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What would you do?? Backpack question??

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What would you do?? Backpack question??

Postby Flux » Wed Jul 18, 2012 4:46 pm

So if all goes well I will be heading in for a 9 day epic.

I own a nice Osprey Argon 85l which can carry a VW beetle with room to spare. It weighs 6.5 lbs by itself.

I am considering a ULA Catalyst which weighs 3 lbs but most say not to exceed 30-35 lbs with it.

The catalyst would work fine if this were a weekender where I have 5 lbs of food, but I am pretty sure i will be in the 45 lb range on a 9 day with all the food. I like to eat, it makes me happy, keeps my feet moving.

So I throw it out there if I should just take the big Argon that can haul anything or try and save 3 lbs and risk slogging a pack that is not ready for the weight for half the trip. What do you think??

i will try and minimize gear to be light anyway.

I could always throw out my fishing gear and whiskey............but then why bother at all??



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Re: What would you do?? Backpack question??

Postby maverick » Wed Jul 18, 2012 5:07 pm

Other packs that will give you comfortable ride with 45lbs, in the mid 3 lb range or less
are Osprey Atmos 65, REI Flash 62, Boreas Buttermilk, Boreas Lost Coast (2lb.13 oz)
Gregory Savant 58.
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Re: What would you do?? Backpack question??

Postby AlmostThere » Wed Jul 18, 2012 6:21 pm

I have a Circuit. I do not think overloading the Catalyst will be a good idea.

I am doing 8 days this coming week, and while the bear can and all the gear will fit, and be about 30 lbs, I am thinking it is likely that I will take a different backpack, probably the Aarn pack. I'll put it on and see, when the Bearikade gets here.
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Re: What would you do?? Backpack question??

Postby Flux » Wed Jul 18, 2012 7:03 pm

maverick wrote:Other packs that will give you comfortable ride with 45lbs, in the mid 3 lb range or less
are Osprey Atmos 65, REI Flash 62, Boreas Buttermilk, Boreas Lost Coast (2lb.13 oz)
Gregory Savant 58.


The Atmos 65 was at the top of my list, basically between that and the ULA catalyst as far as getting a lighter pack. I emailed Osprey and asked about the BV500 fitting in sideways. The really excellent CS person went and got the BV500 and tried to get it in sideways (HZ) into the pack and it was a no go. I really admire them for their honesty and how quick they responded. I may get one anyway, but the bear can thing kind of is a sore spot. On a lesser trip, I could easily get some gear into the can and it would be fine, but 9 days is gonna mean overflow on the bearvault. I weigh 225, it takes a lot of calories to get my up a hill. Skimping on food is not an option.

I wish I had the coin to wittle down some of my gear, but I have some good stuff and there's not a whole lot left to ditch out. My tent could lose a pound or so, but that means another 250 or 300 bucks. I already have a good light bag (marmot helium) and the new thermarest XLite. I guess i could drop 5 lbs off the beer belly and call it a wash eh?

I am gonna check into those other packs you suggested. Thanks a bunch.
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Re: What would you do?? Backpack question??

Postby paul » Wed Jul 18, 2012 9:27 pm

A lighter pack is great IF it will carry the load you have comfortably. But if you save 2 or 3 pounds and lose comfort you will be sorry you did it. So be cautious if buying a new pack - load that baby up in the store so it really weighs what you are going to have, and keep it on for a while. If necessary, bring your own scale to the store. Or take it home and load it up and walk around the block a couple times. If still in doubt, stick with the tried and true. 3 pounds will not change your trip in a big way, but a pack that is not comfortable will definitely affect your trip.

Is there anything you can do to lighten your big hauler, like leaving the top pocket off? On most packs there are ways to lighten up at least a little.
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Re: What would you do?? Backpack question??

Postby cmon4day » Wed Jul 18, 2012 10:23 pm

Go on your epic trip and don't worry about it.
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Re: What would you do?? Backpack question??

Postby caddis » Thu Jul 19, 2012 6:59 am

Why buy the argon and not use it for the trip it was designed for?

It's probably a toss-up and either pack will "work" but I imagine the relief you will feel in your legs for saving three pounds of weight will be felt in your hips, back, and shoulders because you have a pack not designed for the load
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Re: What would you do?? Backpack question??

Postby Flux » Thu Jul 19, 2012 8:20 am

cmon4day wrote:Go on your epic trip and don't worry about it.


Best advice.

Sorry, I go round and round on this stuff. I really want to be one of the light guys but I love my burly, kind of big, tent and all my fishing gear. Mostly just wanted to see if anyone had experience over-weighting these 3.5lb packs for an extended trip.

I should shut up and hike.
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Re: What would you do?? Backpack question??

Postby cherron » Fri Jul 20, 2012 9:27 pm

I had a frameless Golite Pinnacle pack that I overloaded with a whopping 16 days worth of food because we decided we didn't want to resupply. I didn't realize how bad it was until I swapped packs with a friend who was having trouble with their pack and saw what I was missing! When I was done with that trip, I promptly sold that pack and bought a heavier one with an internal frame and have never looked back! Light is great if you carry 30 pounds or under, but I would rather carry the extra 3 lbs of pack than to to be that uncomfortable. I think others have mentioned you can have a pretty light pack with a decent supportive frame and they are not much heavier than the ultralight frameless styles.
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Re: What would you do?? Backpack question??

Postby xtatik » Sat Jul 21, 2012 12:36 am

The Catalysts are routinely (daily for 4-6 months) and comfortably carried at 30 to 40lbs. Go ahead and pack the food, just leave the kitchen sink at home. :D I'll load mine anywhere in that range depending on the type of trip (fishing/no fishing) or duration. The Catalyst can swallow a big canister no problem.
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Re: What would you do?? Backpack question??

Postby xNateX » Mon Aug 20, 2012 9:02 pm

Flux,

I too am walking in your shoes. I have a Argon 85, purchased when I was a newbie with a non-existent knowledge and experience base. With time and money, I've trimmed considerable weight and volume from the stuff I carry and have only the pack left to work on.

Except that the comfort level is supreme (an oxymoron on seemingly endless switchbacks, grueling passes, and lots of "lightweight" gear that add up to make a mockery of the label). It's comforting to know that's as good as it gets.

In retrospect, if my particular circumstances didn't allow me to use my backpack in lieu of a suitcase, the only thing different I would have done is to go slightly smaller with the Argon 70. Fortunately, I don't have to worry whether in due time I'll have room for the Flytpacker raft, Alpaca raft, or even a Baylee SB whitewater raft.

I ain't getting rid of my pack. I reckon I'll just have to hike to the beat of my own drum.
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