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Topic: Appalachian Pack Size< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
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Hiker8250 Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 23 2013, 7:23 pm  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Hey Everyone,

Planning a spring '13 Appalachian Trail thru-hike. I am looking at the Osprey Atmos 65L and Aether 60L packs. Does anyone have any advice/experience regarding which size would be better? Can I get away with only using a 60L pack? Any info is much appreciated.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 23 2013, 7:34 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

How much space you need depends entirely on what you plan carry.  May sound obvious, but that's the basic truth.

Yes, you can absolutely thru-hike the Appalachian Trail with a 60L pack.  People have done it with packs half that volume.  You mention in another thread about deciding between a down or synthetic sleeping bag for this trip.  Decisions like that will determine your pack volume much more than any simplistic rule-of-thumb.  What I'd do?  Get your proposed gear together and get a pack that'll fit it, not the other way around.

If you're having trouble narrowing all that down, I'd suggest going over to whiteblaze.net and perusing other people's pack lists over there.  And, get as much overnight practice trips as you can before leaving, bonus if you can go with other experienced folks.  Experience will teach you better than anything what you do (and more importantly, don't) need.

Just as a tip, most beginners carry way too much ****, for all those "just in case" scenarios.  Be wary of that.


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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 23 2013, 7:38 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Also, regarding pack fit, have you tried either of those packs on yet?  Packs aren't really "one size fits all" (despite the advertising), so the pack capacity isn't the only thing you should be looking at.  Trying them on (with weight!) in a store and walking around will tell you a lot more useful information about each pack.  If you've adjusted it properly and still feel pressure points or rubbing when you walk around, the pack probably doesn't fit you well.  It can be barely noticeable in the store, but can add up to a lot of discomfort on the trail if don't invest the time to get a pack that fits well.

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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 23 2013, 7:38 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Right on, thanks for the info.

Yes, I have tried on the Atmos 65 with 35lbs in it. I found the frame to be very comfortable. I have not tried the Aether model.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 24 2013, 10:37 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Dont commit to a capacity until you load all of your gear into it. I was using a 40L
GoLite and assumed that the Atmos 50 would work so I bought it and took it home. Same gear would not fit in the 50L, BUT it just fits in the 65L.


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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 24 2013, 10:58 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

the aether will carry a fair bit more weight comfortably than the atmos.  more robust suspension.  but, it doesn't fit exactly the same.

whether you need a beefier suspension is a different question.  i agree with comments above that you should (a) make sure your stuff fits and carries comfortably and (b) get a good idea of what that 'stuff' is before you buy a backpack.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 24 2013, 11:36 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

"Yes, I have tried on the Atmos 65 with 35lbs in it."
35lbs of weight isn't the same as 35lbs of gear... may sound silly, but it's true - fit, balance, and other factors come into play.
Take your gear with you to the store or bring the pack home and pack it, then walk around with your gear in the pack.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 24 2013, 11:43 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

The pack is far more a piece of clothing where fit ic critical and specific than a piece of "gear" something like a cook pot.

Second only to bad fitting boots a bad fitting pack is a complete trip wrecker.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 24 2013, 4:12 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE


(Hiker8250 @ Jan. 23 2013, 7:23 pm)
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Hey Everyone,

Planning a spring '13 Appalachian Trail thru-hike. I am looking at the Osprey Atmos 65L and Aether 60L packs. Does anyone have any advice/experience regarding which size would be better? Can I get away with only using a 60L pack? Any info is much appreciated.

What's your start date? If you leaving in March, I understand that you have to be aware that you could have some pretty cold nights - so you need keep that in mind. This could make the pack you start out with a little heavier & bulkier than what you might have during the summer months. For example, if you plan on starting March 1 - you will probably want to switch out to summer sleeping bags & clothing at Pearisburg, VA. That means your pack should be able to accomodate the bulkier spring gear.

I'm currently doing aggressive gear planning for our 2015 AT thru-hike (wife & me). It's pretty easy because we've been backpacking for over 20 years, and know exactly what to take & what brands of gear we want.  I'm planning on going with a 69L pack (Mystery Ranch Trance XXX), so I would think your pack size choices would be fine - if you're not an ultralighter who can go with smaller (ie. no tent, no camera, no spare clothes, etc).

High Sierra Fan is right ... pack fit is second only to boot fit in importance - so make sure you try them both out. 5L of space isn't a deal breaker in your decision, so go with the pack that fits better for you.

SCKuhn is also right ... actual gear weight is different than store weight. Anything can feel comfortable for 10 minutes, but try walking for 8 hours! Pay attention to the suspension system on both packs when trying them out. Maybe visit White Blaze to see what people say about both packs as they relate to a thru-hike situation.

Have fun! Wish we were going this year - another two years of anticipation & work is going to kill me.  :D


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