/ rucksack suggestions
I think I want something around 55l - 60l, but my main thing is that I don't like all the 'structural' stuff that they put in large rucksacks. It just adds extra weight. I want a really simple bag, that is light weight.
I realise I'd still have to try them on for fit etc, but just wanting a starting point for looking, as I'm drawing a bit of a blank.
"I think I want something around 55l - 60l"
Are you sure you need a sac that big?
Try a POD. Different back lengths and generally just a bag with a hole at the top and a lid. Perfect.
+1 for PODsac, I have an Alpine 50 and it's very versatile. The roll top closure means you can get a lot of stuff in there when you really have to.
What bag do you have at the moment?
you say it digs in. does it have Aluminium bars for support? if so these can be shaped to fit better maybe.
sizes are just a gauge, each manufacturer measures up differently, when buying a new sack its a good idea to go in with what you expect to carry and pack it to check it all fits in, plus you then have the benefit of trying it on with your usual load to check comfort. shoulder straps and hipbelts all vary, if you are slight of frame then POD may not suit,
Best bet go shopping, open mind, try them out, if nothing local, go a bit further afield
If you're looking for lightweight, have you have a look at the new Montane bags - they've just added a 55l bag to the range, which I haven't seen 'in the flesh' as yet, but I did get a look at the 40l sac the other day, and it looks a very nice piece of kit indeed.
We were looking for similar for Lady Blue recently, and ended up with an Osprey Ariel 65 women's fit rucksack, but they come in 55l flavours as well.
Fit-wise, we spent some time trying to get the Lowe alpine women's fit to work and it didn't work with her at all, but the Osprey fitted immediately and she loves it.
Granite Gear. Personally found Osprey fit really well but they weigh far more than I'm prepared to accept and too many straps & toggles.
I have a classic macpac pursuit and it is great, nothing fussy, bomber and no structure to the back. Best exped bag ive ever had.
the pack does have a lot of straps, and I did look round it to see what I could cut off, but I looked and looked and ecided I could easily use all of the different bits
Try Aguille - http://www.aiguillealpine.co.uk/shop/4/15/index.htm
Brilliant sacks from a friendly UK company that makes their gear on site.
The do a range of back lengths, including a ladies specific fit and, if you pop in to see them in the Lakes where they'r ebased, they'll modify/ make a custom sack if you want something more (or less) than they have off the shelf.
They made a bag for me earlier in the year and I couldn't recommend them more highly!
Macpac for durability and comfort when carrying weight. I've seen too many AK47s looking the worse for wear after a busy season.
One other suggestion : OMM Villain 45+10
Very lightweight, lots of external stowage options if you run out of internal space, and the back 'padding' doubles as extra padding/insulation under a sleeping mat. I've used mine for about 18 months for mostly summer camping/winter walking.
Best feature of all : hip belt pockets for jellybabies.
I'd second the exos- used a 46L one last year for a 4 month trip. Packing light, it just about coped with 4 -5 days' food. Very comfortable, lightweight, looks a bit flimsy, probably not one to dump it uncontrolled onto rocks. One compression buckle broke on the base of it but would still recommend it for long trips. wouldn't climb with it though.
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