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Re: dana designs

>Jim:  Once I weighed my pack vs. a pack with a smaller capacity.  There was
>such a little difference in the weight.  The salesman said that the weight
>was in the suspension system.  Therefore I guess I would compare empty pack
>size, but I'd certainly not downsize to save a *lot* of weight.
>IL Fltlndr

Hi -

Let's start with an apology - I went back and read what I wrote again.
I know what I was trying to say, but I can see where it might cause
some confusion.  I mixed several points and didn't explain them properly.
So let's try again - maybe I can confuse you even more.

I said -
>It doesn't help to get a
> 6000 ci pack if you only need 5000 ci.  The bigger the pack, the more
>it weighs (empty).

That's true for any particular series of packs.  For example, the Gregory
Shasta comes in 3 sizes (5000, 5350 and 5700 ci).  The weights are,
respectively - 5# 1 oz, 5# 5 oz and 5# 7 oz.  Not a *lot* of weight - but
if you're a thruhiker, you should be trying to cut ounces as well as pounds.
And 6 ounces is almost half a pound.

If you're looking at a different manufacturer or a different series
of packs from the same manufacturer that may not be true.  For
comparison, there's the Lowe Kanga Himal (presently on sale at
Sierra Trading Post) which lists at 5400 ci and 7# 1 oz.   Nearly 2#
more than the comparably sized 5350 ci  Gregory Shasta.  And 2# 5 oz
more than the comparable Lowe Outback 70+15 (5300 ci, 4#, 12 oz)
Provided they were all comfortable, which one do you think I'd carry?

I wouldn't want to exclude external frame packs here - there's been
some discussion about the Kelty Super Tioga.  It weighs in at 4745 ci
and 6# 7 oz and a lot of people are happy with it.  But if you need that
much pack there's the Camp Trails Wilderness (Lg) at 4780 ci and
6# 2 oz.  That's 5 oz and $20.00 lighter, and it'll do the same job.

I know - I've heard all that stuff about Camp Trails.  But a friend of
mine has used the same Camp Trails Adjustable II (3# 14 oz )  for at least
3 thruhikes.  And I have a Camp Trails pack with over 3000 miles on it.

No matter what kind of pack you get - internal, external, big, small,
expensive or otherwise - there are only 3 considerations besides
empty pack weight.  One - is it comfortable?  Two - will it hold your
gear?  and Three - will it last 2000 miles?

The first question - is it comfortable?  This is an individual choice - no
one can tell you what's comfortable for you.   Only YOU can determine that.
That's why there are so many different brands out there.   Just don't let
a salesperson "convince" you that it'll get better when you're on the Trail.
It doesn't get any better than when you're in the store.

The second question - will it hold all your gear?  Or - What size  pack
is large enough?   Or - What size pack is small enough?   Which question
you use depends on your viewpoint.  If we're talking an internal frame pack
here,  a lot of people think you need something humongous cause you have
to put everything inside.  Not so.  Ginny is using a Lowe Outback 65
(4000 ci, 4#) and I'm using a Camp Trails Catskill med (5300 ci, 4# 5 oz).
And we're winter camping with zero degree bags, snowshoes and lots of

Personal opinion is that 90% of starting thruhikers are packing at
least 10# too much gear when they leave Springer.   And if they've got
that much gear - guess what they're carrying it in - a pack that's bigger
than they need.

Third question - Will it last 2000 miles?  Remember, I'm talking about
a thruhike - whatever pack you get is likely to get dirty, smelly, ripped,
broken - trashed.   If you want to keep a pack for a lifetime - don't take
it on a long trail.   But the answer to the queston is - who knows?  There
are people who've made it to Katahdin with K-Mart packs.  And there are
people who have problems with their Gregory and North Face packs.
I think it depends a lot on how you treat your pack.  Personal opinion is
that with reasonable care any brand name pack will make it.

Anyway, that's my 2 bits on packs.   Just remember - whatever you
buy - you get to carry.   How much do you want to carry?

And I didn't even give you the lecture on pack weight.  Amazing!!

Walk lightly,