First Multi Day Pack (70-80L) need advice! - ClubTread Community

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post #1 of (permalink) Old 03-06-2015, 02:08 PM Thread Starter
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Default First Multi Day Pack (70-80L) need advice!

Hey everyone! I am pretty new here so bear with me if i'm beating a dead horse on this topic. I am getting into my first multi-day pack 5-8 day'r 70-80L. From my research, and it being my first pack, i dont see the need to spend more than 300$. I've narrowed my selections down to Deuter air contact 65+10 (because of the comfort and adjustability when I had it loaded in the store http://www.outdoorgearlab.com/Backpa...tact-65-Plus10

and the MEC Serratus 85 (because of the 2 removable bags and generous sleeping bag compartment at the bottom. http://www.mec.ca/product/5034-395/m...10+50131+50597.

Im open to other suggestions and all feedback if anyone has used either of these packs.

Cheers!
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 03-06-2015, 02:36 PM
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Gregory and Osprey are two brands you may also want to check out. They are generally considered the best.

By far the most important consideration when buying a pack is fit. Buy the one that fits, even if it's expensive and may not have the best features. (You might be lucky and find many that fit well, in which case go for features/construction/etc). If you sacrifice fit to save money or to get a certain feature you'll quite likely regret it on the trail.
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 03-06-2015, 02:50 PM
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Try on every pack you can find that meets your criteria, go to multiple stores, try on every brand, make sure there is weight in the pack when you're trying it on. Once you narrow it down to say two or three that you really like (unless you find the "one"), pick whichever pack is the lightest one.
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 03-06-2015, 03:17 PM
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One thing good about MEC is that they have excellent return policy.
Make sure the torso length matches the pack. Sometimes it takes more than just wearing a loaded pack at the store to find out if it's comfortable. You have to actually use it outdoors on the trails for several hours; not just level trails though but up and down steep ones. I'm sure MEC would take the pack back if it becomes uncomfortable.
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 03-06-2015, 03:59 PM
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My first advice would be to never ever look at the price of the pack while deciding. Your perfect pack may be $700, or it may be $70. Personally between the two you mentioned I like the Serratus, but that's me.

Secondly, when I got my first pack about a decade ago getting back into hiking, I loved side-zippers, water-proof zippers, multiple compartments etc. As I got a better understanding of how I will be using my load during the hike, I became better at packing, to the point that I now would probably do just as well with a sturdy top-loader, without any side or sleeping bag zippered compartments. After a while you just come to realize, "Why would I ever take out my sleeping bag and only my sleeping bag, unless I was unloading everything at camp?" You pack so that everything you would need during the day would be at the top, or in the hood compartment. Also when you see those nifty rain-proof zippers, ask yourself, "Are rain-proof zippers going to help with my non-rain-proof backpack?"

I had a Gregory Whitney, MEC Ibex and now I use an Arcteryx Bora 80. All of them had faults. I love the arcteryx but at the end of the day I was just as well served by the Ibex. There's probably a $300 gap between those two. The Gregory, to this day, was the most comfortable pack I ever tried on in a store, but 5 hours into a hike the plastic hipbelt revealed the packs' fatal flaw: tranferring pack weight to the hips via the firm plastic, instead of keeping the weight centered on the small of your back. The Ibex was better.

I would echo what was said about buying at MEC for the return protection. MEC allowed me to trade my Whitney large for a standard a year after buying it.

Good luck.

Last edited by Release; 03-06-2015 at 04:07 PM.
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post #6 of (permalink) Old 03-06-2015, 04:14 PM
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I'm going to make an assumption that if it's your first overnight pack then this will be your first big overnighter. If you're young and strong and don't have back/shoulder injuries, either the MEC packs or a used higher-end pack would be a good choice.

Over time your preferences will change and you'll want to upgrade one way or another; you might go more fast and light or more luxury camping which require different packs.

For myself, I bought an Arcteryx Bora 80L pack 15 years ago. It's too heavy for general use now but it still comes out periodically if conditions warrant it.
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post #7 of (permalink) Old 03-06-2015, 05:33 PM
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Just an FYI if you are considering the MEC Serratus pack. It is a direct replacement (and improvement) for their old Ibex pack and it has the exact same suspension system (backpanel, shoulder straps and hipbelt are all exactly the same). So if you find old reviews of the Ibex online you can apply them to the Serratus (mostly).
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post #8 of (permalink) Old 03-06-2015, 06:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marc View Post
Try on every pack you can find that meets your criteria, go to multiple stores, try on every brand, make sure there is weight in the pack when you're trying it on. Once you narrow it down to say two or three that you really like (unless you find the "one"), pick whichever pack is the lightest one.
Best advice ever! Don't look at the price unless you absolutely have to. I bought a new backpack at the beginning of last year and really thought I'd go with a Deuter pack but once I had it fully loaded with full weight like what I'd have for a big multi-day backpack and wore it walking around the store for an hour or so I discovered it wasn't the pack for me. I ended up with a Osprey pack (more expensive) but it is a comfortable pack for me and easy to carry with a full load. Just make sure you have some one fitting you that really knows what they are doing.

The reason I got a new pack was to get a lighter one as I have an older Arteryx Bora pack. It's still a great pack and in really good shape but it is heavy. Really makes a difference, especially as you put on miles under your boots.

BTW.... I went to REI in near Seattle and they were awesome! Plus I always get dividends from them but never from MEC.

Have fun finding the right pack for you!

Cheers!


"Smile, it is the key that fits the lock to everybody's heart."
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post #9 of (permalink) Old 03-06-2015, 10:09 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all your advice ill keep smashing as many stores as I can trying everything on with weight! cheers to you guys
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post #10 of (permalink) Old 03-28-2015, 11:06 AM
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El Tigre,

In contrast to what many say, your first consideration should be the amount of gear - in volume and weight- you will carry. So your pack should be your last purchase.

But to decide this,you need to first answer this question: are you a hiker focussed on maximum km each day or a camper focused on creature comforts and willing to carry a heavy pack only 8 or 10 km per day?

Generally, a pack weight over 10 kg wil require a frame of some sort. The heavier the load, the more suspension you will need. And if you buy an 80 l pack, you will definitely fill it on occasion.

On mountaineering expeditions, I've never needed more than 60 l. Now that I hike, I'm quite happy with a 40 l pack on 150 km six day trips. And I always have more space in my pack,even on long trips.
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post #11 of (permalink) Old 03-28-2015, 10:50 PM
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65L bag is way too small for 5-8 days. I'd look for 90L+. Once you throw in the sleeping bag and a tent inside, the space disappears real fast... unless of course you want these items hanging from outside, which will make for a less comfortable bag.
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post #12 of (permalink) Old 03-29-2015, 02:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Arnold View Post
65L bag is way too small for 5-8 days. I'd look for 90L+. Once you throw in the sleeping bag and a tent inside, the space disappears real fast... unless of course you want these items hanging from outside, which will make for a less comfortable bag.
I think that is dependent on what and how you pack. For me, 65L would be ample room for a trip that length in summer weather.

I would agree with gbarron in that you should get a pack after you have acquired the other gear you intend hike with.
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post #13 of (permalink) Old 03-29-2015, 06:38 PM
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Originally Posted by skeletalmachine View Post
I think that is dependent on what and how you pack. For me, 65L would be ample room for a trip that length in summer weather.

I would agree with gbarron in that you should get a pack after you have acquired the other gear you intend hike with.

I agree with this as well. you need gear before bag and you can then try 3-4 different bags to see how you pack and which works the best for you.

btw: i use my 52L for multi day alpine which includes all the climbing gear. its actually too large for summer camp/hikes
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post #14 of (permalink) Old 03-29-2015, 07:25 PM
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I would spend some time at the backpackinglight.com site so you don't end up with a monster pack and a ton of gear. I did 4-day trips last year with a 33L pack and a TOTAL starting weight of 16.5 lbs. And that's heavy compared to what many folks carry.

And I wasn't leaving out important items. Included: a tent, full length Thermarest, sleeping bag, camp stove, fuel, bear spray, SPOT messenger, camera, water filter, rain gear, warm jacket, wind shirt, etc, etc. Nothing hanging off the outside. Tent fly in the front pocket, water and fuel in one side pocket, tent poles in the other.

Everything is weighed in grams and tallied in a spreadsheet.

I would only have to bump up to my 44L pack (adding 6 oz) and add about 1.2 lbs food per day to do more days.

Last edited by IslanderBob; 03-29-2015 at 07:38 PM.
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post #15 of (permalink) Old 03-29-2015, 08:14 PM
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Originally Posted by IslanderBob View Post
I would spend some time at the backpackinglight.com site so you don't end up with a monster pack and a ton of gear. I did 4-day trips last year with a 33L pack and a TOTAL starting weight of 16.5 lbs. And that's heavy compared to what many folks carry.

And I wasn't leaving out important items. Included: a tent, full length Thermarest, sleeping bag, camp stove, fuel, bear spray, SPOT messenger, camera, water filter, rain gear, warm jacket, wind shirt, etc, etc. Nothing hanging off the outside. Tent fly in the front pocket, water and fuel in one side pocket, tent poles in the other.
I would first check your scale to be accurate, because all of the above, including the pack, will not be at 16.5 lbs. And is it a tent or a tent fly? You need to be more honest about what's in your pack, because a tent fly is not a tent, while you listed a tent being packed.

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I would only have to bump up to my 44L pack (adding 6 oz) and add about 1.2 lbs food per day to do more days.
And not everyone is willing to starve for 4 days on 1 lbs of food a day. That's less than most people eat while sitting on their ass at home all day.
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