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Clayton Mauritzen
(GlacierRambler) - 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.wordpress.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.wordpress.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: A very flat place (Grrrrrrrr)
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.wordpress.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) - 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.wordpress.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: A very flat place (Grrrrrrrr)
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 - M
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.wordpress.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.wordpress.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) - 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.wordpress.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.