Multi day pack - some guidance
So far I've only done day trips or overnight tramps, but after joining the local tramping club I am looking for a high quality multi day tramping pack. Currently I've got a cheap 75 liter pack from TradeMe that does the job, but is not comfortable at all. I've been Googling for a while now, but am still not sure what the best pack would be. Some requirements I have: - I want to buy local, not via e.g. Amazon - It has to be comfortable - It should have enough space for trips up to 4 nights - I won't be doing mountaineering, just summer tramping trips. - No separate day pack required. - Budget $200-400 So, I think a 60-70L pack should be good. I currently have a MacPac day pack and really like the brand, but I have read some bad reviews about them. I do like their Cascade and Torlesse Packs; I guess the Cascade is better quality because of the AzTec. Otherwise, I like the Osprey packs in general but they are slightly more expensive. E.g. the Aether 65L seems a good option. Or should I go for a Deuter, e.g. the Deuter Aircontact 55+10L seems a good option. I don't hear good stories about Kathmandu or Torpedo7 packs so I guess it's safe to assume I should not go for these? They are much cheaper. Some guidance would be appreciated as I want to buy a pack that will last for years and will make my tramps enjoyable.
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Yeah, whatever the approach, philosophy, or weight of gear the most important thing is just getting out whenever you can. I prefer tent camping, but after my tent was stolen I used huts for 18 months until I could afford to buy a new tent. If I’d waited to have the perfect gear I’d have just sat at home all that time.
I would definitely visit Bivouac, and try Osprey packs, such as the AG 65. And indeed, take all your gear and see if it fits in the pack. That's really the way to do it, and pretty normal in stores like that.
Aarn BodyPacks either work for you or they don't. For me they were transformational and I never looked back. The only way to find out is to use one. On our earliest trips with an Aarn pack we could swap between it and a very decent old Macpac I had regarded as perfectly adequate for years. The difference was very noticeable - in my view it felt like the Aarn was around 10 -15% more efficient in terms of overall effort, and dramatically better in terms of shoulder and neck comfort. For decades I had struggled with neck pain that was the result of carrying absurdly heavy loads, in rough terrain using terrible old fashioned packs. Every time I went out within 30 minutes or less that hot stabbing pain in the left side of my neck took all the joy out of being in the bush. It was progressively getting worse with age and I had all but given up multi-day trips. My first Featherlite immediately changed this, I could walk 3 -4 hours with only moderate discomfort building up. Now after some years of treatment and a pack that doesn't aggravate the injury anymore, the problem has almost gone. Now I can swing a pack on, and my body says to me 'lets go!'. But there are people who find some of the unique aspects of his system off putting. Or for some subtle mind-body reason they never gell with them. You have to find out if you are one of these people - and fortunately there are many good alternatives out there. Aarn does do all of his research and development in NZ, but the manufacturing was last I knew always done in Vietnam.
I think Bryan Dudley still makes lightweight packs. My brother has one. He had a website called tramplight.co.nz but it's not coming up on googling. Perhaps he's wound up the business. He is Auckland-based.
Re the Aarn packs. I believe that the prototypes were manufactured in NZ but the mass production runs done in Vietnam. I've visited Aarn when he was at New Brighton and at Leeston and he did modifications and repairs to packs of mine himself.
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