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Topic: Female trail worker in need of a big, rugged pack, Gregory Petit Dru or Denali ?< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 24 2013, 10:13 pm  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I'm a 5'5" 140lbs women who's been working trails for the
     last few years. Did my last 6 month season in the Klamath
     with a Deva 85 which was in many ways a great pack but just
     didn't stand up to constant use in the backcountry. I've been
     scoping out the Gregory Petit Dru, but have found few reviews
     and pound for pound and measurement for measurement it's
     essentially the Denali size small. I work with folks who've
     had the Denali for up to 15 years with no complaints but
     weight. I usually pack around 50lbs, plus tools (Pulaski, R5,
     goddamnit I have to carry this rockbar...). Could I get away
     with a Denali size small? Any women out there used this pack?
     Any word on the petit dru? Tired of women's packs in bright
     pink with no bite for their bark... 
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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 24 2013, 11:52 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

See my reply in the other Denali thread.

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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 25 2013, 1:07 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

If this going to be your full time job, then I'd look into a Mystery  Ranch (aka the "new"  Dana Design) or dare I mention a custom McHale Pack.

Bomb proof, and nearly bullet proof fabric. Best suspension on the planet bar none.

A military service ALICE pack from a surplus store would fit your needs as well for far less money.

99.9% of commercial, name brand packs, won't stand up to even 1 month of the use you're describing !


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AlmostThere Search for posts by this member.
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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 25 2013, 9:35 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Similar to the ALICE pack - the Molly Mac Pack.

An external frame might actually fill the bill better than an internal.


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     Friedrich Nietzsche
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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 25 2013, 10:42 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

The Gregory Denali would be my recommendation. Get it properly fitted, you may need a "mens" if you have a long torso.

I carried one for over 8 years as a professional guide and wilderness instructor with up to 110+ pounds. While I was a wilderness instructor it was carried 10 days a month, 11 months a year for over 5 years. Average weight 60+lb.

It will hold up and carry extremely heavy loads with comfort.
Your mileage may vary.

Edit: I was reminded I carried 114lb with it after the mules failed to show up to carry gear out from a caving grotto event in the Marble Mtns  :p


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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 25 2013, 12:17 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

They're carried by REI so if one of those stores is within reach you could arrange a fitting, which for that weight range is sort of mandatory. IIRC their documentation has their torso lengths listed and the series uses an interchangeable waste belt so in general I expect you could get one within your range.


I bought a factory second from Wayne Gregory at his old shop in El Cajon (the top pocket had a fabric "pull": hardly an issue) and much, much later bought a "Pro" from Teton Mountaineering so I can say I've used and liked the pack. It's a specialist tool but you have some specific needs that would fit with it.
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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 25 2013, 6:55 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

If you can still find one, the arcteryx bora packs might as well be indestructible.
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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 27 2013, 1:09 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

You have to try on backpacks to get a good fit.  Even then, it takes time to find out which one is best for you.  You can ask these questions all day long, and get all sorts of different answers.  Bottom line is all packs fit each person differently.  What works for one person can be horrible for another person.

My best suggestion:  go to someplace like REI, where you can get measured, try on packs, and have the option to exchange a pack for another one if your first choice doesn't work out.


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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 27 2013, 1:35 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(swimswithtrout @ Sep. 25 2013, 1:07 am)
QUOTE
If this going to be your full time job, then I'd look into a Mystery  Ranch (aka the "new"  Dana Design) or dare I mention a custom McHale Pack.

Bomb proof, and nearly bullet proof fabric. Best suspension on the planet bar none.

A military service ALICE pack from a surplus store would fit your needs as well for far less money.

99.9% of commercial, name brand packs, won't stand up to even 1 month of the use you're describing !

I have to disagree with your post.  

Do you own a Mystery Ranch Pack?  And have you used one on a prolonged backpack trip?

I really, really disagree with your statement about commercial, name brand packs.  People read these forums and believe what they see.  And that's a bunch of crap.

I don't want to turn this into a Mystery Ranch bashing essay.  The packs themselves are bomb proof like you said.  But they suck ass for carrying weight.  Doesn't hold the weight tight to the body, instead pushes it out from your but, and its just miserable to carry.  If this was just my own personal experience, then I would not say this as fact.  But truth is, everyone I know in my backpacking circles thinks this is the most god awful packs out there.  Don't know where Dana went wrong, because the same people love his old packs.

I can tell quite a few stories about Mystery packs that don't hold up well.  Not sure if your post is serious though.  I don't doubt your experience of climbing, but have to really question your post here.  


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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 27 2013, 1:47 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Here is a story.  The OP asked about Gregory Packs.  Back in 2009, we were in Glacier for 7 week backpacking.  Halfway thru, the Gregory pack I was using, broke on the hip belt.  (Now, this is the difference between a Mystery Ranch pack, and a commercial pack.  Mystery Ranch wouldn't break like this).  Thing is, my back up pack was a Mystery Ranch 6000.  Instead of using the Mystery Ranch, I chose to continue use the broken Gregory pack.  With the broken hip belt.

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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 27 2013, 10:15 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I suggest going somewhere other than REI, since they measured me wrong about six times running. An inch to two inches off every time - which mattered since I was right on the threshold between small and medium in most backpack size ranges. There are many ways to measure yourself. I suggest using the instruction on the McHale pack website, or checking out ULA's video on measurements.

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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 27 2013, 8:36 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Thanks for the tips!

I've been measured at both REI and a trusted local outdoor store... I'm generally the smallest size in any brand. (17" torso, 26" waist/hips).

I've just been unable to find an REI or any other store that carries the petit dru, and REI has never had the Denali in stock.

I'm extremely hesitant  to order a pack I haven't at least tried on, and by "try on" I mean with some weight. All of this is speculation regardless because I have an Osprey (would never purchase again) that fit great in store but sucked after a few miles on the trail, weight shifted when hiking regardless of how much I compressed it.


I'll likely order a petit dru, spoke with a rep at Gregory and it is made of the same stuff that goes into a Denali, with a narrower frame.

I've worn a friend's Mystery Ranch pack and was disappointed with its
design... Definitely bulletproof but her small sized one felt like it was made for someone with a more masculine build, just didn't rest well on my hips. Ear great things about the old Dana Designs, my supervisor still carries one.

The McHale Packs are gorgeous, can't find price points listed but will research more... I obviously need another expensive pack to add to my current collection of 10 (all under 50l / for front country use).

Thanks again!
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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 27 2013, 9:11 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Perhaps order the Denali Pro for in store delivery from REI? Then you can unpack it and get it set up, or reject it as unsuitable. Right there.

Though listed as back ordered at the moment it's listed online:
http://m.rei.com/mt/www.rei.com/product/648696/gregory-denali-pro-pack
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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 27 2013, 10:32 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

McHale packs are custom so pricing depends on the features you want. I purchased my first McHale pack about ten years ago after going through two Gregory packs in four years. Mine still performs like new - Best investment I ever made.

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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 27 2013, 11:24 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Kellykate
QUOTE
I've been measured at both REI and a trusted local outdoor store... I'm generally the smallest size in any brand. (17" torso, 26" waist/hips).

A 17" torso is usually  considered on the long side for someone who is 5'4". When I was working retail (Hermits Hut) I had 2 gals come in the same week asking for a women's pack. They had been to the other local stores and complained that the ones they tried on didn't fit right and wanted to know what we had.

Both gals were about 5'5"/5'7" and had long torsos. The packs they had tried on were "womens" packs, which meant the torso length was usually for someone 14.5" up to 16". I can't remember the specifics (getting too old) but I seem to remember putting one gal in a men's medium with the women's waist belt and shoulder straps. Both of them bought the Gregory's and couldnt believe how much better they fit than the other models in women's.

I have seen guys 6' and women 5'4" with 17" torsos. My mountaineering partner was 5'10" and she had a 16" torso. That was almost 10 years ago, they could have made adjustments in how they measure. As mentioned, go with REI or someone who will do an exchange if needed.

Rule #1 you fit the body, not the gender  :)

On that note...I fitted a Doctor in a womens tele boot because he had narrow feet. He loved the fit but called me back a few days later pissed because I sold him a womens boot. I asked how he knew and he said it was on the box, I told him not to show anyone the box or put pink laces on the boots and no one would know..


He told me a few months later they fit beautifully and he hadn't changes the laces  :laugh:


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Helen Keller
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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 08 2013, 4:31 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Look at the MARPAT ILBE used by the Marines. This thing is absolutely bombproof, will carry up to 120lbs, and is more versatile than anything I have ever seen.

It was desgined by Arctryx/Propper for the USMC and is roughly based on the Arctryx Naos found at Arctryx Naos

The ILBE basic unit carries 4500cus, but with the addition of "designed for accessories" such as  a "lid", sustainment pouches, and the standard small assault pack, you can easily bust 7000cus.

It has a built in Camelback pouch for a hydration system in the mainpack and the assault pack. With the extra sustainment pouches you can easily carry a weeks worth of food, possibly two if you are careful.

The suspension system is infinitely adjustable and the whole unit is set up to carry 120lbs. Brand new the USMC pays $1200.00 for the whole rig including the separate assault pack which piggybacks nicely on to the mainpack. You can buy the whole thing new on Amazon for ~ $125.00, and even better deals on e-bay. You can get a good used unit for about $65.00. See http://www.amazon.com/USMC-DI....ds=ilbe

You can see a brief youtube video on this thing at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XaOaTabwmHU. There are a ton of videos on using/loading it in all its variations out there.

Short version, I love mine. I don't think I will ever wear it out or need to buy another.

Giff
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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 08 2013, 5:33 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE


(mtnsteve @ Sep. 27 2013, 11:24 pm)
QUOTE
Kellykate
QUOTE
I've been measured at both REI and a trusted local outdoor store... I'm generally the smallest size in any brand. (17" torso, 26" waist/hips).

A 17" torso is usually  considered on the long side for someone who is 5'4". When I was working retail (Hermits Hut) I had 2 gals come in the same week asking for a women's pack. They had been to the other local stores and complained that the ones they tried on didn't fit right and wanted to know what we had.

+1 On this OP.


QUOTE
I've been measured at both REI and a trusted local outdoor store... I'm generally the smallest size in any brand. (17" torso, 26" waist/hips).


I'd suggest measuring yourself. In my experience almost all employees at these outfitters consistently mismeasure people, usually overstating their torso length because they measure not from the top of the illiac crest but from where the hip bones protrude on the sides. This often changes the measurement but 1-3"!! Also, people often measure from the C6 vertebra, which sticks out more, not the C7 as recommended.

Dig your fingers into the sides of your hips. Find where the the very top of the hip bones lie - not where the front edge stick out. THIS is the lower point of the torso. Then measure to the C7 vertebrae. This is typically the vertabra that lies BELOW the one that protrudes.

It can vary a lot person to person, but chances are you're not 17". I'm 5'8", and measure 16.5". I have a short torso, but it's unlikely (though possible) you are longer than this.

Here's an image to help:



For references, the pack should feel like it's sitting a little higher than you think it should. It shouldn't be hanging off your bag and resting on your butt. That means it's too low. Your belly button will probably be approximately covered by the buckle. If it's above the buckle, the pack it sitting too low. It might feel a little more comfortable sitting lower, but once you've been wearing it a while and it's been weighing too much on your shoulders and pulling you backwards, you'll appreciate having it higher where it will distribute more weight onto your pelvis.

That being said, you don't want it too high either. And people vary a lot in proportions, so it might work better lower for you depending on your overall build.
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