Author Topic: Which pack is better?  (Read 5388 times)

Offline The Coyote Kid

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Which pack is better?
« on: February 21, 2010, 01:07:59 AM »
For long distance foot travel, which type of pack is better, the type that has the traditional dual traps over each shoulder or the ones which have a single strap that goes across the chest? Or is there no different?

Offline rustyknife

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Re: Which pack is better?
« Reply #1 on: February 21, 2010, 04:50:44 AM »
A couple of things will affect your choice. Weight you are trying to carry and the distance you are trying to go. Both types of packs can be put to good use but eventually you'll have to try them for yourself. ;D I use a pack that has shoulder straps and a chest strap and padded waist belt. My pack weighs about 65 lbs when fully loaded and after trying a shoulder pack I didn't like all that weight on one side even though I could change from one shoulder to the other. Happy trails ::)

Offline The Coyote Kid

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Re: Which pack is better?
« Reply #2 on: February 21, 2010, 07:53:08 AM »
Thanks! :)

Offline Gray Ghost

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Re: Which pack is better?
« Reply #3 on: February 21, 2010, 09:27:27 AM »
My $0.02, for a long distance a single strap is going to be a pain. However, like said before, it really depends on how much weight you are carrying. Just a camera and water bottle, a gear slinger would be fine. A tent, sleeping bag, food, water, etc, etc I would say you would want a full pack. Then you get into internal vs external frames, material type, do you care about MOLLE attachments, pack weight, specific use. It gets complicated.

Offline donaldj

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Re: Which pack is better?
« Reply #4 on: February 21, 2010, 09:32:11 AM »
For long distance you'll want a traditional backpack. Not because of two shoulder straps, but because of one hip-belt.

Even carrying 25 pounds of gear or less, shoulders are going to get tired and you'll be slowing down because of the weight on the shoulders. Weight like that simply rides best on the hips.

As so very cool I think the Maxpedition Versa packs are (and yes, I want one!), my Get Home Bags are daypacks that have hip belts. I've chosen the North Face Borealis to be my Get Home Bags because they are big enough to put a reasonable 72 hr kit in, and they have waist belts. They also look like standard commuter or school backpacks to get you that gray man image.

Since this post is in the camping section, I'm thinking it's for on-trail activity. I'd go with the 2000 cubic inch range of day packs or overnight packs.

Offline The Coyote Kid

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Re: Which pack is better?
« Reply #5 on: February 21, 2010, 09:48:41 AM »
My current BOB is a two strap with a hip and chest belt but I also plan to use it for outdoor activity as well. The reason I asked about the single strap was I saw one that looked nice but I didn't think they would be good for long term carrying. For my situation, the route between my work and home is just a single shot stretch of highway before getting into town, so if I had to go on foot I would be taking a path through the forest nearby. There are a number of refinery and industrial work sites nearby, so everyone takes the same highway coming and going from work and it gets crowded. I've seen how bad it gets during a hurricane because it's the main evac route for heading north in that part of our area.

Thanks again for your advice.

Offline Gray Ghost

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Re: Which pack is better?
« Reply #6 on: February 21, 2010, 03:20:20 PM »
For long distance you'll want a traditional backpack. Not because of two shoulder straps, but because of one hip-belt.

Thank you for including that. I meant to add it.

As so very cool I think the Maxpedition Versa packs are (and yes, I want one!), my Get Home Bags are daypacks that have hip belts. I've chosen the North Face Borealis to be my Get Home Bags because they are big enough to put a reasonable 72 hr kit in, and they have waist belts. They also look like standard commuter or school backpacks to get you that gray man image.

Since this post is in the camping section, I'm thinking it's for on-trail activity. I'd go with the 2000 cubic inch range of day packs or overnight packs.

There is also the Maxpedition Vulture II for 1-3 day packs. It's a little larger, 2800ci, has a waist strap, and a system for a water bladder.

Offline ladieu

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Re: Which pack is better?
« Reply #7 on: March 01, 2010, 08:58:45 PM »
http://www.google.com/products?oe=UTF-8&sourceid=navclient&gfns=1&q=whittaker%20jansport&um=1&ie=UTF-8&sa=N&hl=en&tab=wf

All the guides on Ranier had this pack. My brother bought it, really high quality, nice pack.  I like it.

I have all gregory backpacks and they are top notch, but expensive. I always just buy whatever gear is top rated by backpacker magazine when they come out with the annual gear review issue. tip... buy last years "editors choice" to save some cash and get a nice product


I second the need for a hip belt... You want something with a very comfortable hip belt if you plan to lug it around.

Offline EFWesq

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Re: Which pack is better?
« Reply #8 on: March 03, 2010, 01:21:52 PM »
Not because of two shoulder straps, but because of one hip-belt.

Couldn't agree more.

Offline Bigfoot

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Re: Which pack is better?
« Reply #9 on: March 08, 2010, 08:47:38 PM »
Years ago when I was in college, I had to go to the campus doctors office for physical therapy for a back injury.  They told me to always use both straps not just one.  They said the number one cause of back pain that they saw was from carrying a pack using just one strap. I know pack designs have changed since then, just something to consider.

Offline zackandjen2004

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Re: Which pack is better?
« Reply #10 on: March 10, 2010, 08:03:09 PM »
If you'll be carrying more than 25 pounds (total pack weight), consider a pack with a frame, internal or external.  The frame helps transfer the weight to your hips.  I love my Osprey pack.  Expensive, but worth it.

Offline kc9eci

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Re: Which pack is better?
« Reply #11 on: March 10, 2010, 08:07:49 PM »
I like my ALICE pack.  I know, there are better packs, but I've had the thing for years.  Got used to them in the Army.

Offline Ranger Dave

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Re: Which pack is better?
« Reply #12 on: March 11, 2010, 08:32:52 AM »
The best advice I can  offer is go to Academy, Bass Pro, Cabelas or your local sporting goods store. Try on several different styles and frames and see how they feel.
I have logged over 120 miles with an under $100 external frame I got in the Boy Scouts
I have logged over 250 miles with a $100 Eureka internal frame pack
I have logged over 100 miles with a $100 Kelty internal frame from Academy
I have logged over 100 miles with a $200 Kelty internal frame from Bass Pro (I should of stayed with the pack from Academy)

My point is the pack does not have to be expensive, you just have to find what you like and what works for you.

Ranger Dave

Offline zackandjen2004

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Re: Which pack is better?
« Reply #13 on: March 11, 2010, 03:28:04 PM »
I'm with Ranger Dave.  Choose a pack that feels good and carries well.  The main reason I am a faithful REI customer is that if a product does NOT work out for you, you can return it, no hassle.  Even boots.  Even socks!  Case in point: I tried some expensive liner socks that simply ate my skin up.  I returned them without shame.   I'd recommend buying any pack from REI.  Website to store shipping is free, too.