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Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Great Lakes Bay Region
Winter Pack recommendations on 09/21/2012 17:36:06 MDT Print View

Evening all,

My largest volume pack is a 3 year old ULA Catalyst (75 litres) but I am looking for something with larger capacity for some 4 day winter mountaineering trips carrying snowhoes or skis and cold weather kit.

Weight would probably be in the region of 40lbs.

Any recommendations?

Thanks,

Stephen

Dena Kelley
(EagleRiverDee) - M

Locale: Eagle River, Alaska
Would you consider a pulk? on 09/21/2012 18:07:51 MDT Print View

Would you consider using a pulk (sled) that you pull behind you? When I winter camp, I don't carry a pack, I pull my gear in on a pulk. It's easier to ski or snowshoe without a load, and a good pulk does a good job of accommodating bulky loads. A kid's plastic toboggan will work, although the heavier duty black ones that are actually made for hauling loads are better because they are made of a more durable plastic. UHMW strips on the bottom can help it track properly, and stiff bracing between the sled and a hip belt keeps the sled tracking right along behind you and not running you over on a decent. You can also make a nice pulk. I have a cedar strip pulk that was gifted to me years ago by a fellow that enjoyed making such things, and it works great and is light to boot.

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Great Lakes Bay Region
Re: Would you consider a pulk? on 09/21/2012 18:11:42 MDT Print View

Hi Dena,

I would consider a pulk for some cold weather trips, but for mountaineering it would be a liability on scrambles.

Cheers,

Stephen

David Chenault
(DaveC) - BPL Staff - F

Locale: Crown of the Continent
re: winter pack on 09/21/2012 18:12:48 MDT Print View

ULA liters are pretty small, so if only need a bit more space, something like an HMG Expedition might get the job done.

Otherwise the Cilogear 75L worksack is right up your alley.

Beyond that it's the Gregory Makalu, Mystery Ranch, Kifaru, and McHale.

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Great Lakes Bay Region
Re: re: winter pack on 09/21/2012 18:46:18 MDT Print View

Cheers David,

Will check those out indeed :-)

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Great Lakes Bay Region
Re: re: winter pack on 09/21/2012 19:33:47 MDT Print View

David,

I found a Bpl review that was started in January but has not been completed, I tried to bump the thread but it was looked like it was locked.

Cheers

Raymond Estrella
(rayestrella) - MLife

Locale: Northern Minnesota
40 lb? on 09/21/2012 19:58:12 MDT Print View

"looking for something with larger capacity for some 4 day winter mountaineering trips carrying snowhoes or skis and cold weather kit."

That seems like a pretty low starting weight to me for even snowshoes, let alone skis. Have you put together your full kit (including food) and weighed it?

Maybe you are sharing a shelter which will cut a bit but looking over my winter and mountaineering trips I can't see getting that light for a trip with gear. (mountaineer/climbing/skis)

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Great Lakes Bay Region
Re: 40 lb? on 09/21/2012 20:50:04 MDT Print View

Hi Ray,

I have problay low balled my weight a bit, I have judged it off previous trips in Ireland and Scotland, I have forgotten to add the weight of the skis or snowshoes, let just that weight up past 50lbs.

What pack would you recommend?

Cheers,

Stephen

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Winter Pack recommendations on 09/21/2012 21:02:20 MDT Print View

I would look at the Osprey packs that fit your volume needs.

With loads that include snowshoes, skis, ropes and other climbing gear, a McHale or the likes is justified, cost aside.

Richard Lyon
(richardglyon) - MLife

Locale: Bridger Mountains
Mystery Ranch on 09/21/2012 22:46:50 MDT Print View

Mystery Ranch packs are at their best with winter loads. Lightweight they are not, but unequalled at weight transfer. Pick the one that meets your volume needs.

Cheers, Richard

Raymond Estrella
(rayestrella) - MLife

Locale: Northern Minnesota
Winter Pack recommendations on 09/22/2012 02:45:36 MDT Print View

Hello again Stephen,

(3:30 am here. Getting ready to go to the airport, need coffee...)

OK, that sounds better. I started doing my winter and mountaineering trips with a Bora 95, went to an Osprey Aether 85 and am now in an Osprey Aether 70.

For years I have tried to get my gear down to where I could use a Mutant (40 L) but can't do it. It is a great winter day-pack though.

Good luck in your search. I am off for three weeks so will not be able to respond to questions.

John Almond
(FLRider) - F

Locale: The Southeast
Molly Mac Pack on 09/22/2012 06:04:10 MDT Print View

Have you seen the Molly Mac Pack? It'll scale as large or as small as you want, though for loads above ~40 lbs or so, you'll probably want to add a pair of small aluminum lumbar stays to the pack like Rat suggests in his review.

I have a DIY version, and it's comfy up to 40 lbs. Above that, my waist belt design isn't really up to the task, but the frame and back panel themselves are just fine up into the eighty-pound range.

Hope it helps!

Richard Fischel
(RICKO) - F
70L + for four days of mountaineering on 09/22/2012 08:16:01 MDT Print View

seems like a lot of gear/volume. here's what fits in my 40L cilogear for four + one days:

http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/forums/thread_display.html?forum_thread_id=55176&nid=466402&print=1

Even with a full rack and snowshoes i couldn't imagine going over 60L with room to spare. Too much volume in a pack just equals bringing too much stuff.

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Great Lakes Bay Region
Winter Pack recommendations on 09/22/2012 10:21:52 MDT Print View

Dale & Richard,

I will check those packs out, have you experience with them?

Ray,

Have a great trip, where you heading?

John,

So you made the pack yourself, how much time and money did you out in to it?

Richard,

Your gear seems similar to mine but I do not see a hard shell pants or a sleeping pad in your list, is that an omission?

Have a great weekend all,

Stephen

Greg Fox
(Cabman) - F
lightweight on 09/22/2012 11:55:05 MDT Print View

I really like my Kifaru KU 3700 and you can get a 5200 if you need that much space. I have 2 long pockets and a grab-it with my 3700 and have yet to need both pockets but I'm sure I will this winter. I also have a Kifaru Longhunter that I just use the frame with a cargo chair when using a pulk.

Bruce Tolley
(btolley)

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Winter Pack Recommendations on 09/22/2012 12:06:35 MDT Print View

+1 to Osprey Aether

I fit all my gear into the 60 liter version but usually am sharing common gear and food with one or two buddies.

Also, I have broken several components of the pack while winter camping and Osprey has very good customer service.

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Great Lakes Bay Region
Re: Winter Pack Recommendations on 09/22/2012 12:33:58 MDT Print View

Cheers Guys,

Richard Fischel
(RICKO) - F
hardshell pants and sleeping pad on 09/22/2012 12:41:55 MDT Print View

Stephen - I for the most part stopped taking hardshell pants when I started wearing Scholler softshell pants. I usually attach a closed-cell foam pad to the outside of my pack.

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Great Lakes Bay Region
Re: hardshell pants and sleeping pad on 09/22/2012 13:00:24 MDT Print View

Cheers Richard,

What foam pad do you use.

I noticed you use an ID event overbag, do you use that's over your Antelope in the the tent? does it uprate the bag much?

John Almond
(FLRider) - F

Locale: The Southeast
Re: Winter Pack recommendations on 09/22/2012 13:49:54 MDT Print View

Stephen M said: John,

So you made the pack yourself, how much time and money did you out in to it?


Not sure how much time I've got into it, to be honest. If I had to ballpark, I'd say somewhere in the range of ten to twenty hours of actual work, along with another ten to fifteen hours of research. That's for the Alpha and Beta models; I'm going to replace the shoulder straps and waist belt on the Beta model, which should take me another four to six hours if previous experience is any indication.

As to money, I have probably about two hundred, maybe two-forty into it. Most of that was in the prototyping stage (it's the first pack I've tried to make, so I had to learn a lot about sewing before it worked out); if I was to do it from scratch now, I could probably make one for an hundred, maybe hundred-twenty, total.

Honestly, it's probably cheaper and easier to buy one from MacEntyre. He's got the whole thing down, for sure. I just wanted to get a feel for how the design works and pay for it in installments as cash became available rather than all at once. Besides, I have the ability to point at it with pride and say, "I made that."

Eric Blumensaadt
(Danepacker) - MLife

Locale: Mojave Desert
Granite Gear on 09/22/2012 14:05:23 MDT Print View

Look at Granite Gear. You need tougher material for winter. They also make military/tactical packs so they have a handle on what it takes to make tough, reliable packs.

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Great Lakes Bay Region
Re: Re: Winter Pack recommendations on 09/22/2012 15:03:39 MDT Print View

That's a lot of effort John, Well done :-)

Hi Eric,

Will have aloof at GG.

Cheers both,

Stephen

Edited by stephenm on 09/22/2012 17:46:52 MDT.

Richard Fischel
(RICKO) - F
stephen - i have a couple of diffrent pads, with may favorite being egg crate foam on 09/24/2012 09:56:26 MDT Print View

pad from nunatak or a ridge rest. the nunatak pad is called the luna, but if you search for it by typing *luna pad* the first results are not going to be for the pad i use. you've been warned. depending on what we have planned i might also add a torso length self inflating pad. with lots of sharp pointy things around i'd never just have an inflatable pad. the id event overbag adds i'm guessing around 5*, maybe. it's hard to tell. i don't always bring it when i have a tent. we like to sleep out and it's perfect for that.

Edited by RICKO on 09/24/2012 09:58:45 MDT.

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Great Lakes Bay Region
Re: stephen - i have a couple of diffrent pads, with may favorite being egg crate foam on 10/03/2012 14:04:01 MDT Print View

Cheers Richard,

Brian Austin
(footeab) - F

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Re: Re: Winter Pack recommendations on 10/03/2012 18:10:37 MDT Print View

Hmm, I usually always climb with 2 or 3 guys I know. in winter, we Always take a Big McHale Alpiner backpack(7lbs-8lbs) we got used, best find EVER! and a smaller summit pack and a knapsack for the guy carrying the McHale or skip it and leave all the gear at base camp and strip the McHale down to about 4lbs, Heavy, but not all that bad either. We switch out who carries the monster load. Best of both worlds. Do the same thing when one guy goes in a day early as they have an extra day of vacation while the other guy has to haul a$$ at a 16 mile clip or more to catch up.

PS. Your Catalyst Pack will carry winter gear with some finagelling with straps and gear tied on. Awkward? Yea, though not after you do it twice or more. Easily doable. Will have to create a foam pad or sometimes simpler is a sleeve of cordura nylon that is put around your ski for attaching skis as skis sharp edges will destroy any lightweight backpack in VERY short order. Attaching snowshoes? No problem on any pack with a couple extra straps.

PS. I will never carry a Gregory, Dana Designs-Mystery Ranch-Marmot, Osprey, Cilo Gear again after carrying a McHale for heavy loads. NEVER EVER!

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Great Lakes Bay Region
Re: Re: Re: Re: Winter Pack recommendations on 10/03/2012 18:20:55 MDT Print View

Cheers Brian,

I have used the Catalyst for a couple of winter trips in Scotland (without skis or snowshoes) and it was fine.

I have heard a lot of great things about McHale packs.

Don Selesky
(backslacker) - M
Re: re: winter pack on 10/03/2012 20:38:41 MDT Print View

I'll second the recommendation of the Hyperlight Mountain Gear Expedition pack. Just had mine up in the Colorado Rockies for 5 days, and it carried beautifully.

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Great Lakes Bay Region
Re: Re: re: winter pack on 10/04/2012 04:23:30 MDT Print View

Thanks Don,

A buddy just pointed me that way also.

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Great Lakes Bay Region
Re: Re: Re: re: winter pack on 03/18/2013 18:33:20 MDT Print View

Folks,

Haven't got around to getting new winter pack, just seeing if anyone had any more recommendations?

Cheers,

Stephen

Henry Thomas
(hthomas) - M
Winter Pack on 03/18/2013 20:10:48 MDT Print View

I was in the same position but after looking at large capacity packs decided on the pulk. I encourage you to check out Skipulks.com. You can't beat a pulk for cold weather camping.

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Great Lakes Bay Region
Re: Winter Pack on 03/19/2013 04:40:51 MDT Print View

I do plan to get a pulk Henry at some stage but also need a load hauler for where a pulk can't go.

Eric Blumensaadt
(Danepacker) - MLife

Locale: Mojave Desert
Winter Pack on 03/19/2013 11:21:26 MDT Print View

I have an original Dana Designs Terraplane. (7.5 lbs!!)

My recommendation would be something from Granite Gear in the 4,500 cu. in range with exterior straps on the bottom for truly huge synthetic winter bags or winter mattresses.

Granite Gear makes tough packs that are comfortable. Not UL but still light.

Max Dilthey
(mdilthey) - M

Locale: MaxTheCyclist.com
40lbs seems right on 03/19/2013 11:33:46 MDT Print View

My weight for a 4-day trip up Camel's Hump iN VT in January, with snowshoes and crampons, was like 35lbs. I think 40 is an ok estimate, since I didn't have a stove (someone else did).

rOg w
(rOg_w) - F - M

Locale: rogwilmers.wordpress
deleted on 03/19/2013 11:56:32 MDT Print View

deleted

Edited by rOg_w on 06/17/2013 20:03:30 MDT.

Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Re: Winter Pack recommendations on 03/19/2013 12:00:47 MDT Print View

I concur with Rog.

In fact, I'm going to be using my Catalyst this weekend. :)

But you're bringing the Hilleberg though, correct? That might take up some pack real estate.


Edit: I see way back in your OP that you mentioned mountaineering. That I have no experience with.

Edited by T.L. on 03/19/2013 12:02:44 MDT.

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Great Lakes Bay Region
Re: Re: Winter Pack recommendations on 03/19/2013 12:12:16 MDT Print View

Cheers Guys,

It is for Winter trips in the Rockies and back in Europe when carrying crampons, shovel and snowshoes.

It will probaly only be used 2-3 times a year.

Edited by stephenm on 03/19/2013 12:40:54 MDT.

tommy d
(vinovampire) - F
Black Diamond Mission 75 Pack on 03/20/2013 17:57:01 MDT Print View

I've found the Black Diamond Mission 75 pack to work well for my winter needs. It's a nice, streamlined pack. It has well-considered places for crampons, axes, and snowshoes to attach to the pack when not in use. It should have plenty of space for a multi-day winter trip.

Black Diamond Mission 75 Pack

Good luck with your search!

Edited by vinovampire on 03/20/2013 18:00:40 MDT.

Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
Re: Re: Re: Winter Pack recommendations on 03/20/2013 18:55:49 MDT Print View

Hurry up Stephen. Winter is almost over.

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Great Lakes Bay Region
Re: Re: Re: Re: Winter Pack recommendations on 03/20/2013 19:01:16 MDT Print View

Its for next winter Dave, I am stocking up with kit this side of the pond in case we get sent back to Belgium as there is a bit of a shake up at work at the moment.

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Great Lakes Bay Region
Re: Black Diamond Mission 75 Pack on 03/20/2013 19:03:55 MDT Print View

Cheers Tommy, nice pic.

Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Winter Pack recommendations on 03/20/2013 19:10:15 MDT Print View

Just pulling your chain!

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Great Lakes Bay Region
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Winter Pack recommendations on 03/20/2013 19:29:12 MDT Print View

I got that Dave :-)

Just saying whats happening down the coal mines.

Edited by stephenm on 03/20/2013 20:29:56 MDT.

Mike M
(mtwarden) - MLife

Locale: Montana
Golite Pinnacle for lighter winter loads on 03/20/2013 21:34:28 MDT Print View

if you're not going to load it too heavy, the Pinnacle at ~ 70-75 liters does a good job of eating up bulky winter gear, I added a light frame to mine in case I end up carrying snowhoes or the like- carrying snowshoes and a shovel I'm still under 30 #'s for a 3 day outing

as one of the posters mentioned, shelter weight (and volume!) can vary pretty wildly in the winter from a pyramid @ 2#'s to 9#+ for a heavy duty Hillberg or the like, that will most certainly influence your pack choice

you probably guessed, but I'm using a 2# pyramid :)

that's my wife's diminutive pack in the background, have to keep hers extra light!!!!

 photo pinnacleloaded_zpsd7b465be.jpg

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Great Lakes Bay Region
Re: Golite Pinnacle for lighter winter loads on 03/21/2013 07:25:24 MDT Print View

That looks nice Mike, I have an Rei Flash 62 for weights under 30lbs or so, this one is going to be a big ass load hauler.

Al.

I am thinking I will bite the bullet and give Dan MChale a call, I know his packs are expensive but if I don't have to buy another winter pack for 10 years then I am up money.

Diane Pinkers
(dipink) - M

Locale: Western Washington
winter pack on 03/22/2013 10:26:49 MDT Print View

Check out Section Hiker. His March 14 2013 post had his winter backpacking gear list for the White Mountains, where he's been peak bagging. He lists something called a Cold Cold World Chaos Backpack, with a listed weight of 58 ounces. He quotes a total weight of 44 pounds of gear, food, fuel and water for a 4 day trip, and a total skin out weight of 52.7 pounds.

Stuart .
(lotuseater) - M

Locale: Where the air is thin
CCW Chaos on 03/22/2013 10:32:43 MDT Print View

Here's sectionhiker's review of the Chaos Diane mentions above:

http://sectionhiker.com/cold-cold-world-chaos-backpack/

And a more recent recap of winter pack recommendations:

http://sectionhiker.com/the-best-backpacks-for-winter-hiking-and-backpacking/

Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
Re: Re: Golite Pinnacle for lighter winter loads on 03/22/2013 10:45:21 MDT Print View

NM

Edited by FamilyGuy on 07/08/2013 23:20:13 MDT.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
McHale on 03/22/2013 10:58:35 MDT Print View

McHale Rear

mchale side

mchale and scarp

Michael Wainfeld
(Adox)

Locale: EastCoast
Winter Pack-McHale on the LT in Vermont on 03/22/2013 14:00:56 MDT Print View

McHale on the LT

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Great Lakes Bay Region
Re: Winter Pack-McHale on the LT in Vermont on 03/26/2013 13:27:27 MDT Print View

Just had a very pleasant pone call with Dan, the cheque is going in the post this week :-)