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Cheap First Pack - Which of these
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Nathaniel Taylor
(ntaylor1) - F
Cheap First Pack - Which of these on 03/28/2007 17:00:06 MDT Print View

I am hoping to do some weekend hikes this spring and I am looking for a cheap suitable pack. I am tall (6'3) and I hope to keep my base weight below 12lbs. That said I am also planning a ~10 day urban packing trip to Europe and I am hoping that I can use this pack for my clothes and necessities. Looking at the typical sites I have come up with these contenders:

GoLite Gust Pack - 3600ci - 20oz - $80

Jansport Helios Tall - 2950ci - 43oz - $70

Kelty Illusion - 3500ci - 55oz - $100

What do you guys think?

John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: Cheap First Pack - Which of these on 03/28/2007 17:25:20 MDT Print View


Jason Klass
(jasonklass) - F

Locale: Parker, CO
Gust! on 03/28/2007 18:35:06 MDT Print View

I second the vote for the Gust--It's got a huge capacity for the weight and is a great price.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Cheap First Pack - Which of these on 03/28/2007 18:49:07 MDT Print View

Given what you wrote, my pick would be none of the above. My thoughts:

1. The Gust is an awfully big pack for weekend hikes -- espeicially since you have pared down your base weight to just 12 lbs!

2. For urban travel trips -- where you leave your tent, bag, pad, cookset, hydration bladders, etc. at home -- and add very small items like passport, tickets, some cash and cards, and maybe a guidebook -- your gear weight and volume will be even less -- a lot less!

As a comparison, I use a much smaller GoLite Dawn (2,000 ci main volume) for weekenders and just a bookbag (8-9 lbs total pack weight) for month-long travels to Asia, Africa and Europe.

One good option is the smaller GoLite Jam pack or Jam2 pack. No direct experience, but the latter's ability to shrink from weekender to daypack size may come in handy in your travels as well.

Edited by ben2world on 03/28/2007 19:03:15 MDT.

Kevin Lane
(Paddster) - F

Locale: western NY
Re: Cheap First Pack - Which of these on 03/28/2007 19:17:09 MDT Print View

check out the rei ultralight, one goes for around $50 or so. Also, do a search on orienteering gear, one site had Salomon Adventure Racing packs on sale for under $50. They are groovy

Brett .
(Brett1234) - F

Locale: CA
re:Cheap First Pack..Flash/Jam combo on 03/28/2007 21:18:23 MDT Print View

I have a different opinion. You do not need one pack, you need two. Choosing one pack will leave you with a pack too big/heavy for a day hike, but too small to hold everything for a 10 day trip. (If I read your post correctly you want to use this as your sole luggage item for travels, carry-on probably).

However! I also noticed your price range is below $100, so we have to choose carefully..
I would recommend the REI Flash ($25,17 liters,281 grams) as the day-hiker, AND a Golite Jam ($60,38L,600g). Total cost $85. These are both quality packs with a good reputation here at BPL. You can pack the Flash in the Jam for the trip, then leave the Jam and most your travel goods in the hotel and carry the Flash on your day-excursions.

Here's the $59.45 Jam.

If you want mesh pockets and a lid on your day pack, consider the Patagonia Lightweight Travel Pack, ($60,20L,281g)

Or the Montbell Versalite 20, ($60,20L,350g)

You can stuff either of these into their own lid, then toss it in your Jam. I own the Versalite as my day-hiker, and prefer having the mesh pocket and lid for some of my "10 essentials".
rei flashgolite jampatagonia lightweight travel packmontbell versalite 20

Edited by Brett1234 on 03/28/2007 21:21:39 MDT.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: re:Cheap First Pack..Flash/Jam combo on 03/29/2007 10:50:42 MDT Print View

Totally agree that a daypack is nice for both day hikes as well as urban day travels. The GoLite Jam 2 backpack mentioned above has a "Compactor system" that shrinks the pack from 3,000 cubic inches down to just 1,300 cubic inches - perfect for day hikes or day tours when one can leave the bulk of the gear inside the tent -- or hotel.

Edited by ben2world on 03/29/2007 10:52:28 MDT.

Brett .
(Brett1234) - F

Locale: CA
re:Cheap First Pack - Which of these on 03/29/2007 20:10:21 MDT Print View

And I totally agree with Ben that if you could discipline yourself to packing everything for a long trip into a daypack sized sack as Ben does, that would be awesome; and you would only need one medium sized pack. Alas, I can not; and I need extra room for stuff I buy along the way..

Mark Larson
(mlarson) - MLife

Locale: Southeast USA
Re: Cheap First Pack - Which of these on 03/30/2007 08:53:33 MDT Print View

I think both Ben and Brett have given sensible advice and their pack recommendations are pretty much what I would say. You'll be in good shape either way!