Practical Backpacking™ Forums

Welcome to Practical Backpacking™ Forums (PBF).

You are currently viewing PBF as a guest which has limited access. By becoming a PBF member, you will have full access to view and participate in tens of thousands of informative discussions, to view links and attachments (photos), and will gain access to other special features. Registration is fast, simple and absolutely free! Click to Become a PBF Member! Be sure to also explore the Practical Backpacking Podcast.


Go Back   Practical Backpacking™ Forums > Practical Backpacking™ Gear Discussion > Backpacks
HOME FAQ PBF GUIDELINES BLOG PODCAST GALLERY STORE CALENDAR Mark Forums Read

Backpacks The Backpacks forum is for the discussion of backpacking packs (including front packs and pack accessories: hipbelt pockets, pack covers,...).


Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 07-31-2014, 05:39 AM
© 2006-2016 Practical Backpacking™ / All Rights Reserved
cmseeley cmseeley is offline
Practical Backpacking™ New Member
Shelter: JRB Tarp
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Horseheads, NY
Posts: 14
Field and Stream or Kelty Backpacks - and under-loading

I really haven't been backpacking in probably 20-25 years. Since I was a teenager anyways.

I am thinking about getting a new internal frame pack. I am wondering on what everyone's thoughts are on going cheap to start. I was looking at a "Field and Stream" brand 65L, that is very reasonably priced. I was also looking at the Kelty Redstone 60L which is on sale for $150. They also have a Kelty 80L Coyote for around $200, as well as a couple north face packs in this same price range. I just can't seem to make up my mind...

I am 5'7" 195lb's, about 21" or so. I will probably be doing mostly 2-3 day trips. I am sure most will be in spring summer and fall. I am guessing that a lot of the trips will be solo, but alot will be with one of my younger kids, so I am sure I will be carrying a bit extra gear anyway. I think that the bigger pack will be better, as it will be more versatile. Is there anything wrong with using a half filled pack? for example say I bought the kelty 80L from dicks, would It be totally uncomfortable when only 1/2 full for a summer overnight hike. I am just thinking that I don't want to have to buy a second pack if I want to go on a 4 day winter trip needing more and heavier gear for the weather.

My real questions are these.

Is it bad practice or uncomfortable to under load a bigger pack? I am just thinking that 50% of the time I will want a larger 60L or bigger, and 50% of the time smaller than that. If I get the bigger one now, then I will not need a second pack, I could use this one for everything.

Anyone have any experience with the "Field and Stream" brand? What about the Kelty Redstone, or Coyote?

I am thinking the Kelty models at this point but just not sure.

Thanks,

Chris
Reply With Quote
Please Consider PBF Sponsors
  #2  
Old 08-02-2014, 01:16 AM
© 2006-2016 Practical Backpacking™ / All Rights Reserved
GGervin GGervin is offline
Practical Backpacking­™ Forums Moderator
Backpack: Gregory Shasta, Deuter ACT Lite 65+10
Sleeping Gear: REI ThermoPod +0 mummy, MH 3D +40 mummy
Shelter: SD Superflash, GoLite Hut 1
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: California
Posts: 436
Welcome to the forum! I'm glad you found us. I'm sure you'll find lots of useful advice here.

Yes, it's an excellent idea to load a big pack with a smaller load. Most packs these days have lots of load adjusting straps which are intended to make your idea practical. And it's certainly smart to start with a pack that will cover both short and long trips. Buying too small a pack can definitely limit the length of the trips you try.

I started out with a Lowe Contour IV, which is a huge 90 liter pack. By tightening the load adjusting straps on it, it was easy to use it for any trip length and it still wore excellently. I used it for everything from over-nighters to week long trips.

Nothing wrong with going inexpensive. You're smart to investigate quality, since inexpensive packs don't have to be low quality. For the money you're planning on, you can definitely get good quality. In fact, I've bought all my packs in about that price range (including my 90L Gregory and my 65L Deuter), on sale or clearance.

Kelty is well known, highly thought of, it's been around forever, easily researched, and found at any medium to high end outdoor specialty retailer. I have looked at Field and Stream gear (mostly at one of those "Mart" type places as opposed to a real outdoor retailer). I have and regularly use a Field and Stream shoulder bag to keep my 10 essentials and my survival kit in (kind of like a modern possibles bag). The shoulder bags are around $10.00. I bought several of them because I like the design better than anything else I've seen, but they are too easy to wear out. I wore a decent hole in one after three trips. I do carry and use duct tape in the shoulder bag to cover it's own inevitable emergency field repairs. You can just barely get away with that kind of quality in a possibles bag that holds five pounds or less. A backpack takes a huge amount more guff, and I don't think F&S's pack material and construction are any better than the shoulder bag. Hands down, go with Kelty.

Sometimes you can find a retailer that rents packs. First trip or two, try to find a rental pack that is at least similar in size and design to what you think you want. It could help you avoid a mistake or two when you do buy.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 08-02-2014, 03:17 PM
© 2006-2016 Practical Backpacking™ / All Rights Reserved
badwolf badwolf is offline
Practical Backpacking™ Junior Member
Backpack: Granite Gear Leopard 58 AC KI or Deuter Aircontact 50L
Sleeping Gear: Thermarest NeoLite XL womens, Big Agnes Roxy Ann
Shelter: Big Agnes Copper Spur UL1
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Ohio
Posts: 45
Welcome back to backpacking

I, too, took a 20-year hiatus.

I concur with GGervin. I find no reason that "underloading" a pack is a problem. The only time it's an issue is with some frameless packs that require contents to provide structure.

I have a 70L and I never fill it up. I wouldn't be able to carry it if I did.

I own more packs than I'll admit to... but I got them on sale. One reason I own so many is because I kept evolving in the art of backpacking and found my needs changed. (another reason is it seems to be some kind of fetish with me... but enough about that). So, yeah, get something and get out there. You can always get a different pack later as you figure out what works for you.

I might be biased since my first pack from 1979 was a Kelty... but it's a brand that's been around for a long time for good reason. As long as it's comfortable you won't likely go wrong with one.

You don't need to spend a fortune, but don't go so cheap that you regret getting back into backpacking. What's worse than being 20 miles from your car and in pain because a pack doesn't fit or support the load?

Shannon
Reply With Quote
Please Consider PBF Sponsors
  #4  
Old 08-02-2014, 11:40 PM
© 2006-2016 Practical Backpacking™ / All Rights Reserved
dsuursoo dsuursoo is offline
Practical Backpacking­™ Senior Member
Backpack: Mountainsmith Maverick 65
Sleeping Gear: ALPS +20 mummy
Shelter: Kelty Noah 9x9
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 1,482
Packs are an area where its worth it to drop some money.

I myself run a fairly large pack: like most it comes with cinch straps to snug it when under loaded. Its no problem to run with it under capacity.

Kelty has been around for decades. They're doing something right to stay one of the big names. Their stuff is good.

The field-stream branded pack is probably made by hitek or one of the knockoff outfits. They're not bad packs most of them but not always as good as the big names(or the little boutique brands). But they could get you through a season or two. Or they could blow out early. Hard to say.

I will speak highly of shopping around, trying out rentals of you can, and hunting the clearance/outlet sections of stores both Brick and mortar and online. Its how I scored both of my packs and they're awesome. High sierra is underrated. Mountain smith isn't glamorous. But they both make really solid packs.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 08-03-2014, 11:25 AM
© 2006-2016 Practical Backpacking™ / All Rights Reserved
IdahoSkies IdahoSkies is offline
Practical Backpacking™ Junior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 28
If it is between the two you mentioned. I would choose the kelty. (And I'd I use to receive field and Stream). Kelty has been around for ever and makes good entry level equipment, and if you take care of it, it should last. In the $200 price range, there are other options that will work equally well, and I encourage you try try on backs until you find what is comfortable. A pack that is comfortable and carries well will be healthier for you and more enjoyable.

I am currently using an 80L pack, but because of modern technology (and all those adjustment straps) it cinches down and is equally comfortable with a 40 L load. I have been very impressed. I went big and chose the pack I did for just for that very reason, that it could do both.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 08-04-2014, 02:12 PM
© 2006-2016 Practical Backpacking™ / All Rights Reserved
cmseeley cmseeley is offline
Practical Backpacking™ New Member
Shelter: JRB Tarp
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Horseheads, NY
Posts: 14
Thanks for all of the insight folks. It is very appreciated.

I have decided to steer away from the Field and Stream pack. It seems as though most of the reviews claim that they really don't hold up. It looks like that is thier "store brand. I do have a smaller hunting pack with that brand and it seems fine, but it is lashed to my climber stand, so really don't know how the straps etc hold up. Where I am at, pretty much all I have is Dick's Sporting Goods, and they really do not have much to choose from. I have tried them all on, and the two name brands that they have in the $200 range is Kelty and the North Face.

What do you all think about The North Face packs?

Thanks again all!

Best,

Chris
Reply With Quote
Please Consider PBF Sponsors
Aquaponics 4 You
  #7  
Old 08-04-2014, 09:02 PM
© 2006-2016 Practical Backpacking™ / All Rights Reserved
GGervin GGervin is offline
Practical Backpacking­™ Forums Moderator
Backpack: Gregory Shasta, Deuter ACT Lite 65+10
Sleeping Gear: REI ThermoPod +0 mummy, MH 3D +40 mummy
Shelter: SD Superflash, GoLite Hut 1
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: California
Posts: 436
I don't know Dick's lineup. I wouldn't be afraid to explore online retailers, especially if it opened up options and I knew their return policy was good. I have put my money where my mouth is. Don't rush into a pack purchase. Make the right choice and spend the right money. You will never regret the patient and measured choice like you will the rushed one.

I have a NF Patrol Pack from a decade or so back. A really great pack for what it is - a day pack for specialized snow sports (skiing or snowshoeing). Well thought out details and it just fits my somewhat long torso length. The suspension is good (not excellent, but good). A very good specialty day pack. It also weighs 5 lbs., which for a dedicated day pack, is slightly astonishing.

I think NF has a spotty reputation for packpacks. Some are good, a few have been rumored very good, and a few have been rumored to stay away from. You really need to do your research and be sure of the reputation of the specific NF pack you're looking at.

Kelty - they're pretty consistent. No one claims they are high end. But no one pretends they are low end, either. Not expensive, but not cheap. They're a good, steady, workable presence in the backcountry products I'm aware of. In a NF vs Kelty faceoff, I'd put my money on Kelty. But it does depend on the specific product. (30 years ago, when NF owned itself, this answer would have been different. But that was a long time ago. I think NF has changed, and I really don't think Kelty has.) Hope that helps a bit.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 08-04-2014, 10:35 PM
© 2006-2016 Practical Backpacking™ / All Rights Reserved
dsuursoo dsuursoo is offline
Practical Backpacking­™ Senior Member
Backpack: Mountainsmith Maverick 65
Sleeping Gear: ALPS +20 mummy
Shelter: Kelty Noah 9x9
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 1,482
dick's faces the same issues pretty much any big box/multi-department/multi-niche store faces. how to carry stuff to tailor to so many customers and still fit inside a reasonable building.

kelty, i will throw in with GGervin on this, is a workhorse brand. not glamorous but hardly to be ignored. they've been around for so long because they do things very well.

north face... is hit/miss. some of their stuff is really nice. but they seem to have transformed themselves into a suburban 'sporty' fashion brand. meant for the people who want to have that 'look'. not all of their stuff is dodgy but not as reliable.

if kelty is what is around, it's not a bad choice. i have a bunch of kelty gear - no packs but mostly because my finance manager(wife) nipped my pack-buying. i'll stand behind kelty's gear based on my experience with the brand.

however.

don't be adverse to online retail. some of the bigger names out there have phenomenal return service*cough*REI*cough*MSR*cough*mountain hardwear*cough* - i need to get that looked at. they can be high quality stuff(and might beat dick's' pricing even on the same products).

one thing i might add - seek out the local community. craigslist, backpacking forums, Reddit, trailspace. on any one of those you could probably scare up locals with gear who can help you, either with opinions/reviews, or meet up and get touchy-feely with gear you might not have easy retail access to, etc. it'll also be a great way to find people to hike with.

Last edited by dsuursoo : 08-04-2014 at 10:39 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 08-05-2014, 12:05 AM
© 2006-2016 Practical Backpacking™ / All Rights Reserved
tonto tonto is offline
Practical Backpacking­™ Associate Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 470
Appalachian Trail Vision

I've done a lot of miles on the Appalachian Trail.

I've seen some camo clad survive the wilderness, heavy hunter gear types
But not far down the Trial
I've never seen a Field & Stream bearing hiker... ever!!!

I live in a latte quaffing college town
It's full of urban adventure preeners
They're always clad in North Face plumage
I've never seen an AT hiker toiling the miles in North Face togs.
Nor, toting their extras in a North Face shoulder mounted container.

But, I have seen several grizzled Old School veterans
They're making the miles and enjoying the wilds
And everyone had the Kelty name on their pack

Some things never die.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 08-11-2014, 09:00 AM
© 2006-2016 Practical Backpacking™ / All Rights Reserved
cmseeley cmseeley is offline
Practical Backpacking™ New Member
Shelter: JRB Tarp
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Horseheads, NY
Posts: 14
Tonto,

Thanks for this! A view of the back of fellow hikers and the logos they carry, says a lot.

I think I am going to go with the The Kelty Coyote 80.

I am going to shop around a bit for the best price, but it looks like everyone is about the same. I honestly like more earthy natural colors, so I will probably go with this years green color over last years.

Thanks everyone.

Chris

Quote:
Originally Posted by tonto
I've done a lot of miles on the Appalachian Trail.

I've seen some camo clad survive the wilderness, heavy hunter gear types
But not far down the Trial
I've never seen a Field & Stream bearing hiker... ever!!!

I live in a latte quaffing college town
It's full of urban adventure preeners
They're always clad in North Face plumage
I've never seen an AT hiker toiling the miles in North Face togs.
Nor, toting their extras in a North Face shoulder mounted container.

But, I have seen several grizzled Old School veterans
They're making the miles and enjoying the wilds
And everyone had the Kelty name on their pack

Some things never die.
Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Forum Jump



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 01:47 PM.

Backpacking Forums


Powered by vBulletin Version 3.5.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright © 2006-2017 Practical Backpacking™
Practical Backpacking is a trademark of Absolutely Prepared™
Practical Backpacker is a trademark of Absolutely Prepared™
Practical Backpacking Podcast is a trademark of Absolutely Prepared™
Practical Backpacking Magazine is a trademark of Absolutely Prepared™