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  1. #1
    Registered User JJ505's Avatar
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    Default Backpack for hut to hut, overnights and possibly weekend (2 nights)

    Tried this elsewhere and I'm going to try rewording my question. I'm rather a newbie never backpacked but go on day hikes.
    I have some gear (4 lb tent; 3.5 lb sleep system), obviously not an ultra-lighter. I'm looking for a backpack for hut to hut (sleeping bag only); overnights and maybe a weekend backpack trip.

    I do not think I should look for a frameless pack, but don't want to go crazy with weight or size. How many liters do I need? Also what do you think of the following bags for my purposes.

    Looking the following: Osprey 38 or 48; Deuter ACT 40 (or 45)+10; Granite Gear Crown 2 38 or the Granite Gear Lutsen 45.

    Thanks for the help.

  2. #2
    Registered User JJ505's Avatar
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    Note: I am open to other suggestions, but don't think a frameless will work well for me.

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    We need more information.

    Some of us could do it with 25L or less, some of us would still require 50L or more even going hut to hut. Frankly, in the White Mountains in NH, the people hiking hut to hut seem to carry larger packs and more weight than the backpackers not using the huts.

    The easiest answer is to pack up all your gear and head to your local outdoor store and try out some packs and see what size you will want. I'm guessing you will probably end up wanting something in the 50-55L range to give you the ability to haul your tent and food on a weekend trip without having to spend too much time or money tuning your gear to work in a smaller volume. On the other hand, with some effort, yeah, a 38ish L pack could work well.
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  4. #4
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    I agree, more information would help.

    For example, the phrase "hut to hut" could imply that you're hiking the White Mountains of New Hampshire, planning to stay in the huts each night. Or maybe you were thinking of Shenandoah, where the shelters are also called huts. Or maybe you meant the term as an equivalent to the more general term "shelter."

    You mention having a tent, but you say "sleeping bag only." I'm confused whether this means you were thinking of leaving the tent behind, or maybe you didn't think you'll need a pad under your bag?

    The AT shelters are all three-sided sheds with wood floors or bunks, so you'll definitely want to bring a foam or air-filled pad to put under your bag (unless you meant the Whites, they do have a real mattress - and also blankets and a pillow - so you wouldn't need a sleeping bag).

    Wherever you're going, you need a tent/tarp/bivy - some kind of shelter. Why? Because the shelter might be full. Because you might not make it to the shelter.

    Back to your original question, I have an Osprey Kestrel 48. It does very well for my use, but my husband carries the tent. I also have a Deuter 60. It's heavy, but I like it anyway. It is adequate for everything I normally carry, whether a weekend or a week.

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    Registered User JJ505's Avatar
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    Ok, thanks was confused why you needed more info. So here goes. Yeah hut to hut would be more like the AMC huts and not huts like in the Shenandoahs (forgot they were called huts). Might not necessarily mean AMC huts, but like those. Maine huts, for instance, require a 40 degree bag (I have a 30 degree 2 lb hybrid bag). So I'm speaking inclusively of any type of hut that is not an AT shelter or Shenandoah shelter. There are also similar type huts in Colorado (don't know much about what they have or don't have).

    Besides the hut to hut, I want a backpack a simple overnight or perhaps a two night three day type trip. That's why i brought up the tent (Eureka Sunriver 2-- 4 lbs). I'm a beginner so we're not talking hiking huge distances or in anything other than fairly mild weather. No winter camping.

    I am pretty sure I would not be considered UL, but maybe light. I do not want to take the kitchen sink, so I don't want so big a pack that it would encourage this.
    SO though I am pretty sure some hut to hut hikers carry 70 L packs, I don't want to be one of them. Not to knock it, just want to keep my load down.

    Does this help?

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    Quote Originally Posted by JJ505 View Post
    . . . Does this help?
    A little. What is really relevant is what you are taking. It sounds like you have most of your gear? If so, really, box it up, bag it up, or whatever and take it to an outfitter and stuff it in some packs. At least, stuff it all in a box and see what the volume of it is. Your sleeping bag alone could be anything from 5 L to 30 L in size depending on what it is. Your clothing, especially insulation or extra clothing can vary a LOT in volume.

    By default, get a 50L pack. It's big enough and not too huge. If your gear choices are tuned pretty lean, you could probably do what you want with less than 40L, but then, you would be limited in what you could take in some situations.

    Personally, I would carry my 28L pack if I were doing any of what you are talking about and going solo. As soon as my wife decided to come, I'd bring my 48L pack, not for carrying her stuff but for carrying my share of the extra stuff she wants for comfort and security.

    For what it's worth, if you buy a good wrong sized pack, you'll just have an extra tool for the next phase of your backpacking hobby that you didn't know you were going to get into yet.

    Go play and have fun with it.
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    Registered User JJ505's Avatar
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    The reason I've asked is that I feel that REI doesn't really have what I want. I went and got sized and they found one pack that fit me, basically (maybe some were out of stock). I was not very happy with the pack, tbh. I can't recall why though. Thats' why I was asking re: a pack size to look at. Don't know if I feel okay re: taking stuff to REI if I don't intend to actually buy from them (though God knows, I've spent enough there.). I suppose I could buy something online which would be a good guess, if they have a good return policy.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by JJ505 View Post
    The reason I've asked is that I feel that REI doesn't really have what I want. I went and got sized and they found one pack that fit me, basically (maybe some were out of stock). I was not very happy with the pack, tbh. .............
    Unless you are really tall or really short there should be several packs at REI that fit you. REI should have weighed bags that they can put in the pack to simulate your gear. Some of their sales people are frankly more motivated than others so go back and get somebody different because it sounds like you got a lazy one. Packs are like shoes, some fit better than others. Try on several and one will probably fit you better than the rest.
    If you don't stand for something, you will fall for anything.

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    Default Backpack for hut to hut, overnights and possibly weekend (2 nights)

    If you really aren't sure about the volume you'll need, look at packs with a removable top lid.
    You can walk in another person's shoes, but only with your feet

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    1) REI welcomes people coming in to try out packs with gear, even if you aren't buying on the spot.
    2) This time of year, yes, they may be low on stock, although a bunch of new stuff just started showing up in the last week or so.
    3) If you can figure out your torso length/pack size and your preferred pack volume, then you have useful information to make an educated guess about an on-line purchase.
    4) REI sells lots of great packs if you can find one you like. There are also great packs REI doesn't sell.
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    It kind of depends on how much room the sleeping bag takes up. And you might need a sleeping pad. Then some clothes. How much clothes depends on the season and where. 60-65L is a typical thru hiker size.

    I have a 45L pack I use on long distance hikes, but it's getting beat up and I always wish it was a little bigger. Getting more then a couple days worth of food into it is the main problem. So I'm looking for something in the 50L volume, but haven't seen anything which strikes my fancy. The Osprey 48 is tempting, but I hate the loud colors.
    The AT - It has it's ups and downs...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Slo-go'en View Post
    . . . The Osprey 48 is tempting, but I hate the loud colors.
    The new green color isn't too loud.
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  13. #13
    Registered User JJ505's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slo-go'en View Post
    It kind of depends on how much room the sleeping bag takes up. And you might need a sleeping pad. Then some clothes. How much clothes depends on the season and where. 60-65L is a typical thru hiker size.

    I have a 45L pack I use on long distance hikes, but it's getting beat up and I always wish it was a little bigger. Getting more then a couple days worth of food into it is the main problem. So I'm looking for something in the 50L volume, but haven't seen anything which strikes my fancy. The Osprey 48 is tempting, but I hate the loud colors.

    I'm okay with the colors. I have a red Osprey daylite and a bright blue REI Trail 25. Both obviously way way too small.

    The sleeping bag is about 8L. I kind of think it might go smaller if I worked at it, but the compression sack is 8L.

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    You're question boils down in my mind more simply to finding a pack that holds your gear. I would not suggest a frameless pack where you currently stand.

  15. #15
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    If you haven't found something you like at REI, then you're probably a good candidate for the ULA packs. If you email them with same question, they can help you determine your need. I have a frameless CDT and the largest pack, the Catalyst. The CDT is small, really good for overnight summer trips for me because I have some small and light gear. The Catalyst is pretty good about swallowing anything you can put in it, however, its also really good with a smaller load, too. I take the Catalyst most of the time, and of course, in winter.

    https://www.ula-equipment.com/
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  16. #16
    Registered User JJ505's Avatar
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    Nope do not think the REI sales person was lazy. But I AM really short. 5'1" guy. Sucks sometimes.

    Actually got a pack, I ended up ordering a Granite Gear Lutsen 55 on sale from REI which I didn't like. But while I was there to pick up the pack I get the weights., etc. We tried the Osprey Exos, which I liked and it fit nicely. However, after taking the Lutsen home, I think it is too big. ( I was worried re: the bulk of the tent, but does seem to compress well.) Anyway REI did not have the Exos 48, so I ordered one, and it's supposed to come Friday.

    Thanks for the help guys.

  17. #17

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    Just get a pack like the Granite Gear Crown 2 60 that has the roll down top and great compression strap system to compress for smaller pack loads. The weight is about 2.25 pounds without the lid (about 2 lbs if you also don't use the removable frame plate on smaller loads) and then you have a pack for every type of hike. I'm planning on using the lid of mine as my airline carry-on pouch (electronics, id's and money) on the way to my AT hike and as chest rig attached by two small carabiners as I hike.

  18. #18
    Registered User JJ505's Avatar
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    It was a GG Lutsen, and not a Crown. I think the Crown has a much softer back, from everything I have read. The Lutsen is more like 3 lbs and a little bit more substantial pack. But not going to keep it, don't think I will tolerate the hard lumber (it's foam I think, but still hard.)

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