Post by 1holegrouper on Dec 17, 2021 14:48:06 GMT -8
One point the article makes that I firmly agree with is that the frame (whether internal or external) needs to be sufficient enough to support the weight of your pack. I think ideally 80% of the weight should be supported by the hip belt and frame and you should be able to throw off your shoulder straps without the backpack even being phased by that. The shoulder straps should be mainly for stability and ‘some’ weight. This, of course, is only pertaining to loads of 20 pounds and up.
Even if articles emphasized "YMMV", I think people just want a quick answer about what's "best". We're pretty fixated on being best/fastest/lightest/everything-est, at least in this country. Of course, it's a fake short-cut to gained experience, but I'm sure we all know people who are gear "experts" who have never backpacked a single night.
That said, I disagree that whatever others think doesn't matter. While I tend to disregard "best" lists, I personally get quite a bit out of reading gear reviews. Sometimes reviewers point out aspects that I hadn't thought of. Like corner cases, unusual situations, that one doesn't encounter often but may be critical if and when it does.
And, also, while it's easy to say "what works for us personally", it's easy to forget that it's experience that gives us the criteria for judging what "works". Reviews and even "best" lists can be valuable in giving us somewhere to start.
I agree with every word.
It was reviews that led me to a ULA Catalyst about a year ago. For me, it is one of the most comfortable packs I've owned, in spite of it being a bit hot in Mid Atlantic humidity (which is true of everything here in summer except for a beer fresh out of the fridge!)
I've owned a bunch of different packs over the years - Camp Trails external frame pack (in the early 70's I wanted to be a clone of Colin Fletcher), Camp Trails Internal frame (worst pack I ever owned), Osprey Silhouette (when they made packs in the US. Still have it, but don't use it. Almost 6 lbs, but hauled the brutally heavy loads of me and my newlywed in the early '80's) Gregory Baltoro (really comfortable but didn't suit my packing/organizing style).
Then I wanted to go lighter.
After a few more brands, I ended up using Deuter packs for about 10 years. They fit me well, reasonable weight, and I just liked them. I found chasing an arbitrary pack weight as pointless. If the gear did not fit the system I have honed for years, it didn't work.
The ULA Catalyst was lighter still, but I liked its profile - wider than the Deuter I was using, really well made, and it fits my style of backpacking very well.
I will admit - I do chase the lightest components I can find that fits my system, but don't really have a UL goal in mind.
Bottom line is - yes it really is experience, and your needs.
One's body type, I believe, also plays into a persons choice of packs. I am slim and have little to none in regards to hips. I have found that hip belts that are wider and have more padding don't work as well for me as belts that are narrower, with less padding.
"When I was younger, we bragged about how heavy our packs were, not how light" though I guess most of the people on this forum are a bit older, and it makes more sense for them to use ultralight gear. Maybe one of these days I'll get into ultralight, though, the only issue I have with ultralight is that the gear is often less durable and less comfortable. And a heckuva lot more expensive. If I do, the it'll be in a few years when everything's a lot cheaper. Same thing with buying radio's and tv's and computers. The quality won't decrease as the years go buy. Just have a little bit of patience and you can get the same thing at a great discount.
Post by swmtnbackpacker on Mar 15, 2022 12:20:52 GMT -8
I’ve noticed ever younger UL’ers on some of the long trails, and while they can cover more miles … most young people could cover many miles with a lighter framed pack. More older people may choose UL in part due to back and other connective tissue. Another set of gear is expensive but it needs to be compared with an earlier knee/hip replacement with physical therapy for many. Sometimes they’ll go with just a simple tarp and I’ll see them post at the beginning. Then nada. UL packs require other UL gear.
Then there’s other functions. Younger is often poorer and when I was a college student, that Osprey lifetime guarantee no matter what would have been a great selling point. Plus their (just discontinued) Volt and Kestrel models could double as “travel” packs especially in a dark color.
Old thread, but apropos read. Was looking to save a pound on my trusty, over 10 yr old 3.4 lb Deuter 50+15 Act Zero. Almost pulled the trigger on a ULA Circuit today after weeding out GG Crown 2 and Mariposa 60 (durability) and ZPacks Arc Haul ($400, Really?). But, I'm 2 wks away from a month in the Winds and decided it would have to wait. Too much other gear to get ready, including new boots. Almost $300 total is no bargain either.
I still use my original Granite Gear Blaze Ki. 3 pounds. The pockets are stretched, it has been well used. I am 5'2, the pack fits me. Most lighter weight packs are expensive, and are limited as to holding a Wild Ideas Weekender canaster, or the heaver BV 400.I think I can get a few more seasons out of it. When you are short it is very hard to find one that fits, and it is affordable for a senior.