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Michael Ray
(topshot) - MLife

Locale: Midwest
Differences between the Jam and Pinnacle on 05/17/2012 07:28:10 MDT Print View

This is for those considering getting the new Jam. I took the new 70L Jam (size large) out for an overnight and here are my impressions compared to the 2009 Pinnacle (also in large):
1. I definitely don't like the new hipbelt sizing and part of the design. Like several others I'm not that fat (32" jeans normally), but the Jam can only go down to ~33" wingtip to wingtip (just under 36" total circumference with the buckles clicked) so I can't snug it as much as I want. The Pinnacle could go at least 2" smaller (I typically had another 1/2" I could shorten if needed). They also changed the way the belt attaches to the pack, I assume to help with ventilation. There may be benefits to the new design there, but it makes the wings more floppy so it's harder to keep from knocking my camera in the pocket when setting the pack down. That wasn't a problem for me with the Pinnacle.
2. I would also measure the torso length to be up to 1" shorter on the Jam. The large Pinnacle was 19" to center of belt while the Jam is close to 18".

The below points pretty much apply to the 50L also, which I got for my wife.
3. Hipbelt pockets seem close to the same size, but zippers are longer on the Jam.
4. Pocket mesh seems like it is not as sturdy - very similar in look and feel but thinner. Hipbelt mesh was also a different kind on the Pinnacle.
5. Sternum strap connection is different. I can't imagine anybody would purposely put that much force on it, but if it does come off somehow I don't see how you'd get it back on again.
6. Top strap on Jam is 7" shorter.
7. Jam has a different cordlock design for the main opening that requires you to use the actual lock and then 2 little straps to open the bag again.
8. The lower compression straps on the Jam cross over a corner of the side pockets thereby reducing their capacity and ease of use.
9. Jam foam framesheet is thinner but stiffer. It seemed to provide as good as support.
10. Shoulder strap foam is thinner, too. That didn't bother me with 24 pounds though the too-large hipbelt was providing me enough support.

Despite some of these "faults" (IMHO), you can't beat the price (especially if you can review a piece of their gear for additional 20% off) so I will likely give the Jam to my son who's wider than me and keep using my Pinnacle. Hopefully they redo the hipbelt sizing and compression strap issue. I'd definitely buy again if those issues were fixed.

Daniel Cox
(COHiker) - F

Locale: San Isabel NF
Re: Differences between the Jam and Pinnacle on 05/17/2012 08:21:13 MDT Print View

Nice comparison. I've wondered what was new about the Jam from the pinnacle model. I bought a Jam 70 recently and concur with many of your points, particularly the compression straps hindering pocket use and the mesh seeming fragile. Mine has held up so far in mild bushwhacking but I'm still cautious when putting things like a platypus bottle in them.

It's interesting that I don't have anywhere near the same experience with the hipbelt sizing. I also wear a 32 waist pant and have a fair bit of adjustment left on my belt. I could probably get 2 more inches tighter. We must wear the packs much differently.

Michael Ray
(topshot) - MLife

Locale: Midwest
Re: Re: Differences between the Jam and Pinnacle on 05/17/2012 10:05:18 MDT Print View

> I also wear a 32 waist pant and have a fair bit of adjustment left on my belt. I could probably get 2 more inches tighter. We must wear the packs much differently.

Is your's also a large? The 50L that I have in medium goes smaller. The buckles are very close to where a standard belt would be on me.

I did measure with a tailor's tape and you cannot snug down the new Jam anywhere close to what you could on the 2009 Pinnacle.

Edited by topshot on 05/17/2012 12:44:12 MDT.

Daniel Cox
(COHiker) - F

Locale: San Isabel NF
Re: Re: Re: Differences between the Jam and Pinnacle on 05/17/2012 10:56:46 MDT Print View

Mine is a large as well. Strange.

Michael Ray
(topshot) - MLife

Locale: Midwest
Re: Differences between the Jam and Pinnacle on 05/17/2012 12:42:54 MDT Print View

What does your's measure wingtip to wingtip (where the buckle straps attach) if you stretch it out? Mine is about 33" so it could never go below that without modifying the pockets also. Perhaps I got one out of spec.

Daniel Cox
(COHiker) - F

Locale: San Isabel NF
Re: Re: Differences between the Jam and Pinnacle on 05/17/2012 13:44:46 MDT Print View

Mine measures 30.5" wingtip-to-wingtip. Maybe could 'stretch' it to 31 or just over, but there's no way it would ever measure 33".

Michael Ray
(topshot) - MLife

Locale: Midwest
Re: Differences between the Jam and Pinnacle on 05/17/2012 14:33:07 MDT Print View

I just had my son help me stretch them out to measure so these are more accurate wingtip to wingtip numbers (outside edges of 3D mesh where buckle straps attach):

2009 Pinnacle Large: 30-1/8" to 30-1/4"
2012 Jam 70L Large: 32-1/2"
2012 Jam 50L Medium: 28-5/8"

Daniel Cox
(COHiker) - F

Locale: San Isabel NF
Same method? on 05/17/2012 15:18:51 MDT Print View

Are we doing this the same way?

Due to my lack of a 3rd hand, I'm not stretching the hipbelt, but this is what I understand as the wingtip-to-wingtip measurement.
General
Close up

Michael Ray
(topshot) - MLife

Locale: Midwest
Re: Same method? on 05/17/2012 15:35:13 MDT Print View

Ahhhhh. I AM stretching it (as it would be while wearing it). That didn't matter a lot with the old style but this new design has a lot of give in it.

Once I lose my winter weight gain, the 70L Jam will no longer work for me.

Daniel Cox
(COHiker) - F

Locale: San Isabel NF
Re: Re: Same method? on 05/17/2012 15:54:28 MDT Print View

Interesting. Not really in a good way, though. Seems there's some variation in the construction. It's all rather over exaggerated though, I agree the belt is gonna be not a great fit for anyone with less than a 32" waist. I tried mine on just now and even with thin soccer shorts I couldn't bottom out the buckles, but only had maybe an inch left on each side. I suppose if I really pulled on the ends I could get a good bit closer to measuring 33".