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[at-l] New toy (Osprey Flyte Pack)



Well, my new toy arrived today, and I just got in from a quick walk around
the block with it.  The toy is an Osprey Flyte pack, large size.  Its specs
are:

	Volume: 4500 cubic inches
	Weight: 4lbs 8oz (but see below)
	Suspension: HDPE panel, one aluminum stay, and a "delrin rod"
		looped around the outside of the pack.
	Access: top loader, NO sleeping bag compartment

The Flyte is Osprey's take at a very light weight pack.  They use their
lighter weight suspension and eliminate a bunch of zippers to save ounces.
The hip belt is fairly thin, and is lightly cupped.  The pack is not
intended to carry monster loads.

The pack uses Osprey's "Vector" accessory system.  These are a series of
snap on accessories that act as compression panels, rear pockets,
detachable day packs, etc.  The pack comes with the "Vector One" - a
compression panel/shovel pocket with some bungee cord webbing.  The pack
has lots of straps, and a pair of removable ice axe loops.  The pack works
just fine without a "Vector", and by leaving it off, and removing the ice
axe loops, the weight drops under four pounds (even without trimming excess
straps).  The Vector One is very convenient for stashing stuff on the
outside of the pack and, since it has a foam panel in it, I could use it
under my feet at night.  I haven't decided whether or not it's worth the
7oz though.

Anyway, I loaded it up with a 20 year old synthetic sleeping bag (4lbs), a
fleece jacket, 10 lbs of kitty litter, and some water and headed out.  With
20 lbs the pack was, as one would expect, very comfortable.  About a mile
or so down the road, I stopped in at our local 24 hour supermarket, where I
added:

	2 half gallon cartons of milk
	a block of cheddar
	two packages of cookies
	a 5 lb bag of sugar
	a 5 lb bag of potatoes
	a box of crackers
	a package of trash compactor bags
	6 kiwi fruit

I then walked another 5 miles back to my house.  The pack was very
comfortable, and did a good job of transferring the weight to my hips.  I
weighed the pack when I got home, and found that I had overshot my goal of
40lbs... it weighed over 47 pounds.  Since my goal it to get my thru-hiking
(not this year, alas) weight down to 40 lbs (including 18 lbs of food and
water... about 7 days worth), I figure I'm in good shape.

Now, I was only out for a couple of hours, and Rochester NY is not known
for its massive elevation changes, so this is hardly a definitive test.
Nevertheless, for modest weights it seems about as comfortable as my
Terraplane.  Of course, YMMV.

Happy hiking!

-- Jim Mayer
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