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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) - 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.wordpress.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) - 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.wordpress.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) - 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.wordpress.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) - 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.wordpress.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) - 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.wordpress.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.wordpress.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!