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What would you carry 35-40 lbs with?
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Alan henson
(355spider) - F

Locale: DFW
What would you carry 35-40 lbs with? on 05/03/2012 13:15:19 MDT Print View

I have a family of 5 so my wife is hiking with the baby in a Kelty carrier and my other kids are 5 and 7 so that leaves me to carry most of the stuff besides their bag and clothes which they carry. I ordered the golite 5 tent and 1 season bags for me and my wife so there is not much more weight to lose on the big 3. Our pads weigh 12oz each. I added up everything with food for 4 days and it looks like its going to be about 40lbs. I bought a kelty 80L but that thing is a beast at 5lb9oz. I was thinking framesless golite jam 70 at 2lb2oz or maybe their framed pack at 3lb9oz. what do you guys think with that weight. Is the 1lb7oz penalty worth having a frame? Thanks gang.

Gary Rath
(MudisFun) - F

Locale: PNW
Pack on 05/03/2012 13:29:46 MDT Print View

In my experience if your going to be carrying a fairly heavy load (and it sound like you are) the slightly heavier framed packs are more comfortable.. When you get your gear weights down then the frame doesn't matter as much.

Your results may vary though.

I still carry my Osprey Aether 60 just because its comfortable to me..

Edited by MudisFun on 05/03/2012 13:31:13 MDT.

Nathan Watts
(7sport) - MLife
Re: What would you carry 35-40 lbs with? on 05/03/2012 14:00:00 MDT Print View

I would use the Kelty. If I was looking to reduce my load from 46lbs to 43lbs like you are proposing, I would try to find a different way of accomplishing it that doesn't involve removing the frame from my pack.

If you were going from 23lbs to 20lbs that would be a different story.

If your heart is set on buying a new pack for the sake of buying a new pack, I always liked my old Osprey Atmos for weights around 40lb, but I don't think that'd save you much weight if that is also one of your goals. I've got a McHale now that feels pretty awesome, but haven't had a chance to use it yet.

Stephen Barber
(grampa) - MLife

Locale: SoCal
What would you carry 35-40 lbs with? on 05/03/2012 14:11:47 MDT Print View

"What would you carry 35-40 lbs with?"

A porter? ;-)

Seriously, the Kelty or some other framed pack. The more weight you carry, the more you need good structure to support it.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: What would you carry 35-40 lbs with? on 05/03/2012 14:16:18 MDT Print View

Use the Kelty and survive :) REI still has the Flash 65 on sale for $105 (, so you can have your frame and eat it too-- and pull it out for lighter trips. I wouldn't go frameless with anything over 30 pounds.

I would go for *short* overnighters with your load and tribe anyway. Car camping and day hikes can be a joy with kids that age and you can eat whatever you want, have camp fires (assuming camping in a park where there are fire rings), etc. You can probably cover more ground with day hikes than heavily loaded multi-day trips and rejuvenate at the campground.

Larry De La Briandais
(Hitech) - F

Locale: SF Bay Area
framed pack on 05/03/2012 14:17:39 MDT Print View

I would suggest a framed pack. You should certainly be able to beat 5.5 lbs however. At least it is not as bad as my buddies old denali at 8 lbs!

Alan henson
(355spider) - F

Locale: DFW
Thanks on 05/03/2012 14:18:27 MDT Print View

Yeah I may just keep that Kelly then. It's pretty comfy.

Joe Clement
(skinewmexico) - MLife

Locale: Southwest
What would you carry 35-40 lbs with? on 05/03/2012 14:20:46 MDT Print View

Jansport D5.

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: Mind your own business
catalyst on 05/03/2012 14:21:07 MDT Print View

For that weight I would be using a Ula Catalyst or a 4 wheel drive :-)

Ed Hayes
(ejhayes) - F

Locale: Northwest
Osprey Aether 60 on 05/03/2012 14:36:01 MDT Print View

A post near the top mentioned this pack. I have it and I love it. I rarely fill it up, or have it maxed out on weight, but I still use it most times because it is super comfy, for me anyway.

I carry 25ish lbs with my Aether 60, but it could easily do 35-40 lbs with comfort.

David Thomas
(DavidinKenai) - MLife

Locale: North Woods. Far North.
Re: What would you carry 35-40 lbs with? on 05/03/2012 14:38:51 MDT Print View

Sounds like my family's trips. We did a 3-nighter with mom carrying the childcarrier, another obviously on the way (6 months pregnant) and I carried everything else, which was pretty much everything. It was an era of cabin trips so as to avoid the

Currently, our 7-year-old can take her snacks, outer clothes and stuffed animal. Our 12-year-old can start to take some weight and more so, some of the volume, but not all of his own gear (a big motivation of mine to switch to more UL gear and techniques).

That leaves me on the father-son trip and my wife and I on the family trips to split most of the gear and food for 4 people between us.

I use a Kelty framed pack with large stuff sacks high and low. Heavy stuff goes in the main pack bag and a few sleeping bags and sleeping pads go into each large stuff sack.

My 12-year gets my Jam 35 or Jam 70 at about 12-15 pounds and as much volume as I can shift his way.

I'm at about 45 pounds and my wife at 35-40.

In answer to your original Q, it depends on how far you're going. If you're only going in 3 miles, you can carry anything for 2 hours (and, yes, it will take you 2-3 hours to do 3 miles with your crew). If it longer than that, I'd go with a comfortable framed pack, use as much UL gear and techniques as you can to keep the weight down, but accept that a traditional pack is in some ways better for heavier loads.

Dave -
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Up there
Re: Re: What would you carry 35-40 lbs with? on 05/03/2012 15:07:37 MDT Print View

Granite Gear Nimbus Meridian - fantastic suspension. Or ULA Catalyst (another vote)

Charles P
(mediauras) - F

Locale: Terra
nimbus meridian on 05/03/2012 15:17:17 MDT Print View

I've been working through a similar predicament -- trying to find a high volume backpack for family trekking. I was seriously considering the GG Nimbus Meridian or Trace 62, but recently ended up with an Aether 60 (an older and lighter design than current model). There was a used, yet very well kept Nimbus Meridian I was going to purchase -- if you're interested I could pass on contact info for its owner.

Andy F
(AndyF) - M

Locale: Midwest/Midatlantic
Re: What would you carry 35-40 lbs with? on 05/03/2012 15:32:15 MDT Print View

I've used an older Kelty Red Cloud 90L (5600 cu in) which weighs around 7 lbs to carry 60-70 lbs of gear for our family of 6. I was carrying everything except the oldest daughter's sleeping bag. At these loads, the sturdy pack is worth the weight!

(and I looked like a walking skyscraper!)

Edited by AndyF on 05/03/2012 15:35:10 MDT.

Mike Hensel
(mike220) - M

Locale: Northwest
What would you carry 35-40 lbs with?" on 05/03/2012 15:41:19 MDT Print View

Nimbus meridian or the ozone, both really comfortable at those weights.

Alan henson
(355spider) - F

Locale: DFW
Re: Re: What would you carry 35-40 lbs with? on 05/03/2012 15:43:27 MDT Print View

Yeah that sounds about where I am. I think I will keep it. I like it a lot. It's heavy but sturdy and very comfortable.

Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
Keep the Kelty heres why on 05/03/2012 15:55:39 MDT Print View

I would keep the Kelty for now, let me explain why.
With 40+ pounds on your back you won't notice much differenct if you have a pack thats 1 or 2 pounds lighter. So its not really a good us of funds.
Second really lightweight internal frame packs like the Circuit aren't normally designed to carry more than 35-40 pounds. You will be carrying about 40 pounds on a good day but you could very well excede that at some point. You might need to carry more water a some point or you migth want to take some weight off a kid's back or you might realized at the last minute you need a few more things that add weight.

I would suggest going out with what you have and seeing how it works. You can change your gear as you learn more and as your kids get stronger.

Edit - You said it was 40 pounds of gear and food. I'm not sure if you remembered water in there. Water weight adds up quickly. Again this would exceded the comfort level of most lightweight packs.

Edited by Cameron on 05/03/2012 16:01:24 MDT.

Devon Cloud

Locale: Southwest
kelty red cloud on 05/03/2012 15:55:40 MDT Print View

ya, this pack is a beast and is heavy but it has a very good suspension system that you can adjust to your frame and the waste belt does a great job of carrying the load instead of your back... and after 40 pounds what's an extra couple... your gonna be hurtin either way.

Nigel Healy
(nigelhealy) - F

Locale: San Francisco bay area
use a bike? on 05/03/2012 15:57:55 MDT Print View

My babies all grown up now but when I had the similar problem >10 years ago I used a bike as a type of load-carrying solution. The reasons were I owned the bike, the bike could take a lot of weight and it acted as a sit-on for the smaller child who would stabilize via grabbing the handlebars. The "trail" underfoot could not be too bad as it would be an issue for the children so hence it was usually good for a bike's wheels.

The bike also had some uses as a transport device at the destination, such as if the kids were settled one parent could head back to car or home to get something that might have been forgotten.

Bikes obviously also have trailers if the volume needs were ever to become massive, e.g. my trailer is 100L, my panniers 40L. Trailers make it easier to handle the bike but trailers demand more of the quality of the surface. I'm not suggesting anyone BUYS a bike but it might be an easier no-cost alternative.

Konrad .
(Konrad1013) - MLife
Pack for 40lbs+ on 05/03/2012 18:57:01 MDT Print View

Seems like the general consensus (and my personal experience as well) that you're not going to be able to comfortably carry 40lbs+ without using a back thats 3lbs+.

I'd say stick with the Kelty. However, if you were in the market for a new pack that's a bit lighter, then I agree with the Granite Gear nimbus meridian or ULA Catalyst.

I own both, but I use them for different applications. I find both of them extremely comfortable and capable of heavy loads, but I enjoy the hipbelt on the catalyst more, as it contours to my hips more (no bruising).

The catalyst is a lot more livable than the nimbus meridian, so more suited for backpacking. It's easier to organize and see where gear is stashed.

The nimbus meridian is my winter pack. It's got a very clean exterior with plenty of daisy chains for tools, shovels, etc.