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Kooka Bay Pads For Frameless Packs
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Robert Perkins

Locale: The Sierras
Kooka Bay Pads For Frameless Packs on 02/27/2011 08:33:54 MST Print View

Slight change of topic on KookaBay pads...

For those of you that have KookaBay pads, do you use them as backpack padding/structure for frameless packs? I have a SMD Swift and a MLD Exodus packs that I was going to try mine with it, but I have been thinking about going to a pack with a built in framesheet instead. I have ordered a 24" W x 72" L synthetic mummy pad and was curious as to what size it is rolled up for selecting the proper volume pack, if I order a new one, or what kind of success people have had using them in their frameless packs, and/or technique in doing so. FWIW I use a bear can in my pack as well.

John Vance
(Servingko) - F

Locale: Intermountain West
Kookabay and Swift on 02/27/2011 08:46:37 MST Print View

I am using a kookabay and carry it in a Swift (2010 model). I don't use the pad for structure. I have a piece of closed cell foam that has been cut to fit the pad space to act as cushioning. I have found that carefully packing the pack provides all the rigidity I need. I would estimate that 80-90% of the pack weight is transferred to my hips this way.

I have an extensive review that Ron has posted on the SMD site that details my packing process. You may have to modify your packing process as I did to make it all work for you, but I have found that for me the whole "right pad for my pack" has been inconsequential. What is important is what pad is right for your sleeping comfort.

If you like to drop lots of little hard stuffed balls of equipment into your loose pack and then put it on, my process won't work for you and you will most likely enjoy a pack with stays of some sort.

The other benefit I have found is that without the pad thickness pushing the pack away from my back, the center of gravity sits closer to my back, resulting in a more efficient and comfortable carry.

Edited by Servingko on 02/27/2011 08:47:43 MST.

Jason Elsworth
(jephoto) - M

Locale: New Zealand
Kooka Bay Pads For Frameless Packs on 02/27/2011 13:46:09 MST Print View

I have a GG Gorilla and a Kooka Bay synthetic pad, but don't use the pad for a frame. I am just to worried that the 30D material is too fragile and that I might do damage to where the insulation is bonded to the pad. Also I use the Gorilla pad to extend my Kooka Bay mat to near full length. In the past I have used a Thermarest as a frame in a pack I modified myself. This pack also had an external frame sleeve like the Gorilla. I found this worked well with a little air put in the pad.

Robert Perkins

Locale: The Sierras
Kooka Bay Pads For Frameless Packs on 02/27/2011 14:19:47 MST Print View

Thanks for the tip John. I cut a small section of cc pad and made a small rigid piece made out of some kind of plastic lightweight sign material and slipped it into the pad sleeve. Then tested, (using a Big Agnes pad in place of a KookaBay pad), with my bear can and it carries quite well. Thanks for the tips everyone.