/ Expedition Pack!

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gi - on 30 Mar 2013
Hello there great and good of UKC!

I having some what of a dilemma..

I am heading over to the USA in about a month and need to get an exped pack for work.

The criteria I have for the perfect pack are:

Must be strippable (removable lid, hip belt, frame sheet etc)
Able to handle heavy loads, 35+KG
Be able compress down to be used for day use/ cragging
Preferably weigh under 2 -2.5 KG
If possible waterproof fabric.
Wand/water bottle pockets
Be 70 litres or more

...Though I'm pretty sure it doesn't exist!

So far the shortlist includes:

POD Xpod
Mountain hardwear South Col
Lowe Alpine 75:95 Expedition
Crux AK70

.. Can anyone reccomend any others or have any experince with those mentioned good or bad?

I'll be using it for 15 day or more expeditions guiding in Oregon so I'll be carrying pretty heavy loads all day but also want to be able to compress it down to use it as a climbing pack on days off .
Thanks in advance for any help and advice!

Gi

xplorer on 30 Mar 2013
In reply to gi:

Reccomend the south col highly. Lots of great useful features.
gi - on 30 Mar 2013
In reply to xplorer:

I've read some mixed reviews about the South Col, they mention that the front pocket is a bit useless when the pack is full?

Though I do like the look of it!

Also, what sort of weight have you had in yours and how did you find it?

Cheers

Giles
sbc_10 - on 30 Mar 2013
In reply to gi:

I can recommend the X-pod. A tough, strong and no-nonsense pack which you can add side pockets too ( got some from Aiguille). Hip belt is removeable but is of that integrated design that seems to slip down from your hips if you have the really heavy loads on, well it does for me. Very usable for day trips as well when the sack is relatively empty as the back is not massively over-long.

Don't own the MH, but have its little brother the Directissimo. Nice quality sack but there are a lot of innovative design features that might be a bit overworked and surplus to requirements. This might be the same on the big couloir, so best to check it out in a shop.

No Macpacs?? or are they on the heavy side??
Hannes on 30 Mar 2013
In reply to gi: That requirement list reads a lot like a Klattermusen Mjolner 75. Unfortunately availability in Britain is non-existant and the pricing would make Arc'teryx blush even

If they all fitted equally well of those listed I would have gone for the xpod, otherwise whichever fits the best
xplorer on 30 Mar 2013
In reply to gi:

I don't really use the front pocket if I'm honest. If you were carrying a shovel it may be hand.

It's a 70litre but with the expanding lid it swallows gear. I've had it fully loaded a couple of times now, carried for two days with I'd say 25k. Carries really well and weight distributed through the hip belt. I can honestly say its the comfiest pack I've used.
gi - on 30 Mar 2013
In reply to sbc_10:

Well actually I already have an old school(ish) Mapac Torre.. it's near 100L but heavy and there is no way of stripping it down.
I've used it leading expeds in the past but its just too cumbersome to climb with and as its over 3kg it is a pain to fly with knowing that you could have taken gear instead of the heaviest fabric known to man.

To all:

I should mention I am in Hong Kong at the moment so trying on packs is a little hit an miss with actually finding what you want, and I'll only be in the UK for a few days before heading across the pond so it'll be an online order sort of deal.

Cheers

Gi
gi - on 30 Mar 2013
In reply to Hannes:
Weirdly (and slighty off topic) Klattermusen is avaible out here and reletively cheap.. though not the pack you mention above. They only seem to have the smaller ones in their range and having had a fondle they seem very overly complicated and not perticularly well made, which is a real shame as I wanted to like them since I first saw them online.

Gi
Damo on 30 Mar 2013
In reply to gi:

Cilogear 75. Handmade in Portland, OR.
gi - on 30 Mar 2013
In reply to Damo:

Cheers Damo thats a good shout, only concern I have is they are not available in the UK, and I could be wrong here, they take some time to arrive as they are made to order. I arrive in the states about a week before I start work and will need it from then on.

I'd be more than happy for you to tell me otherwise as I have lusted after Cilo packs for a long time.. In fact I'll google waiting times now!

Gi
Edradour - on 30 Mar 2013
In reply to gi:

I've got an AK70 and can't fault it. No unnecessary additional features and robust. I'm not sure you'd want to use it for day use though.

I've also got an AK47 which is one of my favourite bits of kit.
Hannes on 30 Mar 2013
In reply to gi:
> Weirdly (and slighty off topic) Klattermusen is avaible out here and reletively cheap.. though not the pack you mention above. They only seem to have the smaller ones in their range and having had a fondle they seem very overly complicated and not perticularly well made, which is a real shame as I wanted to like them since I first saw them online.

That's a shame then, the one I have which is probably coming up to ten years old is very uncomplicated and very well made (each individual thread end is hand melted onto the fabric so it won't unravel for example). Must have gone a bit downhill lately then

gi - on 30 Mar 2013
In reply to Hannes:

Yeah, I was left feeling a little let down too, it was actually things like there was lots of loose threads hanging from seams inside, on the over complicated side the load lifter straps at the top of the shoulder straps were metal cleats (similar to on a dingy) with cord to tension the top of the pack into your body.

That all said I still like the idea of them and the fact they are doing things completely differently to anyone else.
Damo on 30 Mar 2013
In reply to gi:

Just email or phone Graham direct and ask him. They do make to order but that.need not be long time - depends what else they have on and what they are making that day. If you pick it up in person, he drinks most good single malts ;-)
Andy Hewison - on 30 Mar 2013
In reply to gi:

Hi, I've got the XPOD and can recommend that and I believe it ticks all the boxes for you. I used it on a Denali expedition, filling it to its 100 litres but then for summit day stripped it right down. Top off, hip belt removed, back pad etc making it a lot lighter. I think it would be suitable for day use/cragging.

Andy
KellyKettle - on 30 Mar 2013
In reply to gi:

The Berghaus Expedition 80, is worth a look... I've used mine mainly for extended backpacking trips (up to one month, picking up food a couple of times) and also some winter climbing and scrambling when I didn't have a smaller pack to hand, it's performed really very well indeed and the Cyclops back system amongst the most comfortable I've used if a little sweaty in the summer months.

I think they've discontinued the zip-in rolltop drybag waterproof liner, which is a shame as it is actually exceptionally effective, if a bit of a gimmick.

A lad in my Uni Canoe Club used one for a 2 month expedition somewhere in the Russian Arctic and swore by it.
ice.solo - on 30 Mar 2013
In reply to gi:

for this type of stuff ive used a few packs, amongst them the MHW south col, cilo 60L ws and the millet exped65.

thoughts:
cilo feels the best up to about 25kg, then the mhw feels better. this feels to be due to how it loads as the cilo loads more narrowly.

the millet is the largest (up to about 110L id say) and the frame is better for such size loads in volume, but stops being comfortable i find at about 25kg. it loads maybe the best, but the straps dont last as long (about 100 days, opposed to the mhw which is still good after about 150).

the cilo isnt as friendly as the mhw (non-glove friendly buckles, straps a bit dangly), but by far the best when stripped down and the longest lasting. easily the best for actually climbing in too, and lightest.
the strap configuartion on the mhw works better (less bits, more adjustable, more solid).

the mhws pocket only takes poles when full, but when not functions well (tools inside is nice).
mhw make a specific 'big load' belt that is worth it for anything over 25kg for any real time. the regular sth col belt is easily the best weight bearing belt of the three, making it (even tho the millet takes more volume better) the better pack for 35kg type loads.
with the frame sheet removed it still has more form than the cilo if that matters.

the millet has the best access by far (big full length zip) so packs better and nicest to use when in a tent. the belt doesnt strip off tho (god knows why, a real design fault i think).

havent used the cilo 75 (but the same things that shit me about the 60L are present in it it seems).
gi - on 31 Mar 2013
In reply to KellyKettle:

Cheers for the response,

I tried one on in the shop the other day (not exactly the ultimate test) and there was a lot I really liked about it except the harness. The hip belt seemed really narrow and unsupportive and the shoulder straps were pretty narrow.
It looks like an awesome pack but just didn't feel quite right.. The new version looks like it will be dyneema and even better.
gi - on 31 Mar 2013
In reply to ice.solo:

Thanks for the reply! I've lurked on UKC for a while and have noticed you had used the MHW in the past so was hoping you'd post.

I quite often strip off the lid of a pack and use it with out, does the South Col have a small pocket inside or out for small items? Phone keys etc..

To be honest I'd love a Cilo pack but I think they are a little too alpine for what I'll be doing, that and the cost!

How was the construction of the Millet packs? I known a couple of people who have had them fall apart in a couple of days of use which put me off some what!

It's a shame I cant seem to find many (if any useful) reviews or feedback about the Lowe Alpine as I'm quite tempted.. light, strippable, dyneema,comes with two hip belts.. except it an adjustable back system which I tend to steer clear of.

By the way, do you happen to know why there isn't more more waterproof packs on the market? I know construction is tricky but arcteryx did it for a while and then stopped (well reduced sort of)..you'd think there would be demand for them.

Gi
gi - on 31 Mar 2013
In reply to Damo:

Cheers Damo, I would really really like to have one but I'm not sure I could really justify the expense for a pack so specialised.

What do you think of the Wild Things Andinista? I didn't mention it before because of not being able to get them in the UK but now I'm considering buying in the US..

Cheers

Gi
TRip - on 31 Mar 2013
In reply to Damo:
> (In reply to gi)
>
> Cilogear 75. Handmade in Portland, OR.

I really struggle to believe that any rucksack is worth that sort of money.

TR
JayPee630 - on 31 Mar 2013
In reply to TRip:

You know the prices are in US dollars right which works out as 260?

Doesn't seen astronomical TBH. Less than the price of boots, most good waterproofs, half a quality tent. And for most people you'd have it for you life if you take care of it.
radson - on 31 Mar 2013
In reply to gi:

I have the Cilo 75l as well. I think it took a week from ordering till I picked it up as Graham shipped to the B&B I was staying at in Anchorage. Its the best pack I have seen to strip a mountain if climbing expedition style.

gi - on 31 Mar 2013
In reply to TRip:

They do seem high but then they are a small, independent company who are making their products out of probably the most expensive and unusual fabrics, selling to a tiny market, doing all their own R and D and making in country to order.

I think if it was the perfect pack for me I'd happily spend that much (or maybe a little more) as I reckon at the moment I spend 150 days+ per year carrying medium to heavy loads camping most nights whilst working with groups plus climbing and trekking on days off and being lugged through airports.

Gi
ben b - on 31 Mar 2013
In reply to gi: http://www.rei.com/stores/portland.html

They sell the MHW and big Arcteryx packs, plus assorted Osprey, Gregory etc. Gear does tend to be pretty in the US, but does mean you turn up without a backup plan....

b


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