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pack size

Travel Forums Travel Gear pack size

1. Posted by Red_Dragon (Budding Member 22 posts) 8y

Hey, I've got a quick question:
I am planning on buying my first pack this summer. What I was wondering is, what size do you all think I should get? I plan to do back country camping with it, and also to travel (ie to other countries and stay in hostels and the like). I have substantial experience with back country camping, and I talked to two guys that I have been camping with before. One of them recommended a 2500 cubic inch pack (roughly 40L) the other said I should get a 3500 cubic inch (55-60L) pack.
What size do you think I should get? I would like to be able to carry it on a plane.

2. Posted by t_maia (Travel Guru 3289 posts) 8y

Carry-on is roughly 40 l.

But if you go for back-country camping you'll need 60 l, bc a 3-season sleeping bag and a tent are roughly 20 l in volume and to this you need to add your normal stuff.

40 l for back country-camping is only possible if you go ultra-light or are able to pack the tent and the mattress at the outside of the bag.

3. Posted by Red_Dragon (Budding Member 22 posts) 8y

ok, thanks, I have previously looked up carry on dimensions online, and they are usually about 3000 cubic inches (just a little under 50 L) I went to REI and tried on some packs, Osprey packs fit me the best, so I am looking at the Ospery Stratos (a little on the small size), the Osprey Atmos (the small size could be carried on), and the Osprey Talon. I don't really have anything to base this upon, but I think that most of my backcountry experience has been ultralight. What do you think the best one would be? I kinda want to be able to use it as a daypack too.

4. Posted by t_maia (Travel Guru 3289 posts) 8y

You forgot that what is carry-on size in the USA isn't necessarily carry-on in Europe or other countries. I have a 35+10 liter backpack (Deuter ACT lite SL) and thanks to the straps, hip flaps and the tall "cut" I would not get away with taking it as carry-on. What I might be able to take as a carry-on would be something like the Bach Travelstar.

I plan to do back country camping with it, and also to travel (ie to other countries and stay in hostels and the like).

For other countries it will depend 1) upon your destination 2) what you'll be doing there. For the typical Europe-city-to-city-whirlwind-trip of a US-American highschool or college graduate I might recommend something like the Osprey Vector 22 or Bach Travelstar or a cheap rolling upright for 20 USD from Walmart. But a backpack used for back country camping would work just as well, it would just not be carry-on size.

I kinda want to be able to use it as a daypack too.

Urgh, that is a tall order. Daypacks are usually around 10-25 liters. How are you going to shrink your bag to this size when you have a 50 l backpack? (Well, it is not like you are Harry Potter, easily flicking your wand. Or is there something you are not telling us?;))

Concerning ultra-light: Have you looked at the GoLite Jam 2 Pack? This is the one product that I can think of that should fit most of your criteria.

5. Posted by Red_Dragon (Budding Member 22 posts) 8y

Sweet, thanks, I think I'll take a look at the Jam2. Haha, yeah, I guess I'm not magic, it would come in handy tho lol

6. Posted by Red_Dragon (Budding Member 22 posts) 8y

Here's a tricky question for you all:
Do you think it would be possible to take a GoLite Jam 2


and outfit it with an osprey suspension system:


I know this is a crazy idea, would it work better to just do it with the belt?

7. Posted by bradshaw (Budding Member 19 posts) 8y

Regarding the Jam 2 - if you're going to use this as your pack, remember it has no frame. The idea behind a frameless pack in the back country is that you use the pack contents to make the frame. Here's a good way for travellers who aren't carrying a sleeping pad:

-get something like the Eagle Creek packing folders
- once you've loaded your clothes into it (I'd recommend one of the 2 larger sized ones- 18 or 20) put that into the pack along the back side,
- put everything else on top of that (pack not standing up but lying), cinch it up and you've got a frame.

Good luck

[ Edit: Edited on May 1, 2008, at 6:07 PM by bradshaw ]

8. Posted by t_maia (Travel Guru 3289 posts) 8y

I know 2 systems that are similar to what you want.

First option is the Vaude Ultralight/Argon series. They created something similar to the jam-pack, but with a padded back and better carrying system. A pad inside acts as a frame, but can be removed. The smaller and lightweight packs where mostly developed for rock-climbing, while another 60+10l giant was designed for carrying all the necessary equipment for a 8000+ m summit first ascent. Biggest drawback is that all the packs are slightly heavier than the jam pack and the larger 45+10 and 55+10 are nothing special in weight at all compared to similar packs. (They also come in that highly irritating sunny-bright Vaude-typical orange - not my favourite colour.)

Second option is the (sorry to say it again) ACT lite series and the Guide series from Deuter. The 45+10 and 50+10 packs of these series are some of the lightest backpacks with an internal frame on the market. They still weigh 3 times as much as the jam pack though. Their carrying system is similar to the Osprey.

Big drawback: Deuter and Vaude are both German companies and you'll have a hard time getting your hands on their products in the US.

[ Edit: Edited on May 2, 2008, at 7:04 PM by t_maia ]