View Full Version : Good packs?

11-08-2008, 04:11 AM
I'm in the market for a quality pack for backpacking. For the meantime I will be doing 2-4 day backpacking ventures, however, I this will also be the pack that I will take up to Alaska for 1-2 months of trekking. This being said, are there any specific packs people have in mind or would recommend?

Other big ticket items I would like advice on would be the tent and sleeping bag. I have a sleeping bag rated to 0 but am very unhappy with it. Zipper keeps messing up, etc.

Any and all advice and suggestions are appreciated. Thanks.

11-08-2008, 06:52 AM
Start with the thread on "Backpacking Meat". The secret is in the belt and harness system. I would budget $275.- to $450.- for a good pack/frame system. I have used the same frame for 38 years, the belt and harness systems have been replaced about four times as newer improved designs and materials have evolved.

I have never found an internal frame pack that worked 70% as well as an external frame pack, For me. I own about 15 internal frame packs, but just can not get one to work.

For Alaska use, once you get the pack where you want it on the frame, then take a hacksaw and cut off the upper pipes of the frame, as these can and will snag on Adler thickets.

A quality backpack cover is indispensable.

There are some high quality packs being made in Montana now days.

Note: Unless above timberline you do not want your firearm attached to the pack. Seems firearm attachments are a hot accessory.

red lake
11-08-2008, 09:52 AM
best packs i have seen are made by www.ostromoutdoors.com

11-08-2008, 11:08 AM
Gregory are the best packs mountain hardware for sleeping bags.

chiye tanka
11-08-2008, 03:05 PM
I've got an Osprey Aether 60. I carried a 35 lds. load in it while hiking 16 miles of the A.T. in GA without any problems. Another great brand is Arc'terx (spelling).
As for sleeping bags, I agree with Fletcher. Mountain Hardwear are the best, IMO.

11-08-2008, 04:27 PM
Asian Women carry their fully body weight up Mt. McKinley. That is a 100# asian women carries 100# pack up the mountain. We (Me included) don't know what tough is. Again not trying to make trouble, I would expect a adult male to pack 60# to 75# and cover 12 to 18 miles of rugged crosscountry per day once in shape.

11-08-2008, 04:57 PM
well to be fair hopeak, chiye said he carried it with no problem did not say it was heavy, a 50 pound pack is what i call tuesday used to carry 125# but that also was 20 years ago, now i am smarter thats what i have horses for

11-08-2008, 05:07 PM
Yes, but this is about outfitting Hemingway (26 years old) for his 60 Day Alaskan survival expedition. You notice I did not recomend a Pack or a manufacturer. My point is what works for the groomed trail is going to be marginal at best in Alaska Bushwacking.

11-08-2008, 05:14 PM
I have a whittaker pack that I really like I used it to carry 65 pounds of gear with me on a 4 day winter mountaineering expedition a few years ago http://www.whittakermountaineering.com/cat/580/on-sale/backpacks/whittaker-l-series-pack As far as sleeping bags go, I would try to find something as light as possible (talking about having to pack it for 2-4 weeks). I have a Big Agnes bag that I really like, they have a system that uses the sleeping pad as the bottom of the bag (thus saving weight) and space. http://www.bigagnes.com/str_bags.php?bid=17

chiye tanka
11-08-2008, 09:01 PM
Hope, I'm 6'3" and 240, I've carried much more and had no problems. All I was saying was that at that weight there were no hot spots or gear malfunctions.

11-08-2008, 09:18 PM
My point is only that the equipment needs to fit the job, that a formula one car won't do well on the Baja 500, and the Baja truck won't qualify at the Dayton 500.

The first back pack I ever bought, first bent and then broke completely on the second outing. As I looked at the front quarter of moose and the miles still to go, I vowed henceforth only best, strongest built equipment would I ever buy.

Gray Wolf
11-09-2008, 02:53 AM
It always comes down to (for the most part) You get what you pay for!

11-09-2008, 08:02 AM
I would like to suggest at least looking at military surplus (preferably US) The large alice pack is bomb proof as are the sleping systems ie tent ponchos , sleeping bags. Heavy yes but will take a lot of abuse at a bargian price . There is some expencive stuf out there that is great but there is also some that is trendy and not put to gether well and still expencive.

red lake
11-09-2008, 11:11 AM
RE: Pack weight

Asian women carried 100...bah!

Check out the Canadian Voyageurs. Packs/bundles were 90 pounds each and they typically carried 2 per portage. When they didn't carry two they carried three. That is 270 pounds carried with nothing but a tump line.

The famous Voyageur sashes that they wore were not for decorations, they wore them because of hernias, tied up tightly they helped keep things inside where they belong.

For me personally 75 pounds over a distance of 1500m is about my limit in my current condition. The lighter the pack the further distance.

Saying that those Ostrom Packs I mentioned earlier are amazing. Tried one on in the store, we jammed it up with "stuff" and then added 4 bags of rocks after I already had it on my shoulders. I wore t for about 20 minutes while I browsed around the shop. Hardly notice it. When it came time to take it off I needed help because I had trouble lifting it. I figured it was well over 90#. Still haven't convinced SWMBO that I need one.

11-09-2008, 11:18 AM
red lake,she rules the roost doesn't she :D

11-09-2008, 11:44 AM
I have to seriously disagree with you on using a US ALICE pack for any longer than a week and that’s pushing it. When I was in the service I did a lot of road marches and after about 12 miles you will feel every pound in the ALICE pack. Don’t get me wrong if your want something that is durable and cheap then you cant go wrong with buying one from a surplus store. I personally wouldn’t want to use one for a long expedition, they are just uncomfortable, and I don’t think you could get everything you needed in one. We had to take out one duffel bag in addition to the ALICE pack for a two week field exercise.

Ajusted properly it worked well for me for 20 years on active duty several in a straight leg Infantry unit over the mountains of Korea. A breaking in of body as well as equipment helps , most comercial packs list cubic in for space but don't tell weight capacity A large alice will carry what every you can fit in it.
There are plenty of good packs out there.

11-09-2008, 06:06 PM
i recently had purchased 2 molle ruck sack. which i had used in the corps. good stuff it even came with a frame 39$ each off a surplus site. just my .02

11-09-2008, 06:52 PM
My larger pack is now a Kelty. It's 5600 cu. in. and extemely comfortable. While I can comfortably carry all of my needs in this pack in the areas that I have packed, I will not however recommend it. I will recommend taking Hopes advice. Kind of the been there done that sort of thing.

11-14-2008, 12:33 AM
I have a gregory palisade that I like a lot. I've mostly taken it on short trips, but have been happy with it. As far as I'm concerned, a good hip belt and proper fit are crucial. I have a L4/L5 partial herniation and with my backpack I can keep the weight below the bad spot and I'm able to use it.

You only have 1 back so I say don't let cost steer you away from something that holds the weight in a good way.

Indiana Camper
11-14-2008, 03:48 AM
Whatever you do please do not buy on on-line without trying it on. Go to a real outdoor equipment store that specializes in backpacking and have somebody there assist you. They will show you how everything works and the proper way to load it.
Packs are very tricky. What works great for one person may not for the next. That being said Gregory is known for being very comfortable. I just bought my wife one for her B-day.....she tried it on a couple months ago.


Gray Wolf
11-14-2008, 09:15 PM
Whatever you do please do not buy on on-line without trying it on. Go to a real outdoor equipment store that specializes in backpacking and have somebody there assist you. They will show you how everything works and the proper way to load it.
Packs are very tricky. What works great for one person may not for the next.

Great advice IC!

11-14-2008, 09:17 PM
I completely agree with Rick on this one. I bought my pack at a local store where the staff seemed pretty good and they were very helpful in finding a pack with the right fit for me. I view this like hiking boots or running shoes. It may feel ok for 1 minute in the store but the real question is will it still be right after several miles.

chiye tanka
11-15-2008, 02:19 AM
Avoid Camp-Mor, they tend to sell factory seconds and don't bother to mention that.