UKC

/ Change to the way packs are designed these days?

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monsoon - on 13 Mar 2018

When I started climbing the trend was always to be slick with the way that you packed your pack, with everything inside and nothing hanging off it - no rope on top, as few straps and faff as possible and no helmets hanging off the back. These days there seems to be an increasing trend to make packs nice and light (makes sense) and as a result I'm seeing more ropes strapped on top and more fancy helmet carrying systems on the outside of the packs.

Kind of goes against the whole ethos of everything being neat and well protected really... don't you think?

4
teh_mark on 13 Mar 2018
In reply to monsoon:

Well protected? What protection does a rope need on the walk-in to a route? Carrying the rope, your lid, etc on the outside of your pack means you need a smaller pack, which will be less of a pain to drag up the route with you. Ditto with crampons - they go on the outside so I don't have to fish around inside my pack (or even take the pack off, which probably has coils over the top of it) to put them on. Anything to make life a bit more efficient is good by me, and taking a 45L pack rather than a 30L just so I can fit the rope in isn't efficiency.

Edit: that's just my take anyway. Obviously everyone is entitled to their own opinion and method of packing!

Post edited at 14:05
1
GrahamD - on 13 Mar 2018
In reply to monsoon:

Ramblers have done it for years.  No respective rambler would be without a karrimat and an enamel mug on the outside of their rucksac.

3
monsoon - on 13 Mar 2018
In reply to monsoon:

Haha, makes me laugh why people go for the 'dislike' button. It's just a bit of discussion... or perhaps they aren't able to vent their opinion without the use of an 'emoticon' thumb lol.

Yep, just interesting really that sacs tend to be streamlined to save weight and bulk - less to catch on stuff as you climb etc, but then suddenly we're almost being encouraged to be more like the DofE candidate and strap kit to the outside. Potential for it to get damaged, lost, caught on stuff etc.

Not criticising - just an observation.

2
Toerag - on 13 Mar 2018
In reply to teh_mark:

> Well protected? What protection does a rope need on the walk-in to a route? 

You've obviously not climbed off the beaten track where you have to pick your way through head-high sloe & gorse bushes which snag anything hanging off your pack at any opportunity!

 

teh_mark on 13 Mar 2018
In reply to Toerag:

In the first draft of my reply I used the term 'compelling reason', but it didn't make it into the final revision. Obviously if there's a compelling reason to put the rope in a bag then it'll go in a bag, but conversely if we're walking in to do a long multipitch and not beating a path through the forest it doesn't go in the bag. The bag can therefore be smaller, and it'll be more pleasant climbing with it. To that end I'd also probably put my harness on for the walk-in and things like that.

Walking up to Stanage is a different story, but the rope will still probably be either outside the bag or in a rope bag, just because it's easier.

The one problem with that is new ropes; every rope I've bought recently has been slick enough that it won't stay coiled neatly at the best of times, let alone when you occasionally manage to snag or pull it when it's on the outside of the pack. Short of rubbing them down with sandpaper or climbing more I haven't yet found a solution...

GridNorth - on 13 Mar 2018
In reply to monsoon:

There have always been big packs and small packs and strong advocates of the benefits of both.  Brits always tended towards the former. The thing that's good, IMO, is that small packs are now better designed to facilitate carrying gear on the outside.  I've nearly always been of the "light is right" school of thought ever since a disastrous alpine trip so I see this as welcome progress.

Al

Exile - on 13 Mar 2018
In reply to monsoon:

For winter I go with the smallest pack I can get everything, (with the exception of ice tools,) inside.  This is 35l for me, although with a big mixed rack and belay jacket it does take a bit of careful packing.  The reason for this is to keep everything waterproof if you need to walk up through rain. I'm not as worried on the way out so if the weather doesn't allow careful packing I coil the rope in loops and throw it over the top which generates enough internal room to pack in a more 'chuck everything in' fashion.

I'm not a great fan of putting crampons on the outside of a pack having had a friend who once lost some as a result of doing this.

My 35l sac, made by Aguille, is really light, (while still very tough,) and compresses really well for climbing.  I don't think I'd gain anything in freedom of movement / less faff etc from having a smaller main pack, (although I do sometimes take a 15l rip stock pack with me to use for a belay jacket, map, compass and torch, carried by the second, if we are returning to the crag base so don't need to climb with the main pack.)

MG - on 13 Mar 2018
In reply to monsoon:

Interesting observation.  I dislike having things on the outside of my rucksack.  They flap, get wet, obstruct access etc. I think it's just fashion - modern sacks are so light there is no reason not to have something you can put everything in.  The total weight is the same but practically things are easier.

GridNorth - on 13 Mar 2018
In reply to MG:

I agree the total weight is the same but if it's all in the pack the weight is all on the shoulders.  I hardly ever carry the rope in the sack for this very reason, it hurts my back.  If I sling the rope over my shoulder I'm fine as it distributes more weight to the front. It does however depend on what I'm doing.  With climbing gear most of it gets distributed in any case as it's being used on the route so it's the walk in that's critical for me.

Al

nutme - on 13 Mar 2018

Don't like things on the outside of pack as well, so often put on harness, bucket and coil rope in alpine style around torso from the cable car station / car park. So I can not take backpack at all. If I want to have a pack usually try to go with as small as possible, but not carrying anything outside. Unless it's skies.. I once had snowblades in the pack, but that was me saving on sport equipment luggage.

monsoon - on 13 Mar 2018
In reply to monsoon:

Yep, I've always gone for the minimal approach and in the Alps often had a lid on the outside and rope either looped on top or alpine coiled over the shoulder. Over here I do this sometimes and get berated by 'friends' lol who think that it's a total beginner thing having stuff hanging off your pack.

Just found it interesting that pack designers are starting to build in these features.

Skip - on 13 Mar 2018
In reply to monsoon:

> Just found it interesting that pack designers are starting to build in these features.

OEX are producing "modular" packs, i.e. all their outdoor gear is designed to clip onto the pack.

Robert Durran - on 13 Mar 2018
In reply to monsoon:

It is just so that people can brag that "mine is smaller than yours". There have been various such willy waving threads on here.

Ex Poster 666 on 13 Mar 2018
In reply to MG:

> Interesting observation.  I dislike having things on the outside of my rucksack.  They flap, get wet, obstruct access etc. I think it's just fashion - modern sacks are so light there is no reason not to have something you can put everything in.  The total weight is the same but practically things are easier.


Get a bigger one that you can put everything you want inside!

MG - on 13 Mar 2018
In reply to Lusk:

Eh? That's what I just said!


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