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


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  #1  
Old 12-01-2014, 11:30 PM
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Ryan_W Ryan_W is offline
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Backpack: SIx Moons Designs Fusion 65
Sleeping Gear: North Face Cat's Meow +20
Shelter: Sierra Designs Lightning 2 UL
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: OR
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Multiple small packs?

I had a thought recently about a possible long distance backpacking strategy I am considering.

Typically, I've used a heavier load type pack (Osprey Aether 70). This last summer, I learned a lot about my needs on the trail after my first real long distance trip, and I feel like I can make do with a smaller pack and downsizing/upgrading a bit. I have been doing some research into lumbar and chest packs and was wondering if anyone has played with a multi pack concept? My thought was trying out a very small LW backpack with a chest pack for a long distance trip (or lumbar and a chest?).

My thought is that I can use a chest pack for my more commonly used gear and use the tiny backpack for my sleep system/shelter/food. For rain cover, I'd use a poncho that can cover me and my gear completely and a liner for my backpack.

The downfall I see to this is that I might actually weigh more over all as opposed to just a higher volume UL pack because of the extra straps, zippers, etc I might take on with multiple packs. However, I feel like the over all balance of such a system may make it worth it and I may feel more comfortable even with those few extra oz of straps and zippers.

Has anyone experimented with a multi pack system like this or know anyone who has? Any thoughts on such a system in general is greatly appreciated so please share if you have any feedback whatsoever, thanks!

I'm thinking of trying the system out this next summer.
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  #2  
Old 12-02-2014, 01:32 AM
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Reality Reality is offline
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At times, I use a RIBZ front pack with a backpack and it works out fairly well. It's a little uncomfortable in hot weather, but that's to be expected.

On occasion, I've used a waistpack along with a backpack. I didn't like the way the waistpack would sag down.

As you've mentioned, it does make frequently used gear items more readily accessible.

You're right that it's likely to weigh more, but weight is only one factor to consider. If you find a multipack system to be comfortable and useful, then a little bit of extra weight might be worth it.

Do some experimenting to see which system works best for you.

Reality
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  #3  
Old 12-02-2014, 10:25 AM
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Ralph Ralph is offline
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The Luxury Light pack used this system for backpacking, so do the Ribz packs.

I've used the back pack/chest pack system for my canoe packs. Canoe packs, at least my canoe packs (I make my own) are different from walking packs. Canoe pack spend most of their life sitting - on the ground or in the canoe - and very little time being carried, so I make my packs short, wide and fairly deep. On a portage I will carry a cruiser-type pack on my back, a chest pack clipped to the D-rings on the shoulder straps and the canoe overhead on my shoulders. The weight is balanced and carries relatively easily, allowing me to haul the entire outfit in one trip. BUT here, in the Adirondacks, portages are usually yards, not miles.

The larger shoulder pack contains kit that is bulky but not weight intensive, bedding, shelter and clothing mostly. The chest pack is smaller and carries the compact but heavier camp kitchen and food supply.

The system does work but takes some getting used to so I'd advise some practice, short, hikes before taking off on a lengthy trek.
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Old 12-02-2014, 12:45 PM
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dsuursoo dsuursoo is offline
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Backpack: Mountainsmith Maverick 65
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The balance can be nice. Front and back loaded will make you feel awkward for a while. In heavy brush this is an issue. On trails not so much.

The big issue with multiple small packs/bags is when they interfere with each other.

Its a pretty tough issue to sort out. The easiest way is to have equipment all built to work that way, similar to military LBE. Unfortunately systems like LBE don't fit everyone. If you were to go THAT route, you might be best served making your own gear.

The RIBZ pack I use has come in useful a few times. Mine is one of the older models and some stuff is hard to reach.

I tried to do a modular equipment approach. I had a fair bit of gear built with it in mind. I found it to have its place but to be a pain in the rear to manage. I eventually migrated to a monolithic pack setup(not counting survival package). It is just easier to manage. Bags inside the pack kept everything in order(and can be rigged into an LBE if needed) and sane.

I will still go modular during hunting season but not to the same degree as I once did.
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  #5  
Old 12-02-2014, 01:09 PM
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Reality Reality is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dsuursoo
The big issue with multiple small packs/bags is when they interfere with each other.
Yes. That's a big one to work out. Fortunately, my RIBZ and UL pack weren't much of a bother. But, it's always a concern and something to pay attention to when making selections.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dsuursoo
The RIBZ pack I use has come in useful a few times. Mine is one of the older models and some stuff is hard to reach.
As you know, the RIBZ has come a long way. The current model is a HUGE improvement of those early models.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ralph
The Luxury Light pack used this system for backpacking, so do the Ribz packs.

Aarn, is another one we can add to the list of those that use front and back pack storage.

Reality
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  #6  
Old 12-03-2014, 06:29 PM
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Ryan_W Ryan_W is offline
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Backpack: SIx Moons Designs Fusion 65
Sleeping Gear: North Face Cat's Meow +20
Shelter: Sierra Designs Lightning 2 UL
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: OR
Posts: 19
Thanks for the input guys! The Ribz pack was what I had in mind, although I do have a small waist pouch that I used on my recent trip as my emergency kit/snack food holder (never leaves my side), so I have also been considering utilizing that more efficiently rather than investing in a chest pack seeing as I'm already buying a whole new backpack. (weight difference is 1oz lighter, but significantly less volume than a Ribz)

After doing a bit of research the past couple of days, I think I've decided on trying a slightly different approach to this strategy: I'm considering investing in a 50L UL pack (my original thought was 35-40L).

As of now, I plan on trying out some other shelters (hammocks really spark my interest), but my current tent is probably going to have to do for another year for any of the trips I do. It works well for the trips my wife joins me on, and I do enjoy it's luxury solo when it's raining heavy out.

That being said, I'll need a bag that can hopefully accommodate it's bulk and the 50L Im looking at should do that along with sleep system and food with enough room to spare for other essentials.

The trip I'm planning for this next season is in WA from Snoqualmie to Stehekin. The first leg of the trip to my resupply is 75 miles (3-4 days of food), then 100 miles to the finish (planning about 5-6 days of food plus extra food for a pig out/zero day)

I'm thinking with a 50L pack, ill just mail myself the Ribz pack should I go that route and use it to accommodate the extra supplies after Stevens pass for the final 100 miles.

I do like the applications of the ribz pack for other endeavors, so I think I will go ahead and take the plunge on that and do some test runs before I use it for a long distance trip and see how well it works for me.

Dsuursoo, while looking into this on the forums here, I believe it was you who had made some recommendations about Mountainsmith packs. Are you familiar with the Haze? It was one of the packs I was looking at, although I think I'm really liking the Fusion 50 from Six Moon Designs (looks like a solid pack at 36oz).

One reason I like the 50L I'm considering is that it still seems to have a good suspension system to it and will be useful for many applications when I won't need my Osprey, even if I decide in the long term that the Osprey is my ideal long distance companion. Eventually, I will probably get an even lighter weight bag for some applications, but I think the rest of my gear and experience will have to catch up first.

Once again, thank you guys for the input, and if anyone has anything to add, it's greatly appreciated.
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  #7  
Old 12-10-2014, 07:43 AM
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tonto tonto is offline
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The year before I ran into a young guy on the AT who had a set up similar to what you describe.
The system was unique and simple.
He had a light weight day pack with a carabiner attached to the D ring on each shoulder strap.
He had another very simple style light stuff sack in front with rings on the top corners.
He could quickly attach or detach the stuff sack in front by clipping the carabiners through the rings on the stuff sack.
I think the guy told me he was carrying about 18 lbs of gear with food for 3 days.
Because he was carrying so light he was doing 20+ mile days.
But, he had to get off Trail to resupply every 3 days.
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  #8  
Old 12-11-2014, 10:49 PM
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dsuursoo dsuursoo is offline
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Backpack: Mountainsmith Maverick 65
Sleeping Gear: ALPS +20 mummy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryan_W



Dsuursoo, while looking into this on the forums here, I believe it was you who had made some recommendations about Mountainsmith packs. Are you familiar with the Haze? It was one of the packs I was looking at, although I think I'm really liking the Fusion 50 from Six Moon Designs (looks like a solid pack at 36oz).


Once again, thank you guys for the input, and if anyone has anything to add, it's greatly appreciated.

The haze is one I actually have looked at. Its pretty solid and really well priced but has some eh points( from my perspective). The compression straps are poorly placed, the lack of a frame really impacts the max weight on a pack of its size, and the belt is less than awesome.

That said it has a bunch going for it. Its really affordable and has massive internal volume. The build is sturdy and simple. The site pockets aren't just for show and can actually carry something.
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  #9  
Old 02-23-2015, 07:51 PM
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Ryan_W Ryan_W is offline
Practical Backpacking™ Junior Member
Backpack: SIx Moons Designs Fusion 65
Sleeping Gear: North Face Cat's Meow +20
Shelter: Sierra Designs Lightning 2 UL
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: OR
Posts: 19
So, I think I'll be picking up my Ribz pack here within the next few days or so but I have ran into a dilemma that perhaps those of you who use one could help me out with.

The small Ribz pack is 28-34" waist and the regular and large are 34-38". I run at around 32-34" so I'm tending towards the small but the large size has significantly more capacity at 11L instead of 8 which would be especially nice for other applications.

If I got the 34" large size and it ended up being a little loose, would that be awkward when carrying? Would the pack be bouncing around enough or anything to create a hindrance or nuisance?

Having a a slightly larger one might be nice for winter trips too when I am wearing more layers, but then again, I could easily wear the small underneath my outer layers if needed.

Thoughts?

(also, I did end up getting a Six Moons Designs pack and Ill be sure to share my thoughts on it once I take a significant trip or 2 this spring/summer. So far, I really like it and it's unique innovation to a suspension system)
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  #10  
Old 02-24-2015, 11:06 AM
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Grandpa Grandpa is offline
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Backpack: GoLite Pinnacle
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Location: Texas
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As far as the waist pack sagging down issue is concerned, I'd buckle the waist strap of my backpack under it and it would keep the waist pack where I wanted it.

I have several iterations of the Ribz vest, including their latest design. I'll try to pull it out and see how much adjustment there is for smaller waist sizes.
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