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 Pack needs 
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Master Mountaineer
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Joined: Fri Feb 01, 2013 10:04 am
Posts: 914
Location: Worcester, MA
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 Pack needs
Hi all,
I'm finally to a point where I need to shed some pack weight, and I'm thinking of starting with the pack. I'd love some feedback.

My current backpack (and the one I've had for nearly 10 years) is a High Sierra Sentinel 65 (http://www.rei.com/product/760600/high-sierra-sentinal-pack-65-liters).
It's been great. I use it year-round, and often use it for day hikes as well since the internal frame distributes weight better than a frameless day pack. The pack alone weighs 5 pounds, before adding anything to it - I think most on this board would agree that's a little heavy of a pack, yes?

Things I like about it:
- Lots of loops to clip things on the outside with carabiners (both on the shoulders and on the back).
- Comfortable. Much of the weight of this pack comes from the comfy padded harness.
- Durable. I'd love to drop pounds, but not if it means I'm going to rip my pack in the first season. I've seen some P-O-S packs that are light due to cheap materials. I've got a decade on this one, and no tears.
- Access. The big compartment can be accessed from the top or bottom.

Things I don't like:
- Cost cutting measures. High Sierra isn't the top-of-the-line, so I feel like this pack could have better buckles and elastics that hold better. Ten years in, and I have to adjust this pack a lot.
- The weight. The excess weight of this pack is counteracted by the fact that it does distribute weight quite well. I've carried massive loads in this thing (50 pounds), and have been exceptionally comfortable... but still, there is probably a pack out there that weighs half of this one that's just as comfy.

Ultimately, I know this will come down to fit and what I think feels the best... but what do you guys think? Any good recommendations?

Thanks.

_________________
Nothin' on the top but a bucket and a mop,
and an illustrated book about birds.
You see alot up there, but don't be scared:
Who needs actions when you got words?


Tue Feb 23, 2016 2:56 pm
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Sovereign Woodsman
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Joined: Sat Sep 05, 2009 7:35 pm
Posts: 2749
Location: south of the notches
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 Re: Pack needs
iagreewithjamie wrote:
The pack alone weighs 5 pounds, before adding anything to it - I think most on this board would agree that's a little heavy of a pack, yes?

Yes.

iagreewithjamie wrote:
Things I like about it:
- Lots of loops to clip things on the outside with carabiners (both on the shoulders and on the back).

These add weight too. I have the same desire, with the same concerns.

iagreewithjamie wrote:
Ultimately, I know this will come down to fit and what I think feels the best

I have no specific pack recommendations but will state what you have most likely already figured out: bring your stuff, go to whatever store has packs that seem to fit your basic requirements, put your things in them and walk around.

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Life is a trip ~ pack accordingly


Tue Feb 23, 2016 4:46 pm
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Sovereign Woodsman
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Joined: Fri Sep 09, 2011 1:38 pm
Posts: 1123
Location: Nashua
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 Re: Pack needs
I've had a few packs over the last few years... I started with an Osprey Atmos 65 which was my all-purpose pack for a few years, lighter than yours but not by much, and generally a good pack. Next I got an Osprey Stratos 36 which is closer to 2.5 lbs I think, though smaller volume, again good pack but too small for overnights.

Most recently I got a Gossamer Gear Gorilla (about 45L) which is fantastic. It's very lightweight, well built and transfers weight well. They also make a ~60L version called Mariposa I think? I'd recommend checking their website for specs, but it's a huge weight reduction and very noticeable on the trail and I am extremely happy with that purchase.

You can also check out this website, he has a pretty comprehensive breakdown of lightweight packs and plenty of reviews.
http://sectionhiker.com/backpacking-gea ... backpacks/


Tue Feb 23, 2016 5:38 pm
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Hiking Forums Are My Crack
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Joined: Wed Apr 14, 2010 8:37 pm
Posts: 7137
Location: Exeter, NH
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 Re: Pack needs
I can't add much. I don't change packs often. But I have a 4lb day pack that fits like a glove and I wouldn't trade for anything at the moment, and a 5 lb 70L LLBean White Mountain pack I fairly recently replaced a heavier previous version of for the overnight bag. I looked into a lighter bags but decided since even the newest and highest rated non-ultralight bags are 4 lbs or so I'd save weight elsewhere like the sleeping bag, clothing and a accessories and stick with what I know is durable and comfortable on the pack end. All the ultralight items I've ever looked at don't seem like they are made for the long haul, but can't say from experience. You can buy a daisy chain and sew it to any pack for a few bucks if you really like loops. Not much help I know but that the route I've gone.


Tue Feb 23, 2016 6:00 pm
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Sovereign Woodsman
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Joined: Fri Oct 09, 2009 2:11 pm
Posts: 2515
Location: In your underwear drawer
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 Re: Pack needs
Cant help you. I underpack as it is; sometime if i even take a pack at all (short bushwhacks). I am partial to Marmot bags. I have an osprey talon33 that i have had since i started hiking in 2009 that i use for the bushwhacks and short hikes. Any other osprey bags have fit horribly or hurt my shoulders.

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Tue Feb 23, 2016 6:04 pm
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Mountaineer
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Joined: Fri Nov 13, 2015 9:36 am
Posts: 115
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 Re: Pack needs
It sounds like your current pack is fine. Sounds like you're about to spend $250 bucks just to shed 2.5 lbs. The only functional complaint you seem to have is that the buckles and zippers seem cheap. But they've lasted a long time, and they're pretty easily replaceable. You can buy plastic buckles of any size or quality for pennies on amazon. Zippers and straps too. And it shouldn't be hard to find a tailor shop to do the sewing/repairs.

I'd spend $50 on tuning up your current pack, and spend the rest of the money on other lighter weight gear.


Wed Feb 24, 2016 10:20 am
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Master Mountaineer
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Joined: Fri Feb 01, 2013 10:04 am
Posts: 914
Location: Worcester, MA
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 Re: Pack needs
BrianL wrote:
It sounds like your current pack is fine. Sounds like you're about to spend $250 bucks just to shed 2.5 lbs. The only functional complaint you seem to have is that the buckles and zippers seem cheap. But they've lasted a long time, and they're pretty easily replaceable. You can buy plastic buckles of any size or quality for pennies on amazon. Zippers and straps too. And it shouldn't be hard to find a tailor shop to do the sewing/repairs.

I'd spend $50 on tuning up your current pack, and spend the rest of the money on other lighter weight gear.


Good advice, Brian. I think I'll start with this. I have no intentions of getting rid of my current pack, so at the very least, your recommendation has me perform some overdue maintenance on my bag. It's a no-lose situation.

I'm starting to realize my brother-in-law was right: "You want to shed 20 pounds from the glacier hike? Start with your ass." I could stand to lose a few...

_________________
Nothin' on the top but a bucket and a mop,
and an illustrated book about birds.
You see alot up there, but don't be scared:
Who needs actions when you got words?


Wed Feb 24, 2016 2:51 pm
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Hiking Forums Are My Crack
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Joined: Wed Apr 14, 2010 8:37 pm
Posts: 7137
Location: Exeter, NH
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 Re: Pack needs
iagreewithjamie wrote:
I'm starting to realize my brother-in-law was right: "You want to shed 20 pounds from the glacier hike? Start with your ass." I could stand to lose a few...


So true. My weight yo-yo's every winter with the holiday food and lower activity level. It's remarkably easier hiking when I weigh 180 instead of 200. :(


Wed Feb 24, 2016 2:57 pm
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Flatfoot
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Joined: Mon May 27, 2013 9:37 pm
Posts: 23
Location: Connecticut
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 Re: Pack needs
I agree with Granite Guy just stick with your traditional go to pack. Five lbs is about average for a weekend pack and not excessively heavy. Traditional packs might weigh 2 to 3 lbs more but have better suspensions and are more durable.They will carry weight better on your back than most of these crudely made ultralight packs.


Fri Apr 22, 2016 9:59 pm
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