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View Full Version : Can you recommend a good day hike backpack


Rezarf
03-08-2011, 11:01 PM
I would like a new pack for day hikes/14er's and maybe minimalist summer overnights. I currently use a north face top loader that is about 35 liters. It is made for skiing or boarding, but I don't backcountry ski.

I am wanting:


Bladder spot
Panel loading, not top loading
30ish liters
Good suspension for a long torso and big belly ;)


Are those mesh back panels work? I can sweat up a storm in just a few minutes when going up any incline.

I also found a military bag that I really love the features on it, but it is camo and with molle webbing ALL over it, so it looks a little too commando.

I am looking at some of the Dueter, Vaude, and Arcteryx packs (used on the arc bags due to $$$).

rover67
03-09-2011, 12:26 AM
I have an Arc'teryx Khamsin (I think its one of the smaller ones... I have to check..) that I have been using for probably 10 years. I really like it.

But, it has a minimal suspension on it. Typically with the smaller lighter packs the minimal suspension doesn't matter as much since the weight you carry is less. I will say that the hip belt is pretty light.... as in just a thin layer of padding. you gotta sinch it up tight to make the hip belt carry the weight.

you are welcome to take it and use it as much as you want to see if you like it. I am sure the new ones are much nicer in terms of the suspension, but I think the basic design is still the same.
I have used it all over the place for week long hikes and the capacity is juuuust enough. Half of it is food when I start out.

DaveInDenver
03-09-2011, 07:08 AM
My main day pack is a 10 year old Mountainsmith Bugaboo. Works well for me. Has a slot for a bladder, panel loading, etc. It's a ski pack, but works fine for lots of stuff (except cycling, not great for bikepacking). It has a full plastic sheet forming panel and the mesh for air circulation. Yeah, the mesh is better than a plastic bag but not as good as real vent IMHO. Also made in Golden, Colorado, USA, if that's important to you. I dunno if they are still made here, though.

http://i.pbase.com/o4/87/690687/1/110992221.7uxwWavg.P1020682.jpg

Eldorado556
03-09-2011, 07:21 AM
I would try on as many packs as you can. Fit should always be priority one.

Lot of good pack makers out there. I have had good success with Osprey packs. But I own and have owned Mountainsmith, Black Diamond, Gregory. Lowe Alpine, Arc'Teryx, Dana, etc. etc. REI also makes a good pack for the money.

I picked up the REI Traverse 30 (http://www.rei.com/product/778465) for the same sort of trips. They make a larger version called the Lookout 40.
I also have a Mountainsmith Specter (no longer made) which is a panel loader as well.

Whatever you get make sure it has a hipbelt. I had a Maxpedition pack for a while without one. Even lighter loads hurt my shoulders.

I used to sell packs and outdoor gear so if you need a hand with packfitting let me know.

Eldorado556
03-09-2011, 07:30 AM
Are those mesh back panels work? I can sweat up a storm in just a few minutes when going up any incline.


If your referring to the packs where there is a space between your back and the pack the answer is yes. My main backpacking pack is a Gregory Z55 with that feature. It keeps your back much cooler than regular packs, but you still get sweaty. You don't freeze quite as much when you stop at treeline to put on another layer.

It is the best fitting back I have owned for 3-4 day backpacks. They make some smaller versions but they are top loaders. They do have some sort of side access though.

Beater
03-09-2011, 07:38 AM
go to a little shop on 15th and platte caddy corner from my brothers bar called wilderness exchange. as other have said, fit matters, and they are experts at it. They're a stout little shop, and have gently used, as well as, closeouts and new, all real world top of the line stuff.

Bighead
03-09-2011, 07:40 AM
Might be a little more than you want to spend but we have and really like the Mystery Ranch Sweet Pea (http://www.mysteryranch.com/s.nl/it.A/id.13467/.f).

Mendocino
03-09-2011, 07:52 AM
Check out Kifaru.

Red_Chili
03-09-2011, 08:43 AM
Check out Kifaru.
Now there's some nice hunting stuff. Will go well with your new Mercedes.

MDH33
03-09-2011, 08:57 AM
Check out Kifaru.

x2. Local company owned and operated by the founder of Mountainsmith. They are well known for their military/tactical packs, but also make sweet hunting and ultralight packs. You can choose from several colors of material with their tactical packs, so if you don't want it to look too military, it won't. They have an array of modular pockets that will help increase the functionality and cpacity of the pack too. I would recommend the marauder as a good panel loader. It's about 40 liters. Even though it has Molle webbing, it wouldn't look too military once you add some pockets. For fit, they are custom built, so you send them your height, weight, waist, etc and they build the pack for you. Since they are local, you can also stop by their shop and try some stuff on.

Big drawback to Kifaru is they are expensive, but worth it in my opinion. Local, Made in the USA.

http://www.kifaru.net/

I have a 38 liter Kifaru Molle Express. I added some side pockets, a pod, a claymore and a 2 liter pouch. The construction of these packs is top notch and the tactical packs are 1000D cordura. They're super heavy duty. I wear my packs 4-5 days a week during the summer and they take a lot of abuse, so I decided it was worthwhile to spend the extra money to have a made in the USA pack that would last.

I've also used Osprey packs for many years and like them a lot. I have a couple (older, Made in Colorado versions, they're made in Vietnam now). They are less expensive and well made and carry well. I still use one for extended backpacking. My wife also has an Osprey and likes it a lot.

subzali
03-09-2011, 09:17 AM
My main day pack is a 10 year old Mountainsmith Bugaboo. Works well for me. Has a slot for a bladder, panel loading, etc. It's a ski pack, but works fine for lots of stuff (except cycling, not great for bikepacking). It has a full plastic sheet forming panel and the mesh for air circulation. Yeah, the mesh is better than a plastic bag but not as good as real vent IMHO. Also made in Golden, Colorado, USA, if that's important to you. I dunno if they are still made here, though.

http://i.pbase.com/o4/87/690687/1/110992221.7uxwWavg.P1020682.jpg

Dave, you're scaring me. That's the exact same backpack I have (I can't see your pic, but I bought mine in 1999, which makes it about the same vintage as yours. I think a lot of Mountainsmith stuff is made in China these days, back in college my roommate worked there :( Not too impressed with their stuff any more :(

Osprey on the other hand, big fan of Osprey packs and own two models (Crescent and Exposure for backpacking and climbing). Colorado company (down in the 4 corners area), has just what you're looking for Drew. Mesh back panels (I have another buddy with the Talon that says it's great), depending on the size it's either top load or panel load. It will probably be my next day pack. My Bugaboo suspension fit me when I was 14, it's a little too small now (though it still is my go-to for almost everything).

Beater
03-09-2011, 10:30 AM
Still a big lowe fan...

wesintl
03-09-2011, 10:46 AM
Might be a little more than you want to spend but we have and really like the Mystery Ranch Sweet Pea (http://www.mysteryranch.com/s.nl/it.A/id.13467/.f).

yeap.. Dana Gleason packs in true form... the shizzle

Corbet
03-09-2011, 02:50 PM
One that fits you good. Lots of good quality packs out there. Personally I generally favor Black Diamond, Arc'teryx, and Osprey.

Trapper50cal
03-09-2011, 04:09 PM
Another Vote for Osprey and they teamed with nalgene for their hydration bladders....pretty neat little units

LETSROLL
03-09-2011, 09:02 PM
I have a Deuter and love it! The built in rain fly is handy and stows away very nicely. Plendy to storage. Most importantly, it just feels good. No fatigue on long hikes..


I would like a new pack for day hikes/14er's and maybe minimalist summer overnights. I currently use a north face top loader that is about 35 liters. It is made for skiing or boarding, but I don't backcountry ski.

I am wanting:


Bladder spot
Panel loading, not top loading
30ish liters
Good suspension for a long torso and big belly ;)


Are those mesh back panels work? I can sweat up a storm in just a few minutes when going up any incline.

I also found a military bag that I really love the features on it, but it is camo and with molle webbing ALL over it, so it looks a little too commando.

I am looking at some of the Dueter, Vaude, and Arcteryx packs (used on the arc bags due to $$$).

Rezarf
03-09-2011, 09:55 PM
Thanks everyone here is the leader for now... its designed by Arc'teryx and made by Proper here in the USA. If I could get it without the molle webbing and or in anything other than camo, I'd have already bought it.

http://cgi.ebay.com/NEW-MARPAT-Pack-Corpsman-Recon-Assault-ARCTERYX-USMC-/270717857512?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3f080aaee8

I love the Kifaru, but I think a Eberlestock might get my $$$ before a Kifaru... but that will be a dedicated hunting rig.

Bighead
03-10-2011, 07:18 AM
The comparable Mystery Ranch Pack to that would probably be the 3-Day Assault Pack (http://www.mysteryranch.com/s.nl/it.A/id.2247/.f?sc=7&category=45). Obviously a bit more expensive. This is the pack I personally use on the trails. My wife uses the Sweet Pea.

MDH33
03-10-2011, 08:50 AM
I love the Kifaru, but I think a Eberlestock might get my $$$ before a Kifaru... but that will be a dedicated hunting rig.


The Eberlestock look pretty nice too. One of the reasons I chose the Kifaru was how versatile it was. They're really modular, so I could buy one pack and use it for everything rather than having separate, dedicated packs for dayhikes, work, multiday, hunting, etc.

Rezarf
03-10-2011, 11:35 AM
The Eberlestock look pretty nice too. One of the reasons I chose the Kifaru was how versatile it was. They're really modular, so I could buy one pack and use it for everything rather than having separate, dedicated packs for dayhikes, work, multiday, hunting, etc.

Thats a good point Martin- the molle stuff might be an advantage with all the pouches and do-dads you could add to make it activity specific.

simps80
03-10-2011, 12:49 PM
i like this one:

22867


:D

Rezarf
03-16-2011, 12:10 PM
I scored a great deal on Ebay for the Vaude Snow Walker 35. It had a ton of the features I was looking for and for a sub $50 pack shipped. I thought it was worth a go.

http://www.expeditionshoppe.com/catalog/media/catalog/product/cache/1/image/5e06319eda06f020e43594a9c230972d/1/0/100230_hq_denimsteelblue.jpg

It had most if not all of the features I was looking for:

Air panel thingy on the back.
35L
Adjustable suspension for a long torso.
Waterproof.
Easy Snowshoe attachment.
Bladder holder.
Lightweight.

Time will tell, I was pretty leary of buying before being able to fit it, but the ones I did get to try on (Vaudes) all had plenty of adjustment to make them work.

The Vaudes are pretty nice though I hadn't heard of them good ol' McGukins carried them so I could fondle a few of them. German's make nice kit.

It should arrive today or tomorrow and I should get to try it out on Saturday.

I am not certain I won't pick up something more modular (molle based) for hunting and overnighters, but this seems to fit the bill well for now.

Thanks again!

Drew

coax
03-16-2011, 12:40 PM
Dave, you're scaring me. That's the exact same backpack I have (I can't see your pic, but I bought mine in 1999, which makes it about the same vintage as yours. I think a lot of Mountainsmith stuff is made in China these days, back in college my roommate worked there :( Not too impressed with their stuff any more :(

Is this the same pack you guys have?

https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/_RHGIeuamB_E/TYD1SZWgM9I/AAAAAAAABC8/jx7nMYA1v-E/s800/DSCF3328.JPG

As for buying a new pack, IMO I would go about it one of two ways, depending on the anticipated use and life expectancy. 1.) Watch steep and cheap and pick something up that's close to what you want for very little money. or 2.) Pay more money, and go into a shop, spend an hour, grab some packs, fill them with random stuff at REI to get them up to weight, and buy whichever one fits the best, regardless of brand.

I go through packs pretty quick so for some I'd just get a cheap one. Then you don't feel too bad if you lower it down a slickrock cliff in Escalante and wear a hole in it. On the flipside I bought a nice ski pack since that doesn't see quite the abuse from dirt/rock as my other packs.

Edit: see you bought something already so please disregard the above :D

subzali
03-16-2011, 01:06 PM
I scored a great deal on Ebay for the Vaude Snow Walker 35. It had a ton of the features I was looking for and for a sub $50 pack shipped. I thought it was worth a go.



I think Vaude has a pretty good product, post up what you think of it once you try it out a bit :thumb:

Is this the same pack you guys have?



That looks bigger, more like an Alpenfire or something. I resemble that remark about lowering packs down slickrock :doh: