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What backpacks are y'all using?

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

  1. oldgeezer

    oldgeezer One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Grandpa oh and computer programmer too.
    I have a Deuter Airlite 28 for day hikes, liking the airflow ventilation, and for another backpack I obtained a Ventra Mainframe for tbe same effect, disliking the sticky sweaty back others always seem to result in.
     
  2. axellotta

    axellotta Addicted

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    For multi day trips I’d wholeheartedly recommend Aarn Peak Aspiration (45l) with expedition balance pockets(15l). Once you have tried this setup you’ll never go back to a traditional rucksack. It’s also light, durable, waterproof and has integrated ski straps and ice axe holders etc. I have also recently purchased an Aarn Liquid Agility 30l day pack. Pretty exxy, but superbly built and already setup with integrated ski and helmet straps etc.
     
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  3. sidetrack

    sidetrack One of Us

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    I’m just wondering how this pack goes while skiing downhill and turning. Does it allow the hips to move freely or does it feel like it locks the lower torso up a bit. I tried one on today and it was really comfortable.
     
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  4. Peagreenboat

    Peagreenboat Addicted

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    I've been trialling an Aarn Peak Aspiration, with the intention to go up to a pack capable of a more. It looks stupid, but the no pressure under the arm is great. I've had lymph nodes out, so nearly all packs have caused me issues and possible lymphaedama risk. The pack is great for skiing in because the load can move suspended across the back. I'm still planning on skiing in a few times more because getting the pack to fit takes a lot of work. It has been great in terms of not having to take it on and off in terms of having everything up front in the front packs as I heat up moving, which I have really liked but packing takes a completely new form I haven't quite go the knack of. Not everyones cup of tea, but is interesting. The Guiding Light is the ski/ rock climbing oriented version with up to 20 odd litres carried on the front.
     
  5. Peagreenboat

    Peagreenboat Addicted

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    I didn't feel restricted at all, am far more upright and always found pressure pulling me forward with traditional packs, that is all eliminated but it does take a hell of a lot of tweaking, esp if you have irregular body/issues. I love the freedom of the pack moving, which is why it is so useful for climbing.
     
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  6. Peagreenboat

    Peagreenboat Addicted

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    Also, carrying the ski's was easy down the sides of the Peak Aspiration. Needed to tweak them again but the material will not sneeze at the metal edges.
     
  7. axellotta

    axellotta Addicted

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    Completely agree that the Aarn system takes a little bit to get used to, as far as it looking stupid I’m not sure I agree with you, it’s all in the eye of the beholder I guess. In any case, like you it took me quite a bit of tweaking to get it what I thought was right. I actually recently took it back in the see Tim at Backpacking Light and in 10 minutes he had increased the comfort and function 50% better again. If this is an option for you, I’d highly recommend it.
     
  8. Chaeron

    Chaeron Ski-Hike-Blade-Bike-Kayak Ski Pass: Gold

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    When I ski with it the impact is weight only - No noticeable impact on lower torso movement.

    I wear the ‘hip’ belt quite high up on the pelvis, with the front of the strap mainly above the hip-bone, and this means that the back of the belt is above the buttocks, so this means muscle and leg movement is not impacted.

    The strap across the chest along with the mouldable hip belt means that the pack is rotationally stable while on the downhill, as long as I keep it’s centre of gravity low by putting some of the heavier stuff in lower dow.

    The pack is comfortable like this if I don’t overweight it. I’m about 176cm and about 70kg. With the pack at 17kg or under skiing downhill or turning is not an issue.

    18kg & upwards I have a distinct sense of compromised downhill skiing and turning. Ideally for me skiing with 16kg or less means turns become easier.
     
  9. blowfin

    blowfin One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    The OP is probably long gone, but I won an Osprey Mutant 52 last year, it's a mountaineering pack and much lighter than the Kamber range of packs. It'd probably fit the bill. It's only been used for travel and an overnight hike so far, but it's very comfortable and has everything you'd want for touring. A-frame ski carry, Helmet carry, front facing axe loops and a few other attachments.
     
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  10. nezumi

    nezumi One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    My mind has turned to potential pack needs lately, but with a different use in mind - On our trip to Perisher this year I will have myself, my snowboard, my toddler and his snowboard. While I don't anticipate having to carry so much in-bounds that I need a pack, I am starting to think that having one to carry at least one of the snowboards will make things infinitely easier, as I don't anticipate growing an extra set of arms between now and then.

    Whatever I get will probably only be used for this purpose, and maybe for small day-trips splitboarding around Mt Stirling or similar, but not for real backcountry use.

    Any recommendations on a small (<20L), affordable pack that has snowboard carrying capability? I've looked at options like the Kamber but found them too big, heavy and expensive.
     
  11. plazzo

    plazzo Hard Yards

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    Thanks again to all who commented on this (old) thread.
    I went with the hyperlite in the end and have been impressed with how bloody light it is. The big 7 day trip never came off - work, winter viruses etc all conspired against me but I got to do about 10 days of day trips this year and liked how light it was even when only filled to a fraction of capacity.
    Would never have found this overseas brand ( or many of the other recommendations which seem just as good) without the help of this forum so cheers.

    Pic is from last weekend heading home from a day on the Ramsheads. Never seen the snow looking so shiny pink- it was like someone has coated the hills with a thin layer of copper.
     
  12. zapruda

    zapruda One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Nice one. They are the only bag I will use now. I love all of mine.
     
  13. NeoSamurai

    NeoSamurai One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    If I retrace my steps I can probably find it.
    My favourite pack is from KS Backpacks from Japan. Custom made ultralight packs by a Frenchman Laurent Barikosky living in Japan - outstanding quality and fully customisable to how YOU want it. He's a great communicator and designer.

    I completed a traverse of the Japanese Alps with a KS pack back in July - solid.
     
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  14. ecowain

    ecowain One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    A heads up if anyone is looking for HMG packs, Adventure Base in Katoomba have a good range of them in stock now.

    Different models:
    Southwest
    North Rim
    Porter
    Ice Pack
    Plus another one, didn't get which one.

    In a range of sizes:
    2400
    3400
    4400
    5400 (porter only)

    And a range of back lengths.

    Some black DCF (thicker), but most the standard white.
     
  15. zapruda

    zapruda One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    The Northrim has the heavier 150d DCF on the body just in white not black. It’s also has super tough woven dyneema on the bottom and front and side pockets. I highly rate it as ski pack and scrub pack

     
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  16. skifree

    skifree A disciple of the blessed avi giraffe Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    Can they really handle scrub? Tas scrub?
     
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  17. ecowain

    ecowain One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    My cilogear handles scrub that your canvas weeps over ;-)

    I was having a good look at the north rim today. It would be on a short list to replace my cilo.

    Friends have blown holes in their lighter HMGs in blue mountains scrub and rock, so I think I’d need the heavier version. Mostly due to the rock scrambling and packhauling and tossing.

    Undecided if the 3400 would be big enough for a week long trip with helmet, harness, and lightweight roping gear.
     
  18. zapruda

    zapruda One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Yep, without a problem. I’ve put about 3000km on my other HMG pack and it’s still going strong without even a pin prick in the DCF. Mostly in Namadgi and Kosciuszko scrub and granite. I don’t baby my gear either.

    These packs are simple and that’s where the huge weight savings are. No overbuilt harnesses or wrist thick hip belts and shoulder straps. Those beastly canvas packs from One Planet etc are relics of the past in my opinion.
     
  19. skifree

    skifree A disciple of the blessed avi giraffe Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    Hmmm I like a good hip belt.
     
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  20. zapruda

    zapruda One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    They are good hip belts ;)
     
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  21. Chaeron

    Chaeron Ski-Hike-Blade-Bike-Kayak Ski Pass: Gold

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    @zapruda - what size backpack do you travel with in the snow?

    I have a bulky older sleeping bag and also a bulky down jacket so prefer 70L plus..

    My Osprey Aether does the job, but I must admit it is tempting to shed some weight.... on the backpack as well.
     
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  22. zapruda

    zapruda One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    For winter I use the 3400 which is 55L(?). My kit is light and dialled and I can get about 7 days of food in there and a bottle of brandy too.

    The 4400 would suit you well if you are using the Aether I reckon.
     
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  23. Chaeron

    Chaeron Ski-Hike-Blade-Bike-Kayak Ski Pass: Gold

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    Thx mate. I’ll take a look at it.
     
  24. Untele-whippet

    Untele-whippet beard stroker Ski Pass: Gold

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    Who is this Brandy you speak of?
     
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  25. zapruda

    zapruda One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Shh don’t tell my wife.
     
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  26. NeoSamurai

    NeoSamurai One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Which bivy is that?
     
  27. climberman

    climberman CloudRide1000 Legend Ski Pass: Gold

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    from the pic, no ski mod?
    oh, and is it a Northrim?
     
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  28. zapruda

    zapruda One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Terra Rosa custom. Just for wind protection not water.
     
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  29. zapruda

    zapruda One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Correct, no ski mod and yes, it is the Northrim. I carry them over the front pocket in a diagonal carry using Voile straps.

    Here is an example using my Southwest
     
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  30. climberman

    climberman CloudRide1000 Legend Ski Pass: Gold

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    Ta,

    I've found the bindings can be the wear point.
    Nice fast and light rig.

    The bloody gear list is long and, at the moment, full of big ticket items - new alpine and AT boots and a new pack and some mid-width touring sticks. Bloody hell.
     
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  31. skifree

    skifree A disciple of the blessed avi giraffe Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    Does that include a pootube?
     
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  32. zapruda

    zapruda One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    I just hold it for the 7 days. I spend the proceeding week eating nothing but cheese.

    (yes it does)
     
  33. ecowain

    ecowain One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    I think that’s what the front pocket is for, no?
     
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  34. zapruda

    zapruda One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Don’t fall backwards!
     
  35. Red_switch

    Red_switch Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: 30 Day

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    I had the field/assessment week for my L5 avalanche risk management certificate in Wanaka a few weeks back. The people on the course were all massive alpine/snow nerds, patrollers, aspiring guides etc., and there was a large variety of packs in use. Ski touring pack design became one of the common threads of conversation during the week, and interestingly, no one was convinced that they had the ultimate pack (all the usual suspects were represented, and a few more exotic options). I was using an Osprey Kode for the week, mostly because it fits a bit more stuff in side than my Lowe Alpine Fall Line 35 (which despite lacking a bit of volume is a fantastically well designed day pack) and my 50 L Macpac pursuit climbing pack. I actually really don't like the Kode that much. It's good for organising avalanche gear, but fails most other tests for me.

    The newly released Macpac Huka actually looks like a good balance of gear organisation, size and durability, with appropriate external attachment for ice tools and ski carry, I had a look at one in a store the other day and I'd say it'll be on the shortlist when I'm next looking for a day pack for touring:


    I've looked at some of those super lightweight north american options such as what you're using @zapruda , but I often have to lug heavy/bulky junk around for fieldwork, and am not convinced that those packs have the structure to do that. I also can't really get away with something that doesn't allow me to carry a splitboard (generally a-framed) and ice tools at the same time in NZ.

    Ultimately, it fascinates me that so many companies can make packs that are 80% decent, but not perfect.
     
  36. chriscross

    chriscross One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    That Huka does look really good.
     
  37. Kletterer

    Kletterer Thredbo Doughnut Tragic Moderator

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  38. zapruda

    zapruda One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Dan of Wilderness Threadworks in QLD makes exceptional packs and is happy to do customisations

    https://wildernessthreadworks.com/backpacks/

    Here are a couple I own... I have a pack problem.

    Sonder Prototype -

    Luxmore -
     
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  39. Red_switch

    Red_switch Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: 30 Day

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    Macpac have really stepped back up over the last few years, I couldn't take most of their products seriously for quite a while, but they've come up with some bangers recently. Their Pisa jacket is fantastic.
     
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  40. chriscross

    chriscross One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    I have the Pulsar down jacket; really warm, mostly too warm for oz but great in Japan and for emergency bc prep.
    Bought the BD Dawn Patrol 32 day pack but haven't had a chance to test it yet. Light and looks the goods.
     
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  41. Red_switch

    Red_switch Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: 30 Day

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    Do you mean the Pulsar primaloft?

    I've got the first gen of that, tough and warm, but mostly use the Pisa in favour of that these days, bit lighter, not as warm, but windproof and layers well under a shell.
     
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  42. climberman

    climberman CloudRide1000 Legend Ski Pass: Gold

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    This is great to know, thank you!
     
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  43. ecowain

    ecowain One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    They have two shops now. These are in the top shop, where summit gear used to be. I hadn’t even gone into this one before, thought it was a discount outlet.
     
  44. hongomania

    hongomania One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Received a thule capstone 50L pack for my bday earlier in the year. Best day pack i have ever used. Comfortable, space, super smart design. Holds ice axe on one side beautifully and skis on the other. Sure the dynafit speed backpacks were good in that you could attach your skis without taking off the pack, but the overall comfort and fit of the thule wins hands down - better weight distribution and more control when skiing
     
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  45. teleroo

    teleroo Ignored Member Ski Pass: Gold

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    Just plonked the e-cash on an Osprey Kamber 32 for next winter. Wanted something with solid ski attachment options for lugging skis back to lodge (multiple, kiddies...), So I like the frame on this bag for that too. Small enough for being ok on the lifts. But still needed to fit thermos, food warm mitts etc. Lots of ski specific goodies on this one, like goggle pocket, insulation for drinking tube, waist pockets for snacks. $220 Steve's snow sports, Gong.
     

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  46. nezumi

    nezumi One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Let us know how it treats you - I have the 18L one but I'm curious to know how the larger version goes for actual backcountry use.
     
  47. chriscross

    chriscross One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Good price, too. Interested to hear how it travels.
     
  48. Ricardo64

    Ricardo64 Addicted Ski Pass: Gold

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    ONE PLANET
    https://www.oneplanet.com.au/product/stiletto-sar/

    slightly heavier but it is a buy once cry once type of item. they have a full range that would tick your boxes and accessories to suit. they are currently have items on special and yes they are a melbourne based company.

    In these tough times we need to be really mindful where we spend our hard earned money BUY AUSTRALIAN, invest in our country. If we don't who will ?
     
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  49. Ricardo64

    Ricardo64 Addicted Ski Pass: Gold

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    Sorry about the patriotic spray !!!!
     
  50. Townsend

    Townsend One of Us

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    Just wondering how hot and sweaty your back gets with the Liquid Agility? Thanks