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pack troubles

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pack troubles

Postby sparky » Wed May 11, 2011 4:03 pm

I am hoping out there someone has had a similar experience they can shed some light on.

I currently use a Gossamer Gear G4 pack, with my Thermarest pad as a frame. I love how it feels like a pillow strapped to my back with 5 days food. I max it out with a weeks worth of food and a Garcia. I have other packs, but they are old, older, and super old, and they feel like I am wearing plywood after 4 years with the G4.

My old internal and external framed packs suck. I will take my beat-up, maxed out G4 over those any day...just way too rigid to be comfortable.

So I am looking for a kush, supple, supported pillow of a pack at 70 liters that is not unessesarily heavy. The only pack I have tried that made me crack a smile was an Osprey Aether 70 my nephew has, but want to look at all I can.

I am interested in the ULA Catalyst or Circuit, Six Moon Designs Starlight, golite pinnacle, ect....any other pack suggestions? Could these be described as kushy yet supportive? How do you like or compare the belts?

I don't know anyone that owns these packs, nor do they carry them in REI for me to try out. I would be buying them blind from the internet.

Perhaps a more substantial hipbelt added to my G4 is in order?
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Re: pack troubles

Postby sparky » Wed May 11, 2011 4:21 pm

I should also add my pack weight dry for longer trips is 12 lbs.
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Re: pack troubles

Postby RoguePhotonic » Wed May 11, 2011 5:36 pm

I used a ULA Catalyst for my 71 day hike last summer and it treated me pretty well when I learned how to wear it. I began with so much weight and I had my belt so tight to take all the weight off my shoulders that on day 6 the hip belt was popping off completely. But I learned the proper ways to bring the weight closer to my body and I did not have it happen again. Generally the pack was great in comfort and functionality. My only real complaints is that the shoulder straps tend to loosen up and you have to readjust them every day. Also the durability is not as good as other packs I have. By the end I had some small holes forming in the bottom of my pack. Nothing major but enough that this year I bought the Circuit.

If your only at 12 pounds for longer trips then I would pick the Circuit over the Catalyst since why would you need the slightly extra support and space?
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Re: pack troubles

Postby frediver » Thu May 12, 2011 1:26 am

Why not keep the G-4 and add some frame stays?
A loaded G-4 is 4800 cu-in IIRC, that works out to 78 liters.
Just slip a couple carbon or fiberglas rods between the folds
of your frame pad, it works for me, I use my tent or tarp poles.
OR do you just want a new pack?
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Re: pack troubles

Postby sparky » Thu May 12, 2011 10:55 pm

Yeah, want a new pack I think, keep my g4 as is.

I think I might try my hand at building it myself
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Re: pack troubles

Postby frediver » Fri May 13, 2011 12:57 am

IMO finding one you will really be happy with after having a G-4 is going to be tough, building your own is likely the only real option for you.
IMO. A G-4 made with a bit more packcloth (4oz.material) might be a nice option. Also if I was building my own I would cut it to be 1 or 1.5 in wider to better accommodate a std. Garcia bear Can in a horizontal position.
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Re: pack troubles

Postby sparky » Fri May 13, 2011 3:26 pm

I am thinking of mimicking the osprey frame, and tying it in to the hip belt and shoulders and done.

If I ever get that off the ground, I will post results here. I really don't want to bust out my plywood pack for my late summer trip.
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Re: pack troubles

Postby maverick » Fri May 13, 2011 5:50 pm

Sparky wrote "I am thinking of mimicking the osprey frame, and tying it in to the
hip belt and shoulders and done."
I would be interested in seeing that, and hearing about it's performance off-trail.
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Re: pack troubles

Postby AlmostThere » Mon May 16, 2011 8:54 am

one of the other Gossamer Gear packs?

Lots of fans of the Gorilla around.

You could also beef up your G4 with parts from Gossamer Gear - they do sell shoulder harnesses, hip belts, etc. ala carte.
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