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Topic: Day Pack Recommendation< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 23 2013, 6:20 pm  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Having recently received my REI reward points they’re starting to burn a hole in my pocket so I’ve decided to use some to buy a new day pack.  In beginning my research for the new pack I thought that I would reach out to the forum and see what sort of advice that might be available.

Please, if you would, take a few moments to share with me, and the rest of the forum, your favorite day pack and why you like it.

Thanks for your help.
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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 23 2013, 6:29 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

What are you shopping for?  Day hike or summtting or school/office/urban?

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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 23 2013, 6:39 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I use a Gregory z-45 (although a z-35R would work as well) in summer and an EMS trail 50 in winter.  Both are larger than I need but I prefer a real suspension over shoulder straps.  I never have to adjust my pack and I don't even notice I have it on.  But I see fellow hikers with day packs constantly trying to get the pressure off their shoulders, and on longer hikes many take off the day pack and just carry them in their arms.

So my advice is get an REI pack with a full suspension.  Most full suspension bags have 3 compression straps that allow for reducing the bulk of the bag.  Carrying 3 liter of water in a bladder in a full suspension pack is so much more comfortable and enjoyable.
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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 23 2013, 6:55 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(Ben2World @ Mar. 23 2013, 6:29 pm)
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What are you shopping for?  Day hike or summtting or school/office/urban?

Day hike.
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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 23 2013, 7:31 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I like the Flash line.  How much do you carry?  I like the Flash 18 pretty well and the Flash 22 looks like it might work better for some.  Then there is the Flash 30 and 45, but they are much bigger than I use for a day pack.  If you carry more they might make sense.
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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 23 2013, 7:34 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Timbuk2 messenger bag. Easier to get at things on the go by just swinging the bag around front. Works as easily in town as above Tuolumne Meadows so I get multiple uses from it.
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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 23 2013, 8:04 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

For 3-season day hikes, I use a lumbar pack.  It's big enough to carry everything I need, comfy enough to wear, and leaves my back a lot cooler.  Anyway, food for thought.

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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 24 2013, 12:32 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Right now, I mostly use the Osprey Manta 25. Fits me well, holds everything I need and more for straight dayhiking. The ventilated back is a huge selling point for me. Good looking pack, great organization. I even like the bladder, though I don't always use it.
Sometimes I use an Osprey Exos 46, or a Mystery Ranch Dragonslayer. Still like the old Mountainsmith Day lumbar pack with strapettes. My favorite is whatever works, which depends on the day...
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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 24 2013, 1:47 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

There are a lot of great day packs out there.  I think if you pick one from a major reputable manufacturer you can't go wrong.  The one piece of advice I would give is to make sure you get one that is plenty big enough to carry all the gear you need on a day hike. And by that I mean enough gear with you that you could make it through an uno (unexpected night out).  Most smaller day packs will not allow this.  Plus, if you decide to expand your hiking into the winter, a typical smaller day pack will not accommodate enough extra clothes and gear for really cold weather.  I know this flies in the face of the philosophy of guys like Ben, but I firmly believe in it.  My favorite is my old Jansport Tahoma which can carry up to 20 lbs pretty easily.  It's old and heavy, but it's comfortable and bombproof.  Typically for a long day hike I'll carry 15+ lbs of gear including food and water.  Might seem like a lot, but it gives me the reassurance, that I can survive the worst night if need be.  Spend one very uncomfortable or dangerous uno, and you'll know what I mean.  JMO.

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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 24 2013, 2:01 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(hikerjer @ Mar. 23 2013, 10:47 pm)
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Plus, if you decide to expand your hiking into the winter, a typical smaller day pack will not accommodate enough extra clothes and gear for really cold weather.  I know this flies in the face of the philosophy of guys like Ben, but I firmly believe in it.

Actually, no disagreement there.  It's why I specifically noted "3-season day hikes" in my post above.   :)

I agree that one should bring enough to survive for a night -- even if uncomfortably.  I think more mishaps befall winter day hikers than winter campers.


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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 24 2013, 6:54 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I have two different ones an Osprey Manta 20 for three season use and an Osprey Kestrel 45 for during the winter. Both are great packs.  The Manta has enough room to carry the essentials plus lunch, snacks and water. The Kestrel is good for winter use as it has more room for carrying a lt wt down jacket and other gloves and stuff when out snowshoeing.
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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 24 2013, 7:40 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I have two Osprey Kestrels (32 and 38) and love them.  I will get another next time I have an excuse to buy a pack.

I prefer a backpack with a good waist belt that will take the weight off of your shoulders.  Also, packs can come in different sizes so you want to make sure you get one that fits.
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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 24 2013, 10:01 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(hikerjer @ Mar. 24 2013, 1:47 am)
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Typically for a long day hike I'll carry 15+ lbs of gear including food and water.  Might seem like a lot, but it gives me the reassurance, that I can survive the worst night if need be.  Spend one very uncomfortable or dangerous uno, and you'll know what I mean.  JMO.

A lot depends on when and where the hike is, but I have to say that I don't get the need to carry 15 pounds on the average day hike.  I sometimes carry 15 pounds when I plan to be out for a couple nights.  I don't feel like I am even compromising comfort let alone safety.

Granted if you need to carry all of your water it would add a good bit of weight.

I am not saying that folks shouldn't carry as much as they feel they want/need to, but it seems kind of excessive to me.
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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 24 2013, 10:52 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Imo, the process isn't all that different from buying a backpack.  You need to first figure out what you're going to take, volume and weight-wise.

If it's less than 10-15lb, you probably don't have to worry about fit or suspension beyond it being "comfortable" on.  Buy the one that has the features you want (pockets, hydration sleeves, ports, etc. and price.)  Somewhere around 15 lb / 30L, I think fit and suspension start to matter and it's worth trying them on with a load.

I rarely take anything bigger than 18-20L and 7-8 lb, with 2L water, one meal plus snacks, rain jacket and a solo silnylon tarp plus an energency kit with first aid, space blanket, headlamp, compass, lighter, etc.

The smaller Osprey Talons (22, 33) are popular and if I needed something bigger, I'd certainly consider those.


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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 24 2013, 10:56 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

to me, this depends pretty heavily on personal preference, and the main goal should be something that is comfortable and serves your purpose.  lots of great choices at any REI, i'm sure.

some things to think about:

-how much do you carry - that will affect both the volume of the bag you choose and the presence of a usable hip belt (or not) and maybe even a frame (or not).  because i end up carrying stuff for my family on some day hikes, i tend to like larger bags with a usable hip belt.  if i'm on my own, i don't tend to worry about a hip belt.

-what are you doing for water? carrying a bottle or using a hydration system eg platypus? that will affect what pockets or hydration ports you are looking for.

-are you planning to go off-trail a lot, where things may grab and tear? be around a lot of rocks? if so, you may want something simpler and more resistant to damage, less stuff to catch on branches or snag on rocks.  

my favorite day pack when i'm on my own is the cold cold world ozone.  doubles as a summit bag in the winter.  

ozone

it's really a small climbing bag.  a lot of space (about 42L), simple and highly durable, weighs about 2 pounds.  not the best bag if you use a hydration bladder, though it can work with that if the hose can somehow clip to the shoulder strap.  very simple, no outer pockets really, no frame, webbing hip belt.  because they get made one at a time, they will customize - i added a couple of daisy chains to lash things to the outside if needed, like a wet rain shell.  

if i'm serving as more of a 'mothership' for family, the mystery ranch snapdragon with a beefed-up hip belt.  can carry 20-25 pounds if needed.  not lightweight, and quite expensive for a daypack, but super comfortable and durable.  equally easy to use a bottle or a hydration reservoir.  has a quasi-frame, a hard piece of plastic.  could serve as a 2-3 nighter if you pack light.  if you like lightweight bags, you would hate this.  if you want something you will still be using 20 years from now, and if you might end up carrying a fair bit of weight for some reason, it is awesome.
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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 24 2013, 1:58 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(hikerjer @ Mar. 24 2013, 1:47 am)
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The one piece of advice I would give is to make sure you get one that is plenty big enough to carry all the gear you need on a day hike. And by that I mean enough gear with you that you could make it through an uno (unexpected night out).

Agreed.  I always carry enough for that unexpected night out because you never know what might happen on the trail, whether it be a short day hike or a long one.  This is where it pays to follow the Boy Scout Motto - "Be Prepared".

The typical weight of my day pack with food and water is in the 15 pound +/- range for a 3 season day hike.  I'm looking for a day pack that will give me some flexibility as far as the amount of gear that I decide to bring on a day hike, but will still be comfortable on my back regardless.  Like my regular backpack, I want a pack that will transfer the majority of the weigth to my hips.

Thanks all for the feedback.
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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 24 2013, 2:20 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(TrailScouter @ Mar. 24 2013, 10:58 am)
QUOTE

(hikerjer @ Mar. 24 2013, 1:47 am)
QUOTE
The one piece of advice I would give is to make sure you get one that is plenty big enough to carry all the gear you need on a day hike. And by that I mean enough gear with you that you could make it through an uno (unexpected night out).

Agreed.  I always carry enough for that unexpected night out because you never know what might happen on the trail, whether it be a short day hike or a long one.  This is where it pays to follow the Boy Scout Motto - "Be Prepared".

The typical weight of my day pack with food and water is in the 15 pound +/- range for a 3 season day hike.  I'm looking for a day pack that will give me some flexibility as far as the amount of gear that I decide to bring on a day hike, but will still be comfortable on my back regardless.  Like my regular backpack, I want a pack that will transfer the majority of the weigth to my hips.

Thanks all for the feedback.

A daypack won't transfer weight to your hips. There is no frame and the waistband basically just holds the pack against your pack. About the only way you're going to affect the comfort beyond having more cushion is keeping your weight closer to your center.

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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 24 2013, 2:58 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Plenty of daypacks have frames and/or framesheets, and transfer weight to the hips, including the Osprey and Mystery Ranch packs mentioned in this thread. So do a lot of others. I tried internal frame daypacks from Osprey, Deuter, Mountain Hardware, Gregory, and ArcTeryx before getting my Manta.
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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 24 2013, 3:15 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Are you intending to carry this day pack along with you when backpacking? I regularly do much more backpacking than day hiking and also wanted a day pack, but one light enough for the wilderness...more me, more useful.

My backcountry kit now includes a silnylon Sea to Summit day pack - weighs nothing and compresses to fist size. Coincidentally, I too bought this item when needing to find something when at REI to use up my sizable $23.04 dividend.
After 2 years now of heavy use, still works/ only one small, fixable tear and thus a worthwhile gear purchase...(think it was $29.)
This daypack works well for circling a lake, fishing...lunch, fly box, windbreaker, and water bottle. For longer day trips, those off trail, I just trail strip down my regular Gregory 60 and use the already robust suspension for any essentials.


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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 24 2013, 3:16 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(Owen571 @ Mar. 24 2013, 11:58 am)
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Plenty of daypacks have frames and/or framesheets, and transfer weight to the hips, including the Osprey and Mystery Ranch packs mentioned in this thread. So do a lot of others. I tried internal frame daypacks from Osprey, Deuter, Mountain Hardware, Gregory, and ArcTeryx before getting my Manta.

I stand corrected - My idea of a daypack is different. In summer, I can carry a week's worth of stuff in a 2,400 cubic inch pack. I consider daypacks to be much smaller but that's based upon what I'm used to carrying. When I think of daypacks, I think of the little hydration packs.


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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 24 2013, 3:29 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I know what you mean, I've had several that didn't have any support, and don't remember framed daypacks at all from over a decade ago.
I must not be the only one spoiled by ventilated mesh backs, because it seems to have become a booming market. The variety was a pleasant surprise when I started shopping.
Guess I was lucky, because I wanted a Manta 25 based on appearances, but decided to try everything in stock at local outdoor outfitters, and then an REI while on vacation, before buying. I still don't like the mouthpiece for the bladder being held in place by a magnet, but it ended up being the most comfortable to me of the packs I tried. So I gots it! :)
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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 24 2013, 6:48 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(TrailScouter @ Mar. 24 2013, 10:58 am)
QUOTE

(hikerjer @ Mar. 24 2013, 1:47 am)
QUOTE
The one piece of advice I would give is to make sure you get one that is plenty big enough to carry all the gear you need on a day hike. And by that I mean enough gear with you that you could make it through an uno (unexpected night out).

Agreed.  I always carry enough for that unexpected night out because you never know what might happen on the trail, whether it be a short day hike or a long one.  This is where it pays to follow the Boy Scout Motto - "Be Prepared".

The typical weight of my day pack with food and water is in the 15 pound +/- range for a 3 season day hike.  I'm looking for a day pack that will give me some flexibility as far as the amount of gear that I decide to bring on a day hike, but will still be comfortable on my back regardless.  Like my regular backpack, I want a pack that will transfer the majority of the weigth to my hips.

Thanks all for the feedback.

Wow!  I carried a 28L backpack on my seven month, round the world trip back in 2009.  My total pack weight was about 11-12 lbs.   :D

But in the end, the only right answer is the one that works for you.


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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 24 2013, 8:36 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Because I usually have enough in my jacket for a day hike (map, compass, some water, SAK, small FAK, a couple of CLIF bars,) an 8L day pack w/a 2L bladder is all I need. In it I put a headlamp, layer, socks, lunch, Mylar blanket and itty-bitties. No need for a hip belt, either. The sternum strap does fine.

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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 24 2013, 8:37 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

with rain pants, poncho, first aid kit, survival kit, dry baselayer, dry hat and gloves, hammock chair, 3 liters of water, my day pack starts out at about 18 lbs.  6 of it is water, and another 3 is the pack itself.

Yesterday I was snowshoeing with a small group in a local county forest.  Comments were made at the trail head about my pack.  Halfway through the hike a woman fell and suffered a skin gash on her wrist about the size of a quarter.  One of the other participants helped her and then asked "does any one have a band-aid?"  I was the only person out of 5 people with neosporin and adhesive bandages.  Everyone else had just water, snacks, and cell phones.  I bit my tongue about their lack of preparedness because I was not leading the hike.
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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 24 2013, 11:20 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(nogods @ Mar. 24 2013, 8:37 pm)
QUOTE
with rain pants, poncho, first aid kit, survival kit, dry baselayer, dry hat and gloves, hammock chair, 3 liters of water, my day pack starts out at about 18 lbs.  6 of it is water, and another 3 is the pack itself.

Yesterday I was snowshoeing with a small group in a local county forest.  Comments were made at the trail head about my pack.  Halfway through the hike a woman fell and suffered a skin gash on her wrist about the size of a quarter.  One of the other participants helped her and then asked "does any one have a band-aid?"  I was the only person out of 5 people with neosporin and adhesive bandages.  Everyone else had just water, snacks, and cell phones.  I bit my tongue about their lack of preparedness because I was not leading the hike.

+1.  My day pack is pretty much like nogods.  In addition, I always have a fleece or micro-puff jacket, extra socks and cordage with me. Even though most of the time I don't use everything in my day pack, it's important to me to know that it's there.  I'm constantly amazed at how unprepared people are when they hike.  Countless times I've come across people hiking at high elevations with no extra clothes or rain gear or even a hat. All it takes is a quick moving storm to change the situation. Sure chances are that they'll probably make it out but they'll be miserable at best and maybe impose on someone else who is better prepared.  At worst it can be tragic.  Taking what works for you is fine as long as it will work in the worst of situations.   True, going out with the minimum will probably get  you through just about every situation almost all the time, but it only takes one bad break to lead to tragedy.  Just saying.


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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 25 2013, 12:48 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Seems both of you are talking about winter and/or high altitude hikes.  Makes sense.  Come summertime though, half the country will be in sweltering heat.  So much depends on temp and terrain...

My Eddie Bauer fanny pack (Target - $24.99) is surprisingly comfortable.  Most day hikes, I pack:

o   2 liters of water
o   energy bars
o   wind jacket
o   small container of DEET / sun screen
o   small first aid kit
o   LED light and small compass (if going on new trails)

For a full day here in southern Cal., I carry up to 4.5L of water.  But water aside, everything else is pretty darn light and compact.


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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 25 2013, 3:28 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(Ben2World @ Mar. 24 2013, 6:48 pm)
QUOTE

(TrailScouter @ Mar. 24 2013, 10:58 am)
QUOTE

(hikerjer @ Mar. 24 2013, 1:47 am)
QUOTE
The one piece of advice I would give is to make sure you get one that is plenty big enough to carry all the gear you need on a day hike. And by that I mean enough gear with you that you could make it through an uno (unexpected night out).

Agreed.  I always carry enough for that unexpected night out because you never know what might happen on the trail, whether it be a short day hike or a long one.  This is where it pays to follow the Boy Scout Motto - "Be Prepared".

The typical weight of my day pack with food and water is in the 15 pound +/- range for a 3 season day hike.  I'm looking for a day pack that will give me some flexibility as far as the amount of gear that I decide to bring on a day hike, but will still be comfortable on my back regardless.  Like my regular backpack, I want a pack that will transfer the majority of the weigth to my hips.

Thanks all for the feedback.

Wow!  I carried a 28L backpack on my seven month, round the world trip back in 2009.  My total pack weight was about 11-12 lbs.   :D

But in the end, the only right answer is the one that works for you.

Learned a lot here. But I definitely agree that bottom line, it's what works for you that goes. A matter of preferences on what's comfortable and makes you feel secure on a hike.
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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 25 2013, 8:10 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(Ben2World @ Mar. 25 2013, 12:48 am)
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Seems both of you are talking about winter and/or high altitude hikes.  Makes sense.  Come summertime though, half the country will be in sweltering heat.  So much depends on temp and terrain...

My Eddie Bauer fanny pack (Target - $24.99) is surprisingly comfortable.  Most day hikes, I pack:

o   2 liters of water
o   energy bars
o   wind jacket
o   small container of DEET / sun screen
o   small first aid kit
o   LED light and small compass (if going on new trails)

For a full day here in southern Cal., I carry up to 4.5L of water.  But water aside, everything else is pretty darn light and compact.

I always have my poncho and hiking hammock in summer (for my mid-hike nap) and a pair of long pants and mountain hardwear stretch gaiters because I do a lot of bushwhacking and I have to be prepared for areas of heavy underbrush.

I think the key is matching the pack to the what one wants to carry.  

No doubt the basic necessities can be carried in fanny pack and one not need carry more.  

But if a person wants to carry more, I think they will be happier with a small full suspension pack rather than school book type backpack.
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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 25 2013, 9:51 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I've been using a Gregory Miwok 18 for the past few weeks and like it a lot for day pack use.
I tried a MountainSmith lumbar pack and while comfortable did not care for it after several day hikes. I did not like how my typical kit fit nor all the weight in one area.

I tried a variety, including the Osprey Talon 22, and for me the Miwok fit and felt best. I brought my typical day hike kit with me, to the area EMS, and spent 2 hours placing my kit in the varied bags and wandering around the store and mall with them on to get a basic sense of fit.

After several day hikes with the Miwok I'm glad I bought it. It easily carries my kit, seasonal, fits very good and feels good as well.

As has been suggested, take this info and head off to a shop and try them out buying what feels and fits best for you...then tell us about it.


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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 25 2013, 10:33 am Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE


(markskor @ Mar. 24 2013, 3:15 pm)
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Are you intending to carry this day pack along with you when backpacking? I regularly do much more backpacking than day hiking and also wanted a day pack, but one light enough for the wilderness...more me, more useful.

My backcountry kit now includes a silnylon Sea to Summit day pack - weighs nothing and compresses to fist size.

marmot's kompressor pack is good for this purpose, too. i pretty sure i got mine at REI.

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