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Pack: durable hauler recommendations
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Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
Pack: durable hauler recommendations on 02/18/2013 22:19:01 MST Print View

I'm looking for a load hauler, mainly:
*Abrasion resistant for scrambling/bushwhacking/canyoneering type stuff
*Something that carries up to ~45/50 pounds and is about ~4600 cubic inches total
*Not a McHale (I have a family to feed).

I've been very interested in a ULA Catalyst in cordura but have some hangs ups with this pack: I'm afraid to shred the mesh pocket and I also don't like the fact that it doesn't zip. I'd like a pack that can be thrown or lowered when climbing without worry about spilling contents.

Recommend some stuff to look at.

Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Re: Pack: durable hauler recommendations on 02/18/2013 22:25:52 MST Print View

Craig, I just got the Catalyst. I know that Chris from ULA will do certain custom fabrics, like a cuben hybrid. I also know that if you ask him to make the mesh pocket out of another material, I'm sure he would. And to be quite honest, I'd be surprised if he wouldn't sew in a simple zipper along the top of the roll top opening for added security.

I don't mean to speak for ULA, but Chris was helpful and he added custom packraft straps onto my Catalyst.

I took it out on an overnight and it carried very well. I've loaded it up with 40lbs around the house and it seemed like it would do fine with that load. 50lbs might be pushing it though.

Edit: re: zip. are you talking about the pocket zipping or the main bag? At any rate, I'd still be surprised if he couldn't find a way to make that outside pocket zip.

Edited by T.L. on 02/18/2013 22:28:53 MST.

Ken T.
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: All up in there
Re: Pack: durable hauler recommendations on 02/18/2013 22:26:56 MST Print View


I still have this Kelty Satori 4500 that I tried to offload on you a couple of years ago. Your cost $0.00


In use as a water hauler in Borrego

It's modular.

Cilogear Worksack ?

Edited by kthompson on 02/19/2013 19:43:23 MST.

michael levi
(M.L) - F

Locale: W-Never Eat Soggy (W)affles
zim on 02/18/2013 23:30:03 MST Print View

Zimmerbuilt, get it custom done.

Max Dilthey
(mdilthey) - M

Durable Pack on 02/18/2013 23:31:39 MST Print View

+1 on Zimmerbuilt, love my all-dyneema hipster.

I have a 90L Kelty that I beat the daylights out of. Kelty makes a helluva pack.

Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Re: zim on 02/18/2013 23:41:58 MST Print View

I really, REALLY wanted a custom Zimmer pack. I emailed him about a load hauler, and he said that he's made some with stays. I do not doubt the man's work. Everything he's made looks friggin' spectacular. I just needed something with a tried-and-true reputation for something hauling hefty weights. When I get extra cash, I'd love to have a pack by that guy.

eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F
climbing on 02/18/2013 23:47:17 MST Print View

any climbing/mountaineering pack

thats what they are designed for ...

only you back and your wallet will tell you which works best

Justin Baker
(justin_baker) - M

Locale: Santa Rosa, CA
Re: Pack: durable hauler recommendations on 02/19/2013 01:41:17 MST Print View

ULA packs could be good for bushwacking, but they have a couple issues. The mesh pocket can get shredded easily. Mine has a pretty bad hole in it. The compression cords are thin and tend to get snagged on brush and branches easily.
If you can replace the pocket material with something that's not mesh and replace the compression cords with a couple of thicker straps, it would make an amazing bushwack pack. I plan on changing those things on my ohm.

Mole J
(MoleJ) - F

Locale: UK
alpine pack on 02/19/2013 04:45:13 MST Print View

What Eric says.
(I think some UL backpackers are unawareabout what the Alpine climbing world has been doing for a lot longer....)

if you want a good priced tough simple packs:

custom available AFAIK
site is a little low on detail but theyll respond to queries.
Other UK lightweight packmakers:

and Podsacs

Nathan Watts
(7sport) - MLife
Re: alpine pack on 02/19/2013 06:07:04 MST Print View

Does a typical alpine pack have a suspension system like a traditional hiking pack? My understanding was you want an alpine pack more tightly compressed and conformed to your back for CG and arm mobility while climbing. And a typical framed hiking pack is at odds with that isn't it?

I'm probably mistaken though, so maybe someone can clarify.

David Noll
(dpnoll) - MLife

Locale: Maroon Bells
Pack on 02/19/2013 06:20:26 MST Print View

If you want durable and are willing to spend the $ call Dan Mchale at McHale Packs. There is nothing better out there.

Brendan S
(brendans) - MLife

Locale: Fruita CO
Re: Pack: durable hauler recommendations on 02/19/2013 08:10:38 MST Print View

Like others have mentioned, a lot of climbing packs aren't really intended for carrying 50 lbs. Cilo is the one that comes to mind that has a real frame but there are quite a few not-so-glowing construction/durability reviews out there (although it sounds like a lot of the problems might have been from when they were made overseas). Maybe some of the larger Black Diamond packs. The new Hill People Gear Ute pack looks really good ( Spec'd @ 3500 ci, but there aren't the outer pockets of the ULA and main pack is probably larger than the ULA. Adding extra volume would be easy. Maybe Kifaru, though it looks like you could probably get a cordura mchale for less.

David Chenault
(DaveC) - BPL Staff - F

Locale: Crown of the Continent
re: durable hauler on 02/19/2013 08:37:52 MST Print View

I read "canyoneering" and think 800d Ballistics minimum for durability. Add in being able to carry 45 pounds well and very few, if any, candidates come to mind.

I've not used a Cilogear pack, but the 30 and 45 liter ones I've seen in person have not impressed. Hipbelt connection seemed too loose, and suspension felt weak, and the design has way too many seams.

The Imlay Canyon Gear Heaps pack might be worth looking at. It's advertised as 42 liters but those liters are much bigger than most.

The BD Demon is on the small side, but is tough, simple, and will carry anything you can fit in it short of a triple pin rack.

eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F
Re: Re: Pack: durable hauler recommendations on 02/19/2013 09:19:55 MST Print View

a lot of climbing packs aren't really intended for carrying 50 lbs.

theres plenty of climbing/mountaineering packs designed for that weight ... the thing is that you arent going to be doing technical climbs in em

what kind of packs do you think people use going up big mountains and lugging gear to base camp and above?

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Re: Pack: durable hauler recommendations on 02/19/2013 10:15:23 MST Print View

What about something like the Epic that enables large loads, but you use your own bag of whatever material you choose?

Chris Quinn
(cquinn) - MLife

Locale: North Queensland
Re: Pack: durable hauler recommendations on 02/19/2013 15:41:53 MST Print View

May I suggest having a look at the Elemental Horizons line?

I took a custom made Aquilo on the Larapinta trail, and was very happy with it. My starting total pack weight was 18kg (39.6lb), and it went up, with two days worth of water, to about 21kg (46lb). It carried the weight comfortably.

My medium has a volume of 3587 cubic inches, according to the website, but the X large goes up to 4723 cubic inches.

Quality of workmanship on the pack is good, with great attention to detail.

Matthew is very open to doing custom work, he used Dyneema in specific areas on my pack, and it stood up to the rough country just fine. He was quick to respond to emails, and even upgraded the postage to international express at no charge to me, to make sure I got my pack on time.

Total weight of the pack, with custom fabric, and pockets, is 1054g (37.2oz) on my scales. I paid $303, in March last year, for the pack with 2 x accessory pockets and hydration sleeve.

Will Rietveld gave the Aquilo a Highly Recommended rating when he reviewed it.

Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
Durable hauler on 02/19/2013 18:26:57 MST Print View

You mentioned the BD Demon Dave.
That's exactly what I'm looking for, just bigger.
I've browsed all the offerings of the major companies online and it's pretty hard to find something fairly minimal, yet with capacity. So many of the bigger packs out there just have too much feature creep.

The BD Mission 75 has caught my eye but I know nothing about BD's bigger packs and how people like the suspension. So far, I've never been disappointed with their gear, but a big framed pack might be different. $239 and 3 pounds, 15 ounces (or 2,15 "stripped") for a 4600" framed pack in the 40-60# range sounds pretty doable to me. If they're saying 40-60#, I'm hoping it'll reasonably mange 45#.

Basically, I want a water hauler (3-4 gallons at a time + UL gear) that can reasonably stand up to rubbing on rock and desert thorns/brush. All small pockets should be zippered for security and it should have no mesh/stretchy stuff and no bulky side pockets.

Ross L
(Ross) - MLife

Locale: Beautiful BC
Re: Durable hauler on 02/19/2013 18:39:38 MST Print View


Have a look at the Arcteryx Altra 65 or 75. It fits many of your requirements.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Durable hauler on 02/19/2013 19:30:35 MST Print View

Try and find a used Mountainsmith Frostfire II

- heavy cordura
- internal frame with adjustable tape to change torso length
- under 5lbs
- approx 4500-5000 cu.
- removable top lid

It does have two mesh water pockets you could cut off.

Pretty straight forward robust pack. Bet you could find one in excellent shape on eBay for under $100.

John Whynot

Locale: Southeast Texas
Re: Durable hauler on 02/19/2013 19:46:47 MST Print View

@Craig -- I took a 6 day glacier mountaineering course last summer, and the guide used a BD Mission 75. In addition to his personal gear, he carried the rope and climbing rack plus an ice tool, so I am guessing his pack was pushing 50 pounds. It looked like a decent pack, and I heard no complaints from him about it...