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Old 03-08-2011, 11:01 PM
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Rezarf Rezarf is offline
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Default Can you recommend a good day hike backpack

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 $$$).
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Old 03-09-2011, 12:26 AM
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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.
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Old 03-09-2011, 07:08 AM
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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.

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Old 03-09-2011, 07:21 AM
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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 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.
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Old 03-09-2011, 07:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rezarf View Post

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.
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Old 03-09-2011, 07:38 AM
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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.
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Old 03-09-2011, 07:40 AM
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Might be a little more than you want to spend but we have and really like the Mystery Ranch Sweet Pea.
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Old 03-09-2011, 07:52 AM
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Check out Kifaru.
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Old 03-09-2011, 08:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mendocino View Post
Check out Kifaru.
Now there's some nice hunting stuff. Will go well with your new Mercedes.
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Old 03-09-2011, 08:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mendocino View Post
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.
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