Buying a decent back-pack
Hi guys/gals I am looking at walking some of the National Park multi-day tramps. I haven't done any multi-days before and hence my gear is very basic. I have a decent set of boots but I am looking to buy a back-pack which would be decent quality but also fairly cheap (I am living on a student budget !). So what do you guys recomend? I don't mind second hand either. Is anyone looking to sell, by any chance? Regards Parham
Is there an echo This is a duplicate post
The main thing with choosing a pack is fit. If it fits you well the trip will be a breeze, if it doesnt, it will be hell on earth. You can go the cheap way and try to buy from trade me etc but you wont get to try the fit first, this could be a problem. You would be far better to bite the bullet and spend some $ on a good pack, from a good outdoor shop. At least if you buy it new, you can try it out and get some advice about fit, length etc. I buy stuff when the shops have their sales, it is a great way to save $ on gear. I brought a Mountain Design down sleeping bag last year for around $300- down from $590....Cheap! I would go for a pack from 45-65l, if you are walking the Great walks that is all you will need. Also lightweight material will be fine for that use, just buy a pack liner to keep your gear dry. Good brands are Macpac/Mountain Designs/Osprey/Artyrex- shop around for one that suits you. I predominantly use Vaude packs, I like them but they are not sold widely. Where do live? People may have a recommendation for a good shop near you.
"The main thing with choosing a pack is fit." I was thinking the same thing after the other thread (didn't get around to posting), but to different conclusions. Fit's important, but spending lots of money to buy new won't necessarily guarantee a great fit. Trying to simulate lengthy tramping conditions inside a shop is quite difficult. Even if they have the weight right, you'd rarely if ever get an opportunity to take it into the hills and walk around extensively uphill and downhill for hours, in ways that'd test all the common configurations of forces during typical moving around. Also, many shops have staff who aren't necessarily clued up on fitting packs, especially with the employee turnover that sometimes occurs in this sort of retail. If you get a good shop with staff who know what they're doing, though, it'll make a big difference. Nothing wrong with buying new, but I getting it right first time will still probably involve a certain amount of luck. I don't think there's anything bad in buying second hand, as long as it's not too big a spend. Main issues would be looking for mould or wear & tear and so on, but if a good pack's been reasonably looked after then that shouldn't be a problem. Worst case the pack won't fit perfectly, but that's normally at least tolerable for a while. Plenty of people out there have badly fitting packs, and they get by. And then, after a few trips with said pack, you'll have a much better idea of what's most important to look for in a second purchase. Just my two cents.
1 deleted post from bradley1
My perspective is gained from wearing horrible military ALICE packs and a classic "kidney crusher" when tramping as a young fellow. Both fit in that one size fits all (or none as the case may be) catagory. I made sure to try a LOT of packs when I got back into tramping (it also helped that I had more $ to spend) before buying a new pack. We are so lucky that we have such a wide selection now, I think the message I want to pass on is dont buy with price in mind, think about comfort first. If a second hand pack fits the bill go that way, if a new pack is more your style thats fine as well.
I tramped with an external frame hallmark for years It was fine. Only found out when I sold it for 3 times what I bought it for that the straps could be hight adjusted. People used to laugh at the waist belt which really only stopped it swinging round. Replaced that with a second hand North Face that I spent too much money on which wore out in short order. Nice pack but had too many miles under its belt.Maybe the Otaki gorge river trip didnt do it any good either. Replaced that with a $40 second hand pack with a name noone had heard of. It had been stored in a basement and took two washes to deodorise and half an hours sewing on a side pocket. Most comfortable pack Ive ever owned until I bought the new Macpac Torlese. Sold the no name for $80. A new pack is always going to be best but nought wrong with second hand if you can try before buying.
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