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  1. #1
    Registered User Graywolf's Avatar
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    Default Light weight gear

    I pretty much have my gear narrowed down but there is just 2 items I have been looking at.

    Can anyone give me some information on the Equinox Katahdyn Backpack and the MSR E-Wing tarp. Both seem to be light weight but I was wondering on there durability.

  2. #2
    Registered User jesse's Avatar
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    I did not see the dimensions for the tarp. My Ray-way tarp I believe is 10 ft. I would not want to go with much less. What ever shelter you go with, I would test it out in the back yard during a storm, before heading out to Georgia in the Spring.

  3. #3
    Hiker bigcranky's Avatar
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    I tested the Equinox Katahdin pack for Backpackgeartest a few years ago. It's a nicely made pack, with a good hip belt. It has no frame, of course, and so for me it was comfortable up to about a 20-22 pound load, total. That's been true (for me) with every frameless ruck I've tried.

    I would link to the review, but it looks like they've purged all the older tests and reviews on the BGT site. Oh well. If you PM me, I may be able to find the full review and email it to you.
    Ken B
    'Big Cranky'
    Our Long Trail journal

  4. #4
    Yellow Jacket
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    I didn't write a formal review of the Katahdin, but I'm sure I made a longer post on the subject (several years ago). In short, the shoulder straps and hip belt are nice. The pack's volume and compression straps are good as well. But the real downside is the fact that the back of the pack is a stiff (very stiff) mesh. Think of it like a stiff plastic window screen. It is not real comfortable against your back and you have to worry about water entering the pack. The pack was a bit tall for me (18.5" torso) so I had to relocate the shoulder strap attachment point down an inch or so. As moving the hipbelt up (there is about 1.5"-2" play in the hipbelt's height) made the pack more uncomfortable. I think the pack's bottom would start to dig into my lower back when I adjusted the hipbelt up.

    In the end, I cut the pack up into pieces and use the parts on other homemade stuff (like a new pack). So, it lives on, just not in its original form.

    FWIW, it is how I got the name Yellow Jacket.
    Yellow Jacket -- Words of Wisdom (tm) go here.

  5. #5
    Yellow Jacket
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    Here's one of those old posts.

    I forgot about the "crumple" effect at the bottom. That was not comfortable at all.
    Yellow Jacket -- Words of Wisdom (tm) go here.

  6. #6

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    You will probably want to use a bivy with that tarp, at least in blowing rain. I may be wrong though. It looks like there are lots of options on how to pitch. The pictures on the web site show examples of nice weather pitches.
    Practice pitch variations, especially storm pitches.

    I can't say if the pack is right for you. Practice with it. I have a similar frameless pack and really like it when I'm careful with how I pack it. Using a sleeping pad as the frame allows you to carry heavier loads like a framed pack.
    I can't see lugging an internal frame backpack when you already have a sleeping pad that provides a frame.
    "If we had to pay to walk... we'd all be crazy about it."
    --Edward Payson Weston

  7. #7

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    PS You may also want to check out the six moons packs. They have similar frameless packs and so do ULA and many others.

    My six moon starlite, one size fits all pack, can be adjusted to fit anyone. It can act as an ultralite pack or can expand to carry huge loads for those days when you have to carry many days worth of food.
    And one feature that I like is the mesh pockets, which I use to carry wet gear so that it can air out, reducing the funk that you get from storing wet stuff in your pack.

    I ordered it with the optional stays(frame), but never use the stays as my sleep pad does an excellent job.
    "If we had to pay to walk... we'd all be crazy about it."
    --Edward Payson Weston

  8. #8
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    The website doesn't seem to provide the dimensions of the tarp. By the weight and square footage, it seems to be a minimalist tarp and you will probably need a bivy sack for rain protection. Campmor has larger silnylon tarps that are no more expensive and only a little heavier.

  9. #9
    Registered User Graywolf's Avatar
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    Default Thanks

    thanks guys for the info. I am trying to get my weight down, as you see from my previous posts, but I like to do it in a comfortable way.

    I think I will stick to the Go lite and Henry Shires. Good choices.

  10. #10
    Garlic
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    Henry Shires is excellent. Look at Gossamer Gear packs, too, if you haven't already.
    "Throw a loaf of bread and a pound of tea in an old sack and jump over the back fence." John Muir on expedition planning

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Graywolf View Post
    I pretty much have my gear narrowed down but there is just 2 items I have been looking at.

    Can anyone give me some information on the Equinox Katahdyn Backpack and the MSR E-Wing tarp. Both seem to be light weight but I was wondering on there durability.

    I have had the MSR Outfitter Wing for about 10 years now. It has been getting used about 12 times a year now, as far as durability goes, I would think the E-Wing can handle a lot too.

  12. #12
    Hike smarter, not harder.
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    the MSR tarp will be really durable, since it's built heavier than most UL tarps.

  13. #13
    Registered User WILLIAM HAYES's Avatar
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    I have used the equinox katahdin on several section hikes -I tore a hole in my first one squeezing under a downfall it is not a very durable pack you would have to be careful not to abuse it. The people at equinox were very nice and sent me a new pack at no charge-disavantages mesh side pockets are not easily accessable- back frame is open mesh-water can get inside the pack you will need to use a garbage bag liner- can at best handle about 25 lbs comfortably advantages for me were pack weight good construction -good compresssion features with three compression straps left and right small upper zip pockets were handy unless you are an experienced light weight backpacker I would not recommend the pack check out backpackinglight.com As I recall they did a review of this pack sometime ago

    Hillbilly

  14. #14
    Registered User jesse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brooklynkayak View Post
    You will probably want to use a bivy with that tarp, at least in blowing rain. I may be wrong though. It looks like there are lots of options on how to pitch. The pictures on the web site show examples of nice weather pitches.
    Practice pitch variations, especially storm pitches...
    seems kinda pointless to buy a tarp that requires a bivy during a storm. why not buy an adequate tarp to begin with.

  15. #15
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    I use the Equinox Pamola, which is a smaller version of the Katahdin. It is not water tight so I use a trash bag liner and the material is somewhat delicate but in four years of weekend backpacking the only hole is from when someone found a tentstake on the ground, picked it up and stuck it in my pack without telling me. I would definitely recommend this pack for an affordable , lightweight, all around pack.

  16. #16
    Yellow Jacket
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    Quote Originally Posted by jesse View Post
    seems kinda pointless to buy a tarp that requires a bivy during a storm. why not buy an adequate tarp to begin with.
    In short flexibility.

    First there are two categories of bivies. Some are heavier standalone shelters that are waterproof. They typically weigh about 2# and are indented to be used primarily was dry winter shelters.

    The other category includes those that are more like bag "covers". They have waterproof bottoms, but non-waterproof tops (though they do provide some dew and "splash" resistance). The later can weigh as little at 4oz though they typically weigh 6-8oz. And depending on the model, they can provide bug protection as well. Given that they are a replacement for your ground cloth the "weight penalty" is minimal. Even more so if they are also providing bug protection. Another benefit to this type of shelter setup (smallish tarp with breathable bivy) is that you can setup your bivy alone without the trap when you don't have to worry about rain (like when hiking on the PCT, sleeping in AT shelters, snow caves, etc.). Yet the combination still provides good storm resistance if needed.
    Yellow Jacket -- Words of Wisdom (tm) go here.

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