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jcolten
2008-09-17, 12:57
I've read our host's glowing review of Moonbow's GearSkin pack ... looks very interesting and really appeals to the camping geek side of me but in the intervening six years the price has moved up well above my "what the heck, I'll try it" threshold.

So I'm wondering ... Rock, is this still your go-to pack? Anyone other owners able to weigh in on this?

mhoram
2008-09-17, 15:04
I was moved a couple of years ago by Rock's review also. With a little more searching around the Net I found a few others that liked it a lot, so I decided to take the plunge.
Mine is the standard model, with no extras, as John can put them on later if I want. I sent off my measurements and drawings of my torso as outlined on the web site.
Result: My Gearskin will have to be pried from my cold, dead fingers. I had the opportunity, after two full hip replacements in 2005, to try the very best lightweight packs of the time, in the field. I returned them when I got my Gearskin. Bottom line: when packed and adjusted properly, which is crucial with this pack, nothing can touch it. My main problems with the other packs was: space ran out very quickly for bulky, light items (winter trips); and the suspensions were overwhelmed over about 30 lbs. The Gearskin seems at first inspection to not be able to carry much weight, but I can tell you from experience, and so can Rock, that the oposite is true. I have packed up to 45 lbs comfortably. I did spend some time and a couple of trips experimenting with packing and adjusting it, and now it is outstanding. Because of the flexibility in volume and light weight, I see no need for myself to own any other pack. This one does it all for me.

I have had excellent communication and customer service from John, from responding to questions to fixing the pack. There is my only less-than-stellar experience. After 2-3 trips, the stitching started to unravel at the shoulder strap/top strap connection. John fixed it well and quickly. 2-3 more trips and the stitching started to unravel at the hip belt/pack connection. Another quick fix. I have not heard of this any where else with the Gearskin. The stitching unraveling was not due to abrasion, there was none in both cases, and both spots are away from rubbing and picking. I will carry a Speedy Stitcher with me for a few trips until the stitching is proven, but this will nnot make me give up my Gearskin. John has taken care of me, and will continue to.

If you are thinking of getting one, DO IT NOW! You will not regret it, and it may become, as it has for me, your do-all pack.

Lorethian
2008-09-17, 20:09
I must also sound in here. I love my Gearskin. I will say that you have to get use to the process of loading this pack but once you do, you will love it. Don't wait, just make the call.

dixicritter
2008-09-18, 12:08
Both Rock and our oldest boy use Gearskins and they absolutely love them. Our boy won't use any other pack that we own... and we own a few let me tell ya.

jcolten
2008-09-18, 13:49
Thanks for all that provided feedback, have y'all weighed your's? (I think I'm becoming a gram weenie) What optional features do you find most useful?

Regarding Dixicritter's "and we own a few let me tell ya." ... that's part of my problem, my "mind's eye" can see the basement wall full of shelves that are full of gear and "mind's ear" can already hear the "And just what is THIS pack for":stupid: that my real ears will hear. I'd best start making extra special plans for our upcoming anniversary:flowers: (and sell a pack or two)

kayak karl
2008-09-19, 20:10
Both Rock and our oldest boy use Gearskins and they absolutely love them. Our boy won't use any other pack that we own... and we own a few let me tell ya.
how is water carried with a gearskin. no side pockets or bladder area. what works the best for this pack.

mhoram
2008-09-20, 02:38
how is water carried with a gearskin. no side pockets or bladder area. what works the best for this pack.

I use a Camelback 100 oz bladder. It is placed in the Gearskin for the best balance and carry. In the morning I will attach some photos of my setup, in several stages of packing. It works well, and I have access to my water through the tube as I am walking.

dixicritter
2008-09-20, 10:13
how is water carried with a gearskin. no side pockets or bladder area. what works the best for this pack.

Rock uses a water bladder and generally will fill it then place it between his sleeping pad and the gearskin (see pic below)

http://hikinghq.net/images/020703/37.jpg

With the compression straps this holds the bladder in place. There's no need for a bunch of extra "pockets" on this thing. He also hangs a water bottle off his pack for easy access while he's hiking.

Here's a link to the Gearskin Review Rock did years ago it has lots of pics... http://hikinghq.net/gear/moonbow_gearskin.html

kayak karl
2008-09-20, 22:04
Rock uses a water bladder and generally will fill it then place it between his sleeping pad and the gearskin (see pic below)
With the compression straps this holds the bladder in place. There's no need for a bunch of extra "pockets" on this thing. He also hangs a water bottle off his pack for easy access while he's hiking.

Here's a link to the Gearskin Review Rock did years ago it has lots of pics... http://hikinghq.net/gear/moonbow_gearskin.html
Thanks, im sold. going to order this week. since i dont use a ground cloth (hammock) hammock in snake skins, tarp is packed on outside of pack, no pads; i think i will need a pack liner. Right?:biggrin:

and thanks jcolten for starting this thread.

mhoram
2008-09-21, 14:00
I do not use a pack liner. Everything is organized and packed in individual super-lightweight stuff sacks. As you can see on the Moobow web site and Rock's review, the stuff sacks are accessible from the sides of the Gearskin, anywhere they are. Much better than any closed pack. I find this to be very convenient, and eliminates the inevitable digging in a regular pack when my planning did not take into account all possibilities, and what I want is always not near the top. All the stuff sacks are waterproof, so I do not have a pack liner.

mhoram
2008-09-21, 14:37
Here are a few pictures of packing my Gearskin.

FireFighter56
2008-10-14, 22:17
i would love to get one but my wife would kill me if i paid 180$ for a pack...i should have got one last year when they were only 120$ :(

mhoram
2008-10-15, 14:06
Most of the regular lightweight packs I tried cost more than that, the ones that are worth considering.

jimtanker
2008-10-16, 13:25
Make your own gearskin. With the help of blackbishop I took the back panel off with shoulder and waist strap and just sewed two horizontal straps(top and bottom) and a vertical strap.

Less than a pound and works great.

I have my bivy sack w/ thermarest and sleeping bag already in it folded in half and then use that U shape to put everything else in. I originally made it for use with a new hammock that I made but quit on that.

Check out the older home made section or do a search for my name. cost about $20 and works great.

mhoram
2008-10-16, 21:57
Now that is cool. If I had the time I might have tried that.