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Pack Size (Capacity)

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Pack Size (Capacity)

Postby Jeremy » Sun Aug 26, 2007 3:54 pm

A question to all of you. How large of a pack do you recommend for 5 to 7 day hikes? By size, I mean capacity (ci's). The reason being I'd like to move to a somewhat lighter pack than what I currently have. But it seems like capacity has a direct relation to weight.

Currently I have a Gregory Keeler, which is 4,800 ci and about 5-1/2 pounds. I also have access to my wife's pack, a Gregory Reality, which is 4,300 ci and about 4-1/2 pounds. Heck, maybe these are just fine...

Your thoughts?
Are you ready boots?

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Postby rightstar76 » Mon Aug 27, 2007 12:50 am

Well, I was thinking the same thing too. So I purchased an Osprey Aether 70 and it felt like a board against my back when I tried it. Plus I sweat alot and within 5 minutes my back felt miserable and wet. When I returned it to REI the salesperson told me it's a fantastic pack for hiking through brush and boulders and also if you're carrying ultralight equipment. I tried on some heavier packs and settled for the REI Mars. I loaded it up and walked for an hour with it today and it felt a hundred times better than the Osprey. By the way I am carrying a lightweight tent, the Big Agnes Seedhouse SL 2, and a Cat's Meow as well as a Jet Boil and a week's worth of food. Salespeson told me that's not light enough for an Osprey. I'd have to go with a tarp or bivvy plus an alcohol stove and some very lightweight food, not the Natural High dehydrated dinners I like to carry. So I'm sticking right now with the heavier pack and lighter equipment. If you're going to buy a lightweight pack, you need to go ultralight.
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Postby Charles2 » Mon Aug 27, 2007 8:42 am

I use a Mountainsmith Phantom for solo trips up to 12 days. It has an internal capacity of 3200 ci and weighs 3 pounds on the nose. It is comfortable with up to 30 lb and reasonably comfortable to 35-37 pounds.

My base gear weight for 3-season mountain travel is 16 to 17 pounds; what I wear adds another 2-4 lb. So, that leaves me a maximum food capacity of about 20 pounds unless I'm feeling like suffering. Since I normally carry somewhere around 1.5-1.75 lb of food per day that gives me 10 to 14 days of travel with a pack of around 35 pounds for the first few days (I also carry a small reserve tank around my midsection). I can stretch the travel a few days in high summer if I leave some of the clothing behind. My base weight then is about 12-13 pounds. If a bear cannister is necessary then I subtract a day's food.
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Postby mountaineer » Mon Aug 27, 2007 8:44 am

External frame pack is the way to go for heavy loads. I have the original Kelty Radial Frame pack that they came out with in the late 70's or early 80's I think...their first major redesign since the original Kelty frame pack. I don't know what the capacity is but I believe it is in the 5500 range. Packs in the 4000 range seem small for a week long trip. Of course, I am the type of guy that carries heavy packs all the time.
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