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What backpacks are y'all using?

Discussion in 'Backcountry' started by plazzo, Apr 10, 2019.

  1. plazzo

    plazzo Hard Yards

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    Greetings all. Time for my once every five years post, but I am an occasional lurker. This forum is a goldmine for info - thanks to all the regulars.

    I am looking for a new light weight pack. Am now of an age where joints complain and fitness is harder to maintain.

    Have slowly been retiring my gear and replacing with lighter stuff - have converted to a quilt, my tent is a tarp tent, I have retired my faithful woollen jumper for down, and have even got a mirrorless camera ...

    So now it is time to replace the 25 year old Macpac torre with something that is lightweight. I would like to know what sort of lightweight packs you are all using. Particularly interested in overseas brands that I am not gonna come across in the local shops like Kathmandu, Macpac. That's why I am asking here, and not just researching myself.

    Specs are -
    • big enough for a seven day ski trip.
    • Tough enough that it wont shred immediately in occasional typical east coast off track scrubby walking. But I understand that it wont be as long lasting as my old canvas job.
    • Don't really care about one big sack or multiple compartments - I am so used to one big sack and taking every freakin' single thing out at least 4 times a day that it would almost seem unnatural to be able to find stuff.
    • Ability to easily tie skis on for the inevitable walk in and out would be nice...

    Money is no object. Well, not really, but I have finally adopted the "buy once, cry once" philosophy of buying good stuff and not worrying about the price within reason. The only benefit of age, as far as I can see...

    Thanks in advance, cheers adrian.
     
  2. Seth

    Seth Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    I just lurk in this part of the forum but I can see where this thread is going to end up.
     
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  3. piolet

    piolet Better make it three Ski Pass: Gold

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    Paging the canvas troop!

    Buy once, cry once. I like it :D
     
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  4. Rick Ross Da Boss

    Rick Ross Da Boss One of Us

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    http://wildernessequipment.com.au/detail.php?Code=GeehI
    This bag has been serving me well, fairly comfy on long tours and it’s Aussie
     
  5. Richard

    Richard Maintenance Dept Administrator

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  6. Richard

    Richard Maintenance Dept Administrator

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    I'm a convert to compartments. Three seems about right. Lid, body, bottom.
     
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  7. Chaeron

    Chaeron One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    https://www.ski.com.au/xf/threads/ski-backpack.76970/#post-3706967

    https://www.ski.com.au/xf/threads/best-snow-daypack.79788/#post-3427134

    Osprey or Dakine packs are favoured - see threads above. Getting a lighter pack for the snow is more critical than getting a tough pack.

    In Melbourne Paddy Palin stocks the Ospreys - good size and price range.

    Some Macpacs, Deuters and Lowe Alpine bags are also worth looking at.

    The Wilderness Shop (if in Melbourne - Box Hill) stocks a reasonable range of these three.

    I use a 37 Lowe Alpine Daypack (for extensive day trips on the snow and as a light summer overnighter) and an 85 l Osprey for more extended BC trips/ summer multi-day.

    I’m a fan of more, rather than less pockets, plus integrated hydration. Ski carry loops are a nice plus.
     
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  8. teckel

    teckel Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    Sometimes Aussie brands are better for off-track scrubby walking, as they have less straps and bits and pieces to catch on lurking twigs that exist purely to tear your pack apart. eg: One Planet, Mont etc
    If you check out their packs, you'll find they're fairly minimalist.
     
  9. Rick Ross Da Boss

    Rick Ross Da Boss One of Us

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    Yeah and fairly well priced also for an alpine pack
     
  10. Chaeron

    Chaeron One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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  11. Team Weasel

    Team Weasel One of Us

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  12. zapruda

    zapruda One of Us

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    I have been using a few different style Hyperlite Mountain Gear packs for the past 4 years. They are light, durable and simple.

    They handle scrub without issue. I still have the first one I ever bought and it has been dragged all over Namadgi granite and horrendous KNP regrowth and apart from looking a little dirty its completely fine. It probably has around 100 days on it.

    At different times I have strapped skis, snowshoes, a mountain bike wheel, crampons, tripod, and a bunch of other stuff to the outside of them. No problems.

    I went from overbuilt canvas packs to these for winter and haven't looked back. They aren't completely waterproof but a quick dunk in a creek isn't going to be an issue. They don't hold on to water which is nice. I wouldn't want to carry more than 20kgs in them but I am sure they can handle it. They feel best at 16kg and lower.

    https://www.hyperlitemountaingear.com/collections/packs

    I own a couple of Southwest's and a Porter. They do a ski attachment mod but I don't think its necessary.

    The Oates boys used them last year for their winter AAWT traverse - https://markoates.exposure.co/australian-alps-walking-track

    Let me know if you have any questions.
     
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  13. piolet

    piolet Better make it three Ski Pass: Gold

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    Ortovox always seems too flimsy. Exped is always high quality ime
    I have a smaller deuter and the build quality is quite tough
     
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  14. Untele-whippet

    Untele-whippet beard stroker Ski Pass: Gold

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  15. Fozzie Bear

    Fozzie Bear One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    As a day pack, I really like my new Marmot Eiger 32.


    Will not replace my old Macpac Ascent XPD for multi day trips though.

     
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  16. legend

    legend One of Us

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    I love the Osprey Exos 58. It weighs just over a kg and is extremely comfortable.
    What appears to be a lightweight pack is actually surprisingly tough and about the only manufacturer that will have the pack replaced or repaired for the life of the pack.
     
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  17. Chaeron

    Chaeron One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    The Osprey Exos does get a good rap.
     
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  18. DPS Driver

    DPS Driver One of Us

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    I'm another Osprey fan. Mine just keeps going.

    I don't have the Exos but from all reports it's a good one. I find a problem with some Ul packs is the packs lite but the gears not and I'd rather have a comfortable pack that gives away a couple hundred grams than an uncomfortable pack. Osprey carry very well.
     
  19. Fozzie Bear

    Fozzie Bear One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    AKA replace goonskin with spirits......
     
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  20. Ubiquitous Steve

    Ubiquitous Steve A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    It’s red and comes from Kathmandu
     
  21. Rabid K9

    Rabid K9 One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    I'm a big WE (Wilderness Equipment) fan.

    But I also love canvas packs & suffering.

    But their newer version (synthetic) of the Alpine Expedition should be pretty decent.

    Have one of the top of the range Osprey packs in the "to sell" (for a friend) stack at my workshop, never been used. Way to many gimmicks on it for my liking.

    Madcap Torre were a nice workhorse. I've not seen many packs that hold a candle up to WE for heavy use.
     
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  22. Mister Tee on XC Skis

    Mister Tee on XC Skis A Local Ski Pass: Silver

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    I have a 90 L. canvas MONT pack and a W.E. day pack.
     
  23. Xplora

    Xplora One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    I have recently come to a similar crossroad as the OP and dropped not only the weight of my pack but also its capacity. The old pack was a canvas Mont Backcountry. Didn't know they came in 90l but Mr. T has one. It has rarely been full of late as I have been working hard on cutting back what I take. Going to a smaller pack (65 ltr) means you are forced to cut back but I still have everything I need. The Mont did carry the heavier weight better than the new Macpac Torlesse but I have dropped a kilo in the pack empty weight. The Mont harness is the original and subsequent harness (which are interchangeable) have been much softer and not recommended. I could have done better in the choice of a new pack but cost is a factor for me and the Macpac was on a ridiculous special. It has had two solid trips now and I found on the last it needed a bit more padding on the lumbar part of the harness. A bit of closed cell foam did the trick. I think it is a good pack for up to 15kg but beyond that it struggles. A good thing I suppose because 17kg is about as much as I would want to take now and I can put up with that for the first day. I have to think a bit more about how to pack it and there is no integrated hydration system. Not really needed for me anyway. Although I like the Mont pack, it is not a pack that should be considered for the needs of the OP. Nothing in the Mont range is suitable which is a bit of a shame. Mr. T carries heavy loads all the time so the Mont would be a much better pack for him but I feel it has a limit of 20kg for comfort. I can't believe I used to carry 25 in it on those big winter trips.

    The Macpac did well on the last trip which had some scrub rubbing. No wear noticed. Yet to find out how waterproof it is but the Mont was starting to leak anyway and it absorbed water too. The Macpac should take skis easy enough and it has 3 zip up compartments with generous side pockets plus bottom access (wet stuff exclusion area). On a 7 day trip, your biggest weight is food so you will need to think about a light weight pack that can take that load comfortably but if you can knock back the weight of the other standard items then the Torlesse may fit the bill but there are lighter packs on the market. Personally I look to the quality of the harness first and then to other features. A soft, squash waist belt is useless for me.
     
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  24. plazzo

    plazzo Hard Yards

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    Thanks everyone, that's top notch info. Think I am going to look at the hyperlites and the gossamer gear one from the review in particular but a bit torn because its also nice to see things in the flesh and support local shops/manufacturers. Will encourage me to keep everything else minimilist too if I can only pack 15-20 kg for a seven day trip. Luckily my companion is fitter and stronger than me...and I no longer have an ego that requires me to "pull my weight" so I can load him up with food and gas...

    The Australian/NZ manufacturers, while tough, just don't seem as light - well at least thats what I have found with tents and sleeping bags.

    Unfortunately my skis have gotten heavier as I have finally decided I am never gonna be able to telemark well enough for the steeper downhills so have lashed out on some AT gear to replace my 1999 karhu catamounts and leather boots...so less weight on the shoulders more on the feet!

    See you out there. Its just so exciting planning trips hey. regards adrian.
     
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  25. lightfoot

    lightfoot Hard Yards

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    I'm also in the market for a new multiday pack. I've had a Wilderness Equipment alpine expedition 100L weapon for 20yrs and it's been awesome but wear and weight have begun to bug me. I normally carry a 20L dakine helipro when base is setup but I'd like to go to one pack for hauling and lapping.

    I'm looking at the 70L osprey aether pro but part of me wants a new WE alp expo as i know they're bomber. Both can be stripped down a bit for laps but i need to see it first hand.

    Anyone else use either of these as a dual function pack.

    Cheers
     
  26. Rabid K9

    Rabid K9 One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    After being diehard WE, think your only going to feel like your taking a step back with an Osprey pack.

    Carrying far too many frills with Osprey, without the durability & simplistic function of a WE pack in my opinion.

    Have used a WE Jagungal for laps & overnighters, also have a BD Anarchist 45L for riding resorts, laps, backcountry & overnighters, has travelled the globe with me & been a loyal friend, wouldn't say it the most durable pack, but light & functional.
     
    #26 Rabid K9, May 11, 2019
    Last edited: May 12, 2019
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  27. lightfoot

    lightfoot Hard Yards

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    Yeah its hard to fault 20yrs of service. I have always been happy to have a big pack, I remember meting Tim Cope at Edminsons hut in 1999 and he planted that seed when he described trying to pack repack gear in Russian winters and how a big pack meant he could be less particular and therefore less cold messing around. I hate having anything on the outside of my pack (aside from skis shovel etc )

    It's always the case for me that if i have the space I will fill it though and I'm keen to drop weight. Most of my trips are for turns so I am base camping and doing summer food/grog drops so I can get away with a smaller pack for most trips.

    I have a 45L Patagonia ascensionist or Dakine guide pack for day trips but I cant see me getting 5 days of gear in there. The guide is my go to for day tours.

    I reckon 60-70L would be perfect size and the one planet stilleto or BD mission 75 could also be good options.

    https://www.oneplanet.com.au/product/packs/bushwalking/stiletto/

    https://www.blackdiamondequipment.com/en/climbing-packs/mission-75-pack-BD681185_cfg.html

    If I am planning on 1 pack to get up and the same pack to cut laps, I want the pack to put up with abrasion & exposure to sharp gear like axes/crampons etc.
     
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  28. Fozzie Bear

    Fozzie Bear One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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  29. lightfoot

    lightfoot Hard Yards

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    Yeah i have some gloves and pants from them and yep they're solid for sure plus nice and simple. For the price i feel like there are better options like cilogear out there though. I reckon I'll get home and see just how small i can get away with and decide from there.
     
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  30. coolair

    coolair One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Still use my Karrimor Jaguar big pack and hot ice day pack, I can not kill them, plenty of battle scars.
    Still like the Jaguar frame for back ventilation. I have tried a few newer designs but not impressed enough to update .
    They where the go in Messners days, I think that still rates.
     
  31. Rabid K9

    Rabid K9 One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Me too. When things are urgent, great being able to stuff everything in & get moving.

    Agree with you on the 70L range. Find my 45L small & stuffed to exploding on overnighters & my 120L WE like a buffalo riding on my back, makes simple ground a survival exercise when it's loaded up.

    Funnily enough, I find I ride better with around 15-20kg strapped tight though, give me good power in turns & balance. Also like the back protection it gives in big cartwheels.
     
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  32. Chaeron

    Chaeron One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    I tour with the Osprey Aether 70L and it does cinch down for doing laps, but not optimal for that imo.

    Still - a lovely, well-adjusted touring pack - comfortable and stable when fully loaded, and also well-behaved in the green season and for approaches. It’s comparatively robust, but it ain’t canvass.

    One could go lighter/ smaller.... more expensive.

    Still - a good pack and competitively priced in Aus - Paddy Palin has these at attractive prices.
     
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  33. ecowain

    ecowain One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    My 60 litre cilogear has done over 10 years (hundreds of days of use) mostly off track, still going strong. Have a few of their smaller ones as well but newer. I should open a display centre...

    Very similar thoughts to zapruda's on the HMG packs.
     
  34. Kletterer

    Kletterer Thredbo Doughnut Tragic Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    The Superior Wilderness Designs packs look quite good. A 4 layer fabric ( X- Pac) claimed to be tougher ???? and cheaper than Cuben fibre. 500 Denier shoulder straps. I think Cilogear use a similar fibre @ecowain ?
     
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  35. zapruda

    zapruda One of Us

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    I have owned a couple of packs made of xpac including one from SWD. The craftsmanship is excellent but xpac is pretty disappointing.

    Xpac pales in comparison to DCF. One pack was VX21 and the other was VX42. Both were showing signs of abrasion damage after only a couple of uses. Very underwhelming fabric.

    Here is a pic from one small squeeze through some granite.

     
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  36. ecowain

    ecowain One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    I agree. Xpac has been a let down in the lighter grades of material (I'd say below vx42).

    My cilogear 60 is one of the pre laminate woven dyneema ones. It gets thrashed, pack hauled, tossed off drops. Definitely takes a bit of punishment at times. Has a few holes and frays that I've patched or seam gripped. And it is this filthy off white colour. Cilogear refused to put a pic up of it in action :)

    Was stupidly expensive at the time, but the cost is probably down to about $1 per day of use, and still plenty of life left.

    The others are a mix of dyneema gridstop (which I think is an excellent compromise pack fabric for strength / durability / weight) with heavier duty xpac laminates on the bases (vx42 and vx100).
     
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  37. zapruda

    zapruda One of Us

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    I love a white pack that’s been thrashed. I would also love a Cilogear pack... hmmmm

    Pics?
     
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  38. Rabid K9

    Rabid K9 One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Like the look of the One Planet, nice, narrow profile for riding. Do find the BD harnesses a bit 'basic', certainly not as 'cushy' when loaded up, which is somewhat offset by padding of the layers.

    The WE Mountain Ex's do look pretty nice. Hardly light, but I think when Boris, my current battle-axe finally falls apart & is mounted on the wall, I may indulge.
     
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  39. lightfoot

    lightfoot Hard Yards

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    Haha Boris is the name of my haul bag for climbing, great name for heavy ass nags i guess.

    I've decided on the cilogear 60L worksac non dyneema.
    I like the modular concept and i reckon ill be able to set it up jist how i need it and strip off what i don't.
    I've had canvas so long it's time for a lighter option. I've slimmed down all my other gear so it makes sense. Looking forward yo getting all my kit together and checking weights and volume.

    Off topic but I've usually toured with my megamid fly and homemade bivvybag but which weight 2.5kg plus the pole and pegs. I've switched to a hillberg soulo this year and can't wait to get amoungst it without waking up with spindrift to clear off!

    Pumped to religate the old WE for summer work and try out the cilo 60. Particularly ditching the helipro day pack. Thanks for everyones input I'll throw some pics of the pac in haul and ride configs for future comparison.
    I've got a brother in the states so I'll get him to send it over.
     
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  40. ecowain

    ecowain One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Keep in mind that the cilogears are very utilitarian. Plush does not describe them. The HMG packs have more features.

    That said, there are lots of strap options. I use a bare minimum of them. If you get confused with them, just ask.

    I generally just use the closed cell foam in the back unless loads are over about 20kg. Above that, the frame sheet and stay help a lot.

    And be prepared for some of the slowest customer service in the universe.

    Enjoy it!
     
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  41. Red_switch

    Red_switch Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: 30 Day

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    Light is attractive for touring, for sure. But many of the North American and European packs don't seem to last overly long in NZ, particularly if they are regularly exposed to bush and rock, and/or often carry crampons/ice tools/skis externally. Osprey aren't bad, but shit they are so strappy.

    I have a macpac pursuit that is 2 or 3 generations old. The straps are terrible, I'd never recommend it on that front. But it is well designed from a load carrying point of view - I spend a lot of time in the alpine carrying heavy/awkward loads on a splitboard (for science fieldwork).

    Cactus set a bar for durability, but they incur a significant weight penalty.

    Newer versions of macpac alpine packs are not as convincing as what they were making a few years ago. I'm really not sure what I'd buy if I had to replace my pack today. That WE Geehi does look well thought out. Does anyone still use a pack >50 L?
     
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  42. ecowain

    ecowain One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Yes still use a 60 a lot of the time. And I do have an 80 ish crux pack for monster trips, but anything under 12 days generally go the 60.

    Agree strappy sucks for my purposes.

    My packs like NZ.
     
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  43. ecowain

    ecowain One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    We should move onto the next off season discussion...

    Bolts?
    Poo tubes?
    Dehy meal options?
    Navigation vs poles?

    ;-)
     
  44. Red_switch

    Red_switch Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: 30 Day

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    No bolts.
     
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  45. nezumi

    nezumi One of Us

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    Melbourne
    Are these competing solutions to the same problem?
     
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  46. Untele-whippet

    Untele-whippet beard stroker Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Blue Mtns, 1100M.
    Unbolts
     
  47. Rabid K9

    Rabid K9 One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Looks nice. Have never really looked them before.

    Funny co-incidence bag names.

    Boris - big, red & brutally effective!! Has had a couple of harness re-builds over the years.

    Found a near new WE Karijini for my younger brother, he's charcoal (the bag), called Vlad, not sure my brothers got the horsepowers to drive fully loaded Vlad though.

    Also bought a WE Freycinet on special for my partner, she's under fifty kgs, European & first multi day with new pack was Anne Circuit where she loaded up with full SLR gear. I dared not give it a name as was already in enough trouble.
     
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  48. SkiMountaineer

    SkiMountaineer One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Location:
    Newcastle NSW
    I have an Osprey Camber 42 which I'm very disappointed in. Slashed the sides with my ski edges on first use carrying as A frame.
     
  49. Red_switch

    Red_switch Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: 30 Day

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    Dunedin, NZ
    Think I read somewhere Osprey packs are made from tissue paper.
     
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  50. Rabid K9

    Rabid K9 One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    One ply tissue paper.
     
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