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Load lifters on the Granite Gear Crown 60 V.C. Ki and other backpacks
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peter vacco

Locale: no. california
how "load lifters " work on 05/16/2013 13:42:43 MDT Print View

this is a link to Dan Mchales page where he corectly describes exaclty what and how those confusing straps work.
if thee does not know what/how they function, read that page.

ps. Alina's pack is too short for any meaningful weight. it's probably going to make her miserable.
i just received an Aarn Bodypack (bought here on bpl) and .. whoa !
if straps were extra parts .. this thing is like the Napier Sabre aero engine of the hiking world.
Aarn's work is fascinating to deal with. it flexes, it moves, it twists and rolls all over the place on it's own. i Can Not wait to get it out on some trails.
loaded up around the house it feels great. and you can move and do whatever needs done.
no way would i take this bag of tricks to the north though. but for closer to home jaunts, you betch'a. it might just be the ticket to comfort city.


Alina G
(Alina) - MLife

Locale: Toronto, Ontario
Load lifters on the Granite Gear Crown 60 V.C. Ki and other backpacks on 05/17/2013 22:19:13 MDT Print View

Thank you once again for your comments.
You would think that it should be relatively easy for Granite Gear to fix the load lifters problem. Although I have looked at some of the ultralight backpacks, including the ones in and for the most part they seem to have load lifting system similar to the GG Crown. Some have no LL at all! In this report it says that you do not need load lifters for packs of around 3500 cubic inches if properly sized. Is it right? Crown is 3660 cubic inches so I think that it is still in the 3500 category?
So I am quite confused right now. You guys said that Crown did not fit me. I assume you said that because of the LL not being at 45 degrees and the fact that the top of the pack frame is just a little higher than my shoulder tops? It should be higher? But I have seen all the ultralight packs fit that way. Some are even lower fitting than mine. For some of them the shoulder straps attach at the top of the pack.
What am I missing here? The Crown fits the same way as the other ultralight packs (or even better because at least it has LL and the top is above my shoulder tops) so why is it a bad fit for me? Please clarify.

What would you recommend instead then? I am not sure what to get any more. In order to have properly working LL I think that I would have to go to a heavier and/or more volume pack like maybe Osprey for example yet many people use the ultralight packs (no LL) and are happy with them.
Please help!

Nathan Coleman
Load Lifters and frame height are weight dependent on 05/18/2013 04:42:18 MDT Print View

Frame height needed to properly support a load and the load lifter angle needed is entirely dependent on pack weight.

If you're carrying around 25 lbs or less, then lots of packs will work and frame height and load lifter angle aren't that important.

If you're carrying 25-50 lbs then I like to have the top of the pack frame at least 2-3 inches above the tops of my shoulders, and the pack needs a stiff frame that won't deform plus a well designed hipbelt at those weights.

At 50-80 lbs The frame needs to be extremely stiff and the top of the frame needs to be at least several inches above the tops of your shoulders to give a good load lifter angle. At over 60ish lbs belt design and load transfer method become very important as belt slip and deformation cause the pack to ride lower and effectively reduce frame height, plus interfere with your body's natural locomotion.

At 80-110 lbs or more all but a few packs are weeded out. It takes a very strong and stiff frame to handle the weight, and a very well designed belt with a proper load transfer to prevent belt deformation and slip. The cut of the belt, the proper webbing, and a mechanical advantage in tightening the belt are necessary. Every little detail in pack design becomes extremely important.

Most people have absolutely no need for a pack that is comfortable with more than 50 lbs. I am a backcountry hunter, and have the need. So I've done extensive training and testing at weights of of 85-110 lbs over the last winter and spring.

pack on 05/18/2013 05:37:41 MDT Print View

You will see plenty of pics of people with UL packs, especially frameless, with the pack sagging down thier back, all the weight clearly on the shoulders.

This, should tell you everything you need to know, especially regarding claims to how great X pack is. Yeah, put it on, load it up and it looks and feels great. Walk a couple miles with it and it works its way down until all the weight is on the shoulders.

The hipbelts just arent substantial enough to support heavy loads, and most carry heavier loads than the pack works best at , part of the time.

On UL packs with hipbelts, the shoulder strap attachment points should be at the shoulder, to 1" below with the packs loaded. This lets the angle of the shoulder straps keep the pack close to the back. If the strap wraps the shoulders and goes several inches down, it doesnt have the ability to keep the pack close to back anymore.

These packs are compromises between carry capacity, comfort, and weight. You have to be willing to accept the tradeoff. Even the top light framed pack is still best under 20 lbs, OK to 25, and becoming unsuitable at 30. Lesser ones become unsuitable at only 25lbs. Regardless of what the mfg may claim. It all depends on the level of discomfort someone is willing to accept. Some people have higher tolerance for it as well.

When the pack does sag down, the load lifters can help pull it in to the back.
When it is not sagging, they can work to lift wt off the shoulders and allow it all on the hips.

Edited by livingontheroad on 05/18/2013 05:52:05 MDT.

John G
(JohnG10) - F

Locale: Mid-Atlantic via Upstate NY
Vapor ki on 05/18/2013 10:29:05 MDT Print View

The pack is the correct size for you. The reason the hip belt is sloping downwards is that you are wearing it a little low. Use the hip belt to synch the pack into the curve of your lower back and it will take more weight off your shoulders, reduce the need to wear the belt super tight, result in less pack bounce when you walk, and cause the shoulder straps to wrap less so the pack leans back less.
The 45 degree load lifter guideline applies to packs with a ridged frame that is 4-5" higher than the top of your shoulders. On frameless packs the load lifters are used to adjust the size of the back length a little by firming up the shoulder straps when they connect to the pack too low for your torso length. They are also useful for pulling a floppy load a little tighter. Since the load is a little closer, it feels a little lighter since you don't have to lean forward as much to counterbalance it. On the vapor trail, the load lifters also close the water bladder pocket and anchor the back panel solidly to the load. The external water bladder pocket try's to eliminate the inconvenience of unpacking to refill a water bladder. I found it made an uncomfortable bulge along the spine.
The only pack I've tried that was more comfy than the vapor trail was the granite gear blaze. The crown was less comfy than the golite jam for me. The rei flash was ok too, but is a mid weight framed pack now. The new flash is more comfy for me than the osprey exos though. I haven't tried the ula circuit, but if you want more weight transfer to the hip belt and truly functional load lifters I'd look at the blaze and the circuit. Personally, I'm more than happy with the vapor trail even when using an inflatable pad (although I did cut the extension collar to half it's height to make it easier to put things into the pack). My total pack weight with water etc is usually 22-26.5 pounds.

peter vacco

Locale: no. california
Re: Load Lifters and frame height are weight dependent on 05/18/2013 11:17:56 MDT Print View

everything that Nathan said, yes.
and i would say he put it quite succenctly, if i knew how to spell it.
Nathan even has the weight ranges broken out correctly.

note ; it can hurt quite a bit to figure all that out.

Stephen Barber
(grampa) - MLife

Locale: SoCal
Load lifters and frames on 05/18/2013 12:02:52 MDT Print View

"If you're carrying around 25 lbs or less, then lots of packs will work and frame height and load lifter angle aren't that important."

While I generally agree with Nathan's load vs. frame/LL correlations, I have to say that for me (and others with a bad lower back?) any pack that in use hangs from my shoulders and weighs 10 lbs or more will have my back in spasms within a couple hours. The pelvic girdle is THE support structure for the torso and the pack. If my pack does a good job of transferring the weight directly to the pelvic girdle, and in a well designed and fitted pack, load lifters are an essential part of that, I'm a happy hiker all day long. If it doesn't, I'm in pain.

Alina, if that was me in the photo, I would be fairly confident that the pack wouldn't work for me, but only some hours on the trail with it loaded would tell the tale. My advise: Load it up, hike up and down for 2-4 hours and evaluate it then. If it sucks, return it and get something with a longer frame.

Edited by grampa on 05/18/2013 12:03:58 MDT.

Nathan Coleman
LL Angle on 05/18/2013 13:15:52 MDT Print View


Good point, and something I left out. I actually prefer a beltless frameless pack for weights under 10-15 lbs. For 15-25 or 30 lbs I prefer a pack with a belt, and a frame that is at least even with the tops of my shoulders. At those weights and that frame height load lifters act more like load snuggers than lifters, as all they do is bring the pack closer to your back.

Larry De La Briandais
(Hitech) - F

Locale: SF Bay Area
Everyone is different... on 05/20/2013 12:09:26 MDT Print View

In the vein of everyone is different, my shoulders will start to hurt with a belt-less pack at 5 lbs or so. A book bag with 2 liters of water, snacks and two windbreakers had my shoulders hurting after just an hour. I always want a good hip belt and the load transferred there, even for light loads.

Alina G
(Alina) - MLife

Locale: Toronto, Ontario
Granite Gear Crown vs Blaze - pictures on 05/27/2013 00:47:05 MDT Print View

Hi Guys,

This weekend I had a chance to try GG Crown Ki regular torso and Blaze regular torso men’s pack (the adjustment was on the middle hole). Unfortunately the store did not have the women’s version. Both of them had 30 lbs in them. I am curious what is your opinion.
I was surprised and relieved to see that the load lifters in both cases were at 45 degrees. I think that in both case the shoulders look perfect don't they? With the Crown the shoulders were especially great. I did not feel any weight on my shoulders but unfortunately the waist was “weird”. The unpadded part of the belt was really pressing on my tummy. It was uncomfortable. Is it because the torso on the pack was too long? I am not sure how too long torso would cause such discomfort though. Maybe there is some other explanation.
Thank you in advance.
Blaze - load liftersBlaze - profileCrown - load liftersCrown - profile

Alina G
(Alina) - MLife

Locale: Toronto, Ontario
Granite Gear Crown vs Blaze - pictures on 05/27/2013 00:52:36 MDT Print View

I thought I posted all 4 picture but I guess it is only 2 picture per post?
Here are the remaining 2 pictures of Crown.

Crown - load liftersCrown - profile

Ken Strayer
(TheRambler) - F
Re: "Load lifters on the Granite Gear Crown 60 V.C. Ki and other backpacks" on 05/27/2013 07:07:45 MDT Print View

Those load lifters look much better than the original pictures. I am not too sure about the hipbelt, i know its kinda weird but a picture might help to see what exactly is going on. My first thought is that the hipbelt is too small or not the correct type? I know the hipbelt on a womens pack is typically shaped a little differently, not sure if that is the problem or not. If you have the more "standard" wide hipboned female structure , then a womens specific hipbelt may make all the difference. OR if the hipbelt is too small, it will cause more pressure on the unpadded/buckle section.

I would try on the pack with the next size up hipbelt and see how that feels. Secondly would be to try a womens specific version. I don't know about this pack inparticular, but on many packs the hipbelts are interchangeable. So for EXAMPLE you could remove the small hipbelt on the pack and put a medium womens hipbelt on. Most companies wont even charge you for the hipbelt(in my experience), they usually either special order it or just take a hipbelt off another pack and give it to you.

Hope you get it all dialed in!

Dave -
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Up there
Re: Re: "Load lifters on the Granite Gear Crown 60 V.C. Ki and other backpacks" on 05/27/2013 08:48:24 MDT Print View

That looks better.

With respect to the belt, you look like you have cranked it too tight. How much weight did you have in the pack?

Link .
(annapurna) - MLife
Re: Re: Re: "Load lifters on the Granite Gear Crown 60 V.C. Ki and other backpacks" on 05/27/2013 09:07:31 MDT Print View

Both of them had 30 lbs in them

Dave -
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Up there
Re: Re: Re: Re: "Load lifters on the Granite Gear Crown 60 V.C. Ki and other backpacks" on 05/27/2013 09:18:45 MDT Print View

I guess I got confused with the way the pictures were posted(!).

Then yes, the belt looks like it is cranked a bit too tight. If you can't get the pack to settle in the lumbar region without cranking the belt, then the pack isn't going to work for you in the field.

Andrew Martin
(am1982) - M

Locale: PacNW
Hipbelt on 05/27/2013 12:56:16 MDT Print View

I have a similar problem with my GG hip belt. Pretty sure it's happening because the padded part is too short causing the webbing to dig in when cranked tight.

Alina G
(Alina) - MLife

Locale: Toronto, Ontario
Blaze or ULA on 05/28/2013 23:32:35 MDT Print View

Thank you.
Regarding the hip belt. I do not think that the digging in on the Crown was caused by wrong belt size as I have used the same belt for the other packs (Blaze and Crown short) and it seemed to be OK. Most likely the digging in was caused by too long torso.
Anyway, at this point I am considering between Blaze Ki or ULA packs. I am just waiting for a response from Granite Gear if there is a difference in shoulder straps between the man’s and woman’s version as the straps in the man’s version were rubbing against my arms. I could not even put my arms close to my torso as the shoulder straps were getting in a way. If GG says that the straps are the same then I will go for ULA.

Susan Papuga
(veganaloha) - M

Locale: USA
Re: Blaze or ULA on 05/29/2013 01:00:05 MDT Print View

It looks like the "waist" belt is actually at your natural waistline in the pictures. Is this where you position it when hiking or do you normally like it lower at your iliac crest (pelvic girdle), which helps in transmitting the weight to your hips? Knowing where you're most comfortable wearing it obviously affects the fit and sizing of the pack as the second option translates into a longer "torso" measurement.