Forum Index » Editor's Roundtable » Paradox Packs Evolution pack system review


Display Avatars Sort By:
David Chenault
(DaveC) - BPL Staff - F

Locale: Crown of the Continent
Re: Re: Paradox Packs Evolution pack system review on 01/15/2014 13:56:49 MST Print View

I specifically addressed the meaning of "ultralight" in the article. Those who persist in seeing this as a numbers only issue will continue to not have my sympathy.

Jason McSpadden
(JBMcSr1) - M

Locale: Rocky Mountains
re: Paradox Packs Evolution review on 01/15/2014 13:58:04 MST Print View

Jeez! Didn't you nay sayers read the review? David writes the following, "At times even the most indoctrinated lightweight hiker will need to carry a heavy pack. Zeno’s rule of ultralight backpacking states that an infinite number of infinitely light things will be infinitely heavy. Food comes to mind, as does insulation for cold temperatures, and technical equipment such as mountaineering, packrafting, or skiing gear. Combine any two of these things, and the weight adds up fast. Hauling meat out after a successful backcountry hunt is another instance when even the most intentional load can be enormous."

And

"Before I proceed, further, let me define a few terms. I prefer to think of ultralight not as defined by a certain weight threshold, but as a guiding principle for design and the evaluation of it. If a product has been ruthlessly stripped of excess parts (i.e. weight) to the furthest limit of practicality, it is ultralight. This term must then be thoroughly contextualized to have any meaning as sensible weight reduction in one application would be an act of the self-immolating ideologue in another."

I'll take David at his word in that one of the acceptable definitions of ultralight is simplicity. I think this is a fascinating review about a product, (which I knew nothing about), that could help me enjoy The Great Outdoors more than I currently do. This pack seems to have the flexibility to carry just about any size load comfortably. I find David's expertise and experience helpful in making my future pack decisions.

In my mind he seems to be writing that he may been in the process of discovering, to paraphrase Tolkien, "one pack to rule them all."

Sam Haraldson
(sharalds) - MLife

Locale: Gallatin Range
Paradox Packs Evolution pack system review on 01/15/2014 15:33:22 MST Print View

Thorough, scientific gear reviews of this caliber are why I continue to visit Backpacking Light week after week after week.

At least one hunting-specific review of the Evolution should be up on the greater internet by the time you read this.


Dave, has this article surfaced yet, and if so would you please share the link?

peter vacco
(fluff@inreach.com) - M

Locale: no. california
Re: Re: Re: Paradox Packs Evolution pack system review on 01/15/2014 15:42:22 MST Print View

" Those who persist in seeing this as a numbers only issue will continue to not have my sympathy. "

true fact, eh.
---
now, on to bending those 7075 stays .. ya'll don't need a vise (of whih i own an extremely nice one), because what they make for bending pack stays is a tool called a "picnic table".
picnic tables bend pak stays hella excellent. AND, you have a handy place to stack all that un-ul caca while you're creating your latest version of perfection.
some discretion is advised, in that a healthy stay is manly enought to lift the more questionable picnic table planks if one is not careful. but just use good manners, and everything works out for the best.

in the world of higer weights, all is exatly as the author states : one must be of appropriate oondition (and attitude) to tote big numbers. a trendy pack alone is not going to cut it.

great review !
i have been wondering is these things were going to work, or were another "cheese shop" sort of an affair. can't wait to test haul one.
now, will one be at the west coast GGG ?

cheers,
v.

Misfit Mystic
(cooldrip)

Locale: "Grand Canyon of the East"
24hourcampfire on 01/15/2014 16:02:48 MST Print View

Hi Sam,

I think it was mentioned above, but earlier I read a review on 24hourcampfire.com. Well done, quite informative, although the pack tested was a pre-production model. It seems that Dave and these reviewers, noting the same potential improvement to the shoulder harness, are the impetus behind the updated harness on production models. It's definitely on my wish list; seems a great tool for trail work, where I might need to pack in a chainsaw or such.

Cheers,

Scott

Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
Re: Paradox Packs Evolution pack system review on 01/15/2014 16:03:03 MST Print View

Sam, Dave mentions it in post #2:

http://www.24hourcampfire.com/

Sam Haraldson
(sharalds) - MLife

Locale: Gallatin Range
Paradox Packs Evolution pack system review on 01/15/2014 16:11:26 MST Print View

Thanks for the heads up on the 24 article everyone. I wasn't sure if that review was the aforementioned or not. That one's sitting in another tab in my browser until I have some time to give it the time it deserves to for me to read and digest it.

Josh Kuntz
(Josh_Kuntz) - M

Locale: Idaho & Montana
Well done on 01/15/2014 16:28:12 MST Print View

Thanks for a great review. As a backpacker and a hunter, I have been very curious about this pack and you have given the most comprehensive review I have seen thus far. Well done.

If you are looking for ideas for another pack review, I would love to see a similar style review for the Stone Glacier packs. Either the SOLO or SKY 5100 models.

Cheers!

David Chenault
(DaveC) - BPL Staff - F

Locale: Crown of the Continent
Re: Well done on 01/15/2014 17:15:25 MST Print View

Thanks Josh. The new Stone Glacier packs do look interesting. Lots of exciting developments in this area.

Sam the 24 Campfire is the article I had in mind. For some reason they don't facilitate permalinks.

Peter, I used a convenient split-trunked birch in the front yard for stay bending. Peculiar to the neighbors, but effective.

Ed Tyanich
(runsmtns) - F - M
Nice write up on 01/15/2014 17:47:48 MST Print View

Nice article Dave. Your experience with the Paradox is very similar to mine. Mine was also a pre-production pack and I'm glad Nathan and Kevin listened to input on shoulder harness, adding Pals webbing to the hip belt etc.

I did have the chance to pack out an elk in mine and outside of the shoulder harness which has since been changed, it handled a maximum load of 96 lbs quite well.

Christopher *
(cfrey.0) - M

Locale: US East Coast
Re: Paradox Packs Evolution pack system review on 01/15/2014 21:40:09 MST Print View

Thank you for the well articulated and thoughtful write-up.

I was interested in the frame design when these packs were first announced.

I am however still not certain I fully understand the claim; "As the load in the pack goes up, the tension in the whole system becomes greater, and the frame stiffens."

Can anyone explain with a bit more clarity how that press-fit articulating joint becomes stiffened with the addition of increased weight?

Thanks!

David Chenault
(DaveC) - BPL Staff - F

Locale: Crown of the Continent
Re: Re: Paradox Packs Evolution pack system review on 01/15/2014 21:46:42 MST Print View

"Can anyone explain with a bit more clarity how that press-fit articulating joint becomes stiffened with the addition of increased weight?"


As you can see in the photos of the bare frame, at rest the frame is a U with the vertical sides parallel. The fabric encasement forces the vertical parts to bend towards each other. The greater the load placed onto said encasement, the greater the outward force back towards parallel orientation, which in turn makes articulation un-possible.

Ian Clark
(chindits) - MLife

Locale: Cntrl ROMO
thank you on 01/15/2014 22:30:43 MST Print View

Great review as always. I fully understand the concept of a light weight load hauler and I see no need for an UL argument here. Of course not everyone has had to haul tools/materials for trail maintenance, replace batteries for remote repeaters, SAR gear, communication gear, multiple optics and game cameras, or food for a team in the field. So I accept their confusion and innocence.

Edited by chindits on 01/15/2014 22:33:10 MST.

Christopher *
(cfrey.0) - M

Locale: US East Coast
Re: Re: Re: Paradox Packs Evolution pack system review on 01/15/2014 22:37:53 MST Print View

Thank you for the reply David, and again thank you for the write-up and the plethora of pictures.

Unfortunately I am still having trouble visualizing the mechanics involved with the frame.

I can see that the fabric "encasement" is designed to force the vertical members together. In my mind the frame would exhibit "maximum" articulation in the bare state ... that is the frame would demonstrate the fullest articulation possible when unloaded and out of the "encasement" with the vertical members in parallel position and the press-fit bottom joint unstressed. With the "encasement" forcing the vertical members together, I would intuitively think the inward system tension would place stress on the press-fit joint and inhibit articulation, before the addition of any weight or any other outside forces ... obviously this is the opposite of how it apparently works, I'm just not certain I understand why.

I also am having difficulty visualizing how addition of weight (forces pulling down and out) would effect a force that would pull the vertical members back toward parallel. If anything I would think the opposite would be true.

Additionally on a more global scale, if forcing the vertical members back toward parallel orientation has any definitive effect on frame articulation, how great of an effect do the multitudinous cross-pack (from vertical member to vertical member) compression straps effect frame performance? Can you unintentionally effect frame flex by cranking down on those straps?

Sorry if this line of inquiry is sophomoric. I found the frame design and claims to be really intriguing, but I cannot seem to visualize how it is actually working.

Edited by cfrey.0 on 01/15/2014 22:44:10 MST.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Re: Re: Paradox Packs Evolution pack system review on 01/15/2014 23:11:31 MST Print View

DaveC wrote, "I specifically addressed the meaning of "ultralight" in the article. Those who persist in seeing this as a numbers only issue will continue to not have my sympathy."

You can write all the disclaimers and excuses you like, it's a heavy pack for heavy loads and antithetical to the whole UL concept. Indeed numbers DO come into it and I certainly don't seek your sympathy! It is an editorial trend I don't truly grasp.

I don't intend to be mean spirited, but it does smack of "this isn't pertinent, but we're going to review it anyway."

Alister R Barnes
(ARB) - M

Locale: Piha
Pack weight and comfort on 01/16/2014 00:03:37 MST Print View

An extremely well written review, David. If read carefully, it is easy to decide whether this pack is for you, and whether it is worth buying,
As you say, UL is a state of mind, and not simply about pounds and ounces. To me it meets what should be the BPL criteria.
Delete this review, and BPL would be less interesting, and therefore less attractive.

spelt the enigmatic
(spelt) - F

Locale: SW/C PA
Re: Re: Re: Re: Paradox Packs Evolution pack system review on 01/16/2014 08:17:20 MST Print View

>>You can write all the disclaimers and excuses you like, it's a heavy pack for heavy loads

For the loads it carries it's a very light pack, actually. The comparable capacity Mystery Ranch weighs twice as much. I have a very comfortable older internal frame that weighs about 3 lbs, and while I've had 60 lbs in it (unwillingly), I wouldn't care to do so again.

>>and antithetical to the whole UL concept.

We enjoy and applaud adventurers who do wild, epic trips (Skurka, Gates, Erin and Hig)--certainly we aren't deluding ourselves they're skipping down the trail with 20 lbs? What is the difference between applying UL principles so you can carry 50 lbs of expedition food and a packraft vs doing the same so you can carry an elk quarter? No one gets bonus points for packing out meat in a Golite Jam. It's not appropriate for the job, and would rightfully be called stupid.

>>Indeed numbers DO come into it and I certainly don't seek your sympathy! It is an editorial trend I don't truly grasp.

I think of it as exploring the function of tools that can be used to do things in the woods other than just walk. Anytime I take my packraft it adds ten pounds automatically. Is any trip with a packraft then not UL, even though compared with a folding kayak, a packraft itself is definitely UL? What if my base weight sans rafting gear is 2 lbs? 10 lbs?

I'm not the best to proffer an opinion, probably, but I like the expanded focus. When I first started reading at BPL the PCT/Sierras bias was easy to see even if I didn't know what to call it. Indeed, I've started such threads as "What's so great about the JMT?" and "Why are rocks more interesting than trees?" (second one somewhat paraphrased, about the bias towards hiking/taking pictures above treeline).

I think the point I'm trying to make is that if you want to do different things in different environments, you have to carry different stuff. Sometimes you have to carry a lot of weight, even if your planning and gear selection are ruthlessly efficient. I think that process--learning it, applying it, designing gear around it--is a more useful application of UL overall than keeping the focus only on items of gear below a certain weight.

Edited by spelt on 01/16/2014 08:23:14 MST.

Sam Haraldson
(sharalds) - MLife

Locale: Gallatin Range
Paradox Packs Evolution pack system review on 01/16/2014 09:03:20 MST Print View

I sure as hell wouldn't have wanted an ultralight frameless pack to carry my chainsaw, pulaski, water, and emergency gear when I worked on trail crew so I opted for a Northface internal system of moderate weight. The platform systems that existed back then were pretty heavy and looked more like medieval torture devices than the beauty of a rig featured in this article.

For the weenies out there more weight could possibly be saved by sewing the packbag directly to the frame panel but that would come at a serious loss to the versatility of being able to have multiple sizes of packbags. Also, leaving the panel pocket at home saves a 1/4 pound. All in all the low weight of this item as a ratio to it's load bearing capacity is hard to beat.

Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
Re: Paradox Packs Evolution pack system review on 01/16/2014 09:13:29 MST Print View

I agree that should one need to carry a load, this would be an option albeit this pack was designed specifically for hunters who requir carrying heavy quantities of meat. Of course the pack could be used for other things.

For what it seemingly does, the weight empty does not seem to be abnormal when compared to comparable products.

"For the weenies out there..." This made me laugh. Mostly because it wasn't that long ago that I got picked on by both Sam Haraldson and Mike Clelland for suggesting that a 3lb framed pack could be considered as an addition to a posted gear list that had a frameless book bag as the 'load' carrier given the weights that would be carried. This is backpacking LIGHT, they said. I took it in stride.


I would still prefer a Mchale. ;)

Sam Haraldson
(sharalds) - MLife

Locale: Gallatin Range
Paradox Packs Evolution pack system review on 01/16/2014 09:32:06 MST Print View

I bet Mike still sticks to his guns on that one, Dave.