Subscribe Contribute Advertise Facebook Twitter Instagram Forums Newsletter
Considering changing pack
Display Avatars Sort By:
Ben Franklin
(BrokeEnthusiast) - F
Considering changing pack on 02/19/2011 16:18:37 MST Print View

I have a Granite Gear Meridian Vapor (M/Long) that I currently use but I think it has too much room for my needs and I don't like the layout of it. The top flap that can be turned into a fanny pack drives me nuts, and it seems like there is no smaller storage compartments for odds and ends. I know its not the lightest system but I seem to like the Osprey packs, and have been considering the Kestrel and Exos series.

Below are some pictures of what I use apart from clothing and food. Do you think I should downsize? Any pack or gear recommendations? I typically do 3 day 2 night hikes or sometimes just overnight. I can go into more of what I carry if specifics need to be discussed for weight purposes.


Mike M
(mtwarden) - MLife

Locale: Montana
volume on 02/21/2011 20:41:53 MST Print View

hard to tell from the pics, but if your volume is relatively low you should be able to go to a 40-ish liter pack pretty easily for 2-3 days trips, I used a Exos 46 for up to week long trips, the frame allows comfortable carry up to ~ 35#'s

Osprey has a new pack that might also meet your needs- the Hornet, lighter yet than Exos, but still framed (albeit lightly)- should work well for 2-3 day trips as well

If your gear is getting into the very low volume end, you could probably even go to a 30-ish liter pack

Robert Perkins

Locale: The Sierras
Considering Changing Pack on 02/21/2011 21:24:14 MST Print View

Mike - When you used your Exos 46, did you ever use a bear can with it? It sounds like the feedback I have got is that they will fit vertically, but no one has told me how much functional space is left with it in. I am looking at either the Exos 58 or 46, and am leaning toward the smaller 46. Osprey list the Med as having 2900 cu in. My current packs are around 3200 cu in, and everything fits fine. Thanks for any info.

Dave -
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Up there
Considering changing pack on 02/21/2011 21:29:49 MST Print View

Your GG pack is no bigger than the Exos 46. GG overstates the volume of that pack. You would be making a lateral move in volume.

Andrew F
(andrew.f) - F - M

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Considering Changing Pack on 02/21/2011 21:43:58 MST Print View

Robert - I bought an Exos 46 and returned it because it doesn't fit a bear can well. I could fit a Garcia in vertically, but since the back panel is so curved on the inside of the pack, it basically took up the entire volume of the pack and I couldn't fit the rest of my gear inside.

The Hornet 46 on the other hand, doesn't have the same curved back panel and actually fits a bear can pretty well. It is also significantly lighter than the Exos 46. However, the frame is less substantial than the Exos and I wouldn't want to carry much more than 20-25 lbs in it.

I now use the Hornet 46 for 2-3 day trips and a Lowe Alpine Zepton 50 for longer trips with more food. The Zepton 50 swallows a bear can with no problems, but is a little bigger than the Exos if you are trying to down-size pack volume.


Eugene Smith
(Eugeneius) - MLife

Locale: Nuevo Mexico
"Considering changing pack" on 02/21/2011 21:48:33 MST Print View

"I can go into more of what I carry if specifics need to be discussed for weight purposes."


Please do, right now your questions are a shot in the dark- post a gear list.

What's in the stuff sacks shown in your link? What gear do you require for your outings? Where are you spending the majority of your time backpacking?

This sort of background will go very far to provide you with the objective feedback that many of the frequenters here can give you.

Robert Perkins

Locale: The Sierras
Considering Changing Pack on 02/21/2011 22:36:34 MST Print View

Thanks Andrew, that is what I was thinking would be the case. I have taken my gear into my local REI and fit it all with ease into the Exos 58, but they didn't have the Exos 46 to try out. I think you have given me and the OP some other good ideas as well with the Osprey Hornet as well. Thanks

John Castro-Rappl
(Jabber) - MLife
Lid/Pack on 02/22/2011 13:08:05 MST Print View

Ben: I know what you mean with the floating top lid/fanny pack. It drove me to sell my otherwise phenomenal Nimbus Meridian pack, just because I wanted something simpler overall. All that nylon flopping around bugged me to no end. If you're looking for something with the same durability and comfort as your current pack, a Vapor Trail isn't SUL but it is a very reliable pack. I do wish, however, that those compression straps were inside the water bottle pockets rather than over them. Built in hip belt pockets would have been nice too.

Anyways, long story short I sold my Nimbus Meridian and ended up with a Six Moon Designs Swift. Dropped a lot of weight from my list and still has a ton of room between the pockets and the extension collar. What's your base weight looking like these days?

Mike M
(mtwarden) - MLife

Locale: Montana
exos 46 on 02/22/2011 18:24:50 MST Print View

Robert- never used it w/ a canister (all hanging bag where I hike), based on what Andrew and others have said- it's a darn tight fit at best.


Ben Franklin
(BrokeEnthusiast) - F
replies to everyone on 02/22/2011 18:34:02 MST Print View

Thank you all for the replies, I will try my best to answer everyone's questions. Although I have been hiking for a couple of years, I am still relatively new at all of this so I haven't been crunching numbers on the weights of my gear. I am out of town right now but when I get back I can definitely break it down or search the internet for their weights.

What you see in the photos from bottom to top are:
OES maccat deluxe in SpinnUL
Warbonnet Blackbird Hammock 1.7
Warbonnet Yeti
GoLite Ultra 20 down quilt
Swedish AL version of a Snow Peak 900 with cat can alcohol stove inside

Obviously I take food and water and those weights vary. Also I don't have a set clothing list that I take with me for each season, I will work on that.

Warren Greer
(WarrenGreer) - F

Locale: SoCal
get a cheap scale on 02/26/2011 21:21:51 MST Print View

Ben, I'm kinda where you are at. Mostly finished up my gear purchasing for the season. And having a scale made it much easier as it created a picture of where I was at and what items could be lightened up. A real eye-opener. Check out the scale in this thread. Look at the post by Dan Durston partway down the first page. I got that scale and for less than $7.50 delivered, I was able to refine my list and be confident of my weights. I bought a more expensive scale first, but it could not do 1 gram increments. The scale in the thread I mentioned can do .1 grams. You'll appreciate that.

Ben Franklin
(BrokeEnthusiast) - F
weights on 03/03/2011 20:09:02 MST Print View

Blackbird Double Layer 1.7 - 36.5oz
3-Season Yeti 12.5
Golite Ultra 20 – 19oz
MacCat Deluxe - 10.2 oz
GG pack Meridian Vapor 46oz

Edited by BrokeEnthusiast on 03/03/2011 20:12:24 MST.

Ben Franklin
(BrokeEnthusiast) - F
Re: get a cheap scale on 03/06/2011 15:53:09 MST Print View

Thanks warren, I took your advice and just purchased this scale: