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Monday, July 31. 2017
Photo is the REI 40-L daypack.
I've done reading on the topic of daypacks. I have always used my antique Osprey daypack (made in Dolores, CO) which is about 20-liters. With a replacement waist belt which my shoe repair guy fixed up for me for $10, it sits right and holds anything I might need for an ordinary day hike. (I think any pack without a waist belt is a terrible idea. I have also found that a proper fit and tweaking the adjustments makes a big difference. It has to sit on your butt.)
I bought my Osprey pack in Telluride on a ski trip with the kids. Needed a place for them to put spare winter clothing in as the temperatures went up and down and as snow came and went during the day.
Mrs. BD took the liberty of buying me a 40-Liter REI daypack for our recent Hebrides hiking trip. It fits well, but holds far more stuff than I am ever likely to need other than for lengthy winter hikes.
In fact, it could function as a smallish airplane carry-on. These days, half the people on international flights carry backpacks. They have become standard tourist items, but who needs a backpack or daypack to walk around Florence all day?
Let's say the usual day hike off the beaten track is from 4 to 8 hours. What do you need in the pack? Some liquids, snacks, maybe a sandwich or two, some rain pants and waterproof jacket, a trail map or travel guide, a first aid kit and some blister packs, a wallet, binoculars, a little camera or iphone, perhaps a 2-way radio if remote, maybe a place for hiking poles - and empty space to stuff layers that you might not want as the day warms. A box of ammo if hunting in the wilderness.
Shouldn't a 20-L pack be able to handle that, and more? Unless it's warm weather and you are carrying several liters of water, or unless you are playing sherpa and carrying stuff for other people.
I think the Osprey 20 L pack is a good daypack choice.
We're about to plan our next wilderness hiking trip (day hikes only, thank you, with fluffy towels and hot water at night), so I will decide for sure whether 40 L is overkill.
If you are a regular day hiker, what size do you use, how do you use it, and what do you put in it? And if you would want a 40-L pack, why?
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Think in terms of an old army utility belt with a butt pack and a canteen for water. It has plenty of room for day trip items as that's what we grunts used it for and it also is set on the hips instead of hanging on your back. If needed you can even add the H harness for additional support from the shoulders.
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I have used rucksack type packs for more than 40 yrs, as a hunter and a park ranger. All have been basically one large top-load compartment secured with a drawstring and will hold a rain suit, binoculars, camera, knife, compass, hatchet (Marble Safety Axe), gloves, stocking cap, extra socks, t.p., down vest, (sometimes) a revolver and various and sundry other equipment, depending on the day. First was a Hirschweis; a bit on the smallish size. Next an REI with a leather bottom. Not much of a waist belt, but otherwise near perfect. Had to replace the shoulder straps and pads and the bottom is held together with 3-4 hog-rings. Still in use occasionally. Next was some cheap off-brand to get me by for while. Lots of tricky zippers and compartments. You get what you pay for. I recently got a Continental Rucksack from LL Bean. Too early to review but it seems well designed and well made. Nice dark tan color, light weight.
Recently a dear friend gave me her old Bergen (Norway) rucksack that she got in the late 1940's. Canvas and leather with a steel frame and still light weight. One large compartment and a couple side pockets. Shows lots of honest wear but is still useable. Yesterday she sent me a photograph of herself on snowshoes, wearing this bag and pulling a loaded toboggan on Saganaga Lake (BWCA) in 1959-60. I'm hoping that Duluth Pack can make some repairs with messing it up.
My heavy pack is a Kelty Tioga from the late '70's. Packed out a nice buck in quarters last fall. You can't do that with a day pack.
Just an insane spam filter. Nothing personal. One wrong word and it gets strange. I do not understand it.
I used the LL Bean Stowaway day pack (22 L) on the Maggie's Farm Urban Hike earlier this year. For this recent day hike on the Long Trail in Vermont, I used the LL Bean Klettersack pack (29 L). I am very happy with both, and generally use the Stowaway for shorter day hikes, the Klettersack for longer ones.
I agree with Snowgoose's comment about the usefulness of a rucksack type pack with one large open compartment. I have used a pack like that for my longer day hikes, even for winter hiking, since the 1980s. My original day pack was a North Face, I forget the model. It finally wore out and I replaced it this year with the Klettersack, which I am very happy with.
Hi, I'm Billy Oblivion, and I'm a backpack addict.
My current inventory includes, in no particular order:
Jansport Odyssey 39 liter. Intended as a work-travel backpack.
Low Alpine 30 Contour Runner bought in the mid-90s)
JanSport Catalyst 8000M, 20 liter.
Blackhawk Industries 3 day assault pack, purchased in the early 200s.
Quark X-Press swag backpack acquired at the Quark Developers Conference in 1997(?)
Kelty Red-Wing 60 or 70, about 10 years old.
The Low Alpine is doing duty as my "Carry stuff to sword fighting (HEMA, Fiore school) backpack. The Quark bag carries stuff to the gym.
There are two kinds of belts on these packs (except the Quark bag, it's got nothing)--"Hip belts" (both the Jansports, the Kelty and the Blackhawk) and waist straps (meh. Useless things).
The Odyssey was purchased as an airline carryon. I can fit a full sized HP laptop. a small Lenovo laptop. kindle, towel, rain coat, spare undies etc. in it and with the hip belt can carry it.
WAY overkill for a (normal) day hike.
The other Jansport is just about perfect for a day hike. In fact I'd say that a 20 liter pack with external water bottle pockets and a hip belt is just about the perfect size. You can put in a rain jacket and a thin fleece sweater, hat and gloves (for me a 4+ hour hike means "elevations between 7000 and 12000 feet. Which means changeable weather) a lunch or at least a couple energy bars, first aid kit, camera etc. in it and not have it overstuffed. I will carry as much as the pack allows.
My Blackhawk bag is, IIRC going on 16 years. It's been a range bag, a hiking bag, a take to work/on a plane bag etc. It's pretty awesome, and after 14 years I finally got around to washing it. Looked new. I had to replace the hip belt buckles because one got caught in the door when it closed.
Another thing to consider is a lumbar pack. The Mountain Smith "Day" pack is about 13 liters, and primarily uses a hip belt for support. It's got a shoulder strap so you can unclip it and get into it without dropping it, and you can get "strapettes" to move some of the load to your shoulders. I have the "tour" version, and use it for nordic skiiing, and right now for running with the dog.
"What do you need in your pack?"
You forgot your ten essentials. You had the first aid kit. Good. But also, a rescue blanket, a 50-ft paracord, a compass, a rescue whistle, waterproof matches (firestarter), a small Swiss Army knife with scissors (the first aid tool), a signal mirror, teepee and shovel, a granola bar, water purification tablets, a poncho, and for the 21Cen, a fully-charged cell phone in airplane mode or turned off and in a ziploc. Bring a Sharpie pen, a pencil and paper.
And the knowledge from practice of using them all. Your pack has to be big enough for the trips you intend, plus the ten essentials. Keep them all in a separate go or ditty bag or a fanny pack. Be that guy.
Oh yeah, I forgot. Bring a towel: terry, microfiber, or bandanna.
"Sitting on your b*tt" is mandatory for a Kelty with a weeks' supply of gear. But when you're 6'4", it's hard to find a day pack that's long enough to justify a hip belt. Most day packs hit me a full half-foot above the belt. And something that long is just too big for day-to-day use.
That means shoulder straps and a flat load are much more important to me. I am looking seriously at a Tumi Alpha Bravo Luke Roll-Top. Yes, yes, I know. But having played with it in the store, they look like they'd last a long, long time, it holds quite a bit, and the load sits close to your back (doesn't stick out like a giant wart).
Smaller is better and so is a hip belt. If you get one that is too big you will just fill it with stuff you don't need, and the one thing you do need will be on the bottom--pack lag you know.
Ok - I feel somewhat compelled to put my .02 in here.
I have and REI approx 20 liter - that is a really nice day pack. It works as back pack/brief case. It zippers 1/2 way around with lots of mesh pockets in the lid - so that when traveling you can keep the various cords, headphones, pens, papers, etc separated. It has an internal pocket for a hydration bladder - which is useful when biking, hiking, etc. Nice SUPPORTIVE hip belt - that tucks up behind nicely if you just want to sling the pack over one shoulder.
I have skied many days with it. It is small enough that you don't have to take it off to sit on the lift. It is also small enough that it fits under the seat on an airplane and still leaves room for your feet. Yet, it is big enough that you can carry what you need for a full day of adventure in most conditions or travel of most sorts.
I have a Dakine Poacher - that is about a 40 top load - with no outside pockets.. This is my couple of days pack. I can travel for 3 or 4 days out of this - including overnight+ backpacking with a solo tent, food, and
a light bag. It is a little too big to carry just for gloves, vests, and hats while skiing or as a carry-on for just for books, magazines and chargers while traveling. It has a very good and comfortable hip belt.
I have a Gregory 70 for full on backpacking adventures - which is the only time I use it.
For week long plus (adventure?) travel - I have a couple of North Face base camp duffles in various sizes. Which are very hard to beat.
I had a really nice old North Face pack that must have been about a 30+. To me this was the perfect size. I could use it as a carry-on or go for a couple of days out of it. Nice outer pockets and one in the lid. I retired it because the zippers were stiff and a couple of the buckles were broken. My son found it and fixed everything. He is at a military academy - travels, camps, and skis regularly and this is his go to for short trips. I have never able to find one the same size and with the same features. I'm glad he has it - but I miss it.
Packs, suit cases, and duffles are like outerwear layers. You need choices depending on the situation. Some people (my wife?) may think I have a problem (addiction?)- but its nice to have what you need when you need it.
40 L for a DAYPACK!!! My entire luggage for a 2 week overseas trip (including clothes for hiking, urban evenings out, museum visits, climbing,Ultrasil 10 or 12 liter daypack, an ultrasil folding tote, goretex jacket, hat, gloves, spare pair of shoes,and a folding duffle for presents for the family is an Osprey Porter 30. Oh, and it also holds a full frame dslr with a couple of good lenses. If you pick light clothes and shoes you can keep all this within the 10 KG carry on weight limit and it will fit the international 21 by 13 by 8" dimensions of most international airlines if you cinch the straps.
The Ultrasil compressible products are ridiculously overpriced but they compress to the size of a kiwi fruit and are pretty waterproof. They have totes, duffles, compact clotheslines to wash your minimalist wardrobe at night, and lightweight backpacks. And weigh nothing. We use those rollup waterbottles that also weigh nothing and take up no space once you have drunk the water. Our principle is keep the weight of your shoes, clothes and pack as light as possible and you will be able to hike further without getting tired. Our one exception is to bring good cameras.
Why don't you and Mrs BD hike the pilgrim trail to Santiago de Compostela? You are both in great shape. You could avoid the easier trails which are mobbed, and take the harder, more picturesque one. You could stay in hostels along the way for pilgrims (more authentic) and not have to lug tents and stuff, or it's possible now to do luxe hotel stays each night while doing the same rigorous hiking. Pilgrim penitence by day, sybaritic luxury by night...
For daypacks: You might actually like the Patagonia sling pack which holds a lot despite its diminuitive size and never falls off or gets in the way. https://www.rei.com/product/117966/patagonia-atom-sling We carried those all over Rome and Florence loaded with camera gear and raincoats, etc. and they worked great.
Finally, tho it gets mixed reviews for durability, Mrs BD might like the LuLulemon running backpack for HER daypack. https://shop.lululemon.com/p/bags/Run-All-Day-Backpack/_/prod6710007?oref=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.google.com%2F&rd=true They are beautifully designed, compact, have realistic pockets, weigh next to nothing, and fit close to the body for running (or your climbing) About 16 L I think, with an Ipad pocket, phone pocket, water bottle pocket, ample space for a jacket, lunch, a camera.
I've had one for a year and it has done well.