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Gear failure on the AT
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Vick Hines
(vickrhines) - F

Locale: Central Texas
Gear failure on the AT on 09/30/2007 15:59:42 MDT Print View

Having just returned from thru-hiking the AT, I need to blow off steam about the amount of gear failure I saw this year. Thru-hikers reported various niggling but discouraging small failures of items ranging from filter systems to tents, but without a good survey, it is impossible to estimate whether these failures were random or systematic. The following were too obvious to be ignored or passed over. Has anyone else noticed...

1. Osprey and Gregory packs disintegrating in ways ranging from obnoxious (broken stays and pulled out compressor straps) to fatal (shoulder strap attachment seam failure);

2. Shoes falling apart. Starting with the worst I saw or experienced personally: Golite trail runners (more than one model), Lafuma trail runners, Asolo midweight boots, Montrail trail runners. Golites lasted less than 70 miles before the uppers began to fall apart. They disintegrated completely by 150 miles. No kidding. Lafumas did little better. Asolos and Montrails had upper (seam and fabric failure) and sole failures (delamination) that generally did not occur until between 150 and 300 miles.

Perhaps a survey is in order.

Dave -
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Up there
AT Gear on 09/30/2007 16:03:13 MDT Print View


Edited by FamilyGuy on 11/04/2013 12:20:40 MST.

Vick Hines
(vickrhines) - F

Locale: Central Texas
AT gear on 09/30/2007 16:16:40 MDT Print View

The only thing I didn't make was my shoes and some clothing. That makes it easy to cuss the manufacturer if things go wrong.

Stuart Burke
(burkest) - F

Locale: Collegiate Peaks Wilderness
Re: Gear failure on the AT on 09/30/2007 16:19:14 MDT Print View


You might have missed this because you were on the AT:

It should answer questions about the golite shoes. I recently exchaged a pair of sun dragons under warranty and I think that the new shoes will hold up better, but I have not put many miles on them yet.

Michael Demchak
(mikey) - F

Locale: new england
congrats vick on 09/30/2007 16:24:48 MDT Print View

i agree completely with you on those golite shoes, i loved everything about them but their hard textured uppers were a disaster. i do believe that problem has been fixed in recent models? vick, what was your trail name? i kept an eye out for a man with an all dynema backpack, but never ran into you.
mike! (beershake)

Vick Hines
(vickrhines) - F

Locale: Central Texas
Re: congrats vick on 09/30/2007 16:36:13 MDT Print View

Spock, here. No, I don't think we ever met.

As to Golite shoes, I just saw Carol Crooker's report on the new models. Good. The factory has identified the problems and maybe fixed them. Now, if they could get more surface area on the ground for adequate traction on rock.

Thanks, Stuart

Edited by vickrhines on 09/30/2007 16:40:29 MDT.

Vick Hines
(vickrhines) - F

Locale: Central Texas
Re: congrats vick on 09/30/2007 16:42:35 MDT Print View

Not all Dynema, just grid-stop Dynema. Good stuff, although the check pattern is 50's retro.

Shawn Basil
(Bearpaw) - F

Locale: Southeast
Gear failure on the AT on 09/30/2007 19:43:39 MDT Print View

My AT thru-hike was 8 years ago, but I still sense certain themes.

Filters: a pain on a long-distance hike. I went through 4 cartridges in 5 1/2 months.

Poles: I annihilated two pairs, one Komperdell and one Leki. Leki service was absolutely attrocious on the trail. Not one hiker I know (including me) got any satisfaction from Leki that year unless you could trade out a pole in an outfitter. Leki was the worst service I have EVER gotten from an outdoor retailer. I hear they have improved dramatically since.

Packs: I had a very heavy Gregory Pallisade - it held up well except for some wear to the webbing. Gregory replaced/repaired all of this for free after my hike was over.

Shoes/boots: NO ONE hiked in low cuts that I can recall in 1999. However, delamination was common and resoling boots was usually a waste of money. At least with many pairs of trail runners, you get light weight and a reason for getting a bigger pair as your feet grow. This summer on the JMT, I encountered a number of thru-hikers who were having good luck with Salomon XA trail runners (which don't fit my feet well) while many were having problems with newer Montrails.

COngratulations on your thru-hike. It will most likely appear at some point in your mind every day for many years. It still does for me.

Question? Did you see any issues in lightweight shelters/tarptents, etc while out there?

Derek Cox
(derekcox) - F

Locale: Southeast
sticking up for osprey on 09/30/2007 21:00:17 MDT Print View

I own an osprey atmos 50 and while i havent personally thru-hiked with it, i have put quite a few miles on it with no problems whatsoever. i also know of 3 friends, each with the same pack that have completed a thru-hike with no failures. i think the most common osprey packs, or at least the ones i hear about most, are the atmos 50/65 and the aether series, both of which i have used and been perfectly happy with the quality of their design and construction.