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Daryl Daryl
(lyrad1) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest, USA, Earth
Some Suggestions and Encouragement on 03/18/2011 11:14:15 MDT Print View

Sumi,

I make my own packs, waist belts, etc. so I can't recommend one that you can go out and buy. I can encourage you to keep trying however. Here's why.

I've experimented with a couple dozen MYOG and store-bought hib belts over the last couple of years with weights ranging from a few ounces to nearly a pound. Here's what I've concluded:

(1) A well fitting, non deforming, non stretchy 3 ounce belt can be as comfortable as the heavier belts.

(2) A poor fitting heavy belt can be uncomfortable but there is more margin for error with those big puffy padded ones.

(3) A belt with a slightly conical shape usually will improve the fit.

(4) A belt must be stiff enough to maintain its shape during use. Otherwise the belt deforms and pressure is concentrated along narrow lines. A 4" wide belt can effectively turn into a 1" band around the waist.

(5) A mesh belt can be as comfortable as a padded belt if it meets the requirements I've listed above.

(6) The pack or pack frame connection to the belt is important. Pack stays or frame must not dig into belt or person in any way. I've had best luck if I hang the pack frame an inch or more below the belt.

(7) Some impressive looking belts fit so poorly that most of the belt isn't even touching the person and is mostly wasted material.

Good luck. You'll know it when you find it.

Daryl

Sumi Wada
(DetroitTigerFan) - F

Locale: Ann Arbor
Re: Some Suggestions and Encouragement on 03/18/2011 11:34:27 MDT Print View

Daryl, your points really make sense.

One thing I'm realizing is that most, if not all, UL packs are "unisex" which essentially means that they're designed for men. Some, like ULA, offer an alternative strap design that generally fit women better but not hipbelts.

What I see in hipbelts designed for women is a differential between the top and bottom of the belt, so that it has a skirt-like shape.

If I keep the Ohm, I think I may try modifying the hipbelt (a replacement, most likely) myself. Thanks for your suggestions.

Ty Reidenbaugh
(The_Will) - F

Locale: Southern California
Re: Re: Some Suggestions and Encouragement on 03/18/2011 13:22:40 MDT Print View

Sumi,

I make an annual multi-week trip to Big Bend Nat'l Park (Chihuahuan Desert) and so have the same requiremet that a pack be able to carry +/- 10 liters of water comfortably. For this purpose I could not be happier with my Deuter ACT Lite 40 + 10. Deuter makes a women-specific version as well. This pack has a very effective hipbelt and two small aluminum stays that provide excellent load support and distribution. In the context of this forum the pack would be considered heavy but after removing the lid (the stays are also removeable) and trimming off the superfluous I am content with the weight considering the comfort with which it carries those many liters of water.

Eric Blumensaadt
(Danepacker) - MLife

Locale: Mojave Desert
Suggestion on 03/18/2011 14:06:47 MDT Print View

To the OP> look at REI's UL pack (Flash 65 I believe). It got a good review in Backpacker Mag's. Gear issue.

To Jerry Adams> "I don't believe hipbelt necessary." Yeah, right Jerry. and two shoulder straps are one too many!

Ya know, mimimalism sometimes becomes "Psycho Lite" A padded hipbelt is "necessary" on any pack where you are out for more than a day with more than 20 lbs. total weight. It is why we have frames in packs. Not just to give them some shape but to TRANSFER weight to the hipbelt. Great invention the modern padded pack hipbelt - puts pack weight on the largest bones and muscles of the body.

A pack with NO load supporting hipbelt means no chance to take the load off your shoulders. All weight is on your spine, all day long.

Hipbelts not necessary my foot my foot! Try a long trail for a few weeks and see how you feel about no hipbelt.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Suggestion on 03/18/2011 14:11:05 MDT Print View

" Try a long trail for a few weeks and see how you feel about no hipbelt."

Gee Eric, why hasn't anyone think of that before mouthing off? Actually, PLENTY of people have hiked for months on end with frameless and beltless packs -- AND THEY LOVED IT.

Yes, minimalism can sometimes become 'psycho lite' -- but this notion that if something doesn't work for you than it just can't work for anyone else is 'psycho' too. Just sayin'

In the end, we just need to try things out for ourselves.

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife

Locale: Gateway to Columbia River Gorge
UL packs with "real" hipbelts? on 03/18/2011 14:47:34 MDT Print View

I really admire all you men who are comfortable with no hip belts on your packs! If it's comfortable for you, go for it! However, most of you seem to have forgotten that men and women are built differently, and I'm not referring to the obvious differences :-).

As a general rule, men have their primary strength in their shoulders. With women, it's in the hips. Our center of gravity is also different--for most women it's lower than for men--which is why most of us load our packs differently. What works for most men isn't necessarily going to work for most women!

I can't carry even an 8-lb. pack without a supportive hipbelt. My shoulders are very pressure-sensitive, and without a hip belt and load lifters, the result is excruciating pain. I suspect this may be a genetic thing, not just sex or age, because my grandson (age 11) has exactly the same problem.

The pack I have (Six Moon Designs Comet, 2005 model) has a good hipbelt--at least it's comfortable for me. It has two straps connecting the belt to the pack, at top and bottom. I can adjust those straps to achieve the conical effect (narrower at top than at bottom) needed for my (ample!) hips. It also has enough padding to keep my hip bones happy. The newer model that came out in 2006, on the other hand, has a very minimal hipbelt with very little padding that cannot be adjusted for my shape as can the older model. Interestingly, although the 2006+ model (since discontinued) has a far more minimal hip belt, it weighs more than my 2005 model!

Sumi, please let us know if ULA can come through with a satisfactory hip belt. I can tell you that you definitely are not the only person with your problem!

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: UL packs with "real" hipbelts? on 03/18/2011 15:05:12 MDT Print View

You may have a point, Mary, but there are plenty of men who insist on belts and plenty of women happy to hike without them. Onesuch is Mrs. Ray Jardine.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Suggestion on 03/18/2011 15:13:56 MDT Print View

"To Jerry Adams> "I don't believe hipbelt necessary." Yeah, right Jerry. and two shoulder straps are one too many!

Ya know, mimimalism sometimes becomes "Psycho Lite" A padded hipbelt is "necessary" on any pack where you are out for more than a day with more than 20 lbs. total weight. It is why we have frames in packs. Not just to give them some shape but to TRANSFER weight to the hipbelt. Great invention the modern padded pack hipbelt - puts pack weight on the largest bones and muscles of the body. "

Like I said

with 20 pounds max

which is 4 nights for me

I do maybe 13 miles a day max

Also no frame

Works for me, and some other people I've noticed

One shoulder strap?

That's an interesting idea

Thanks for bringing that up

I'll have to try that : )

Aaron Sorensen
(awsorensen) - MLife

Locale: South of Forester Pass
Re: UL packs with "real" hipbelts? on 03/18/2011 16:04:33 MDT Print View

I can reason with you on this one. I hate my entire load always feeling as if is directly on my shoulders and the ability to comfortably transferee the weight makes most backpacks cumbersome in the way it is done.

The only pack I have used that takes care of everything and is extremely comfortable is Arcteryx packs with the "Load Transferee Disk" . Although not ulta light, it is a dream.

The next option would be to try on the Black Diamond packs with the same type of transferee system. Black Diamonds disk is much smaller and does not do that well of a job. It has more of a jarring feeling as it works well until the load on the small diameter of the circle stops carrying the weight and the weight of the pack suddenly falls from shoulder to shoulder as you step.

The Arcteryx is a dream and the weight you are holding will feel like nothing with its massive overly built hipbelts.

Robert Cowman
(rcowman) - F

Locale: Canadian Rockies
Re: Re: Suggestion on 03/18/2011 16:12:03 MDT Print View

Theres a BPL pack in size small in gear swap right now.

Daryl Daryl
(lyrad1) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest, USA, Earth
Sumi Comment on 03/18/2011 17:05:24 MDT Print View

Sumi,

You said "What I see in hipbelts designed for women is a differential between the top and bottom of the belt, so that it has a skirt-like shape."

I'm going to use your words from now on when describing hip belts. What you wrote paints a better picture than my use of "conical".

Anyway, depending on how a person is shaped, a skirt-like shape of some degree really helps with the fit. With a lot of the belts I tried and made I could easily put a finger between the upper part of the belt and my body because the belt had no skirt-like shape at all.

Daryl

Eric Blumensaadt
(Danepacker) - MLife

Locale: Mojave Desert
Flaming, etc. on 03/18/2011 17:36:51 MDT Print View

Ben, Jerry,

I seldom flame and realize "to each his own" in gear choice is paremount, BUT to
say that hip belts aren't "necessary" takes at a bit too far.

Howsomever I revert to my own byline, "There are no comfortable packs, some are just less uncomfortable than others." (Yes, I love to quote myself.)

Vertical pack stiffeners of some type help in pack comfort. For the vast majoruty of us when those stiffeners can transfer most of the pack load to the hips via a hipbelt it makes for even more comfort. I've always been for short suffering,if I must suffer at all.

Ben, I was quoting Jerry, not you.
V
V
V

Edited by Danepacker on 03/18/2011 19:12:32 MDT.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Flaming, etc. on 03/18/2011 17:41:59 MDT Print View

Eric wrote, "BUT to say that hip belts aren't "necessary" takes at a bit too far.".

I agree, Eric! Which is why I wouldn't say something like that. A misquote on your part, methinks?

Edited by ben2world on 03/18/2011 17:43:59 MDT.

Paul McLaughlin
(paul) - MLife
Re: UL packs with "real" hipbelts? on 03/18/2011 17:50:49 MDT Print View

Sumi - Daryl has it right on the money. I also make my own packs - have done so for almost 40 years now. My current packs have hipbelts that are 1/4" thick padding, 3-4" wide (tapered), and conically cut. I've made them for myself, my son and a few friends, and all agree this sort of belt is comfortable to about 30 lbs. Total weight of the packs is about 18 oz. So a big fat belt is definitely not needed, but a wide enough and properly shaped belt is needed if you want it to do anything.
By the way, even with bigger loads (like 50 lbs) I have found that padding beyond about 5/8 to 3/4" of medium density foam ( like real EVA) does nothing for comfort except in the showroom. A little stiffening can help above 40 or 45 lbs, but it doesn't take much.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Re: UL packs with "real" hipbelts? on 03/18/2011 18:03:20 MDT Print View

There are some UL packs that weigh less than 8 ounces. Obviously you won't have a heavy load in something like that, and typically we are talking about 10-15 pounds maximum. In a pack and load of that nature, there isn't much need to carry weight on the hips unless you have a back problem, so there isn't much need to have a serious hipbelt. OTOH, as you start to head out over uneven terrain, or especially for X-C skiers, it is important to stabilize the pack just to keep it from bouncing around. So, even on my packs of 8 ounces or less, I have a non-serious hipbelt just for stability. In one case, I made my own non-serious hipbelt out of lightweight 3/4" nylon strap with buckles. I made some "hip pads" that surround that strap but only at my actual hip bones. That keeps them UL.

One small problem is that some UL backpacks are short, i.e. from the top to the bottom. So, even if you have a non-serious hipbelt at the bottom of the pack, it may not hit your hips at the correct level.

--B.G.--

Eric Blumensaadt
(Danepacker) - MLife

Locale: Mojave Desert
"Split" hipbelts question on 03/18/2011 18:14:45 MDT Print View

Sumi, Daryl & Paul,

Have any of you experimented with the horizontally split style of hipbelt? I saw it on a British pack in the outdoor trade show report here on BPL.

Seems to me that it would be even more comfortable because it would likely conform better to individual hip configurations. It LOOKS good and I have a feeling it may actually perform as good as it looks.

Do any of you stitch-meisters think it's worth experimenting with a split hipbet?

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Flaming, etc. on 03/18/2011 18:24:01 MDT Print View

That's okay, flame away : )

I say hipbelt isn't necesary

this is a fact because I hike 13 miles comfortably, and Ray Jardine does thru-hikes

many people like hipbelts

same thing with frames

maybe the reason you think there are no comfortable packs, is you haven't tried a frameless, hipbeltless pack : )

Ron D
(dillonr) - MLife

Locale: Colorado
Re: "Split" hipbelts question on 03/18/2011 18:24:10 MDT Print View

Eric - If you mean the McHale type hipbelt with the dual buckles I can tell you that they work great.
Ron

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Dousing the Flame on 03/18/2011 18:26:50 MDT Print View

Eric: Hip belt is necessary. If you disagree, you haven't done any long hikes.
Jerry: Hip belt is not necessary. If you disagree, you haven't tried a hipbeltless pack.

Glad you found what works for you. But YMMV, eh? :)

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Re: Dousing the Flame on 03/18/2011 18:27:56 MDT Print View

Okay, let's argue about canister vs alcohol now