I'm planning an overland trip later in 2008 from either indonesia/thailand up into mongolia/russia still in it's infant stage at the moment. I want to stay as light as possible but stil carry a safe amount of supplies. I will be doing a lot of trekking and camping.
I was looking at getting a pack now so i can do some traning with a fully weighted backpack and also take with me into a test trip i plan on taking in late 2007 into nepal and tibet along with trial runs into some pretty inhospitable places this will be the pack i take with me on my overland journey. i was looking at a 70 litrepack with minimal zippers and things that can go wrong preferably top loading.
i found the arc'teryx noas 70 look pretty good and seems to fit the requirments http://www.arcteryx.com/packs.aspx?type=AC2
Can anyone give me an unbiased review or offer info on other packs that they can recomened for reliablity and comfort overlong disances.
Cheers and happy travels
Arcteryx makes some great equipment. Depending on your budget you ha3D158ve many options. I personally have the Dana Design Terraplane LTW.. Its a bit larger than the pack you were looking at but is a bit cheaper. It is an incredibly comfortable pack and very well made. The waist belt is really comfortable and allows the back to hug your hips instead of sit directly on top. Good for carrying weight for a long period of time. Check it out. Either way your best bet is to go to a store and have them size you and pack it full of weight to get the right fit. Then if you choose buy online. Hope this helps.
Your a legend thats for the post.
The dana designs is a nice looking pack but a little on the big side for me i was looking at a 70-80 litre pack. if i have something to large i'll wind-up filling the extra space with things i don't need.
On the costing issue price is of little concern as i consider the pack on of the most important peices of equipment and i don't mind paying a decent amount for a decent pack.
Cheers for all your help greatly appreciated.
Get a cup of coffee...
Arc'teryx, Osprey, Dana Design (now owned by Marmot) and Gregory all make excellent packs. Dana founded another brand called "Mystery Ranch" and continues to build some interesting packs, especially for the Navy SEAL. I would take any pack among these brands. Actually, I have 1 Dana (backpacking) and just got an Osprey Departure for travel. My GF has 2 Ospreys, one for each purpose. The key here is to choose the pack that fits your torso best, rides most comfortably and whose design best serves your organizational habit as well as your intended use... which brings me to my next point.
It sounds like your trip may involve more trekking/backpacking than the typical hotel/hostel routine, which means you'll be hauling heavier and bulkier gear, ie tent, mummy bag, sleeping pad, cooking gear and an extra pair of boots? If my guess is correct, you might find that a Dana Design "external frame" suits your purpose better. A few years ago, I spent months testing packs (for backpacking) from all the top brands. Originally, I wanted in this order - Arc'Teryx, Osprey, Gregory - but ended up with a Dana Design Terraframe (external frame version of the Terraplane).
(Dana also has another version call the "Longbed", which has more pockets and zippers for those who prefer more compartments.)
As an external, it can haul lots of gear and heavy loads with ease. Folks go hunting with it. My bear can fits sideways in it. But here's the cool thing - it can cinch down to a load so small as to be almost empty! And unlike internals, externals aren't picky about even L-R weight distribution. Pack unevenly with an internal and one side of your hips feels it more. The top-loading, main compartment has 2 zippers - sleep bag outside panel and inside divider. The lid floats vertically on the frame for more or less gear and it doubles as a daypack with 2 zipped compartments. The 2 parallel zipped pockets on the front are huge... I put my rain shell, Windstopper hat & gloves, water filter, a tiny stove, 1st Aid kit/meds, toilet tissues, headlamp in them and snacks in the mesh pockets. Unless I need to pitch the tent, there's no need to open the main compartment. The pack is great for strapping extra gear on the outside. You can attach 2 sleeping pads vertically (along the sides) and 2 more horizontally (top & bottom). Hehe... this is why I've not used the daisy chain! It doesn't have a pocket for a bladder but I just throw one in the lid or strap down underneath it.
Now to the suspension. Many have coined Dana's externals as "hybrid" because they ride almost like internals. How? Like a German car, it's all about the suspension. There are 2 delrin rods that run from the top of the frame down to each side of that monster of a hip-belt (yellow strips). They're connected to adjustable straps, which when pulled forward, shifts the weight down to the hips and forward against your back. If anything, this feature is why I've not sold it for a newer pack. It has excellent balance and rides so comfortably. I tested it against a Bora 90 (2000 version) and fifty pounds feels better in the Terraframe. The Bora (internal frame) is only better if you need to go off the established trails.
The down side to this awesome pack is weight. Mine is 7.5 pounds. To some this is too heavy but the latest Ospreys, Arc'Teryxes and Gregories of similar capacity are only a few ounces lighter. Unfortunately, they're no longer available and no manufacturer (I know) makes externals of this caliber. However, now and then you'll find a few in excellent condition on eBay.
Anyhow, that's my 2 cents. Good luck with which ever pack you get.
Top work, plenty of food for thought, Very much apperciated.
I can not say about the noas 70, however I personally own an arc'teryx bora 80, and it is the best pack i have ever owned. Everytime i have used it for an extended journey i have treated it horribly, yet it has never showed a single sign of wanting to break.
Im not sure if this helps. But if you are considering an acr'teryx pack, you cant go wrong with them.
I think deuter has a few gd packs... anyway i started with cheap army surplus packs due to my poor finances....