Looking for a new pack

Colin Parker

Member
Joined
Apr 8, 2013
Messages
29
I'm looking for a new pack in the sub $250 range. I'm probably just about the only one on here who still uses an external fram pack, but I tend to carry a few "extras" when I head out. I usually start with the absolute necessities like my float tube, fins, waders, two fly rods and my complete fishing bag. After that I add the trivial things that don't really matter. You know, like my tent, sleeping bag and food. So, as you can see, with me being silly and wanting to eat and stay warm and dry at night in addition to the ultimate goal of catching fish, I need a rather large pack. I tend to do a lot of cross country trips, and I'm getting a little too old to be doing it with a loaded down external frame pack, so I'm thinking an internal frame pack is the way to go. I'm trying to keep the cost relatively low, but still get a quality pack. ANy suggestions?
 

TannerT

Hike Hard, Tread Lightly
Joined
May 15, 2013
Messages
589
Very funny! External frames are great for many reasons, specifically, all the "essential" gear you carry. I have a plethora of Osprey packs. Aether 85, Aether 65, Talon 44, Raptor 6, and many everyday use bags. The 85 would probably be large enough for all of your accessories. Price is a concern simply for the fact that it sounds like you need a larger pack, and with all the gear you should probably get a relatively light weight pack as well. Kelty makes a good product, REI makes a good product. Go to a store and try some on to make sure you get the right fit. Recreation Outlet in SLC has a great variety of packs to choose from that are pretty well priced.

When it comes down to it you can make almost any pack work well, it's all in how you pack it. And it sounds like you could benefit from some trekking poles as well ;).

Make sure it's big enough to fit all the "gear," the hip and shoulder harness fit your body well, and the color looks good, because we all gotta look good...right?

Good luck, amigo.

Salud!
 

Colin Parker

Member
Joined
Apr 8, 2013
Messages
29
Very funny! External frames are great for many reasons, specifically, all the "essential" gear you carry. I have a plethora of Osprey packs. Aether 85, Aether 65, Talon 44, Raptor 6, and many everyday use bags. The 85 would probably be large enough for all of your accessories. Price is a concern simply for the fact that it sounds like you need a larger pack, and with all the gear you should probably get a relatively light weight pack as well. Kelty makes a good product, REI makes a good product. Go to a store and try some on to make sure you get the right fit. Recreation Outlet in SLC has a great variety of packs to choose from that are pretty well priced.

When it comes down to it you can make almost any pack work well, it's all in how you pack it. And it sounds like you could benefit from some trekking poles as well ;).

Make sure it's big enough to fit all the "gear," the hip and shoulder harness fit your body well, and the color looks good, because we all gotta look good...right?

Good luck, amigo.

Salud!

Thanks for the advice. I really like the Aether 85, but it's a little out of my price range, but I know I'll get what I pay for so... I have a set of trekking poles--definitely a lifesaver. I hear you on the color because when it comes to looking good, I need all the help I can get! ;)
 

Nick

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.
Joined
Aug 9, 2007
Messages
12,934
Whoaaaa!!! How much does that thing weigh??!? I'm no help with this class of pack, but I'm super curious what kind of weight you're muling around.
 
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baltocharlie

Member
Joined
Dec 21, 2012
Messages
324
Might be best to haul your gear to a local REI and find out what size pack you will need. A bit of a pain but at least you will find the correct size for your stuff. The Aether is huge.
FWIW: campsaver is having a 20% off everything sale with free shipping over $50 this wknd. An Aether w/ the discount should come in under 250...I think.
here's the code for regular priced items.
CSPINE-20
 

Colin Parker

Member
Joined
Apr 8, 2013
Messages
29
Whoaaaa!!! How much does that thing weigh??!? I'm no help with this class of pack, but I'm super curious what kind of weight you're muling around.
Believe it or not, other than my fishing gear, I go fairly light so I'm able to keep my pack down to around 50-55 lbs. It just really bulky.
 

Colin Parker

Member
Joined
Apr 8, 2013
Messages
29
Might be best to haul your gear to a local REI and find out what size pack you will need. A bit of a pain but at least you will find the correct size for your stuff. The Aether is huge.
FWIW: campsaver is having a 20% off everything sale with free shipping over $50 this wknd. An Aether w/ the discount should come in under 250...I think.
here's the code for regular priced items.
CSPINE-20
That' z pretty good idea about lugging all my stuff in. Thanks for the heads up on the sale, too. That will help tons.
 

Bill

.
Joined
Jan 17, 2012
Messages
991
I have an Osprey Agron 70 (XL) that I use when backpacking with the kids. Such a sweet pack and so comfy when loaded up. If you end up going with a Aether I highly suggest upgrading the shoulder straps to the BioForm a\x that come on the Argon/Xenith series. I have an extra set still wrapped in plastic somewhere that I would part with for pretty cheap.
 

rundrumkc

Member
Joined
Apr 3, 2012
Messages
43
Look at bizrate.com. The Osprey Aether 85 is down to $ 223.00 at REI-outlet. It will be a 2012 model. I bought a 2011 model from o2gearshop.com last year for $ 228.00. The 2011 and 2012 models are the same thing. Very nice/big pack with a great hip belt. It will weigh around 5 lbs but other packs that are the same size weigh more.
 

Aldaron

Member
Joined
Jun 16, 2012
Messages
1,485
I carried Kelty packs for years and years, and I thought I loved them. I recently got an Osprey, though, and I can't believe how I subjected myself to the discomfort of the Keltys for so long...the Osprey is just so much more comfortable, and now I don't have any shoulder or neck pain at all. Also, the pack itself is a couple of pounds lighter than those heavy fabric Keltys, which is a huge weight savings.
 

Colin Parker

Member
Joined
Apr 8, 2013
Messages
29
You guys rock! I'm going to hit the Ogden Recreation Outlet this weekend and check out what Osprey has to offer. It sounds like I need to retire the 'ol Kelty.
 

Nick

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Joined
Aug 9, 2007
Messages
12,934
Me? I have an Atmos 65. I know some of you think that's too big, but I like it! I still keep my total pack weight down in the low 20s, so I think I'm doing okay.


Wow! Low 20's is awesome. I'm not sure how you can fill that 65L up and pull that off. You just stuffing it with packing peanuts? :D
 

Aldaron

Member
Joined
Jun 16, 2012
Messages
1,485
I was just at 27 pounds for a four day trip, so I was pretty happy. And my overnight weight is usually about 23 pounds. But I fill up that 65 liters. Which is why I can't figure out how some people can carry the same stuff in a 50 liter. But I'd like to figure it out!
 

DAA

Member
Joined
Jun 14, 2012
Messages
715
Low 20's with a pack that heavy IS awesome!

My last three night Uintas trip, my starting weight was 26 pounds - including fishing stuff, camp shoes, camera, a quart of Gatorade and a fifth of HIgh West. But that is in a pack that only weighs 39 oz (ULA Circuit). What is kind of interesting, to me, is I have an Aether 70 that weighs over five pounds empty - more than twice as heavy as the ULA. That exact same load above totals 28.5 lbs in it. But, it is definitely more comfortable at 28.5, than the ULA is at 26. But, by the time I hike out and have lightened the load by about 5 or 6 pounds of food and whiskey, the ULA at 20-21 pounds on the hike out is great.

So, didn't mean to side track the thread... But it seems like I'm in kind of an in-between spot with my two packs and my usual pack weights. I think the eventual solution for me is to try and get my starting weight down a couple more pounds.

- DAA
 

River

Member
Joined
Jan 26, 2012
Messages
420
I upgraded from on old Lowe external frame to the Aether 85 a couple years ago. Definitely the most comfortable pack I've owned. Maybe I need to update some of my other gear to fit in a smaller pack one of these days.
 

Nick

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.
Joined
Aug 9, 2007
Messages
12,934
Low 20's with a pack that heavy IS awesome!

My last three night Uintas trip, my starting weight was 26 pounds - including fishing stuff, camp shoes, camera, a quart of Gatorade and a fifth of HIgh West. But that is in a pack that only weighs 39 oz (ULA Circuit). What is kind of interesting, to me, is I have an Aether 70 that weighs over five pounds empty - more than twice as heavy as the ULA. That exact same load above totals 28.5 lbs in it. But, it is definitely more comfortable at 28.5, than the ULA is at 26. But, by the time I hike out and have lightened the load by about 5 or 6 pounds of food and whiskey, the ULA at 20-21 pounds on the hike out is great.

So, didn't mean to side track the thread... But it seems like I'm in kind of an in-between spot with my two packs and my usual pack weights. I think the eventual solution for me is to try and get my starting weight down a couple more pounds.

- DAA


Interesting... Have you tried anything between those packs? I used a Kestrel 38 and Stratos 36 as my multi-day pack for the last couple of years. I liked them plenty, especially the Stratos, but this year I switched up to an Atmos 50. I never fill it up but I figure it only a couple ounces more than the Stratos 36 so why not? I've really been liking it a lot. Seems like a really good compromise between low weight, fantastic suspension system and tons of space. Okay, I know that last one is very subjective - but to me, 50 liters is massive. Sometimes I miss the Stratos though - probably should pick another up. Anyway, the Atmos 50 might be worth looking at. It's 11 ounces heavier than the ULA (3 lbs 2 oz for a medium).
 

DAA

Member
Joined
Jun 14, 2012
Messages
715
I have not tried anything in between. I do have a Stratos 24, that is my main daypack, and I really like the little bugger a lot. I can't remember the volume rating on the ULA right off the top of my head, but it's about as small as I dare go - it's pretty stuffed for a 3.5 day Uintas trip w/fishing gear. I think it's less than 50L though.

At first, I wondered how I'd fit everything in the Aether 70. Now I could put all my gear plus Jimmy Hoffa in there!

- DAA
 
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