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Light and Fast Packs for Bikepacking
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Maia Jordan
(maia) - MLife

Locale: Rocky Mountains
Light and Fast Packs for Bikepacking on 05/22/2012 19:11:38 MDT Print View

Companion forum thread to:

Light and Fast Packs for Bikepacking

Rod Lawlor
(Rod_Lawlor) - MLife

Locale: Australia
Thanks Dave on 05/22/2012 21:24:17 MDT Print View

This is perfect timing for me, as I'm currently in the market. I like a top loader myself, as it minimises the chance of stuff bouncing the zipper down and leaving a trail of gear behind. Looks like the Inov* is the best option for me, esp with a long torso

I'm not sure if it's possible, but is there anyway to add a couple more pics. eg the Inov8 really only shows a profile view. A close up front, back and side view of each when packed would be superb.

Cheers, Rod

Adam Kilpatrick
(oysters) - MLife

Locale: South Australia
Re: Light and Fast Packs for Bikepacking on 05/23/2012 01:20:06 MDT Print View

I have an Adventure Light 20L and love it, so does my fiance, to the point where I can barely get to use it myself. I can definitely see the torso length being a limiter in tall people, but if it fits you its outstandingly comfortable; we use it for rogaining, running and cycling; its the best running pack I've ever tried by far. Those shoulder straps are the best I've ever seen in a pack. I'd love them on a bigger pack, they'd definitely be good enough for at least a 20kg load with a hip belt, have no excess fat, and breath really well. Also, their design means they don't absorb much water and dry fast.

Its worth noting that OMM's design philosophy is to include lots of extra knick knack features, with the notion that the user will cut and trim stuff to suit themselves. They really really encourage this. So things like having 3 key clips is actually a good thing-the user can decide exactly where they want them. Or one could be used to clip your mitts to, etc.

I'm heading out with it for an overnight walk for the first time in a couple of weeks, should be good :-)

Brendan S
(brendans) - MLife

Locale: Fruita CO
Waterproof zips on 05/23/2012 09:39:21 MDT Print View

Another great article. Learning lots from this series.

One (slightly off topic) question: Just curious why the boo for waterproof zips. I'm just about to get started on a panel loader for work and was going to use a #5 uretek for the main zip, but if there's disadvantages I'll just use a regular #5.

David Chenault
(DaveC) - BPL Staff - F

Locale: Crown of the Continent
re: zips and pockets on 05/23/2012 18:44:08 MDT Print View

The fifth picture gives a vague idea of the back pockets. Sorry about that.

I find waterproof zips to be marginally less durable, long term, than regular zips. Given that, putting them on a pack with un-sealed seams and not especially waterproof fabric seems a non-functional choice.

(asterias) - MLife

Locale: quebec
Ergon bc3 on 05/27/2012 05:19:57 MDT Print View

You should also look for the Ergon backpack

The bc3 is amazing because they keep the load on your hips instead of your shoulders

Edited by asterias on 05/27/2012 05:23:09 MDT.

Warren Greer
(WarrenGreer) - F

Locale: SoCal
Nice article on 05/27/2012 21:52:06 MDT Print View

I know this article addresses bike packing. But I recently did research on packs of this size and capability for a typical day hike. I made up my mind and I bought one of the packs in this survey a month or so ago. I was looking for something that would allow me to carry the load on my hips even if it was 5 lbs. or less. I would rather have the option than not. I tried a few packs including the REI Stoke 19, which I had high hopes for but it had a very short torso, so I ommitted it from the contenders. I also looked at the Hornet 24 and the Lowe Alpine packs and liked them in features and weight. I couldn't find a place to try on either pack and did read a few comments on the Lowe pack but it sounded a little short in the torso, no pun intended. So, because I couldn't try the Lowe on, I ordered the Hornet 24 and also got the bonus of using my REI 20% off coupon. I've used it three times and can say that it really carries nice. It integrates well with the body and works quite nice for me. I've a 19" torso and the pack, size M/L, is 18.25" from the bottom of the belt to the top of the frame sheet where the shoulder straps attach. Osprey is a bit optimistic with such labeling, it really is in the S/M or than currently labeled. Nevertheless, it's pretty close for me and I'm pretty stoked. I'd like a lighter weight option, but for now, its getting the job done. I know David said it could use more robust material, but I find that for day hiking, the material could have been lighter.

David, thanks for all the work on the article. It appears to be highly useful to a cross section of folks doing outdoors sports.

Tjaard Breeuwer
(Tjaard) - MLife

Locale: Minnesota, USA
What about the Wingnut packs? Great for tall people! on 05/29/2012 08:31:49 MDT Print View

The one pack missing here seems to be a Wingnut model. Did it not make the cut-off for weight?

I know you can't test every pack out there, but Wingnut is (the only?) company specifically focusing on lightweight backpacks for cycling. They are also unique in their lowrider system, which allows for proper torso adjustment even for tall people, and they offer two sizes of shoulder straps.

Wingnut Adventure

My Adventure pack from a few years ago weighs 630g/22oz. They also do the similar Hyperlite 3.0 which is smaller.

It fits me nicely (21" torso) and keeps the weight low and centered. Having the lowrider system means that you can adjust the ride height/torso length of the pack independently from the shoulder strap fit.
I would guess that it won't fit people with very short torsos. My wife at 5'10" is about as short as it goes(don't know her torso)

Versatile setup: enough pockets and lash point for almost anyone but not too many or too specific.
A separate zippered compartment for a bladder adds weight but helps keep the water weight close to your back. It can also save weight by making it easier to refill your bladder more frequently, carrying less water along the trail.
I love that my camera fits in the little shoulder strap mesh pocket, I finally have my camera always at the ready.
The side pockets are nice and accessible while wearing the pack.
No internal zip pocket for ID/money etc.

Edited by Tjaard on 05/29/2012 08:58:12 MDT.

David Chenault
(DaveC) - BPL Staff - F

Locale: Crown of the Continent
re: Wingnut on 05/29/2012 09:25:53 MDT Print View

You're correct, Wingnut was excluded due to the weight cutoff.

In retrospect I'd do the pack selection rather differently; the consistent short torso problems and general undersizing of most of the packs took me by surprise. Good to know, but in some respects this project would have been more useful with a slightly different cadre of packs.

On the subject of Osprey sizing, those who don't fit the Hornet would do well to get the Talon 22. The velcro shoulder yoke provides another 2-3" of torso length.