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Re: Backpacks

At 09:57 AM 2/22/96 -0600, KROBBINS@CENTER.COLGATE.EDU wrote:
>A quickie question regarding ideal packs to carry on the
>trail. I currently have a North Face Snow Leopard II, which
>I'm moderately happy with, but not 100%. In any case, my
>first question is, how do people feel about external versus
>internal frame packs? What are the pros and cons of each?
>And secondly, the SLII is like a big stuff sack, for those
>who aren't familiar with it - no divider, just one big section
>accessible by the top-load stuff and two vertical zips down
>the sides. How big a plus is it to have a bottom and top
>section, separated? And for those who are real gear-heads,
>about what size pack do you think you carry? I think the SLII
>is about 5500-6000, fully expanded. Too big/too small?
>Thanks for any input anyone might have regarding this. I'm
>not hiking until 97, south to north, with my younger brother.
>We're both getting pretty excited, already!
Greetings Ken,
  Well, for what it's worth, here's my $0.02 worth!  Generally, an external
frame pack will allow you to carry slightly heavier loads and has all sorts
of cool attachment points.  It rides further away from the back, so it's
nice when it's really hot out, (or if you tend to sweat a lot:) ).  The
advantages of the internal frames are that their center of gravity is closer
to yours, so it's easier to control on rough terrain.  Also doesn't have as
much projections to get snagged on brush on!

    It ends up being personal preference.  If you can, try and rent an
external frame and take it out for a weekend or so.  Try it and see.

    In regards to seperating top and bottom, my wifes pack (Lowe Alpine
Contour IV) is seperate and she really likes it that way.  My pack
(Mountainsmith Crestone) is like the Snow Leopard and I don't have any
complaints about it.  Again, depends....

    BTW, sizes are so subjective....A good test would be loading it up with
two weeks of supplies and seeing how everything fits.  The max time to
re-supply points would be the 100 mile wilderness which is 7-10 days worth
of hiking, so if you can fit, and carry, 14 days worth of stuff, you should
be set.

Best of luck on your hike!!!