pack size

rtavious

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Feb 1, 2015
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what size pack to get? With my work schedule most of my outings would be 1 to 2 nights at a time. Since im just starting it wont be ultra light. REI's website says 1 -3 days 35-50 liters. Do you agree?

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rtavious

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lol yeah guess I didnt think of the obvious. Thanks.. That makes sense.

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Opi

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My first pack is was a 6lb 75 liter High Sierra. heavy pack but so comfy. That thing could carry 55lbs easily without to much hanging from outside the pack. I don't carry that much weight any more. My base weight is around 15lbs and shrinking. Total weight for say 5 day trek would around 28 lbs. So I just bought a ULA circuit. Which is around they say 68 liters total including every pocket. Point being, even a 50 liter pack might be a little small for first time pack , you being non UL and all.

Buy a small digital scale and start weighing your gear. Figure out your base weight and total pack weight. This doesn't mean you need to go ultra light but it's amazing how weighing your gear helps.

One thing I dislike (or pet peeve) is gear hanging all over the outside of a pack. I think most all gear should fit inside ones pack.
I would start out with a bigger size pack rather than smaller. Don't always have to fill them to the gills. And for the shorter trips its nice to have a little extra room for a few luxuries. Enjoy
 
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rtavious

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thanks for info Opi

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Nick

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I think REI's size advice is sound in this case. 50L is a good all around pack size, IMO. Plenty large for longer trips but small enough to keep you from going crazy bringing tons of extra stuff. I used packs in the 36-38L range for a couple years, even for really long trips, but a nice 50L pack only weighs a few ounces more and I found the added suspension actually made the same loads feel lighter. I would never go over 50, even for week long trips. My 50L pack of choice right now is the Osprey Atmos 50.

I am not a fan of the frameless packs unless you are truly ultralight. I think most of those don't recommend carrying more than 20 or 25 lbs max so if you're near or above that, you'd probably be a lot happier and more comfortable with a pack that has an extra pound or two of frame and suspension to help carry the load.
 

rtavious

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backpacks.jpg
 

Opi

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50 liter Osprey Atmos on sale $158 on Amazon. Really nice pack!
 

Nodust

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Nov 4, 2013
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50L is a good size if your gear can fit. If you have down sleeping bags and other insulation it should fit no troubles. If you have bulkier synthetic bags and such you may need more space. I can use my Gossamer Gear Gorilla that is 47L for a 5 day trip down to 25°F. Any longer or if I need more gear I step up to a ULA Catalyst.

A 5 day trip needs just about the same gear as a 2 day trip for me. Just add more food and fuel for my stove. If the wife and younger son comes I carry more of their food so then I use the bigger pack.

Get all your other gear first and buy the pack last.
 

Nick

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50L should still be big enough using larger things like a synthetic bag, IMO. I think it's a good number to force yourself into. I couldn't fit into my 36L with a big synthetic bag, but the 50L no problem. My buddy usually carries a 0˚ synthetic in his 50L.
 

Nodust

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50L should still be big enough using larger things like a synthetic bag, IMO. I think it's a good number to force yourself into. I couldn't fit into my 36L with a big synthetic bag, but the 50L no problem. My buddy usually carries a 0˚ synthetic in his 50L.
Maybe so. I've never had a nice synthetic bag so maybe there are better ones than what I'm used to. My 47L Gorilla is stuffed full with 5 days food.

It all depends on the trip. Spring in Louisiana I can fit 5 days and gear in a 30L, won't need any insulation.
 

rtavious

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well I plan on going the hammock route vs tent .. so the under/over quilts will take up more space i assume

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Nodust

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well I plan on going the hammock route vs tent .. so the under/over quilts will take up more space i assume

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Maybe not. A top quilt takes up less room than a sleeping bag of equal warmth. A bottom quilt is smaller than a top quilt, especially if you go with a 3/4 length. I started backpacking after I had my hammock so I can't really compare the two, but I would say about equal to a tent setup of same quality. I think it would depend on what style of sleeping pad you have with the tent setup. A real minimal pad would be much smaller than a 20° under quilt.
 

rtavious

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[/QUOTE]
Maybe not. A top quilt takes up less room than a sleeping bag of equal warmth. A bottom quilt is smaller than a top quilt, especially if you go with a 3/4 length. I started backpacking after I had my hammock so I can't really compare the two, but I would say about equal to a tent setup of same quality. I think it would depend on what style of sleeping pad you have with the tent setup. A real minimal pad would be much smaller than a 20°

ok thanks thats good to know.

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Nodust

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Now the problem comes if you have more than just yourself. A two man tent may not weigh much more then my hammock and tarp combo but can be split between two people carrying it. So 2 people with a tent can be much lighter than two with hammocks if they share a tent. You just have to look at whats best for you. I love my hammock but I understand it may be heavier and more expensive in certain situations.
 

Vegan.Hiker

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Imo, 38L is the perfect capacity for overnight or weekend trips. It's also a good size for winter dayhikes. I also have a 28L for dayhiking, a 50L and a 65 that expands to 80L, but the 38L is perfect and forces you to only take what you need. It's an Osprey Kestral 38 and fits my tent,sleeping kit, my 3 day bear canister, cooking kit, 3L hydration pack, my "necessities/first aid" bag, headlamp, water filter, and leaves just enough room for some clothing. The only thing lashed to the outside is my z lite. All of this (without food, water, extra clothing) weighs in at 12 lbs. I could get it under 10 by using my 50L and using a bear bag instead of the canister but I hate hanging at the end of a long day, plus the canister is only 1.6 lbs and I can throw my folded Z lite on top and sit on it.
 
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Parma

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50L is a good size. I have a Gregory pack that is 60L. I got a smokin deal on it and it fits me better than any pack I've ever tried. So I never have any dingle berries/stuff outside of my pack.
Its a little large but I love it!
 
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