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.
     
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  2. Seth

    Seth Pool Room
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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 Found anything yet?
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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
     
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  5. Richard

    Richard Maintenance Dept
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  6. Richard

    Richard Maintenance Dept
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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
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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 Old n' Crusty
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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
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  11. Team Weasel

    Team Weasel One of Us

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  12. zapruda

    zapruda Addicted

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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.
     
  13. piolet

    piolet Found anything yet?
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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
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  15. Fozzie Bear

    Fozzie Bear One of Us
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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
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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
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    AKA replace goonskin with spirits......
     
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  20. Ubiquitous Steve

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

    Rabid K9 One of Us
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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

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

    Xplora One of Us

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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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