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View Full Version : Deciding on M or L pack...I'm in between



Bster13
2007-04-09, 23:23
Hello,

I'm looking to purchase an ultralight pack that gives the following sizing:

Mens Med fits 17.5" to 19.5" torso lengths (3100cc, 51L)
Mens Large fits 19.5" to 21.5" torso lengths (3300cc, 54L)

I stand 5 feet, 9.75 inches, 178lbs, athletic build, 28yrs. old.

I live alone and self-measured my torso as: 19-19.5 inches.

I'd like to go with the size large for the added capacity as well as it is $10 cheaper at the moment. What would you choose? thx.

SGT Rock
2007-04-09, 23:29
Do you have a link to the ones you are considering?

Take-a-knee
2007-04-09, 23:31
You need to get someone else to measure you. You measure from the 7th cervical vertebrae to a horizontal line level with your illiac crests. If this makes no sense to you I believe it is illustrated on Granite Gears website. Also, if you are looking for a Granite Gear pack, you are a smart man.

If you are dead in the middle size wise, I'd go with the smaller pack.

Bster13
2007-04-09, 23:32
http://www.golite.com/product/productdetail.aspx?p=PA5251&s=1

From my reading, while not the lightest, it is relatively light and should serve me well for long wknds....it also has some creature comforts lighter ultralight packs have that I think would be good for me, as I am new for hiking and perhaps not yet ready for the ultralight scene (though I'm trying to learn quickly :p) thx.

Bster13
2007-04-09, 23:33
I watched a video explaining the measurement process. I don't have the ability to have someone else measure me right now, but I believe I am relatively accurate.

What happens when you end up with a pack that is slightly too big? When it's loaded, the top of the pack hits your head? The bottom of the back rides on your behind?

SGT Rock
2007-04-09, 23:38
Well with a pack like this you have a little extra room between the attachment point of the straps to the pack and the hip belt than you need. If this is a problem you can tighten the shoulder straps and USUALLY solve it - it just might not be the optimal solution for that pack as the designer made.

Personally I think you are safe to go with the larger pack.

Bster13
2007-04-09, 23:46
I'm a motorcycle/car camper trying to get into Camping and Hiking a bit more. In trying to see if my gear will fit in this pack for a long wknd, could you more experienced hikers comment?

I ordered a Ray-Way tarp-tent, net-tent, quilt kit and Insul Mat Max Lite sleeping pad:
http://tinyurl.com/3c8d4c

I plan on eating cold meals or thermojet alcohol stove...I figure I need a bear canister as well? Any ideas as to whether this pack would serve me with a little leftover space "new guy, insecurities?" :p thx.

SGT Rock
2007-04-10, 00:01
Well it depends on what you end up carrying. It could be very easy to exceed this pack if you try to go with too much stuff. I think it would be a good idea to come up with a list of what you plan to put into it and see what people here may be able to reccomend. But some things to look out for:

1. Trying to have the same stuff for hiking you do for living. Examples:
- Carrying a couple of books. You only need one, if any at all - hiking will keep you entertained most of the time. But I often see people with 2 or 3 books figuring they will get to them.
- Clothing. Here is a place I see a lot of people over do it, and this can take up lots of room if you go too much. I see people with extra pants and shirts and then camp clothing and camp shoes and other extras. General rule is if you can't wear it all at the same time, then you are carrying too much (this is not a hard rule).
- Kitchen. Again, another place that can be over done. The truth is you only need a spoon and a pot. But often people go with the insulated cup, plates, bowls, forks, kitchen knife, coffee presses, coffee grinders, extra stove, too much fuel, etc. Again, you have to be comfortable - so play with it. I would also not go with a bear cansiter like you are considering - just get a bag and some string and learn to bear bag.

2. Watch what you get. Often people getting into hiking look for gear with all the bells and whistles like ice axe tie downs on packs or other surpurfluous add ons. These add bulk and weight. Some things like fleece are loved by many, but are not the warmest, cheapest, or most packable items.

3. Food. People have a tendancy to over pack food. I have been packing for years and still tend to do this - it isn't uncommon for me to pack way too much food which ends up taking up space and adding weight (which is worthless if you think about it)

4. If you are going with something like the Golite pack, then a lot of "normal" gear is going to be more bulky and heavier than you want. You gotta keep your weight in a good range or that pack will kill your back. If they reccomend you keep your pack weight below 20 pounds - then you may want to make sure you can handel getting that low safely and effectivly. Getting a pack that cannot hack the weight you are going to carry will cause the pack to fail, and you will not be comfortable while carrying it. Also, trying to go too light without getting some skills in hiking can cause you to be miserable in cold weather and wet conditions. Shake down hikes before you get out on a big one is a good idea.

Hope that helps. If you want some example gear lists we can throw some out there for you.

Bster13
2007-04-10, 00:16
Sample gear lists would be great. I was reading this recently:

http://www.adventurealan.com/sierra2001/Trip%20Weight%20Reduction%20Table.htm

I'm definitely lost in the area of clothing....not sure for a 2-night, 3-day trek in the Northeast during the spring/summer/fall what I would exactly need. I understand cotton is a no-no, and synthetics are the way to go (What about merino wool for things other than socks?), 2 pairs of hiking socks...swapping them out every hour or so to dry on the back of your pack....I am thinking of going with a poncho to double as a rain jacket and pack cover....ugh, so much good advice out there and ways to skin a cat....Man I thought choosing a motorcycle was tough! :p

SGT Rock
2007-04-10, 00:21
Well I don't know how detailed you want it. That could get pretty deep - but let me throw out a quick list - nothing too specific (this is from an article I wrote from another site):


1. Pack Group:
1 Backpack – XX brand………………......36 ounces
1 Pack liner – Trash compactor bag……2 ounces
1 Sil-Nylon stuff sack………………….......1.3 ounces
Total…………………………………..............39.3 ounces

2. Shelter Group:
1 Tarp/Tent XX brand.……………....….30 ounces
6 aluminum stakes………………….......….3 ounces
Total………………………………...........…..33.0 ounces

3. Sleeping Group:
1 Down bag, 20F rating XX Brand....32 ounces
1 stuff sack sil-nylon………………......…1.3 ounces
1 closed cell foam pad…………….....…10 ounces
Total…………………………………............43.3 ounces

4. Kitchen Group:
1 Fuel bottle………………………….............…1 ounce
1 alcohol stove………………………............…1 ounce
1 titanium pot………………………............….4.1 ounces
1 lighter………………………………................0.6 ounces
1 water bottle – used Gatorade bottle…1.7 ounces
1 platypus bladder – 3L……………….........1.5 ounces
1 bottle iodine/1 Vitamin C………….......….2 ounces
1 sil-nylon stuff sack – food bag……....…1.3 ounces
1 plastic spoon………………………...........….0.3 ounces
1 bandanna……………………………..............1 ounce
1 length cord – 50’……………………...........2.5 ounces
Total………………………………...............…..17.0 ounces

5. Hygiene Group:
1 small pack towel………………….........…..1 ounce
1 bottle hand cleaner – 1 ounce………...1.3 ounces
1 small zip lock……………………….............0.3 ounces
1 partial roll toilet paper………………........2 ounces
1 small child toothbrush……………......…..0.5 ounces
1 small tube tooth paste……………....…...0.7 ounces
Total…………………………………...............…5.8 ounces

6. Navigation Group:
1 map (average weight)………….......……..2.9 ounces
1 compass……………………………….............0.5 ounces
1 trail guide (pages of the section)...…..3 ounces
1 small light..…………………….…...............1.8 ounces
1 small bundle of paper…….........…..…….3 ounces
1 pen…………………………….................…..0.5 ounce
Total…………………………………................12.7 ounces

7. Repair/First Aid Group:
1 Repair kit……………………….............……2 ounces
1 small roll of duct tape……….......………3 ounces
1 First Aid kit………………………............…2 ounces
1 set spare lithium batteries……....…….0.5 ounces
1 emergency fire starter pack……….....0.5 ounces
Total…………………………………................8 ounces

8. Luxury items:
1 MP3 player with FM radio……...…….1.7 ounces
1 camera……………………………..........…5.4 ounces
1 extra data card…………….....…………0.1 ounces
Total………………………………….............7.2 ounces

9. Rain Gear:
1 rain jacket………………………........….11.5 ounce
1 pair rain pants…………………….......….6 ounces
1 pair rain mittens……………….....……..1.2 ounces
Total…………………………………............18.7 ounces

10. Clothing – In Pack, Warm Weather:
1 spare pair socks………………………......1 ounce
1 spare shirt………………………….......…..5 ounces
1 spare pair underwear……………...…….1.6 ounces
Total………………………………............……7.6 ounces


11. Clothing – In Pack, Cool Weather:
1 long sleeve top…………………....……..9.5 ounces
1 pair long pants……………………….......8.3 ounces
1 fleece hat…………………………….........2.4 ounces
1 pair fleece gloves………………....……..1 ounce
1 pair warm socks……………………......…2.6 ounces
Total………………………………..........…….23.8 ounces

12. Clothing – In Pack, Colder Weather:
1 insulated jacket……………………….....9.7 ounces
1 pair insulated pants………………..…..8.5 ounces
1 pair heavy wool socks…………….…..3.3 ounces
1 pair mittens…………………………........1.9 ounces
1 neck gaiter………………………….........2.1 ounces
1 pair GoreTex socks……………...……..3.5 ounces
Total………………………………….........…29.0 ounces

13. Clothing Worn, and Items Carried:
1 pair trail runners…………………….........….32.4 ounces
1 pair socks……………………………….............1 ounce
1 t-shirt……………………………….....…........…5 ounces
1 pair underwear…………………...........…….1.6 ounces
1 pair light running shorts…………............3.7 ounces
1 ball cap………………………………….............2.5 ounces
1 backpacker wallet with ID and cash……2.7 ounces
1 small pocket knife………………………........1.7 ounces
1 watch………………………………...............…1.3 ounces
1 pair trekking poles with rubber tips.……18 ounces
Total…………………………………….............….69.9 ounces (4.4 pounds)

14. Consumables:
2 ounce fuel per day x 5 days @ .82 ounces per fluid ounce…..8.2 ounces
32 ounces water @ 1.04 ounces per fluid ounce…………….....…33.3 ounces
32 ounces food per day x 5 days…………………………..........……160 ounces
Total………......................…………………………………………………. ..201.5 ounces

1. Pack Group………………………...........………..39.3 ounces
2. Shelter Group……………………..........………..33.0 ounces
3. Sleeping Group…………………...................43.3 ounces
4. Kitchen Group……………………............…….17.0 ounces
5. Hygiene Group……………………..................5.8 ounces
6. Navigation Group……………….........………..12.7 ounces
7. First Aid Repair Group………….......………...8.0 ounces
8. Luxury Items………………………….…...........7.2 ounces
9. Rain Gear…………………………..................18.7 ounces
10. Clothing in Pack – Warm Weather……..7.6 ounces
Total Dry pack Weight (Warm Weather)...192.6 ounces (12 pounds) + 201.5 ounces (consumables) = 24.6 pounds.
11. Clothing in Pack – Cool Weather………23.8 ounces
Total Dry pack Weight (Cool Weather)...216.4 ounces (13.5 pounds) + 201.5 ounces (consumables) = 26.1 pounds.
12. Clothing in Pack – Colder Weather…..…29. 0 ounces
Total Dry pack Weight (Colder Weather)...245.4 ounces (15.3 pounds) + 201.5 ounces (consumables) = 27.9 pounds.

Bster13
2007-04-10, 00:26
OMG that's wonderful. There I go bookmarking again. :p

http://www.geocities.com/bster13/bookmark.htm

I'll digest now...but you're absolutely right...I need to see where my comfort level lies in terms of amt. of clothes to carry, food, and pack suspension. I'll start with small hikes and go from there, but I'm trying desperately NOT to end up with 7 packs, 4 tents, 2 bivys, 3 stoves, 3 sleeping pads etc. etc. in my garage and get things mostly right the first time. :p thx. for the advice, I appreciate it!

jimtanker
2007-04-10, 11:44
Bster13 - I went from 60 pounds to about 20-25 pounds when I started the lightweight camping thing. One thing that I learned is that the bigger pack you have, the more room you have to put stuff in it. Limit the volume and you will be forced to lighten up. It works great. Smaller pack is lighter too and lighter is much more comfortable.

Bster13
2007-04-12, 22:32
I've decided on going with a Mariposa:

http://www.gossamergear.com/cgi-bin/gossamergear/Mariposa-Standard.html

Grant, the president spent a good 1/2 hour helping me out in my decision as well as other gear and even recommended other manufacturers, great guy and I bet they give great support.

SGT Rock
2007-04-12, 22:47
A couple of thoughts on that pack:

Will your planned pad work with that since it is designed for a Zrest type pad for part of the "frame"

What is the maximum recomended weight for that pack to carry - I asked because I tried a GG Pack and wouldn't carry more than about 15 pounds in it - granted it was a frameless one and lacked a hip belt (I hated that part too).

I also found with that style top closure system that the pack tended to unroll open at the top if it wasn't packed pretty full, so when I bent over stuff fell out of the top. It wasn't a show stopper, but it is something to be aware of.

Bster13
2007-04-12, 22:51
Obviously u guys have more experience than I do as a newb, but they say max weight is 30#. Am I going to try and come in under that? U betcha. :p

Will my pad fit in the back? Not sure yet, but if it doesn't I may return the pad or keep the pad, pack it inside rolled as small as possible and then order the GG sitpad for the structure in the pack and put it outer holster. We'll see...learning experience I suppose.

JAK
2007-04-15, 09:34
The first pack I bought weighs about 8 pounds, which is just about ideal as long as I don't carry anything in it. :)
Sounds like your definitely on the right track.

I don't have the perfect pack yet, but I would like a simple lightweight pack that still has moderate volume so I don't have to compact everything. I think it can be just as light or lighter even if bigger if you don't have to put strain on it. As for a pad, I just carry those cheap blue or grey foam pads. They are warmest for their weight, and comfortable enough in winter when you need 1-1/2 anyway and are often on snow and I don't mind lots of bulk. For summer, when you really only need 2/3 of one, and even that seems bulky, I am thinking of going the hammock route. I still think one pack might do all though, or virtually all, as long as it is light weight and high volume. The real goal is that it still be useful at least some of the time after you know what you want, and build your own pack for the rest. In that sense perhaps your first pack doesn't need to be super high volume, but it should definitely be light, and not too small. Alot of commercial ultralight packs are too small so people don't bust them. I say make 'em bigger and don't fill them with rocks.

As a general rule you should buy the pack last, once you know what is going in it. Rock's list is awesome. I carry a lot less stuff, but mostly because I'm disorganized, hike alone, and don't get out enough. For myself most of the volume is sleeping bag, food, sleeping pads. I always wear a wool sweater and the other layers take up very little space. I use a poncho/tarp and bivy for shelter. The bivy takes up some room also. A Kelly Kettle is bulky also when I bring that, and it usually goes on the back. There's always something though, so you should leave that place open. A front pack can be a good solution for adding some extra volume when you need it and balancing a moderate load so you can walk upright with looser straps. You could make one out of a large fanny pack, or build one.

Sgt Rock, what volume of a pack would you say for all that stuff on your list, without jamming it?

Quoddy
2007-09-10, 13:13
I watched a video explaining the measurement process. I don't have the ability to have someone else measure me right now, but I believe I am relatively accurate.

What happens when you end up with a pack that is slightly too big? When it's loaded, the top of the pack hits your head? The bottom of the back rides on your behind?

The easiest way to get an accurate measurement, without help, is to tape the end (tip) of a steel tape to the floor. With your shoes off, (1) measure to the 7th cervical. Then (2) measure to the very top of the Iliac Crest. Subtract (2) from (1).

Take-a-knee
2007-09-10, 15:19
Why didn't I think of that, probably 'cause I'm not as smart as Quoddy!

jdavidboyd
2007-09-10, 17:51
1 pair rain mittens……………….....……..1.2 ounces


I've never heard of rain mittens. I take it they are exactly what they sound like?

Dave

MrSparex
2007-09-10, 19:26
A pack that's too long will "run down on your butt".

Quoddy
2007-09-10, 21:17
I've never heard of rain mittens. I take it they are exactly what they sound like?

Dave

Here's (http://www.mountainlaureldesigns.com/shop/product_info.php?products_id=51&osCsid=2b8e1ea8ac5214261babc6b77253c2e9) a link to an excellent .9 oz pair. Great when there's a cold rain.

Take-a-knee
2007-09-11, 00:10
JDB, walking on a 38 F day in the rain will have your hands in a painful condition.All that cold water running off of your raingear. The pack itself doesn't help your circulation, though a sternum strap helps some, not carrying too much helps even more.

jdavidboyd
2007-09-11, 09:53
Here's (http://www.mountainlaureldesigns.com/shop/product_info.php?products_id=51&osCsid=2b8e1ea8ac5214261babc6b77253c2e9) a link to an excellent .9 oz pair. Great when there's a cold rain.

$45???

I guess my hands will just get cold.