Question on backpack sizes

JasonS
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Question on backpack sizes

#1

Post by JasonS » Tue Nov 03, 2015 12:17 pm

I am currently looking for a new pack and want to go with a 60 Liter but I am concerned that it may not be adequate for winter camping. I have a full underquilt. What size packs do most of you use in colder weather. I am not an ultra light hiker so I am not going to start replacing all my gear to get into a small pack.


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Re: Question on backpack sizes

#2

Post by sarge » Tue Nov 03, 2015 12:25 pm

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Re: Question on backpack sizes

#3

Post by brianb2 » Tue Nov 03, 2015 2:00 pm

Virga 2 - 54 liter. I pack a little on the lighter side, but I can use this pack year round.
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Re: Question on backpack sizes

#4

Post by Pine E. Woods » Tue Nov 03, 2015 3:04 pm

Osprey Atmos 65 is perfect for my winter trips. I used to take it year round, but I switched to a 48L for 3-seasons.

For winter, highs are typically 15-25°F. Lows 0-15°F. Here's a quick list of the bulkier items:

-Warbonnet Traveler 1.7SL
-Warbonnet Superfly tarp
-Hammockgear 0° UQ
-Hammockgear 0° or 20° TQ depending on temp
-Mountain Hardwear Kelvinator down jacket (about the size of a kids football packed, but I just pack it loose into any space)
-Clothes bag and food bag (both about the size of an 8" ball)
-Jetboil w/ 1.8L Sumo cup

That, plus all the smalls, fits well without a struggle.

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Re: Question on backpack sizes

#5

Post by Abner » Tue Nov 03, 2015 4:52 pm

I'm looking for a new pack too, but I'm determined to stay under 50L. I'd like for this pack to be close to 2lbs and definitely under 3lbs.
Right now I committed to Vargo Ti-Arc. It has an external frame made of Titanium which keep its weight to 2lbs 6oz. The Cuban backpack option is 36oz less. The thirty six liter capacity does not include the huge space under the pack which could easily hold a a 20l dry bag, tent tarp, etc.
MassDrop will sell it for $195 if enough people sign up.
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Re: Question on backpack sizes

#6

Post by brianb2 » Tue Nov 03, 2015 6:53 pm

I like the idea of that Ti-Arc backpack, but I'm not a fan of cuben for a pack material. I really like cuben for tarps, but not sure if I've made the mental leap for things like stuff sacks, packs, etc. Its abrasion resistance just doesn't seem well suited for something like a pack. I think this same pack using something like a 1.9 silpoly would be great. It could just be I don't have the right vision on a pack like this.
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Re: Question on backpack sizes

#7

Post by Pine E. Woods » Wed Nov 04, 2015 2:58 pm

Just a suggestion, but try not to focus on pack weight so much. If a 4lb pack carries the same amount of gear as a 2lb pack, but MORE comfortably, there's really no benefit to the lighter weight. I'm not saying there aren't comfortable 2lb packs, but sometimes the focus becomes absolute weight and people overlook some really good, comfortable packs.

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Re: Question on backpack sizes

#8

Post by JasonS » Thu Nov 05, 2015 2:15 pm

Pack weight is not much of an issue for me as just wondering about size. I have not been on a backpacking trip with my hammock in the winter. The KAQ underquilt I have is a full length quilt and takes up a good bit of a bag. I don't want to carry a 70L or bigger if I don't have to. I looked the the atmos and the Exos 58. I really like the Exos but just not sure if I can cram everything in it. LOL
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Re: Question on backpack sizes

#9

Post by Pine E. Woods » Thu Nov 05, 2015 3:42 pm

I just packed my Kestrel 48 last night. This time for real, not just a test pack. Unfortunately it just did not carry comfortably. The pack became a little bloated, so the part against my back was not flat. Actually, curved in the wrong direction. Coming from an Atmos, which doesn't really touch your back at all, really made this a no-go.

The space was OK, but for winter I think I'll stick with my Atmos 65. For 3-season, I just bought an Atmos 50, the older version to match my 65. No one has these anymore but I found a new in Japan! There are a few things about the newer Anti Gravity model I don't like.

If anyone is close to fitting everything in a certain size but come up short, you may be able to get a little more space by packing the quits a little tighter, but without using compression sacks. Make sure you pack them down and let the air out of the bag. Place the heavier stuff on top.

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Re: Question on backpack sizes

#10

Post by G_Man » Fri Nov 06, 2015 6:24 pm

If pack weight isn't an issue forget the Exos and get an Atmos, you'll be MUCH more comfortable. I have an Exos 34 and an Atmos 65, the Atmos if by far better at carrying the weight. I can pack all I need, and more, in the 65 for late fall through early spring in it, including my 10° HG Incubator, 20° UGQ TQ, and SLD Winter Haven tarp.
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Re: Question on backpack sizes

#11

Post by ScottyDale » Sun Nov 22, 2015 7:02 am

I've had the REI Flash 45 for a couple of years and really like it. However, just went backpacking with our young Scouts and the shared gear load made the pack a bit lumpy. Pulled the trigger on a Crestrail 70 by REI after much delib., not too heavy, Really comfortable with a load, so doesn't feel like a 4lb plus bag. Just hope I doesn't fill it completely up!


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Re: Question on backpack sizes

#12

Post by michigandave » Tue Nov 24, 2015 9:27 am

Here in Michigan I alternate between my Flash 62 (snow, cold weather & longer trips) and my Flash 45 when I'm only carrying my 40 degree TQ/UQ. How much gear I bring depends on whether I'm solo (usually) or with a group. For some reason, when I'm on group trips, my pack gets bloated. For true winter trips with snow, I bring everything including the kitchen sink, since I'm using my pulk anyway.
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Re: Question on backpack sizes

#13

Post by Idaho Hanger » Wed Nov 25, 2015 11:40 am

I have an Osprey Volt 60 that I really like. Under 4 pounds, good suspension, simple design. Not good if you like lots of zippers and pockets. $179 MSRP for an Osprey 60L wasn't a bad pill for me to swallow. Yeah, there's better suspensions, lighter packs, etc but this was a good middle ground for me. I wanted a lighter pack but didn't want to give up the solid suspension.
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Re: Question on backpack sizes

#14

Post by Idaho Hanger » Wed Nov 25, 2015 11:41 am

If you don't mind me asking what did that set you back? I really like the idea of a custom pack and $200 to start doesn't seem too bad.
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Re: Question on backpack sizes

#15

Post by sarge » Wed Nov 25, 2015 12:12 pm

IIRC, it was $250---but that was three years ago. If you do decide to go that route, I;d recommend the "Bowdine" modifications. When I designed it, I wasn't sure about the required sizes of the three outer pockets, and didn't think I'd have room for water bottle pockets. Turns out that you do, so adding those pockets doesn't hurt a thing.
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