features you want (pockets, mesh holders, water storage/bladder hooks, whatever) and that it fits your gear, and that includes a bear canister.

People used to (errr...still do) hike the PCT, CDT, AT, etc., with all styles of packs, some newer and some older.

Find a pack that fits, find a pack that fits your style, find a pack that fits your gear, find a pack that fits your budget....THEN and only then start looking at ounces.

Again, my opinion, and one that may not be popular with some. Cut your tags off, cut your toothbrush, cut your hair, get a colonoscopy, but don't skimp on your pack for a 4 month hike. :)


Edited by Pittsburgh on 12/09/2010 00:11:58 MST.