View Full Version : Need Pack Comments
Its time to move on from my Gregory Shasta to a lighter pack. I have narrowed my choices down to the following 3 packs.
1)Go Lite - Gust
2)Six Moons - Starlite 2004
3)Granite Gear - Vapor Trail
I will be section hiking around 500 - 600 miles this year (this spring till it gets too hot and another month this fall when its not too hot). I would be happy to get my pack weight down between 25 to 30. My concerns are stress on the shoulders from the Starlite or Gust and comfort. With my Shasta most the weight was on my hips so i've added the Vapor Trail but would rather go with Starlite or Gust for cost reasons and weight (but not totally convinced). Also will a full length ThermaRest fit folded up in these packs with gear. (not willing to go to a 3/4 length yet).
Also would like to hear about durability and any other issues and comments on these packs. I will also be keeping my synthetic bag so space is of concern. Money is tight now so im just going to start with getting a lighter shelter and pack to start and worry about bag later. Already got light kitchen and clothing and misc. down, only heavy items will be sleep system (bag an pad).
All comments appreciated.
I saw the Six Moon packs last year at Trail Days and I was impressed. I like the mesh pocket/strap system.
My personal fav right now is by <http://www.fanaticfringe.com/>
Got their Thompson Peak with Belt. The belt doesn't really carry any weight, it's just for keeping it from trashing around. It weighs in at 11 oz. and carries a max of 20 pounds. $79 w/belt & $69 with out beltSuper Nice People - Great Service!
I do use the 3/4 Thermarest; but this pack has a "collar" that extends up and allows me to carry that extra fleece for my SkyDog.
I have only used it for day-hikes and three overnighters now and it appears to be holding up quite well. Mesh side pockets and larger rear mesh pocket.
No... Don't work for them! Seems to be a great pack for the $$$$$
Chicago Dave, I can't tell you anything about your other 2 choices, but I can tell you how much I love the Granite Gear Vapor Trail. As I am sure you agree, pack choice is an extremely personal matter. All I can give you is what I liked and didnt like about the vapor trail.
Likes: Strong, light (of course) and one of the best compression systems Ive ever used. And yes yes yes .... HUGELY comfortable on your back. Not the best ventilated against your back, but hardly the worst either.
Dislikes: You have to spend alot of time packing all your gear in just a certain way so that the load is even. But once you have found a good method, stick to it. Pretty much you have to pack the vapor trail the same way every time. It can be a little frustrating with lumpy and odd shaped items especially round things like mess kits.
But that said ... it is one hell of a light pack. I don't know what kind of a hiker you are, but granite gear has some pretty huge claims about this pack. Claiming huge percentages of AT hikers are using this pack. Not living anywhere near the AT trail I couldnt answer this. But I bet you there are people on this forum that can. Last little complaint ... and its just a little one. You have to be very wary of pack weight .. going even a little over 30 pounds makes the pack become rather uncomfortable quite quickly.
Ask around and see if any of the AT thru-hikers here have used the Vapor Trail and if they recommend it. Personally i've never done any serious long distance with the pack, but I certainly enjoy it.
I can't answer your pack questions specifically, but I have some advice. Take it for what it's worth, which probably isn't much. I'm kind of in your shoes right now, with trying to get my pack weight down as well. I'm also trying to focus on the "big three." I can't remember where I saw this suggestion, but I think it is good:
Wait to purchase a new, lightweight pack until last, after you have the lightest versions of everything else. The reason is that lighter gear (usually) means less bulk. If you get a pack now that has enough room to fit everything, it will likely need to be bigger, and therefore heavier. OTOH, if everything fits, it may be on the heavy end of comfort for the lighter suspension.
Instead, just work on the other gear (like the bag) and get it as light as possible, and then get a pack that is appropriate to your new system.
Just an idea. Like I said, take it for what it's worth.
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