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Author Topic: Backpacks  (Read 8398 times)

KK0G

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Backpacks
« on: September 06, 2013, 01:39:52 PM »
A recent Facebook discussion I had brought up an interesting question; what do you use for a backpack? Now I'm not talking about a little day pack, I'm referring to a fullsize, multi day if not multi week backpack. Several guys stated they love their ALICE packs, owning two of them - both medium and large - and having used them, I said an ALICE pack beat carrying your gear by hand in a suitcase but not by much 8) . They're definitely tough as nails being government issue but in my opinion they're the most unergonomic, uncomfortable, back and shoulder killing contraptions I've ever had the displeasure of packing.


I use an old school external frame pack that is very comfortable for packing many miles over rough terrain. Internal frame soft packs are all the rage these days but the two I tried on short trips were not to my liking, they were too hot having full contact against my back which also necessitated very careful loading to avoid hard pointy things in your back. The soft packs were also difficult to get the center of gravity high enough for my tastes.


So what do you guys use and why?
"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety" - Benjamin Franklin

KK0G

KC9TNH

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Re: Backpacks
« Reply #1 on: September 06, 2013, 02:27:52 PM »
My name is ALICE, but I don't own a restaurant.  I have an old knapsack good for RON trip done in the German style (appropriate forest green).  Not very big, a softpack but good external 'pocketage' and tie-down places for other snivel gear if needed.  My other is a medium ALICE, but not with traditional straps which were designed by someone who didn't have to hump it.  The MOLLE trend brought a more comfortable strap & belt system, with a rather lousy pack (in my opinion).

My pack is a hybrid of the 2 called typically in circles a 'Hellcat'.  A little bit of relocation on the existing frames with some strapping and the MOLLE strap & belt system goes on the pack & frame.  It is very comfortable and tough to defeat; it's what I've been gradually increasing the load on to recover from the sedentary aspects of former life. You can search for the Hellcat ruck and there's a sequence of pictures someone did up to show up close & personal how to get it done.

I'm a typical guy in the sense that I 'could' stuff pockets & space till the cows come home, or I couldn't ruck it. So the medium works for me.  Full-up it can also accept a small tent on top & sleeping bag on the bottom.  Lots of places for attachments of other needs.

When I picked up the frame, a good friend gave sound advice to hold onto the radio-shelf that can be had for them that can clip to the bottom slots on the frame.  That can be awfully handy should one need to dump the load for the sake of retrieving a much-desired can of gas or water.

I look old enough to carry off the ALICE; I just can't bring myself to blend in with over-priced logos & purple.  (Ergo, the grand-daughter's Rustoleum treatment of the little tent-shelter, a la KK0G, thanks amigo.)
 8)

KK0G

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Re: Backpacks
« Reply #2 on: September 06, 2013, 03:24:10 PM »
I checked out the Hellcat ruck system, thanks for the tip Wes. It still doesn't solve the number one problem I have with ALICE packs; the frame is way too short which puts the center of gravity too far down and aft, this gives the weight of the pack a lot of leverage against my shoulders. I like my external frame pack because it's very tall in comparison to an ALICE frame and it has a thin cross section when viewed from the side, this places the center of gravity much higher and closer to my back. I would guess (because I'm not doing a weight and balance calculation on my pack 8) ) that the CG is somewhere close to just behind my neck. The CG on my ALICE seems more like it's about 3 feet behind my ass LOL. A high CG puts most of the weight on my hips where it should be.
"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety" - Benjamin Franklin

KK0G

KC9TNH

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Re: Backpacks
« Reply #3 on: September 06, 2013, 03:56:44 PM »
...(because I'm not doing a weight and balance calculation on my pack 8) )....
...my ass...
This last object must be your datum, right?   ;D

I'm really tall & long-waisted so I guess my reference point isn't where yours is.
I'm sure there are really good com'l packs out there. This works for me, so far, but then I'm not packing it like some folks would. In this particular case, the price was as good as it can be so, yes, that's a factor. I keep it riding pretty high.

 I'll have to ask my chiro where she would consider my 'datum' to be... hmm.

KK0G

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Re: Backpacks
« Reply #4 on: September 06, 2013, 04:07:55 PM »
...(because I'm not doing a weight and balance calculation on my pack 8) )....
...my ass...
This last object must be your datum, right?   ;D

I'm really tall & long-waisted so I guess my reference point isn't where yours is.
I'm sure there are really good com'l packs out there. This works for me, so far, but then I'm not packing it like some folks would. In this particular case, the price was as good as it can be so, yes, that's a factor. I keep it riding pretty high.

 I'll have to ask my chiro where she would consider my 'datum' to be... hmm.


The datum is usually about firewall area so that would put it right about at my................ I ain't goin' there 8) .


Humping a heavy pack is a highly personal thing depending on your body type, build and what you feel is comfortable or not. In my case I thought an ALICE pack was just the neatest thing since sliced bread, that is until I filled one up, slung it on my back and started walking.
"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety" - Benjamin Franklin

KK0G

cockpitbob

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Re: Backpacks
« Reply #5 on: September 06, 2013, 04:34:43 PM »
I'll be watching this thread as I need a new pack.  I've always been an external frame guy and I agree with Chris' thoughts on these newfangled internal frame packs.  They also seem heavier for the same load carrying capability.

Still, the vast majority of backpackers can't be wrong about internal frame packs.....or can they?

KK0G

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Re: Backpacks
« Reply #6 on: September 06, 2013, 04:46:28 PM »

I'll be watching this thread as I need a new pack.  I've always been an external frame guy and I agree with Chris' thoughts on these newfangled internal frame packs.  They also seem heavier for the same load carrying capability.

Still, the vast majority of backpackers can't be wrong about internal frame packs.....or can they?


I think on average that the newer soft packs are actually lighter than a comparably sized old school external frame pack. In my opinion though a few ounces lighter is far less important than how the overall weight is distributed and it's comfort in general. For me it's all about center of gravity, I'd much rather carry 60 pounds with a high CG close to my back with the majority of the weight on my hips than 30 pounds with a CG low and aft and more weight on my shoulders.
"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety" - Benjamin Franklin

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Archangel320420

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Re: Backpacks
« Reply #7 on: September 06, 2013, 04:48:46 PM »
I have a medium ALICE with frame. I also have two German rucks also military surplus they are made very well but simple in design only two pockets inside. I guess I like the ALICE better than anything. I have ALICE load bearing web also. I have heard some of our active combat troops have ditched their new gear and aquired ALICE either on their own or by request. If they are permitted they get the ALICE.

Archangel320420

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Re: Backpacks
« Reply #8 on: September 06, 2013, 04:59:02 PM »
One other thing real quick. The troops say the plastic frame on the molle gear breaks all the time. I have not experience with molle though.

underhill

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Re: Backpacks
« Reply #9 on: September 06, 2013, 06:36:39 PM »
I picked up a couple of Gregory Whitney backpacks for my wife and I a few years back. 

Packs have proved very durable since I've had them, no seam or framesheet problems, packbag has been tough, and they fit like gloves.  Huge capacity at 6200cu in, and seem as comfortable as my ancient tyoga frame pack for carrying.  For off terrain, the internal frame design blows away external frame packs.  Lots of pockets for pretty good access.

Being internal frame, they fit close, and 'follow you' when moving across rocks, off trail, etc.  A muffled green in color, and designed for the civilian market, they don't stand out in a crowd, nor in the woods.  I prefer a 'greyman' approach.

Just my 2 cents worth

Allan
« Last Edit: September 06, 2013, 06:38:32 PM by underhill »

Archangel320420

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Re: Backpacks
« Reply #10 on: September 06, 2013, 08:07:02 PM »
Grey is good, Underhill.  :)

Quietguy

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Re: Backpacks
« Reply #11 on: September 06, 2013, 08:11:10 PM »
For off terrain, the internal frame design blows away external frame packs.
A long time ago I heard/read that the two pack styles serve different needs - as Allan said, the internal frame pack is best for off-trail use where you are navigating rough terrain.  It sways less and is less prone to being snagged by brush and limbs because it is closer to your body and has a smoother exterior.  External frame packs do best on maintained trails where the gap between back and pack provides ventilation and the extra sway isn't a problem.  I have both types and my experience seemed to confirm that theory - at least for my use.

Wally

gil

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Re: Backpacks
« Reply #12 on: September 06, 2013, 10:28:58 PM »
I remember researching the subjects a while ago and end-up putting the Gregory Baltoro 75 Technical Pack on my Amazon wish list.

Gil.

KK0G

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Re: Backpacks
« Reply #13 on: September 06, 2013, 11:07:01 PM »
For off terrain, the internal frame design blows away external frame packs.
A long time ago I heard/read that the two pack styles serve different needs - as Allan said, the internal frame pack is best for off-trail use where you are navigating rough terrain.  It sways less and is less prone to being snagged by brush and limbs because it is closer to your body and has a smoother exterior.  External frame packs do best on maintained trails where the gap between back and pack provides ventilation and the extra sway isn't a problem.  I have both types and my experience seemed to confirm that theory - at least for my use.

Wally



I've read almost the the same thing from multiple sources and for those reasons I want to like the internal frame packs, I really do, but so far one as comfortable as my external frame pack has eluded me.
"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety" - Benjamin Franklin

KK0G

RichardSinFWTX

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Re: Backpacks
« Reply #14 on: September 06, 2013, 11:09:12 PM »
Here's the pack I use for my Yeasu FT-8900.



The three smaller pouches on the front were all added to the pack separately.  Everything was purchased off eBay.

I'm gonna shoot a YouTube video tomorrow!