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PCT Pack?
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Karl Myers
(kmyers1234) - F

Locale: Pacific Northwest
PCT Pack? on 12/28/2010 23:48:06 MST Print View

I'm planning on hiking the PCT either this season or next and am looking into packs now. I have been torn between going with a frameless pack or a ultralight pack with a frame. I have been looking at the Osprey Exos 58 but am not sure about its durability over the course of a thru hike. Also been looking at the ULA Catalyst and the GG Mariposa Plus. I'm hoping to get on the trail this season but its looking more like spring 2012.. Regardless i need pack help! Thanks for any feedback i get!

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
re on 12/29/2010 07:58:30 MST Print View

How much weight/volume do you carry?

Karl Myers
(kmyers1234) - F

Locale: Pacific Northwest
pct pack on 12/29/2010 11:39:35 MST Print View

My base pack weight is 15.8 pounds.. i usually carry between 30 and 35 pounds with food and water. My current pack is an 85L REI pack that was given to me as a gift and I can't even get close to filling it up.. that being said I don't want my next pack to be filled to the brink of exploding at every resupply. Thanks for the reply!

Dylan Snodgrass
(TrueNorth)

Locale: San Francisco, CA
PCT Pack? on 12/29/2010 11:46:58 MST Print View

ULA Circuit = Awesome! I love this pack. Quality manufacturing and carries loads in your stated range comfortably.

Karl Myers
(kmyers1234) - F

Locale: Pacific Northwest
thanks! on 12/29/2010 12:17:18 MST Print View

Thanks a bunch! I think I've narrowed it down to either the Circuit or the Catalyst.. being quite indecisive it will take a few sleepless nights to come to a conclusion but I appreciate the help!

Has anyone loaded the circuit up to capacity, and if so how did it hold up? I'm hoping for my pack to last the length of the PCT and beyond into my post-college world travels.

Thanks for all the help!

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
weight on 12/29/2010 12:31:20 MST Print View

Sorry for the unsolicited off topic comment, but, it seems like if you're doing the PCT you should reduce your base weight by a few pounds, maybe to 12 pounds. Probably wouldn't affect which pack you used though.

I'm no PCT thru hiker so what do I know : )

Karl Myers
(kmyers1234) - F

Locale: Pacific Northwest
neither am I! on 12/29/2010 12:41:10 MST Print View

I really appreciate it Jerry, I am no thru-hiker either... yet! I have been slowly but surely shaving my pack weight down from the ungodly loads I carried as a kid.. and I assume that by the time I actually get on the trail i will have taken a pound or two more off my base weight but being engulfed in college with future student loan payments looming, money is ultimately the decider when it comes to upgrading to lighter gear. However I have hiked sections j-l with my current base weight and have not found it too much of a burden to carry at all.. I appreciate the help tho! Hopefully my monthly 1$ lotto tickets will soon pay off and i can upgrade to some lighter gear!

As for my pack.. i'm leaning towards the catalyst but the climactic pulling of the trigger will not take place until i have see-sawed between the two packs for another month or so! If theres one thing college has not taught me it's decisiveness.. Thanks for the help everyone!

Ryley Breiddal
(ryleyb) - F - M

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Catalyst! on 12/29/2010 14:42:10 MST Print View

Karl,

I thru hiked the PCT in 2007 and met a TON of people using the Catalyst. I have a similar base weight to you, and I've since purchased one for myself. I found that given the water and food capacity I needed to support on the PCT, the extra volume was necessary.

Karl Myers
(kmyers1234) - F

Locale: Pacific Northwest
pct pack on 12/30/2010 03:11:29 MST Print View

thanks a ton! i think i've gotten enough feedback and i'm gonna get the catalyst! Thanks for all the help! best wishes to all and happy trails!

Brian Lewis
(brianle) - F

Locale: Pacific NW
catalyst vs. circuit on 12/30/2010 13:31:58 MST Print View

I used a Gossamer Gear pack when I did the PCT, but more recently have been carrying a ULA Circuit.

For your base weight, I would guess that the Circuit would be fine for most of the trail at least; the one thing I'm not sure of would be in the Sierras --- in particular carrying a bear can, as well as perhaps some additional warm clothing. Ice axe on back should be fine with any pack, but the bear can is the big issue (literally).

With my Mariposa Plus I initially tried strapping the can to the outside of the pack; this seemed to work on a pre-trip shakedown, but at some point early on past Kennedy Meadows I swapped stuff around to fit the can inside the pack, hanging more stuff outside the pack and in the mesh to make room. A tight fit, but it worked.

If you can make that work for you with the Circuit, then I'd go for the Circuit over the Catalyst.

Joe Clement
(skinewmexico) - MLife

Locale: Southwest
PCT Pack on 12/30/2010 15:10:38 MST Print View

I have a Circuit and Catalyst, and I'd call the Catalyst too big. I think this should be more of a comparison of a Circuit and Mariposa Plus (got one of those too)

kevperro .
(kevperro) - F

Locale: Washington State
I'd take.... on 12/30/2010 16:11:19 MST Print View

The Catalyst would be my choice. You may be able to get by with the Ohm but for long hikes where you are going to be forced to carry bear containers, long resupplies, lots of water and you are getting in shape anyway the Catalyst is probably a better choice.

Joe L
(heyyou) - MLife

Locale: Cutting brush off of the Arizona Tr
Agree on 01/01/2011 13:23:26 MST Print View

Your decision to get a ULA pack is a good one due to the water weight that you will need to carry in the desert areas. Seems like GG packs are moving towards being better heavy weight carriers. Competition is good for consumers.

Dug Shelby
(Pittsburgh) - F

Locale: Bay Area
:) on 01/01/2011 15:11:34 MST Print View

I'm no thru-hiker yet either (have to do one to be one?) but I'm making my attempt this Spring. I think all the packs listed are good packs. If you want it to last and last, McHale has a good rep for durability but is not cheap. Osprey and ULA Circuit are both good, I've seen a bunch of PCT'ers with GG Gorilla's too.

Hope to see you on the trail!

Dug
http://thf2.wordpress.com/2011-pct-gear-list/

Toby Maxwell
(eeooo4) - F

Locale: California, Central Valley
ULA on 01/01/2011 16:34:05 MST Print View

I will be hiking in 2011 and am just graduating college as well! I recently got a circuit and I really like it, comfy and also customizable to your comfort with the removable stay etc. Chris at ULA was really awesome and sent me 2 packs, upon request, and only asking for me to pay for 1. Then I obviously sent the other one back (shipping costs extra $$$ if you do this), but I got to try them out and walk around and feel it out. Im sure hed do the same for you. My girlfriend will be using the smaller osprey exos and loves it. Its got a really well ventilated back panel which Ill be jealous of for the desert section. Good luck!

-Toby

Kevin Clark
(rifleman3353) - F
Thru hikes on 01/02/2011 02:44:56 MST Print View

I think all you guys and gals are just awesome for doing these 1000s of miles long thru hikes.More power to you and stay safe.............Kevin

Kevin Clark
(rifleman3353) - F
Thru hikers on 01/02/2011 02:44:58 MST Print View

I think all you guys and gals are awesome for doing these 1000s of miles long thru hikes.More power to you and stay safe

Kevin Clark
(rifleman3353) - F
Thru hikers on 01/02/2011 02:44:58 MST Print View

I think all of you guys and gals that are doing these multi 1000 mile long thru hike are awesome.More power to you and stay safe..............Kevin

Clint Wayman
(cwayman1)

Locale: East Tennessee, US
Pack Decision... on 01/02/2011 11:31:32 MST Print View

>As for my pack.. i'm leaning towards the catalyst but the climactic pulling of the trigger will not take place until i have see-sawed between the two packs for another month or so! If theres one thing college has not taught me it's decisiveness.. Thanks for the help everyone!<

>thanks a ton! i think i've gotten enough feedback and i'm gonna get the catalyst! Thanks for all the help! best wishes to all and happy trails!<

Well that didn't take too long =P!
Best wishes on your pre-trip planning!

Clint