Subscribe Contribute Advertise Facebook Twitter Instagram Forums Newsletter
Pack Weight
Display Avatars Sort By:
Max Dilthey
(mdilthey) - M

Locale: MaxTheCyclist.com
Pack Weight on 03/16/2013 11:33:35 MDT Print View

I found an interesting quote from a while back that I wanted to share, and get some opinions on. I find the logic to be enormously sound. There's a general trend of cutting down to ridiculously small or thin packs, and when I see someone getting ready for a multi-day trip with something that has no frame at all, I can't help but think about the back issues that don't reveal themselves quite as obviously.

I am on board for reducing weight; I don't think I'm on board with cutting out backpack padding, like a lot of people are. At least, not like I used to be. As comfortable as my Boreas 40L is, the dialed-in fit of my huge Kelty is just fine with all the padding. It's nice having a pillow on your lower lumbar for distribution on a sub-20lb load. Is it just me? Am I crazy?

Here's the quote:




"I commented on pack weight in another thread a while back, but I'll say the same thing:

In my opinion (and I'm no expert, but I know what I like) the one single place I would not skimp is your pack. Without going all Gregory Baltoro on anyone, the options are excellent out there. I say anything under 3lbs (yes, I meant to type 'lbs' not 'oz' haha) is still plenty good for a thru-hike. I've hiked with heavier for shorter, but the one thing I don't want is hurting shoulders, trapezius, or other back issues. Just make sure the pack has the features you want (pockets, mesh holders, water storage/bladder hooks, whatever) and that it fits your gear, and that includes a bear canister.

People used to (errr...still do) hike the PCT, CDT, AT, etc., with all styles of packs, some newer and some older.

Find a pack that fits, find a pack that fits your style, find a pack that fits your gear, find a pack that fits your budget....THEN and only then start looking at ounces.

Again, my opinion, and one that may not be popular with some. Cut your tags off, cut your toothbrush, cut your hair, get a colonoscopy, but don't skimp on your pack for a 4 month hike. :)"

-Dug Shelby, BPL Member

(sourcehttp://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/forums/thread_display.html?forum_thread_id=39127)

P.S. "This is a forum for UL backpackers, look elsewhere" has never been helpful or necessary. Just looking for opinions!

Edited by mdilthey on 03/16/2013 12:04:18 MDT.

Max Dilthey
(mdilthey) - M

Locale: MaxTheCyclist.com
McHale on 03/16/2013 11:34:53 MDT Print View

McHale packs are a good example of people ignoring pack weight in favor of comfort and features, though, everyone seems to skirt around it a little bit.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Always Put Horse Before Cart on 03/16/2013 12:03:31 MDT Print View

Howdy Max:

UL focus is not on cutting the padding out of a backpack. It is about focusing on building your gear system by judiciously looking at every piece -- using these three steps in order -- and then matching your resulting gear with an appropriate backpack:

1. What pieces aren't really being used or being actually useful? Leave them home next time.

2. Of the items actually used -- what items can perform multiple functions? Leave the substituted pieces at home.

3. Of the remaining items -- are there other options that are lighter or more compact?

UL is about shedding unnecessary weight. And if your resulting pack weight obviates the need for a big backpack with strong frame and beefy padding -- then you don't need a big backpack with strong frame and beefy padding! That's why we advise people to do their gear study and selection first -- then match with a backpack with the appropriate volume and carrying comfort!

Lastly, with the weight savings in gear and then the weight saving in backpack -- one can then look at one's boots. Are hefty mountain boots still necessary? Or can a pair of trail runners do the job properly? In my case, I wear trail runners because my pack weight is light enough (20-23 lbs) -- and all I really need are good support and good traction. And with trail runners instead of hefty boots -- I shave off a good 3-4lbs -- and my feet are thankful for that.

You see, it's all related, and gear selection focuses on both the pieces individually -- and also how the pieces fit together as a system.

So, if you have bulky, heavy gear, then you need a good, hefty, comfortable backpack. And then you will need sturdy boots. But often, a better solution is to pare down the gear weight so you no longer have a need for a good, hefty, comfortable backpack -- and then you also no longer need sturdy but heavy boots.

Edited by ben2world on 03/16/2013 12:09:58 MDT.

Max Dilthey
(mdilthey) - M

Locale: MaxTheCyclist.com
I hear you, but... on 03/16/2013 12:08:59 MDT Print View

Right, and I did an Excel spreadsheet a few weeks ago where I narrowed my baseweight down to 12lbs, including my pack.

Still, 12lbs isn't the whole story. Add on 10lbs+ of food and 5lbs+ of water at the longest sections of a hike, and suddenly your 12 is 27. That isn't really negotiable- obviously some conditions and trip lengths facilitate less, but at a certain point, an AT or PCT Thru-hiker has 30lbs on their back. Add on snowshoes or skis, or crampons, or bear canisters, and cuben fiber rucksacks look erroneous to me.

Maybe it's the difference between UL and SUL, but I feel like a suspension system that actually redistributes weight along an anatomically designed hipbelt with a pad that is flexible enough to absorb shock from each step is crucial to long-term back health. We're talking about adding 1-4lbs, and redistributing 25lbs correctly. That has to make a difference.

I am on board for the philosophy, but I am very sympathetic to the allowance of good suspension. I can't figure out how the hipbelts on some of the more minimalist backpacks realistically do anything.

Edit: I'm not trying to dispute you, rather, I agree with you. I'm interested in hearing how other people do without considering weight distribution on significant hikes (I've only gone frameless for ~25 miles in 2 day trips).

Edited by mdilthey on 03/16/2013 12:15:06 MDT.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: I hear you, but... on 03/16/2013 12:15:25 MDT Print View

"I am on board for the philosophy, but I am very sympathetic to the allowance of good suspension."

Max -- I hope you didn't get the impression that beefy packs have no place. They do! But before anyone can decide which pack to bring -- one should decide on the gear pieces first. If you are doing a week-long trip and your total pack weight is in the mid 20 pounds -- then maybe a frameless pack truly is all you need for all day carrying comfort! And if that's the case, why burden your poor legs, ankles and feet with the extra poundage of unneeded frame and padding?

But if you are hiking in the desert -- for even just three days -- but have to carry copious quantities of water -- then again, after gathering up your gear -- you may well need a backpack with volume and carrying comfort.

Reading your first post, Max, I think you were approaching the problem from the wrong direction. No one can properly decide which is the appropriate pack without first deciding what gear pieces and how much food and water to bring.

Have you seen the gear room pics? You notice how people have more than 1 backpack? Yep. Proper tool selection for the job at hand.

Jan S
(karl-ton)
I agree on 03/16/2013 12:18:47 MDT Print View

Yeah, I agree. And while I think the UL backpacks do a wonderful job in reducing the weight of the pack (where your stuff goes in) and adding just the features that are needed, when it comes to suspension systems they have made a huge step back to the 70s (external frame anyone?). One can of course argue that as soon as you go UL, you don't need to be able to carry 40+ lbs loads, but then most people seem to overload their packs at some point (food and water resupplies, load hauling for others, winter trips, etc.).

Personally I'd love to see decent suspension systems that are able to carry largish loads and are still in a reasonable light backpack. But by the looks of it we have to wait for the big companies to do that job – at least for people who don't buy a McHale pack. Which is a bit disappointing.

Edited by karl-ton on 03/16/2013 12:20:19 MDT.

Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Re: Always Put Horse Before Cart on 03/16/2013 12:19:08 MDT Print View

Back in 2010 I got all excited to get and use a frameless pack. My loaded pack weight was within the generally accepted range for a frameless pack, and while the pack was ok, I found that it simply didn't carry as nicely as something with proper support. Here's been the evolution of my pack choice:

Kelty Coyote (used twice, then found BPL. Sitting in a closet collecting dust. I should sell or donate it.)

Osprey Exos 58 (I liked it, but after my kit began to evolve, it was just too big. Sold it.)

Osprey Talon 44 (Still use this pack, and is my favorite for general use)

Six Moon Designs Swift (2010 version, no stays. Nicely built pack, but frameless wasn't for me. Sold it.)

REI Flash 30 (Got a super deal so I tried it out. Its good for an overnight when weights are very low, day hikes, or day packraft trips.)

ULA Catalyst (Not a whole lot of use yet, but this is for the times when I simply need the volume and weight carrying ability)


So, I currently have 3 packs, and each one has a different purpose. Using the right tool for the job is important.

Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Re: Re: Always Put Horse Before Cart on 03/16/2013 12:21:52 MDT Print View

Jan,
ULA packs are known to carry a good bit of weight and being reasonably light. HMG as well. Granite Gear, too.

Max Dilthey
(mdilthey) - M

Locale: MaxTheCyclist.com
Discussion Cont. on 03/16/2013 12:22:02 MDT Print View

Hmm. I guess it has to be personally decided. I wonder if the zeal at getting a pack under 16oz puts people in positions of sacrificing too much comfort.

I was checking out the other thread on ULA's, and these guys have 30lbs on their backs with about 2 inches of hipbelt width, no frames, and the back of the pack is one square sheet, like a rectangle.

My back is a big S-curve, it flexes while I take every step, and my hips are the strongest center of gravity. If my pack isn't an "S," all I can think about is the wasted energy on compensating for the discomfort, as well as the potential damage from so much weight on my shoulders rather than my hips.

McHale seems to get this. His packs weigh in the 3-4lb range for similar loads, and we have a whole network of acolytes who swear by the comfort. Not coincidence, I don't think. Distribution is important!

I'm going to try doing several "UL" trips with a non-UL pack this spring and post some trip reports. I want to try moving fast with a "luxury" pack with a variable suspension and see if my suspicions have any merit. Ultimately, most people will keep doing what they're doing anyways, but it makes for good discussion. (and I love BPL discussion!)

Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Re: Discussion Cont. on 03/16/2013 12:24:32 MDT Print View

Max, what thread was the ULA one?

ULA packs don't have 2 inch belts, most models have a frame/stay system, and the stays can be bent to shape your back.

Edited by T.L. on 03/16/2013 12:26:05 MDT.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Flexible Light Weight Load Hauler on 03/16/2013 12:24:50 MDT Print View

Jan:

Luxury Lite doesn't get talked about much anymore, but if you see yourself as the daring, think out of the box type -- then maybe cylinders are just what you're looking for. Light weight, eminently flexible, and (according to the personal experience of a friend I know) excellent carrying comfort. Buy the frame and a couple different sizes cylinders and you are ready to carry a wide range of bulk and weight. Read more here.

Max Dilthey
(mdilthey) - M

Locale: MaxTheCyclist.com
Toolbox on 03/16/2013 12:25:04 MDT Print View

I like the "tools" metaphor. My friends think I'm nuts for buying my third pack, but I think it's key:

40L Boreas Buttermilk ~3lbs
65L Gregory Baltoro ~5lbs
90L Kelty Red Cloud ~6lbs

I can probably ditch the Kelty (trying to, anyways) since I never fill it.

Now that I've bought the Gregory, I'm thinking the pack will live up to it's reviews, and the stationary shoulder straps of my Boreas will look less and less inviting... testing will tell.

Max Dilthey
(mdilthey) - M

Locale: MaxTheCyclist.com
Re: Re: Discussion Cont. on 03/16/2013 12:25:54 MDT Print View

I meant 2 inches tall. It's not actually far off from the height of other hipbelts. My point was, there's definitely a lot less to them in terms of support compared to serious suspension packs.

Edited by mdilthey on 03/16/2013 12:26:29 MDT.

Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Re: Re: Re: Discussion Cont. on 03/16/2013 12:26:57 MDT Print View

ULA packs have hipbelts that are more like 4-5 inches tall.

And they have more to them than the Osprey's Ive used.

Can you link to the thread?

Edited by T.L. on 03/16/2013 12:27:52 MDT.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Discussion Cont. on 03/16/2013 12:27:59 MDT Print View

"I wonder if the zeal at getting a pack under 16oz puts people in positions of sacrificing too much comfort."

Only if YOU let it. Everyone is a little different and you have to find out for yourself. Moi,

1. Frameless -- good for weights below 25lbs. Excellent all day carrying when below 22-23lbs.
2. Internal frame (Delrin rods -- not solid stays) -- good to about 30lbs - excellent all day carrying in high 20's.



"McHale seems to get this."

There are so many options for compact and lightweight gear pieces that for my kind of trips (which spans up to one week) -- I have no need for anything like a McHale. I just don't have that much or that heavy that I need to carry! So a McHale would be way too much pack for my needs -- because I have done my homework to pare away unnecessary gear bulk and weight. But your needs may well be different.

Max -- what is your gear weight for your anticipated trips? You should shop for the lightest, cheapest that will provide you with the carrying volume, comfort, features and durability that you need -- and not a dollar or a pound more.

Edited by ben2world on 03/16/2013 12:33:36 MDT.

eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F
packs on 03/16/2013 12:28:30 MDT Print View

most people out there, not BPLers, can make do with one or two packs for most of their uses

and you can get a ~40L do most things pack at a reasonably light weight from most manufacturers for a reasonable price ...

just consider that for a moment ;)

Jan S
(karl-ton)
Re: Re: Re: Always Put Horse Before Cart on 03/16/2013 12:29:00 MDT Print View

I admit I don't have the money to have about 5 cuben packs in my closet, but looking at the suspension systems of those packs and comparing them to my Gregory Chaos or MacPac Quantum thingy, I know what I want to have on my back. Pack weight or no pack weight. And yes, I do know that backpacks are a very individual thing. But I do think you can compare engineering (does that make sense?) of the suspension systems and here the UL packs seem to loose out.

And – although I'm not sure what to make of the whole review – the porter review didn't exactly help to build my trust in those suspension systems. Mainly judging by the photo of the hipbelt that looked like a lot of pain on long trips.

Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Re: packs on 03/16/2013 12:29:34 MDT Print View

I want Patagonia to make a $1000 pack laced with unicorn hair.

Paul McLaughlin
(paul) - MLife
packs and packs on 03/16/2013 12:34:37 MDT Print View

People vary widely in what they can comfortably carry in a given pack. Some can comfortably carry 20 or 25lbs. - or even more - with no hipbelt. Others, much less. That is the key here. Once you find you need a hipbelt, then you also need the structure that is required to transfer weight to the belt effectively - although you don't need to go up to that much in weight to get that. But if you can be comfortable without the belt, then all you need is a sack with shoulder straps and that can be very light. For me, the magic number is around 15 lbs. Below that I can be fine without the hipbelt, above it I want the belt. But since I have a nice pack with internal frame that weighs 16 oz., I don't bother with a frameless pack at all. The few ounces I would save aren't worth it since it would basically be just for overnight trips which I hardly ever get to do anyway. If my other gear were light enough that I could do 5 days with a 15 lb total packweight, then I would think about it.

I do think that there are folks who would be more comfortable switching to a light framed pack in place of their frameless pack - especially if they could do it with a weight penalty of 6 ounces or less. Comfort on the trail is worth some additional weight - how much depends on the degree of comfort and that depends on the individual. So I don't think we can generalize about what sort of pack anyone should be carrying for a particular load or a particular trip, but I do think that many people have only experienced the two extremes - unnecessarily heavy packs that are very comfortable, and extremely light frameless packs that have distinct limitations in load carrying capacity. Give them a very light internal frame pack and I'd bet a lot of them would switch to it

Clayton Mauritzen
(GlacierRambler) - F - M

Locale: NW Montana
Re: I hear you, but... on 03/16/2013 12:35:47 MDT Print View

Part of the issue with many maiunstream, etc. packs is that they actually have poor suspension for the weight. For example, the Buttermilk 40's frame (which I know you love) weighs a hefty 11 oz--more than double what is necessary for excellent load transfer up to 30-35 lbs. It also relies on a framesheet in connection with what looks like peripheral tubing. The framesheet is unnecessary and actually limits the pack's ability to move with you. Or consider the Granite Gear Crown VC 60 which relies only on a framesheet (no stays) and achieves only moderate load transfer because the framesheet is too flexible but still won't move well with the body. (You can probably tell I don't like framesheets.)

Personally, I rarely use frameless packs, though I do intend to experiment more this summer with them for light, weekend loads. For most everything, I prefer a good frame. It's just that too many manufacturers.

Honestly, a pack with a well-designed frame that matches its other components (hipbelt especially) shouldn't need to top more than 2-2.5 lbs. depending upon size and other options. See ULA's Circuit and HMG's Porter and Windrider/Southwest series (3400 and 4400) to see what I mean. None of these packs sacrifice padding or suspension, but they are all well below 3 lbs.

Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Re: Re: I hear you, but... on 03/16/2013 12:39:22 MDT Print View

>None of these packs sacrifice padding or suspension, but they are all well below 3 lbs.

Exactly. That's why I'm confused at why Max is thinking they're frameless and have a minimal hipbelt. Not trying to be confrontational, but that's a different perception than what they are, which is why I'd like to know what thread he's talking about.

Clayton Mauritzen
(GlacierRambler) - F - M

Locale: NW Montana
Re: Re: I hear you, but... on 03/16/2013 12:42:38 MDT Print View

With the exception of the CDT (frameless) and the old Ohm 1.0 (no longer sold) ULA hipbelts are all 4-5 inches tall and removable so that you can get the right size you need.

The medium belt that I tried on (for a 34 in. waist) weighed over 7.5 ounces--as much or more than most major companies that sell 3-4 lb. packs. They do that and still achieve very light packs that have excellent load transfer.

If you're worried about the shape of your back (I powerlift, so that's been an issue in pack fit for me for a long time) look for something that relies on an aluminum stay system--i.e, the ULA Circuit and everything by HMG. Gossamer Gear does so too, but in my experience, their hipbelt (the new one) isn't substantial enough to make their stay effective.

Max Dilthey
(mdilthey) - M

Locale: MaxTheCyclist.com
Cognitive Dissonance on 03/16/2013 12:43:24 MDT Print View

My contribution, I guess, is that a lot of ultralighters may be disregarding comfort to save ounces, by pushing a pack meant for 10lbs up to 30. You can calculate your baseweight, but at a certain point you'll be two days between water sources.

So, maybe as a standard, we should bar the "weekend trip" where you never have more than 15lbs. Obviously, very lightweight packs can work there. But on a thru-hike, or a weeklong trek, then I think it matters.

Look at the human spine:

spine

And here's a common Cuben Fiber backpack (DEFINITELY not trying to bash any backpack; the designers are making exactly what people ask for)

Cuben backpack

Cognitive Dissonance!

Clayton Mauritzen
(GlacierRambler) - F - M

Locale: NW Montana
Re: Cognitive Dissonance on 03/16/2013 12:45:00 MDT Print View

Max--that is a summit pack. It's not designed for backpacking (even though some may push the limits to use it as such).

Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Re: Cognitive Dissonance on 03/16/2013 12:45:33 MDT Print View

>I guess, is that a lot of ultralighters may be disregarding comfort to save ounces, by pushing a pack meant for 10lbs up to 30.

I agree.



But i STILL want to know what thread you're referring to with the ULA packs!!! :)

Max Dilthey
(mdilthey) - M

Locale: MaxTheCyclist.com
Re: Boreas on 03/16/2013 12:46:04 MDT Print View

Also, Clayton, I agree with you on the Boreas. Essentially, it's a silnylon packbag. The only difference between my Boreas and the lightest cuben bags is material weight and the sleeping pad sewn on the back (and I do use it for that!)

I do think the Gregory Baltoro is closer to what my "ideal" suspension system looks like, at least for winter and early spring/late fall. Midsummer I could roll with less.

Clayton Mauritzen
(GlacierRambler) - F - M

Locale: NW Montana
Re: Re: Cognitive Dissonance on 03/16/2013 12:46:09 MDT Print View

Also, the lack of frame allows the pack to conform to the shape of the spine when carried.

Please, do a little more research first.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: McHale on 03/16/2013 12:48:05 MDT Print View

Max,

It is all about using the correct tool for the conditions.

FRAMELESS PACKS

I have done many, many trips with frameless packs; trips that are fairly strenuous and lengthy. My two favorite frameless packs are the old GG Spinnaker Murmur and the zPacks Zero. Both are great packs. But when the total pack weight gets around 12-15 lbs, I opt for a pack with a real frame. A well designed and constructed frame pack makes hiking much more enjoyable for me, especially when the total pack weight is over 20 lbs. Key point here is "well designed and constructed," something most manufacturers miss in their product offerings. At the end of the day my entire body feels much better when carrying a frame pack vs a frameless, even though the total pack weight is higher with a framed pack, given the same gear and consumables carried.


LIVING OUT OF YOUR PACK

Another consideration for choosing a pack is a non-quantifiable measurement, which I call "ease of living out of a pack." You cannot measure this. You just have to do a lot of trips and sometimes a pack just doesn't cut the grade.

Two packs that don't cut the grade for me in this measurement are the earlier ULA Circuit and the Gregory Whitney 95. Especially the Gregory. Gregory packs are over-engineered, so feature-laden that living out of them is inconvenient, and much heavier than they need to be. The Circuit is a popular pack, but day in and day out I just couldn't get organized with my gear and a standard 1 liter Platy will not stay in the water bottle pockets. Maybe they have fixed that deficiency.


McHALE PACKS

BTW, my McHale LBP 36 weighs a pound less than your Baltaro 65, has more capacity (79L), can carry heavier loads, and is a dream to live out of. It is constructed from full Dyneema and will out last any other brand available. My McHale bump has a little less capacity (49L) and is also a dream to carry and live out of. My number one criteria for a pack is how easy it is to use, and the McHales are stellar in this regard. I can hike 20+ miles with a "heavy" load and at the end of the day there is no soreness in the typical pressure points of hips and shoulders. Dan McHale is a master pack designer and his belts and by-pass harness design are pure genius. Unlike most pack designers, Dan takes an extended vacation each year and actually uses his products for both backpacking and climbing, something Dan has been doing for more years than most backpackers have lived. Many of his packs are designed to do the biggest mountains on earth and his lighter packs incorporate the same design elements as his Critical Mass and Sarc series packs.

Over the past 40+ plus years I have owned AND used many, many packs. Nothing is even close to a McHale. Do they cost a lot? Not really. Most BPL members could afford a small McHale (like a Bump) AND a larger one (like a LBP); because they have probably spent more money on all the different packs they have bought over the years.

Given what a McHale can carry, how well they carry, and how long they last; they really are light and inexpensive.


EXTERNAL FRAME PACKS - A VIABLE OPTION

To be honest with you, an external frame backpack is still a viable option for general backpacking. They excel in the "ease of living out of a pack" measurement, and are actually quite light. My Kelty D4 only weighs 3.6 lbs and my cavernous Kelty Serac, which is legendary for carrying big loads, weighs under 5 lbs.

Yes, this site is about lightweight backpacking, but if I want to go unsupported for 2 weeks I need over 20 lbs of food. My gear is lightweight but the total pack weight with food and water is not.

It all comes down to "hike your own hike."

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Cognitive Dissonance on 03/16/2013 12:48:08 MDT Print View

"My contribution, I guess, is that a lot of ultralighters may be disregarding comfort to save ounces, by pushing a pack meant for 10lbs up to 30. "

My reaction when I read something like that is a shrug -- who cares? I want a system that works for me -- meaning it delivers to my expectation. If some people feel comfortable about carrying 30lbs with a frameless pack -- for bragging rights or whatever -- what's it to you?

Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Re: Re: Cognitive Dissonance on 03/16/2013 12:49:47 MDT Print View

"My contribution, I guess, is that a lot of ultralighters may be disregarding comfort to save ounces, by pushing a pack meant for 10lbs up to 30. "

My reaction when I read something like that is a shrug -- who cares?
--------------------

I also agree.

Max Dilthey
(mdilthey) - M

Locale: MaxTheCyclist.com
Pack Shape on 03/16/2013 12:51:57 MDT Print View

"Conforming" and "properly distributing" are two different things.

Secondly, the pack is an avatar for the shape. I specifically said I wasn't talking about that backpack in particular, it was just the most simple. Please imagine a larger pack, but there are probably 15 bags with the same flat back surface, including the Granite Gear packs that came out this year. All of those are incapable of really distributing a 30lb pack weight, yet many users on the forum grin and bear the discomfort to save ounces. Why save ounces? COMFORT!

To take an example someone else said before, it's like flooding your house to put out a stove fire; you've got damage either way.

Finally, the ULA thread I was referring to is this one: http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/forums/thread_display.html?forum_thread_id=70304

BUT

As a disclaimer, I am NOT making any accusations or assertions to the comfort of those specific packs. They're not really the "worst offenders" i'm talking about, and I haven't used them. I suspect they're less comfortable because of common sense, but I can't uphold a debate on it without a little evidence.

Jennifer Mitol
(Jenmitol) - M

Locale: In my dreams....
Re: Re: Cognitive Dissonance on 03/16/2013 12:53:25 MDT Print View

Max yes there certainly are people who push the boundaries of what the pack is meant for, but that happens on BOTH ends of the spectrum...such as using a Gregory Baltoro on a three day nothing-but-hiking trip with multiple water stops along the way.

But I've been whining and moaning about NOT wanting to go back to a more substantial pack for a possible PCT thru and these very same folks are pushing me towards those more substantial packs, telling me I will be miserable with my gorilla (oh how I love thee....) and a canister. So I'm looking towards ULA and HMG and their suspension systems.

Anyway, I don't think the situation you are describing is actually the norm here. We have packs for short weekend with lots of water trips, we have packs for medium length trips with fishing gear (or something...) and we have thru hikes where one will have 30 pounds a few times. Check out the thread about finding the right pack for a thru hike. You'll see the advice there is not what you think.

Clayton Mauritzen
(GlacierRambler) - F - M

Locale: NW Montana
re: ULA Belts on 03/16/2013 12:54:59 MDT Print View

The belt in that thread is larger than the one on your Boreas.

Max Dilthey
(mdilthey) - M

Locale: MaxTheCyclist.com
Well, let's remember that this is a discussion. on 03/16/2013 12:55:11 MDT Print View

Ha, Ben, you remind me to add more disclaimers. I'm not saying anyone needs to follow what I'm putting down here, but perhaps TALKING about it is useful to some people. A discussion on this forum has changed my mind a thousand times; I'd be remiss if I didn't seek the opportunity to do so again, and to grant it to others when I'm on to something (rare... but it might happen?)

Also, re: McHale

It better weigh a pound less, be better featured, and hold more. You spent a lot more than I did, and with McHale, you definitely get what you pay for!

Re: Boreas,

As I said before, the boreas is an offender of not having enough support. I am not even a LITTLE BIT trying to say the Boreas does a good job. Framesheet is inadequate, foam isn't really useful, belt isn't great, it flops under tough loads. But for $90 i'll be ok...

Edited by mdilthey on 03/16/2013 12:56:52 MDT.

Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Re: Pack Shape on 03/16/2013 12:58:46 MDT Print View

Ah, thanks Max.

Here's the hipbelt on a Catalyst. Its a one-piece belt, so it literally wraps all around you, pulling the lumbar support close, which is attached to the stays.

riy

Kind of hard to see, but it's a solid 5 inches wide.

Edited by T.L. on 03/16/2013 13:00:07 MDT.

Clayton Mauritzen
(GlacierRambler) - F - M

Locale: NW Montana
Re: Re: Pack Shape on 03/16/2013 13:00:36 MDT Print View

Travis, you went with the Purple Blaze? My respect for you ever increases.

Max Dilthey
(mdilthey) - M

Locale: MaxTheCyclist.com
Most people aren't at one extreme. on 03/16/2013 13:00:49 MDT Print View

Yeah, I know people fall on all sides of the spectrum. I'm just curious at the conflict between going light to save comfort by sacrificing comfort, especially involving someone's back. Critical chunk, that.

I don't know. Cottage backpacks look substantially different from mass produced backpacks (excepting things like, say, the Mountain Hardwear thru-hike bag). Is it 100% marketing, or 100% ergonomics, or somewhere in the middle? Just musing, that's all :)


Speaking of becoming educated, Travis is spinning me around on the ULA, sorry for referencing it as a problem pack!

Edited by mdilthey on 03/16/2013 13:01:52 MDT.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Well, let's remember that this is a discussion. on 03/16/2013 13:01:41 MDT Print View

"But for $90 i'll be ok..."

This is the sentiment I never understand. To me,

o spending $90 for a pack that doesn't fit your needs is wasting $90.
o spending $500 for a McHale that fits your need is $500 well spent.
o spending $500 for a McHale when your lightweight gear could be carried comfortably with a $90 pack is $410 wasted.

Edited by ben2world on 03/16/2013 13:08:12 MDT.

Jennifer Mitol
(Jenmitol) - M

Locale: In my dreams....
Re: Pack Shape on 03/16/2013 13:02:18 MDT Print View

That S curve of the spine you talk about is different for everyone...there is no way a pack designer can come up with a solid frame that will bend the right way in the right places. In ergonomics the is a maxim that stuff that is designed to fit everyone actually fits no one.

So if you think you are getting all this great form fitting comfort to match the kyphotic and lordotic curves of your spine, you are either a) smoking something that you need to share with the group or b) happen to have the one back that these frames fit perfectly.

I resisted the idea of going to a minimally framed pack for years, thinking exactly what you are saying. Then I actually tried one. What an eye opening experience! Without a big huge molded thing on my back, the pack could actually move and conform to where I needed it to. The gorilla has what I think is a nice hipbelt and aluminum stays. Works like a champ for pretty much every hike I take.

Can I do a 20 day JMT with it? I don't know yet.

Max Dilthey
(mdilthey) - M

Locale: MaxTheCyclist.com
Re: Re: Well, let's remember that this is a discussion. on 03/16/2013 13:03:05 MDT Print View

"But for $90 i'll be ok..."

This is the sentiment I never understand. To me,

o spending $90 for a pack that doesn't fit your needs is wasting $90.
o spending $500 for a McHale that fits your need is $500 well spent.
o spending $500 for a McHale when your lightweight gear could be carried comfortably with a $90 pack is $410 wasted<.b>.


I agree. Lessons learned, Ben. Lessons learned. I've stepped up to the Gregory. If it isn't a dream, I return it and save my pennies for a McHale.

If anything, THIS is the ultimate point of the thread. Can't skimp on a pack!

Clayton Mauritzen
(GlacierRambler) - F - M

Locale: NW Montana
Re: Most people aren't at one extreme. on 03/16/2013 13:03:15 MDT Print View

I think you misunderstand. The general contention around UL philosophy is that these packs are inherently uncomfortable because they weigh so much.

Max Dilthey
(mdilthey) - M

Locale: MaxTheCyclist.com
Re: Re: Pack Shape on 03/16/2013 13:06:17 MDT Print View

"That S curve of the spine you talk about is different for everyone...there is no way a pack designer can come up with a solid frame that will bend the right way in the right places. In ergonomics the is a maxim that stuff that is designed to fit everyone actually fits no one."

This is important, but I want to mention that I don't think good bags mesh like a tempur-pedic or anything. What they do, however, is provide a channel for your spine to flex as you lean forward and backward in different conditions. Second, they hug that bottom piece nice and tight, the concave of your lower lumbar. This pushes most of the pack weight onto your hips, from the sides and back, and then balances and redistributes a lot less onto your shoulders.

It can't do that effectively if weight gets distributed on the top convex part of the spine because your shoulder straps are doing a lot of the work.

I'm a fitness writer and a biologist, but I'm no doctor, so if this seems off, correct me.

Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Clayton, Jennifer, and Max on 03/16/2013 13:06:33 MDT Print View

Clayton- haha, thanks! The tie I chose for my wedding was a deep, rich purple. A good purple is gorgeous.

Jennifer- "kyphotic and lordotic"-- I've never heard those words in my life before. Cool!

Max- ULA makes very supportive packs. You are right that the back frame looks like a big rectangle. Honestly, when I first tried it on, it seemed a little stiff and flat compared to my Talon 44 which really molds and conforms to my back. But after using it, it's very comfortable and I can feel the benefits of the thicker back panel.

Jan S
(karl-ton)
Re: Re: Most people aren't at one extreme. on 03/16/2013 13:07:01 MDT Print View

Which does seem a bit like switching from one dogma (comfort is everything) to the other dogma (light is everything). At least until you start to look closely. But as I understand it the discussion wether UL and SUL have pushed it too far at times or not is not exactly new.

Eric Blumensaadt
(Danepacker) - MLife

Locale: Mojave Desert
Comfort v.s. weight on 03/16/2013 13:07:36 MDT Print View

Max,
Osprey's take on this problem is that a bit of extra weight for a frame and good harness and back suspension is much better than a lighter "frameless" cylinder of a pack in terms of overall comfort on the trail.

i.e. PROPER LOAD DISTRIBUTION = COMFORT

It actually is that simple.

Without a good back suspension, a frame to transfer load to the hips and a good waist belt and harness you ARE going to suffer, even with a 20 lb. load.

P.S. So you and I agree on this topic and I thank you for bringing it up. And, as you have mentioned, modern materials and design have lightened packs so much that having these load distribution features no longer means a "heavy" pack.

Edited by Danepacker on 03/16/2013 13:11:34 MDT.

Max Dilthey
(mdilthey) - M

Locale: MaxTheCyclist.com
Re: Re: Most people aren't at one extreme. on 03/16/2013 13:07:55 MDT Print View

"I think you misunderstand. The general contention around UL philosophy is that these packs are inherently uncomfortable because they weigh so much."

I slightly, politely disagree there. I think the contention around being UL stems from two things:

1. History of uncomfortable packs. (not as relevant in 2013)
2. Weight of what's INSIDE the packs.

A backpacker today doesn't have to cast off the shackles of heavy packs like they might have had to in 1990. There are a lot of supreme, rolls royce feeling packs at 4-5lbs. Gregory, Arcteryx, McHale, Osprey.... the list grows.

Edited by mdilthey on 03/16/2013 13:09:52 MDT.

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Great Lakes Bay Region
Re: Pack Weight on 03/16/2013 13:15:01 MDT Print View

Max,

Damn you for staring this discussion as I am just about to get ready to go to the pub to celebrate St. Patrick's day (I know a day early but have to work Monday).

There are two things which everyone has a complete personal taste and preference due to the nature of the Human body and that is Packs and Footwear, what works well for one person may give others grief, case in point is that frameless packs don't suit me or Travis

Slainte.

P.s. Opinions are like A holes, everyone has one. (Mods please delete that if its offensive)

Edited by stephenm on 03/16/2013 13:15:58 MDT.

Max Dilthey
(mdilthey) - M

Locale: MaxTheCyclist.com
@Eric on 03/16/2013 13:15:21 MDT Print View

Eric, I always wanted to be on the same wavelength with you on something other than alcohol. ;)

@Stephen: My opinions are the collective might of hundreds of hours on BPL. Discussions are a good part of that. Sorry about ruining your pub plans... you'll be three drinks in and slam your fists on the bar. "Those ignorant fools!"

Edited by mdilthey on 03/16/2013 13:17:21 MDT.

Clayton Mauritzen
(GlacierRambler) - F - M

Locale: NW Montana
Re: Re: Re: Most people aren't at one extreme. on 03/16/2013 13:16:39 MDT Print View

Again, I suggest you do more research before you draw your conclusions. I for one fully agree with your premises--namely that adding weight to a well-designed suspension is (1) a good investment in ounces for long-term health and (2) increases comfort.

Still, your conclusion does not follow.

Have you read this article by Dave Chenault--How Packs Work? I highly recommend it. Dave knows his stuff.

/*/EDIT: Fixing the link/*/

Edited by GlacierRambler on 03/16/2013 13:17:45 MDT.

Max Dilthey
(mdilthey) - M

Locale: MaxTheCyclist.com
Re: on 03/16/2013 13:18:02 MDT Print View

Clayton, I will directly. Thanks for the link.

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Great Lakes Bay Region
Re: @Eric on 03/16/2013 13:19:22 MDT Print View

I will have a beer for you Max,

Don't worry, it gets easier mate :-)

eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F
zzzzzzzzzzzzzz on 03/16/2013 13:20:11 MDT Print View

get what fits and works for you ... its that simple

and go out and use it ... over and over again

the more you yak on BPL about what other people use ... the less you use your gear ;)

Max Dilthey
(mdilthey) - M

Locale: MaxTheCyclist.com
Girl's gotta eat. on 03/16/2013 13:21:48 MDT Print View

@Eric: I'm at work. Yakking about backpacking beats doing nothing!

Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
Re: Re: Re: Well, let's remember that this is a discussion. on 03/16/2013 13:26:35 MDT Print View

nm

Edited by FamilyGuy on 10/30/2013 13:01:38 MDT.

Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
Re: Clayton, Jennifer, and Max on 03/16/2013 13:28:05 MDT Print View

nm

Edited by FamilyGuy on 10/30/2013 13:02:18 MDT.

Max Dilthey
(mdilthey) - M

Locale: MaxTheCyclist.com
Re: Mchale Stays on 03/16/2013 13:30:47 MDT Print View

Good insight, Bivy. I knew they were good, but not why.

Picking a pack is so personal, I bet almost everyone gets the wrong pack their first time. The older people on this forum have it easy- back in the day, nearly everyone was suffering!

It took me about 13 months to realize my torso is a Medium and not a Large, despite being 6'2".

Clayton Mauritzen
(GlacierRambler) - F - M

Locale: NW Montana
Re: Re: Mchale Stays on 03/16/2013 13:38:36 MDT Print View

I'm the same way on torso. I'm just under 6', but my 5'3" wife is only a hair shorter in torso length than me. For most pack companies, we wear the same size pack--a medium.

And Dave makes an excellent point. Considering a pack's frame in isolation is worthless. It's an integrated system with most elements of the pack itself (shoulder straps, hipbelt, backpanel, etc.).

Max Dilthey
(mdilthey) - M

Locale: MaxTheCyclist.com
Thanks for the Article on 03/16/2013 13:45:39 MDT Print View

Right. Carried weight is a whole 'nother consideration.

I mean, I should be the LAST person to have this conversation anyways. On top of my 12lb base weight, I have at least 8lbs of camera gear. I'm the group photographer for my hiking crew AND my school's outdoors club, so if I'm not packin', it's as if the trip never happened...

I liked that article, Clayton. I took a few things out of it.

1: It really brought my attention to torso length, which I ignored until I bought the Gregory (I sized exactly in the middle for a medium).

2. It also reminded me of things like pack durability, which I don't weigh too heavily as of late, but I have in the past.

3. It makes me wish I had used the GoLite Jam as my scapegoat. *evil grin*


I think someone mentioned that a lot of users can get by with only one pack, and I agree. Like I said before, I suspect the Gregory Baltoro 65 might make me scoff in disgust at my $90 Boreas bag, but everyone needs something they can stuff and run with when it's local camping time.

And don't get me wrong, as a frameless pack the Boreas isn't bad. I've shouted it's praises before. Functionality-wise, it's a dream. The absolute perfect number of pockets in all the right places.

Edited by mdilthey on 03/16/2013 13:47:12 MDT.

Sumi Wada
(DetroitTigerFan) - F

Locale: Ann Arbor
Re: Re: Re: Pack Shape on 03/16/2013 13:49:34 MDT Print View

>> Second, they hug that bottom piece nice and tight, the concave of your lower lumbar.

While I'm sure some people prefer this, I don't agree that it's the "best" or "only" way. In the end, the point is to transfer weight to your legs via your *hips*, not your spine or back. Frames are usually designed to be anchored at the hipbelt. Some people like that hipbelt to hug higher, in the lower lumbar region, others don't.

I'm not sure whether you've ever tried a ULA pack but you may be surprised; I don't think they're as inconsequential as you seem to think.

Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Re: Re: Re: Mchale Stays on 03/16/2013 13:49:42 MDT Print View

+1 on Dave and Clayton.

Also something to consider is the shape of the main bag itself. Many are very similar, but slight differences affect how the carry, how we pack them, and how they sit off the body.

The most different packbag shape I've seen is the Catalyst. Its a wide bag with a very tapered bottom (curving in towards your butt), and it's also tapered from the opening down to the bottom. At first it was tough to pack, until I figured out how my stuff fit the best.

One feature that the Catalyst has that changes how it carries is where the shoulder straps are attached, though I'm not talking about where they attach at the top near the shoulders. The bottom of the shoulder straps doesn't attach to the lower backpanel as many packs do. Rather, they go through the side pockets and attach to the side of the tapered bottom of the pack at a point that is furthest from your body. So its pulling the whole pack in closer to you, not just the back panel.

michael levi
(M.L) - F

Locale: W-Never Eat Soggy (W)affles
HYOH on 03/16/2013 13:53:15 MDT Print View

People's views on framed vs frameless vs lightly will always be different.

Clayton Mauritzen
(GlacierRambler) - F - M

Locale: NW Montana
Re: Re: Re: Re: Mchale Stays on 03/16/2013 13:55:24 MDT Print View

Interesting, I didn't know that about the Catalyst. That's an intriguing design.

I also think this discussion highlights how flawed such conversations on the internet can be. I suggest you all come out to Montana this summer and we can hit up Glacier, the Bob, and talk gear as much as we want. Don't tell my wife, but I bet we could even accommodate a small group at our place, as long as some are comfortable sleeping on the floor or in our backyard.

spelt with a t
(spelt) - F

Locale: SW/C PA
Luxury packs on 03/16/2013 13:56:22 MDT Print View

I want Patagonia to make a $1000 pack laced with unicorn hair.

If you're willing to wait, next year's model is rumored to have dragon's tooth zipper pulls.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Re: Mchale Stays on 03/16/2013 14:02:36 MDT Print View

McHale uses Aluminum 7075-T6 stays. They are not going to compress much, unless you have over 100 lbs in your pack :)

No, I was not suffering back in the day. My first pack was an Antelope purchased in the 60's. My gear wasn't very heavy because I couldn't afford to buy much gear; that is the easiest way to lighten a pack, don't take much gear :)

My 2nd pack was a Kelty external. Base weight was always under 20 lbs, so no suffering. And I have been using this same pack for 42 years.

Suffering occurs when people bring a lot of crap they don't need and won't use.

Read the first two trip reports here. These trips are with the old school gear I used for decades. Base weights under 20 lbs. Hard to suffer with a base of under 20 lbs (which many here classify as "light") and an external frame pack.

The suffering started in the 80's when the big manufacturers started selling all kinds of heavy stuff and marketed these goods as required for safety. People suffered because they bought a bunch of junk they didn't need.

Many of us older folks were light long before Ray Jardine "invented" lightweight backpacking. We relied on skill, not gear.


Dan McHale soloed the JMT unsupported in 11 days when he was about 6 years younger than you. He used an external frame pack with a total weight of 40 lbs, including food and water.


BTW, a guy named Monty (who posts here once in a while) thru hiked the PCT a few years ago with a GG Murmur. Minimal gear and I doubt he suffered, since his base weight was under 5 lbs. Of course the trick pony was to resupply often and know what you are doing.

Experience and skill always trump gear.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Re: Re: Mchale Stays on 03/16/2013 14:07:27 MDT Print View

Regarding twin stays and David's comments...

I have a lot of curvature in my back. Take a look at the shape of the stays in my McHale packs.

stays

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Most people aren't at one extreme. on 03/16/2013 14:27:52 MDT Print View

Max:

Apologies to you upfront if I sound annoyed...

You keep writing, to the effect:

"A backpacker today doesn't have to cast off the shackles of heavy packs like they might have had to in 1990. There are a lot of supreme, rolls royce feeling packs at 4-5lbs. Gregory, Arcteryx, McHale, Osprey.... the list grows."

You seem utterly unable to grasp the concept that "rolls royce" feeling packs can be both unnecessary and suboptimal for those who have pared down their pack weight?? Yes, these packs may be a lot lighter than the big haulers 20 years ago, but so what? For many of us, they are still unnecessarily and inaprpropriately heavy!

I repeatedly wrote about the importance of matching the pack with the gear you carry -- but then, you turn around and drone on about "rolls royce" packs! Maybe you do need it. Or maybe you don't. The way I read your posts, you are not making allowance for both possibilities at all -- but just hell bent on "attacking" UL concepts as if they automatically bring on discomfort!

Let me try again (and again, apologies to you for the annoyed and preachy tone):

1. Match gear volume and gear weight with the proper pack.
2. But, you ask, what's wrong with "a little" extra frame and padding? The rolls royce comfort?
3. Answer: No matter how much a pack pampers your shoulders -- even when it is providing comfort that you don't need -- your legs and ankles and feet still have to carry the extra (and in this case unneeded) pack weight -- every step of the way, every hour of the day, day after day (if a long hike). More comfort is not automatically better!.

And paying more for a heavier pack to provide comfort that we don't need is not the objective here for most of us. And AFTER you've compared using a hefty pack to carry 20 lbs on a long day's hike-- versus a frameless pack to carry the same 20 lbs. over the same long distance -- you might be converted as well!! Or you might not. But until you ACTUALLY TRY a frameless to compare for yourself -- you really, truly haven't the complete exposure to support what you keep writing about -- this supposed UL discomfort and this supposed benefit for rolls royce comfort. It all depends, and again, more is not automatically better.

My frameless pack weighs 10 ounces. If I am carrying a heavy load, then sure, the extra 2-3 lbs of an Osprey will make perfect sense. But if I am just carrying 20 lbs -- and my frameless is already comfy enough for me to carry all day -- then why the hell would I want to throw another 2-3 useless pounds onto my legs and feet to support for 10 or 12 hours?? Makes zero sense to me -- and I hope it will begin to make zero sense to you as well.

So, how about holding off your posts and judgment on this matter -- and give it some real life field test first??

Rant over. Sorry.

Edited by ben2world on 03/16/2013 15:05:49 MDT.

Max Dilthey
(mdilthey) - M

Locale: MaxTheCyclist.com
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Mchale Stays on 03/16/2013 14:30:32 MDT Print View

"Don't tell my wife, but I bet we could even accommodate a small group at our place, as long as some are comfortable sleeping on the floor or in our backyard."

I'm gonna need a bed. I really hate to rough it ;)

Re: Skill

Of course. Goes without saying. And I didn't mean to imply that everyone in the 70's and 80's was doing it wrong, but nobody's gonna argue that cuben and silnylon didn't make a big impact.

5lb base weight? Now, that's an impressive feat.

Jennifer Mitol
(Jenmitol) - M

Locale: In my dreams....
Re: Re: Most people aren't at one extreme. on 03/16/2013 14:56:59 MDT Print View

Yep Ben...exactly!!

And what is the difference between carrying a pack that is too small and unsupportive for 30 pounds than carrying a beast...no matter how padded it is...to carry 17 pounds?

What's the point of shouldering a 5 pound pack no carry 17 pounds?

And seriously Max, you really, really need to try one of these packs before you automatically assume they are uncomfortable. You might surprise yourself.

Adam Rothermich
(aroth87) - F

Locale: Missouri Ozarks
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Mchale Stays on 03/16/2013 15:19:59 MDT Print View

--5lb base weight? Now, that's an impressive feat.--

Not particularly, especially around BPL. I'll bet a lot of us have been that low. My three season kit is around 9 lbs and that's including a Thermarest Prolite and no cuben fiber. If the temps are going to be above 40* (which they normally are when I hike) I can get it down under 8 lbs pretty easily. For me, a 5 lbs pack wouldn't make a difference and in fact is pretty silly considering how much weight it would add to my set up.

I still have a Mountainsmith Phantom (the old one) that's got a curved aluminum frame but rarely use it unless I need the extra space for my bulky winter gear. Even if I'm carrying a bunch of extra gear to stay warm, its still light enough that I don't usually use the frame. I find rolling my Ridgrest inside the pack is more comfortable than the hard plastic framesheet against my back.

Are you aware that most frameless pack users pack the sleeping pad in such a way that it acts as a virtual frame? It sounds like you might think we just stuff our gear in willy-nilly. A Ridgrest is an adequate frame for a 25 lbs load, I've done it on a number of occasions. My Prolite even works fine for 20 lbs loads (maybe more, I haven't had to try yet). That's one of the big reasons I haven't switched to a Neoair, they don't seem like they'd make very good pack frames!

Adam

Max Dilthey
(mdilthey) - M

Locale: MaxTheCyclist.com
@Ben on 03/16/2013 15:40:32 MDT Print View

I have a frameless pack, my Boreas hasn't had the frame in it since the day I bought it and it's been on six trips. That's my point of reference. It's LESS comfortable with my baseweight and a weekend worth of food than my Kelty, which is by no means a stunner.

Real life conversation and internet forums are different things. My "Rolls Royce" comment wasn't groveling at the quality of 5lb packs. Rather, it was a semi-sarcastic reminder that those heavier packs have some of the most time put into them in terms of improving comfort, since they're used by the majority of "traditional" backpackers with 50lbs of creature comforts. By design, they're anatomical and overbuilt. Very different from a Kelty frame bag from the 80's (whether that's a good thing or a bad thing is subjective!)


I can only say so many times that I agree that frameless packs are great for frameless pack loads. I've been practically preaching from the Ben 2 World playbook. That doesn't change the fact that realistic loads for a lot of ultralighters extend past this margin by the very nature of food and water.

I'm not the only one saying it; ditching a hipbelt on a 20lb load will eventually hurt your back. it isn't designed to carry like that. Your hips and legs, however, are. Stays or frames of some kind can be pretty critical, and I do see them get disregarded for a few more ounces.



Now, not to go on my own rant, but...

Ben. Don't take me bringing up fringe topics, devil's advocating, and touting around vague generalizations as me ignoring your posts. I'm trying to approach this from a lot of different angles. You are CORRECT when you say to pick your gear, then pick your pack, but it's not as simple as that.



It's a little annoying that you need to be an expert to have a conversation around here. I don't think it's unreasonable to make assumptions if you're getting your information from experience and good sources. I don't think it's wrong of me to bring up the topic just because I haven't finished a loop of the United States. If I was trying to compare ice axes, that'd be a different story, but I have worn a lot of backpacks and walked a lot of miles in the woods. I know enough to have a conversation, and that's all this is. It's more than a little annoying to have a constant reminder that I'm not 55 with the world under my belt. I know a lot of people doing this 30 years who probably know less than I do about the ground they walk on. If you think you know better than me, politely educate rather than dismiss. I give out the courtesy to people who know less than I do without hesitation; it's easy.

Nobody reads the thread (nobody reads this!), they skip to the end, but I've said several times that I'm not trying to convert or condemn. I'm trying to pull concepts that never get talked about into the light to better my understanding. Shoes and packs are subjective, so nobody ever judges, but it's not wrong to talk about best practices.

The article that Clayton linked (http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/how_packs_work.html#.UUTjxFvwKp2) talks about how the Jam was built to be super light and then slowly added 11 ounces worth of features that backpackers deemed necessary. Is it ridiculous to think that some of the sub-1lb packs made today are inadequate? Hardly! Everyone sees another ounce drop off the scale and suddenly, the long-term health of the spine is a little less important. This disregard for basic load distribution exists. I'm confident in it. I see it with some custom made packs and some traditional ones. Hell, my very own Boreas is a good example, despite being excellent with smaller loads it fails at a thru-hike load.

I said it once, I'll say it again. Nobody's gonna change their minds. Except, maybe, myself and other "beginners" (I'm getting past that)- and that's the point.



Jeez, guys. When I finish recovering from Surgery #3, I'm gonna see you on the big trails. Then I'll be twice as bullheaded...

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
P.S.

I didn't pick the Gregory because I've got some misconception that it's the rolls royce of packs, and magically solves issues.

1. Camera gear requires a totally different suspension setup than a tent and a sleeping bag. These things are heavy and small, so a fullbody DSLR torquing around on the front of a GoLite Jam isn't gonna work. Tripods alone are like strapping a piece of firewood onto your back. My needs ≠ your needs, even if the weights are the same. I need a strong, active suspension for comfort.

2. Because I'm a photographer and a "camp mom" for lots of student groups, quick access to lenses, first aid kits, tarps, snacks, etc. means I value extra pockets a lot higher than most people do.

Looks to be my pack, but it's NOT necessarily everyone else's pack, and honestly, it's very separate from this conversation. It's a good example of a good suspension system, but as many people have said, the vastly lighter ULA packs do just as well with the 30lb loads we're primarily talking about, if not better.

Edited by mdilthey on 03/16/2013 15:45:06 MDT.

Max Dilthey
(mdilthey) - M

Locale: MaxTheCyclist.com
Sleeping Pad Frame on 03/16/2013 15:48:08 MDT Print View

Adam, yep on the sleeping pad frame; I do it myself. And yeah, 5lbs is impressive for a thru hike. Usually when I think 5lbs, I think of someone spending 2 hours every night cutting up branches for their bush fire, lean-to, and sleeping pad :P

I know it's pretty easy to get to with a tarp, quilt, foam pad, and alcohol stove, though. I just admire people who commit to it for a couple thousand miles.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Re: Most people aren't at one extreme. on 03/16/2013 15:52:11 MDT Print View

"My frameless pack weighs 10 ounces. If I am carrying a heavy load, then sure, the extra 2-3 lbs of an Osprey will make perfect sense. But if I am just carrying 20 lbs -- and my frameless is already comfy enough for me to carry all day -- then why the hell would I want to throw another 2-3 useless pounds onto my legs and feet to support for 10 or 12 hours??"

Same here - pack weighs 12 ounces, most I ever carry is 20 pounds or maybe rarely 22 pounds - pack is fairly comfortable - no reason to have heavier pack

Hip belt weighs maybe 2 ounces. Good enough to put weight on my hips.

If I was to do JMT - base weight 12 pounds, bear canister 2 pounds, 6 days of food = 10 pounds - 24 pounds total - maybe my frameless pack will be insufficient

Or I was looking at a hike with no water so 2 days of food and water = 26 pounds total - again, maybe frameless pack is insufficient

Max Dilthey
(mdilthey) - M

Locale: MaxTheCyclist.com
26-30lbs on 03/16/2013 15:56:05 MDT Print View

It was said earlier but there's no expectation that it'll get read. We're including the JMT/PCT/AT/LT kind of weight, just because:

A) If you don't include a few days' food and water, the whole forum can use REI Flash 22's or less.

B) Food and water have a (semi) constant weight, so it's more universal to think about

C) It's a realistic reason to need good suspension because a bad suspension or incorrect distribution over 1,500+ miles will leave you very hurt, possibly for a long time. Talked with a lot of people about this, I know hikers who never lost their back and knee problems.

Edit: I should say, I am basing everything off of this. It's a free country, you can brag about 0lb packweights on 3 hour hikes if you want! :D

Edited by mdilthey on 03/16/2013 15:56:57 MDT.

Justin Baker
(justin_baker) - F

Locale: Santa Rosa, CA
Re: Pack Weight on 03/16/2013 16:12:43 MDT Print View

ULA packs.
ULA has somehow made a pack that is very durable and carries well while still being light. I have carried up to 30lbs in my ohm 2.0 and it just melts into my back after a while. I don't even notice it there. And it weighs under 2 pounds.

And E
(LunchANDYnner)

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Pack Weight on 03/16/2013 16:25:08 MDT Print View

Wow this thread is racking up the responses quick! I just got my multi-night gear down below the 15 lbs mark with the completion of my MYOG quilt. My backpack (2012 Golite Quest 65L) weighs a lot more than it needs to but I love the frame design and is really comfortable for me, also got it for less than $100.

Edited by LunchANDYnner on 03/16/2013 16:26:43 MDT.

Cesar Valdez
(PrimeZombie) - F

Locale: Scandinavia
Another frameless pack user checking in on 03/16/2013 16:48:40 MDT Print View

I did a 5 day section hike last summer with no resupplies using a frameless pack that weights 240g or about 8.5oz. Total weight was: 3.8kg base weight, 3.5kg food, max volume of water 2.2 liters/kg = 9.5kg or about 21lbs.

My back didn't hurt. My shoulders didn't hurt. Nothing hurt. Sure, I was a bit sore sometimes, but that's to be expected hiking 20-30km through rough terrain no matter what kind of backpack you use. But I generally felt great. At the end of the trip I felt wonderful and I wish I could have gone another week or even a month, though I did miss my family.

I am going on another 5 day section hike in May, again without resupply, and this time I plan on taking 3.3kg base weight, 3.3kg food, and max volume of water 1.8liters/kg, total 8.4kg or 18.5lbs. Same pack as last time.

If and when I do a thru-hike for over a month, I would still take a frameless pack. But rather than my Zpacks Zero I would take my MLD Exodus (more volume). Many people have done thru-hikes with frameless packs. Zpacks Joe is a triple crowner and did all three thru-hikes with a frameless pack.

But you seem like your mind is made up Max. I say just go out there and enjoy your 5lb pack :)

I am curious, however, what is your height, weight, and body type Max? This is a factor that is often overlooked in contributing to comfort while backpacking. I am about 6ft tall, 185lbs, somewhat athletic build.

Greg F
(GregF) - F

Locale: Canadian Rockies
1 week backpack trip on 03/16/2013 16:49:31 MDT Print View

For a 1 week UL 3 season trip with abundant water the ULA Circuit and similar 2-2.5lb packs is all the backpack that anyone needs. I dont believe that you gain comfort by increasing pack weight beyond this point. Many people are comfortable with less support at these weights.

Your total weight looks like this

10lb base weight
2.2 lb water
1/2 lb fuel
10.5 lbs food (1.5 per day)

This brings you to 24lbs to start your trip.

I have my original 5lb backpack with a massive hipbelt and back padding and until I am over about 30-35 lbs the circuit is equal in comfort. If you did a poll on peoples pack choice I would bet the Circuit, Exos, Mariposa class would be the most common and the 3 season, abundant water, 7 day max disance between resupply being a very common type of trip.

Beyond weight I think one thing missing from the discussion is the feeling of freedom of being less encumbered. A run through the woods with just shorts and a tshirt and no equipment feels different than being encumbered by a bulky heavy 5 lb pack. I see about 5 different levels of the way a hike/run feels.

No pack, no equipment, maybe a water bottle.
10l dayhike pack / running pack with emerg equipment
SUL pack and loads (frameless 25l pack)
UL Pack
Trad Pack

For these categories its not so much weight but pack size and bulkyness that changes how I feel. So comfort isnt the only factor, the feeling of escape and freedom is something that is worth pursuing when choosing a less supportive pack

Edited by GregF on 03/16/2013 16:52:36 MDT.

Hiking Malto
(gg-man) - F
Re: 26-30lbs on 03/16/2013 16:50:05 MDT Print View

It was said earlier but there's no expectation that it'll get read. We're including the JMT/PCT/AT/LT kind of weight, just because:

A) If you don't include a few days' food and water, the whole forum can use REI Flash 22's or less.

B) Food and water have a (semi) constant weight, so it's more universal to think about

C) It's a realistic reason to need good suspension because a bad suspension or incorrect distribution over 1,500+ miles will leave you very hurt, possibly for a long time. Talked with a lot of people about this, I know hikers who never lost their back and knee problems.

Edit: I should say, I am basing everything off of this. It's a free country, you can brag about 0lb packweights on 3 hour hikes if you want! :D


Max,
I'm not sure where you are getting your data. I have over 4000 miles on the AT and PCt with a little eight oz. pack and with the exception of the day I had seven days of food in it leaving Kennedy Meadows, I have never even noticed my pack is on. You can easily use a frameless pack if you have low weight AND the experience to know how to use it. Experience also goes a long way to help you trim not only base weight but also food and water weight as well. You are trying to extrapolate your experience on others and its just not valid.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: 26-30lbs on 03/16/2013 16:52:07 MDT Print View

Max, I think you're why backpackinglight is worth it to me

No matter how well intentioned you are, things always blow up on you : )

Max Dilthey
(mdilthey) - M

Locale: MaxTheCyclist.com
@Cesar on 03/16/2013 17:20:50 MDT Print View

Cesar, I've followed a few of your posts, with fervor. You're what I like to call "one end of the spectrum."

Your carry weight is DEFINITELY in the frameless camp. That's intended as a compliment. I don't know if I'm ready to go that ultralight, ever. Especially not with camera gear.

I'm 6'2", 170lbs, athletic but almost all in my legs because I'm a cyclist. My shoulders and back aren't that powerful, just a little rock climbing. I appreciate good pack distribution, especially when I have to carry a little extra.

But I go ultralight, time to time. I lived on a bicycle with 8lbs of gear for a month, including bike tools.

Max Dilthey
(mdilthey) - M

Locale: MaxTheCyclist.com
I'll reiterate on 03/16/2013 17:30:48 MDT Print View

"Max,
I'm not sure where you are getting your data. I have over 4000 miles on the AT and PCt with a little eight oz. pack and with the exception of the day I had seven days of food in it leaving Kennedy Meadows, I have never even noticed my pack is on. You can easily use a frameless pack if you have low weight AND the experience to know how to use it. Experience also goes a long way to help you trim not only base weight but also food and water weight as well. You are trying to extrapolate your experience on others and its just not valid."

First off, I'm not giving out "Data." You just said "Except for when I have 7 days worth of food" and that's the only time I'm talking about- maximum thru-hike weight. So your exception is my rule.

Secondly, "I have never even noticed my pack is on" is the farthest thing from data ever. It's completely subjective. You could be significantly stronger than some, or more used to your pack, and a host of other things.

Again, if you're keeping it under 20lbs, you probably don't need a suspension system. You might need it and not know it, it's worth assessing for yourself. If you're under 20lbs with maximum food and water for a thru-hike (7 days food, 2-3 days water), this conversation barely applies to you, if at all. I know long-time thru hikers who have traversed most of the trail systems in the United States. My good friend David Eve has an outdoors center in NH named after him because of his history of outdoor education, and he is the advisor for my campus's club. I was there, on Mt. moosilauke, when he was walking three days after knee surgery because of backpacking damage over years and years, and he is the first to repetitively tell us not to play around with your body's tolerance for distance. Before you jump down my throats, I'm sure the majority of people here know this out of experience. If you walk on a trail with an ill-fitting, poorly supported pack and you don't use trekking poles, you'll feel it eventually.



Again. (haha...)

I am not claiming to be correct, and I'm not trying to prove a point! I'm just trying to understand why some people choose suspension and others don't while I figure out what works best for me.

You guys have a really hard time understanding that I don't have an agenda...

Max Dilthey
(mdilthey) - M

Locale: MaxTheCyclist.com
Goes without saying on 03/16/2013 17:35:51 MDT Print View

Also, I don't think I even need mention it, but I'm a writer with a boring weekend job. I talk a lot when I have time to kill on here. I don't want anyone to think I'm really annoyed with them ;) it's all just debate, haha.

Hiking Malto
(gg-man) - F
Re: I'll reiterate on 03/16/2013 18:46:55 MDT Print View

"Again, if you're keeping it under 20lbs, you probably don't need a suspension system. You might need it and not know it, it's worth assessing for yourself. If you're under 20lbs with maximum food and water for a thru-hike (7 days food, 2-3 days water)"

First off, there are few if any thru hikers that can can carry seven days worth of food and have their pack under 20 lbs. with Sierra gear mine was close to 30 which was too heavy for my pack. But by the next day it was 2.5 lbs lighter and the following day another 2.5 lbs lighter. And 2-3 days of water???? Where did this come from, on a thru hiker few if anyone carries that much water. and if they do they are either inexperienced or going extremely slow. I second Eric suggestion of spending a few more hours on the trail instead of the computer.

And max, I can assure you, I don't need a suspension system, my setup works just fine. Enjoy your evening at work.

Max Dilthey
(mdilthey) - M

Locale: MaxTheCyclist.com
Such attitude! on 03/16/2013 18:48:44 MDT Print View

Thanks... I will. I get plenty of time on the trail, thanks.

The PCT has several sections where you need 2-3 days worth of water, and so did southern areas of the AT last summer. I suggest taking some time out on the trail to find out for yourself ;)

Justin Baker
(justin_baker) - F

Locale: Santa Rosa, CA
Re: Such attitude! on 03/16/2013 18:52:05 MDT Print View

2-3 days worth of water is going to be a minimum of 20-30 lbs in the summer, much more if you plan on being well hydrated and cooking food.
Is there really a place in the PCT or AT where you have to carry that much?

Hiking Malto
(gg-man) - F
Re: Such attitude! on 03/16/2013 18:55:48 MDT Print View

"
The PCT has several sections where you need 2-3 days worth of water, and so did southern areas of the AT last summer. I suggest taking some time out on the trail to find out for yourself ;)"

I have hiked all the PCT and the southern half of the AT as well. Nowhere was there a place I didn't have multiple water sources in a day. So would you care to identify these places?

M B
(livingontheroad) - M
pack weight on 03/16/2013 18:55:59 MDT Print View

The lighter your pack, the more miles per day you can hike.(if you are in good shape)
The more miles per day, the less food you have to carry.
Duh.


Thru hikers that carry very light packs, can often do 20-30 miles per day.
At that pace, 2- 3 days food will often suffice.

A thruhiker on AT last yr did 68 miles in 24 hrs.
Jenn Pharr Davis AVERAGED almost 50 miles per day on her AT the speed record, for 48 days, carrying only water and snacks, and sometimes people carried that for her. She did a 65 mile or so day too at the end.

It is all about the weight, really. If you dont understand this, you dont understand long distance hiking.

There is a huge difference between 15 and 20 lbs. HUGE difference.
Anyone purporting that 2-3 lbs of pack wt doesnt matter,is saying it doesnt matter for THEM and their style of hiking. That doesnt mean it doesnt matter to others.

Edited by livingontheroad on 03/16/2013 18:59:15 MDT.

Martin Clark
(Marty_Mcfly) - F

Locale: Southeast US
PCT water weight on 03/16/2013 18:57:00 MDT Print View

There was a section of the at during the Shenandoah National Park section where I went 17 miles without a drop of water. I got out early, carried 2 liters, and hoped for the best. My pack weight was low, and I made sure to keep it that way.

As far as the PCT goes, There are stretches without a water source* where if you didn't rely on any water caches that you would be carrying 2-3 days worth of water. Ill be thru hiking the PCT starting in may and am anxious about this, but something tells me you just take it as it comes. I'm still planning on hiking with a frameless pack

Max Dilthey
(mdilthey) - M

Locale: MaxTheCyclist.com
We're getting WAY too nitpicky. on 03/16/2013 19:02:17 MDT Print View

Many hikers have problems finding water on the desert sections of the PCT. Just because you didn't doesn't make my point irrelevant for the majority of hikers. Literally hundreds of people carry 2 days of water for a decent pace of 20 miles a day. The occasional person knocking out 50-milers doesn't invalidate the idea as a concept of backpacking.

Plus, mere luck could account for your experience.

But, if you want to be right, we can say that I'm wrong. I really don't have the time for people who latch on to three words in five pages of opinions and ideas just to say "I told you so!"

Edited by mdilthey on 03/16/2013 19:03:35 MDT.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: PCT water weight on 03/16/2013 19:04:27 MDT Print View

I thought the Southern part starting at Mexican border had stretches without drinking water.

Especially, later in the season a number of springs dry up.

Places where "trail angels" leave some jugs of water.

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - M

Locale: Cascadia
Packs on 03/16/2013 19:05:24 MDT Print View

"A backpacker today doesn't have to cast off the shackles of heavy packs like they might have had to in 1990. There are a lot of supreme, rolls royce feeling packs at 4-5lbs. Gregory, Arcteryx, McHale, Osprey.... the list grows."
You can get a "roll royce feeling" big load pack for 2-3 lbs. There's no good reason to go over 3.5 lbs for pack weights under 50 lbs. I'm all for having the right support and padding for the job at hand, but that's not the reason why these's packs are 4-6 lbs. 2 lbs saved is enough to add a bottle of red wine on every trip.

"My friends think I'm nuts for buying my third pack...65L Gregory Baltoro ~5lbs"
In the friendliest way, I think you're nuts too. That cinderblock is spec'd at 5 lbs 10oz and most likely it's over spec (being a mainstream product). With a more judicious allotment of weight, you could have similarly capable "rolls royce" pack plus a sleeping bag and shelter for the same total weight. There's at least 7 zippers on that thing - extra weight, complexity and fail points.

"I suggest you all come out to Montana this summer and we can hit up Glacier, the Bob, and talk gear as much as we want."
I'll be at the Bob in May for the Bob Open. Show up and we'll talk gear Friday night.

Edited by dandydan on 03/16/2013 19:10:27 MDT.

Max Dilthey
(mdilthey) - M

Locale: MaxTheCyclist.com
PCT Desert on 03/16/2013 19:08:04 MDT Print View

15-25 mile stretches of desert are absolutely common in the Mojave Desert. You'd have to carry between 6 and 8 liters of water to make it through 25 miles of desert, which is at least 13.5 pounds.

I'm not just grasping at straws (pun?).

Greg F
(GregF) - F

Locale: Canadian Rockies
A real specific Case on 03/16/2013 19:10:09 MDT Print View

Max,

You started this thread with the discussion focusing on an average 7 day trip or a thru hike. You are now moving the goal posts to a specific section of the PCT where a large amount of water is required.

Does this mean you concede that outside of situations which carrying large amounts of water are required there is no reason to carry a 5lb pack?

Edited by GregF on 03/16/2013 19:11:53 MDT.

Max Dilthey
(mdilthey) - M

Locale: MaxTheCyclist.com
Re: Greg 'Toro on 03/16/2013 19:10:13 MDT Print View

Dan, mostly got it for weight balancing of camera gear (canting hipbelt and shoulder straps) and access to lenses and group gear. Depending on if it works the way I think it works, it could still be returned. My pack choice is really difficult to combine into the fundamentals of this thread, I wouldn't even want to try. I don't suggest it ;D

This is in a post on page...3? I believe?

Edited by mdilthey on 03/16/2013 19:10:54 MDT.

Hiking Malto
(gg-man) - F
Re: PCT Desert on 03/16/2013 19:12:53 MDT Print View

"15-25 mile stretches of desert are absolutely common in the Mojave Desert. You'd have to carry between 6 and 8 liters of water to make it through 25 miles of desert, which is at least 13.5 pounds. "

Really?? Since I carried only four liter total total capacity, I guess I just pretended? And news flash, even if your 15- 25miles is taken as fact, that is hardly 2-3 days for the average pct thru hiker. You know not what you are talking about!

M B
(livingontheroad) - M
water on 03/16/2013 19:17:38 MDT Print View

Some people could make it thru 25 miles of desert on 1-2L of water.

They would hike at night.

Raymond Estrella
(rayestrella) - MLife

Locale: Northern Minnesota
Re: Re: packs on 03/16/2013 20:54:56 MDT Print View

"I want Patagonia to make a $1000 pack laced with unicorn hair."


I'll probably get sued for talking about this but they do have it already. They are just trying to figure what to add to the price for the bi-yearly moon-dust cleaning procedure...

(Edited as I forgot to quote Travis. I am used to better forum software.;-)

Edited by rayestrella on 03/17/2013 03:17:55 MDT.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: I'll reiterate on 03/16/2013 21:02:53 MDT Print View

"You guys have a really hard time understanding that I don't have an agenda..."

Your writing has led us to believe otherwise.

So, either your writing is way off from what you really believe, or else something worse is going on. Yup, hidden agenda.

Have you considered another profession?

--B.G.--

Raymond Estrella
(rayestrella) - MLife

Locale: Northern Minnesota
good God on 03/16/2013 21:03:21 MDT Print View

This may be the silliest thread I have read in a long time here.

Get the pack that works for you. Who cares what anybody says or writes. It is your back, your load, and nobody can tell you what is best.

Gear forums are to give you ideas, not tell you what to do. Just go hike. You will evolve as we all have. And you will end up with what works, not what is smallest or lightest necessarily.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: good God on 03/16/2013 21:11:29 MDT Print View

"Gear forums are to give you ideas, not tell you what to do."

Really

Each person is different and their hikes are different. You can try out things that seem like they might work and go with what's best. Over time things may change and other techniques may be best.

michael levi
(M.L) - F

Locale: W-Never Eat Soggy (W)affles
Re: pack weight on 03/16/2013 21:18:45 MDT Print View

This.


-------"The lighter your pack, the more miles per day you can hike.(if you are in good shape)
The more miles per day, the less food you have to carry.
Duh.


Thru hikers that carry very light packs, can often do 20-30 miles per day.
At that pace, 2- 3 days food will often suffice.

A thruhiker on AT last yr did 68 miles in 24 hrs.
Jenn Pharr Davis AVERAGED almost 50 miles per day on her AT the speed record, for 48 days, carrying only water and snacks, and sometimes people carried that for her. She did a 65 mile or so day too at the end.

It is all about the weight, really. If you dont understand this, you dont understand long distance hiking.

There is a huge difference between 15 and 20 lbs. HUGE difference.
Anyone purporting that 2-3 lbs of pack wt doesnt matter,is saying it doesnt matter for THEM and their style of hiking. That doesnt mean it doesnt matter to others."------------

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Great Lakes Bay Region
Re: Re: pack weight on 03/16/2013 21:49:17 MDT Print View

Max,

I know your bored at work but for fecks sake stop upsetting the locals or I will have to get Yoda to pay you a visit.

Max Dilthey
(mdilthey) - M

Locale: MaxTheCyclist.com
Oh boy, I've lost my edge on 03/16/2013 22:03:28 MDT Print View

Yeah, this cantina is a tough place... I'm sweating like a pig at a sausage festival...


To anyone who thinks they know me:

I've got a blood tumor in my right foot the size of a golf ball, which bent all 5 of my largest tarsals and stunted the growth two and a half full sizes. This January was my third surgery, and I've spent six months of my life unable to walk.

Today, I closed my computer at around 10:00, went out, and ran 6 miles. Do you realize how close to a thru hike I am? I'm going to live my dream.

Now, I'm sorry if my lack of experience makes you think I'm silly for talking about the theory behind backpacking. I'm sorry if you think your PCT hike makes me irrelevant. But when all I can do is sit, and read book after book, and learn, and grow, because for a decade I was convinced I'd never do anything like this, I'll be damned if i'm not going to be a little PASSIONATE!

You'll see me around. You won't bug me if you get angry, and upset, and frustrated with this new guy who can't stop talking. I'm living the dream, and for the 75 posts that do nothing for me, 10 get me closer to a thru-hike and that is worth something to me, every day. Plus, a lot of people on here are really friendly!

Cheers. Hope not everyone hates me. :)

@Bob Gross, if you don't like it, don't read it. I'm published, I get paid twice a week, and I've been accepted to every graduate journalism program I applied to this year. B-)

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Great Lakes Bay Region
Re: Oh boy, I've lost my edge on 03/16/2013 22:13:01 MDT Print View

Its not your lack of experience Maxwell (or is Maximilian) its your delivery.

Edited by stephenm on 03/16/2013 22:18:13 MDT.

Max Dilthey
(mdilthey) - M

Locale: MaxTheCyclist.com
:P on 03/16/2013 22:14:26 MDT Print View

Stephen, story of my life.

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Great Lakes Bay Region
Re: :P on 03/16/2013 22:19:57 MDT Print View

Max,

Your around friends mate, just sit back and enjoy the ride :-)

Clayton Mauritzen
(GlacierRambler) - F - M

Locale: NW Montana
Re: Packs on 03/16/2013 22:21:26 MDT Print View

"I'll be at the Bob in May for the Bob Open. Show up and we'll talk gear Friday night."

Dan, really wish I could do the Bob Open, but I can't get that kind of time off of work, especially as semester grades are due the next week. Maybe I'll come out Friday and hang out with you guys. I might even get to hike a couple of days that weekend if I have enough papers graded.

If my schedule looks clear enough, I'm hoping to talk to Dave about offering some shuttle assistance. It's a lot of "ifs" but that's how the end of May and beginning of June go.

Edited by GlacierRambler on 03/16/2013 22:23:47 MDT.

Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Re: :P on 03/16/2013 22:25:16 MDT Print View

Woah. Just came back to this thread. I'm into a few Guinesses right now, so I'm not gonna post anything. :D


Except at Dan's comment referring to the Baltoro.


"That cinderblock..." LOL!!

Edited by T.L. on 03/16/2013 22:26:09 MDT.

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Great Lakes Bay Region
Yoda is watching us on 03/16/2013 22:29:24 MDT Print View

Just remember Yoda is watching all of us young Skywalkers.

Travis,

You must try my steak and Guinness stew some time :-)

Max Dilthey
(mdilthey) - M

Locale: MaxTheCyclist.com
St. Paddy's on 03/16/2013 22:30:42 MDT Print View

Speaking of Guinness, how was your Guinness Stephen?

Clayton Mauritzen
(GlacierRambler) - F - M

Locale: NW Montana
Re: Yoda is watching us on 03/16/2013 22:32:39 MDT Print View

Stephen, how we'll would that stew dehydrate?

Or do you mean you have steak and stew while you enjoy a fine Guinness?

Travis, I just came back too, but I don't have any Guinness. I suspect you're having the better time.

Max Dilthey
(mdilthey) - M

Locale: MaxTheCyclist.com
Life's Questions on 03/16/2013 22:35:45 MDT Print View

Is the plural of Guinness... Guinni?

Clayton Mauritzen
(GlacierRambler) - F - M

Locale: NW Montana
Re: Life's Questions on 03/16/2013 22:39:31 MDT Print View

Not unless it ends in "-us."

Max Dilthey
(mdilthey) - M

Locale: MaxTheCyclist.com
Not Always on 03/16/2013 22:42:15 MDT Print View

Like everything else in English, that's completely irregular. If only it were all latin nouns (damn Campus...).

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Great Lakes Bay Region
Re: Re: Yoda is watching us on 03/16/2013 22:42:54 MDT Print View

Would you believe I was drinking Stella Artois all night, I picked up that filthy habit living in Belgium
I am not sure how it would dehydrate as yet to get my finger out and try.

Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Re: Re: Life's Questions on 03/16/2013 22:43:52 MDT Print View

Stephen, now you're pulling at my heartstrings.

Clayton...dammit. I have like 3-4 outstanding invites to go hiking all over the country, and now you add another. AND I CANT GO TO ANY OF THEM (at least not now).


Max...Guinni? You have to drink 8 of them first. But after 8 of them, I feel...I feel....like.....I'M INVINCIBLE!!!!

Edited by T.L. on 03/16/2013 22:45:57 MDT.

Clayton Mauritzen
(GlacierRambler) - F - M

Locale: NW Montana
Re: Re: Re: Yoda is watching us on 03/16/2013 22:48:30 MDT Print View

Stephen, did you know Stella's owned by Budweiser? I know it's only psychological, but I swear it tastes different now.

Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Re: Re: Re: Re: Yoda is watching us on 03/16/2013 22:49:11 MDT Print View

Thanks Clayton. You just ruined a good buzz.

Max Dilthey
(mdilthey) - M

Locale: MaxTheCyclist.com
Guinness is a Hiker's Brew on 03/16/2013 22:49:14 MDT Print View

I fell madly in love with a Brooklyn Lager last week when I was in NYC for the Colbert Report. I plan to go back soon, and continue the affair. Tomorrow night, it's Guinness and more Guinness. Look this up: Guinness is surprisingly good for you, better than almost every light beer.

Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Re: Guinness is a Hiker's Brew on 03/16/2013 22:50:30 MDT Print View

Max... I totally am with you on the Guinness health thing. It's actually quite like medicine and other good-for-you things.

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Great Lakes Bay Region
Re: Re: Re: Life's Questions on 03/16/2013 22:50:44 MDT Print View

Travis, it really tastes best straight out of the pot, it will be a great excuse for you an Mrs. L to come visit us in Groundhogdayville Michigan.

Edited by stephenm on 03/16/2013 22:51:57 MDT.

Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
No longer a "pack weight" thread on 03/16/2013 22:52:07 MDT Print View

I hereby declare this as an established Chaff Thread.

One where good beer and good people bring good cheer and good.....okay, what rhymes with "people?"

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Great Lakes Bay Region
Re: Re: Re: Re: Life's Questions on 03/16/2013 22:52:34 MDT Print View

Btw, I do a mean Lamb curry :-)

Max Dilthey
(mdilthey) - M

Locale: MaxTheCyclist.com
Re: Re: Guinness is a Hiker's Brew on 03/16/2013 22:54:01 MDT Print View

"Max... I totally am with you on the Guinness health thing. It's actually quite like medicine and other good-for-you things."

http://www.askmen.com/entertainment/special_feature_300/336b_guinness-5-things-you-didnt-know.html


Go forth! Learn!

A W
(lost_01)
oops on 03/16/2013 22:55:07 MDT Print View

*responded to the wrong page, this thread got big

Edited by lost_01 on 03/16/2013 22:55:59 MDT.

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Great Lakes Bay Region
Re: Re: Re: Guinness is a Hiker's Brew on 03/16/2013 22:56:05 MDT Print View

The problem with Guinness is after 10 pints you feel like your crapping your 95ltr pack.

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Great Lakes Bay Region
Re: Re: Re: Re: Guinness is a Hiker's Brew on 03/16/2013 22:57:38 MDT Print View

I shall say Goodnight as I need to see a man about a dog.

Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Guinness is a Hiker's Brew on 03/16/2013 23:00:36 MDT Print View

Stephen, fecking hilarious on your last two posts.

(did I use 'fecking' correctly? ;)

Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Guinness is a Hiker's Brew on 03/16/2013 23:05:56 MDT Print View

Guinness has less calories than skim milk. My life is complete.

Max Dilthey
(mdilthey) - M

Locale: MaxTheCyclist.com
Ah, Guinness. Old friend. on 03/16/2013 23:09:00 MDT Print View

I knew you'd like that. Ever drink it out of the can with the mixing ball in it?

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Great Lakes Bay Region
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Guinness is a Hiker's Brew on 03/16/2013 23:11:11 MDT Print View

You did indeed use fecking correctly Travis.

It means something a bit less than using the proper F word and a bit more than calling someone a Horses chassis.

Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Re: Ah, Guinness. Old friend. on 03/16/2013 23:13:37 MDT Print View

>Ever drink it out of the can with the mixing ball in it?


Pshhhh, the Widget is the best.

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Great Lakes Bay Region
Re: Re: Ah, Guinness. Old friend. on 03/16/2013 23:16:25 MDT Print View

The widget is the work of satan.

K C
(KalebC) - F

Locale: South West
RE: OP on 03/16/2013 23:16:40 MDT Print View

After about my 20th pack, I started to use a frameless pack and never went back. If your taking a poll, I think 12-20oz packs are ideal. If you are looking for wisdom, get on the trail.

Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Widget on 03/16/2013 23:18:00 MDT Print View

Stephen,
With all due respect, you're a bit biased, coming from the Guinness Motherland and all. :)

For us Yanks, it's the best we got.

How is it over there?

Edited by T.L. on 03/16/2013 23:19:06 MDT.

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Great Lakes Bay Region
Re: Widget on 03/16/2013 23:20:26 MDT Print View

If only we had a Bpl meet in Ireland.

Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Re: Re: Widget on 03/16/2013 23:21:24 MDT Print View

Damn.

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Great Lakes Bay Region
Re: Re: Re: Widget on 03/16/2013 23:22:16 MDT Print View

We could, it would cost 600$ from Chicago on sale.

Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Re: Re: Re: Re: Widget on 03/16/2013 23:27:02 MDT Print View

$600? You mean Euro? Roundtrip?

I'd buy a round trip ticket right now for $600.

Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
Re: Pack Weight on 03/16/2013 23:31:44 MDT Print View

nm

Edited by FamilyGuy on 10/30/2013 13:04:39 MDT.

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Great Lakes Bay Region
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Widget on 03/16/2013 23:32:38 MDT Print View

You can get a 600$ trip from Chi town to Dublin on sale from Aer Lingus.

Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
Re: Packs on 03/16/2013 23:42:16 MDT Print View

nm

Edited by FamilyGuy on 10/30/2013 13:05:42 MDT.

Greg F
(GregF) - F

Locale: Canadian Rockies
Re: Re: Packs on 03/17/2013 00:10:06 MDT Print View

"But please Dan, tell us which packs can carry 50 lbs for a distance in comfort that weigh less than 3.5 lbs? Your Catalyst? Tee Hee"


Doesnt Mchale himself make 3.5lb packs capable of carrying 50lbs? Sorting through his website it appears.his sub pop pach states it easily handles 40 plus lbs at 3.25 lbs. So by liminting options and making light fabric choices on a Mchale and ou could get a sub 3.5 lb pack carrying 50lbs.

Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
Re: Re: Re: Packs on 03/17/2013 00:30:32 MDT Print View

nm

Edited by FamilyGuy on 10/30/2013 13:06:57 MDT.

Greg F
(GregF) - F

Locale: Canadian Rockies
Re: Re: Re: Re: Packs on 03/17/2013 00:46:26 MDT Print View

Well this whole thread has been rather strange. The original discussion seemed to be around a typical 1 week UL backpacking trip / thru kie and strayed from there. Of course you are going to use a tool that works for what you need to carry.

Edited by GregF on 03/17/2013 00:47:19 MDT.

Cesar Valdez
(PrimeZombie) - F

Locale: Scandinavia
Re: Max on 03/17/2013 03:54:50 MDT Print View

"Cesar, I've followed a few of your posts, with fervor. You're what I like to call "one end of the spectrum." "

Thanks, I think :) Glad someone has read my posts with fervor! PM me if you ever have any questions or anything, would be happy to help you out if I can.

"Your carry weight is DEFINITELY in the frameless camp. That's intended as a compliment. I don't know if I'm ready to go that ultralight, ever. Especially not with camera gear."

Thanks again. I didn't think I would ever go UL, let alone SUL and even XUL when I first found this website and started evolving as a backpacker. The biggest thing, and I don't mean to beat a dead horse but it is an important point, is to just get out there and try it. Give self reflection on how things went. What helped me a lot, and I try and do this with many things in life, is to think of a 1-10 scale of "fun" or "experience" on a given trip. With 1 being horrible and a complete waste of time (this I contend does not really exist) and 10 being perfect (again, non-existent). It takes courage and maturity to be able to admit to yourself that maybe what you are doing is a well, let's just say below a 9.

I have written this before, but when I was lugging around a 2kg backpack with a 10kg base weight, looking back I'd say it was around a 6 or 7. It was fun, but I didn't know the potential was there to improve until I let entropy take over, which can be a very good thing so long as you do so sans bad faith. Thing is, you can feel that your experience is a "9" at the time, but then when you try something else that is more of a "real" 9, you realize that you were to an extent wrong or fooling yourself. I am not saying that this is the case with you or anyone else--I speak only for myself.

So do what you think is best for yourself. If you feel strongly enough that using a 5lb backpack is the best possible option, and that your experiences with it are a 9, good for you. But if you try using a frameless pack and lowering your base weight, and give it an honest try, and still feel like the 5lb pack is better--say your frameless UL trip is a 6 or 7 or worse--you can go back to using the 5lb pack and heavier base weight with a much more informed and solid personal conclusion.

"I'm 6'2", 170lbs, athletic but almost all in my legs because I'm a cyclist. My shoulders and back aren't that powerful, just a little rock climbing. I appreciate good pack distribution, especially when I have to carry a little extra."

It makes more sense that you are looking for better distribution of weight. I agree with others that there are packs under 5lbs that probably just as good with dealing with a 30lb load. I would also encourage you to look into functional strength training for your core, back, and shoulders. This you can do without buying any equipment or anything, just do simple body weight training--push ups, pull ups, crunches, etc. I have even loaded up packs with lots of weight by filling them with bottles of water, then doing intense hikes around my neighborhood. If you are really looking to improve functional strength, I am a user and big fan of kettle bells. Just make sure to do research and/or get training on how to use them properly. As a cyclist your legs ought to be solid and you don't have to work them much, especially if you still cycle.

Good luck with whatever you do. BTW, I have an MSR Titan kettle pot and it is in my go-to cooking system. Great piece of gear. Hope the above helps :)

Michael Wainfeld
(Adox)

Locale: EastCoast
Baltoro on 03/17/2013 06:25:48 MDT Print View

I've read most of this thread, and it's been pretty entertaining. I think what it boils down to is Max, using some tortured reasoning, trying to justify the Baltoro as a "poor man's McHale". It's not really; I've used both and they are totally different packs.
Happy St Pat's-Its sunny and snowy and We're going skiing!

Edited by Adox on 03/17/2013 06:35:30 MDT.

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - M

Locale: Cascadia
Packs on 03/17/2013 07:37:59 MDT Print View

"If you are something less than a skinny, 170 lb person, you may need something with a larger belt and larger shoulder harness and maybe a longer torso. Add in custom fabrics and superior construction and the weight adds up...although I love ULA packs...they are not nearly as robust with the same attention to detail as a Mchale. Truly, a Mchale is an F'ing work of art..."
I'm not trying to debate pack companies here, just pack philosophy. IMO, weight tends to add up primarily because designers try to add every feature to please everyone (ie. Max's pack with at least EIGHT zippers), and secondly, because everything is overbuilt for users who have no concept of taking care of their stuff. Larger harnesses, good fabrics and proper construction don't shift things by more than half a pound normally. IMO, the ultimate pack fabric is McHale's 3.5oz pure dyneema + cuben laminate, which probably weighs 8oz total for enough to make a big pack.

"But please Dan, tell us which packs can carry 50 lbs for a distance in comfort that weigh less than 3.5 lbs? Your Catalyst?"
This thread is (was?) about packs for heavier but not monster loads - maybe 30-40 lbs and not exceeding 50. For this use, there are a ton of great packs from McHale, HMG, Osprey, ULA, Granite Gear etc that are under 3.5 lbs. I'm not going to extoll my 2.5 lbs (size large) Catalyst without using it outside of the living room, but it is one example of a pack that should meet this general use requirement. Considering a 31oz HMG Porter generally accomplishes this task, I think it's tough to argue that nearly doubling this weight (to 54oz) is insufficient to get a solid pack.

"I can also tell you that an extra 1 or 2 lbs means nothing to my fitness and strength level."
The trouble with this argument is that people use it for every decision they make. I'm not saying you do, but I see lots of people saying this and then at the end of the day all those ounces and pounds that didn't matter ends up being 10 lbs that does. It's essentially the traditional backpackers philosophy.

Edited by dandydan on 03/17/2013 07:43:55 MDT.

Jennifer Mitol
(Jenmitol) - M

Locale: In my dreams....
Re: Baltoro on 03/17/2013 07:45:04 MDT Print View

Look what happened to this thread while I slept!!!!

Max, I very much get that you want to learn. You are so in the same place as so many of us when we find BPL, but as Stephen mentioned, you do have a problem with your delivery ;)

We all swear that we would never try this, or never go to that...I thought frameless (or minimally framed) packs were silly, I swore I would never sleep under a tarp, that alcohol stoves were too much work and who wants that?!

Of course now I have a minimally framed pack and loath the idea of getting something slightly beefier for the JMT. I have a zpacks hexamid tent and am seriously considering the trailstar (that looks awesome!) and I don't want to bring my canister anymore because I really really like my caldera cone set up.

The only difference is you are asking questions by (unintentionally?) challenging the choices people make here, while most of us just read and say to ourselves "well that's ridiculous! Why would I ever want such a flimsy pack?!" Then as Cesar said, little by little we reflect on what we really need, start to notice how the lighter weight on our backs really does translate to a better hiking experience, then lo and behold we find what works. I am still looking for that, but I'm getting closer. And my bank account is telling me what I have is just fine thank you very much.

And perhaps the Boreas is uncomfortable because it's not the pack for you? Don't discount ALL frameless packs because one isn't as comfortable as you'd like. Besides, I'm learning that packing technique and skill matters quite a bit here, too.

Now get out there and hike!! If you can run 6 miles, then go hike a few!

M B
(livingontheroad) - M
weight on 03/17/2013 07:49:05 MDT Print View

"I can also tell you that an extra 1 or 2 lbs means nothing to my fitness and strength level."


Unless you have figured out a way to defeat the laws of physics, you are wrong. That extra weight affects how fast, and how far you can hike. You just dont realize it.

What you are saying clearly, is you dont hike far enough in a day, for it to matter to you. Thats fine for you.

If you have ever been to the point of thorough exhaustion, where you literally couldnt take another step uphill, you would realize it.

Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
Re: weight on 03/17/2013 09:29:34 MDT Print View

nm

Edited by FamilyGuy on 10/30/2013 13:06:24 MDT.

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Great Lakes Bay Region
Re: Re: weight on 03/17/2013 11:27:14 MDT Print View

All this talk of packs has reminded me I need to buy a big load hauler to replace my Catalyst.
Oh well that's going to keep me occupied at lunch breaks for a while :-)

Herbert Sitz
(hes)

Locale: Pacific NW
bravado / overenthusiasm / nonsense on 03/17/2013 12:06:42 MDT Print View

My take on pack weight is that people tend to exaggerate when they talk about how comfortable a pack (or its weight) is. They'll say:

"It carried like a dream." (?? Huh. What does that even mean?)

"I had it loaded with 30 pounds and I forgot I even had it on."

"Didn't even notice the five extra pounds."

This happens at least as often with people talking about heavier packs as it does with ultralight packs. Max seems to think people on BPL are way slanted towards UL. Well, I know I've read plenty of the "carried like a dream" nonsense about heavier packs too. When they're talking about thirty pound loads I have a good idea how non-"dreamlike" that would be for me.

I don't care what people _feel_ like saying (out of enthusiasm or out of an attempt to justify their gear choices). I know for a fact that all else being equal, carrying fifteen pounds is better than carrying seventeen pounds. The difference may not be great. But it exists. And it's incremental. Add more weight and the difference grows. Add an ounce and there will be a difference. I might not notice it, but I _know_ carrying an extra ounce is something to be avoided, all else being equal.

I understand that there may be a five pound pack that may make carrying, say, 23 pounds of cargo (28 total) an overall more comfortable experience than carrying that same 23 pounds in a two pound pack (25 total). In that case the extra carrying comfort added by the heavier pack must outweigh the bodily discomfort and wear and tear that gets added by its three extra pounds. As others have already said, this is unlikely to happen if I'm already very comfortable with a (well-designed and well-fitting) lighter pack that's appropriate for my cargo weight. Moreover, I don't think it's something someone can tell me; I need to test for myself; proclamations of "carried like a dream" and "didn't even notice I had it on" are not helpful. At most they tell me that you like your pack (which is of course good for you).

Edited by hes on 03/17/2013 12:16:33 MDT.

Max Dilthey
(mdilthey) - M

Locale: MaxTheCyclist.com
Kelty Red Cloud 90 on 03/17/2013 12:24:23 MDT Print View

Stephen,

I've got a Kelty 90L if you need a load hauler. Search my Red Cloud on Gear Swap and see if that's what you're looking for.

Cheers,
MD

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Great Lakes Bay Region
Re: Kelty Red Cloud 90 on 03/17/2013 12:25:58 MDT Print View

Cheers Max,

Max Dilthey
(mdilthey) - M

Locale: MaxTheCyclist.com
Thoughts. on 03/17/2013 12:27:49 MDT Print View

I think "poor man's McHale" is possibly the best way of putting my opinion that there is. It's 2lbs too heavy and not as custom-fit, but I could do worse. I said it before; If it's not awesome, I have a return policy to fall back on, but as I also said before, the Gregory Baltoro isn't the point of the thread.

Sorry for the delivery. I'm sure nobody's losing too much sleep over it, but I could probably toss around a few more smiley faces and caveats to make it clear that I'm not challenging anyone here. Thanks for the feedback.

I have to agree with those who say there's a difference between 15 and 20lbs, but I also have to address Cesar's very good point that there's a spectrum of enjoyment. The enjoyment difference between 15 and 20 pounds might be non-existent for some users, and very present for others. To each their own.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: weight on 03/17/2013 12:29:56 MDT Print View

"Unless you have figured out a way to defeat the laws of physics..."

I know, let's eliminate the Higgs Boson so that our gear won't have any mass!

Why didn't we think of this before?

Plus, we can quit purchasing more Higgs Bosons.

--B.G.--

Max Dilthey
(mdilthey) - M

Locale: MaxTheCyclist.com
My UL Philosophy on 03/17/2013 12:29:59 MDT Print View

If I were a rich man, I'd buy five different packs along the line between UL and overbuilt, and then go do five week-long hikes. Soberingly, I've got to finish my undergraduate and then pay for it. I try and make due by listening to other people's experiences so when I do get out and hike, I'm better off than where I could have been.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
How much additional pack weight is enough to be noticeable? on 03/17/2013 12:36:59 MDT Print View

I figure if a pack weighs 1 pound more I won't notice. More than that I start noticing.

So if I want to reduce my pack weight, I have to come up with enough improvements to total 1 pound or more or it doesn't really matter.

Cutting holes in tooth brush handle or cutting margins off maps - waste of time, except maybe it puts me in the right mindset so I can come up with enough changes to be noticeable.

Max Dilthey
(mdilthey) - M

Locale: MaxTheCyclist.com
Incremental Change on 03/17/2013 12:42:07 MDT Print View

Jerry,

If you cut the handle off your toothbrush, cut the margins off your maps, cut the tags off your shirts, trim the extra webbing off your bag, cut the belt loops off your pants, take the stuff sacks off your sleeping bag and mat, swap your shoelaces for shock cord, take the daisy chains off your pack, and unwrap your CLIF bars, now you're looking at a pound.

-Max

Edited by mdilthey on 03/17/2013 12:42:54 MDT.

Gary Dunckel
(Zia-Grill-Guy) - MLife

Locale: Boulder
Re: weight on 03/17/2013 13:15:35 MDT Print View

Nah, a man can't have too many Higgs Bosons, Bob. But what we really need is a Higgs Boson reversal button on our GPS or iPhone. That way, I could minimize my pack's mass, merge it with yours as bosons like to do, and then have you carry it for me until we get to the campsite, when I hit the Higgs Boson reversal-reveral button. Life would be pretty darned good, don't you think? For one of us anyway...