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Budget Travel Gear Yo Nellie, which backpack should I git? Questions and answers on gear related topics (i.e. backpacks, sleeping bags, tents, hiking boots, stoves, etc.).

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Old 03-22-2005, 09:39 AM   #1
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im looking at a bag made by North Face. do they have good quality stuff? the bag itself seems nice, durable. it has 4500 cubic inches which is good for me.

any experiences with the company?

http://thenorthface.com/opencms/opencms/tn...?productId=1658

i cant find the exact bag but this one is as close as it gets
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Old 03-22-2005, 09:42 AM   #2
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Yea, North Face have good gear...you might also look at Dana Design and Sierra Designs.
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Old 03-22-2005, 12:29 PM   #3
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Anything from the NOrthface is built like a brick shithouse and will be able to handle whatever you do to it.What bag is it?
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Old 03-22-2005, 12:36 PM   #4
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Sorry I didn't see the link.this type of bag is geared towards mountaineers and if your looking for a backpacking bag this is not it by any means.The why it's designed is a tube more or less with no pockets for anything else,it just opens at the top and you drop everyhting in.I would not us this as a backpacking bag unless you don't care about having to take everyhting out everytime you need something.I'd have a look at some of the Northface "badlands" packs or this years new "catalyst" packs which are geared more towards long haul hiking and backpacking.The Prophet is not going to make a great travel pack over they other models.
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Old 03-22-2005, 02:58 PM   #5
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like i said, im not quite sure if that is the exact pack but it looks like it, and according to the website it has the same price (-$10 dollars).

it has a pocket on each side near the bottom, and a much nicer waist belt. the info i wrote down from the tag itself only said, Contour 3 (different colors too). the price was 239.00.

and i remember you recommended the Dana packs, crazylegs, and i looked for them at the store (which was listed as an official dana designs dealer) but it doesnt carry them anymore.
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Old 03-22-2005, 08:18 PM   #6
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I think you should have a look at MEC.ca for packs if your looking for a wicked deal.Other than that I say stick with the Northface,you won't be sorry.
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Old 03-23-2005, 10:19 AM   #7
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I think if your looking for a travel pack, versus a mountaineering/outdoors pack, there are better packs that are geared more for traveling. I recommend Eagle Creek

A travel packs generally zips down the side, they are not top loading so if you need a pair of shorts that are at the bottom of your pack, you don't have to take out all of your shit to find them. Travel packs also usually have zip off day packs, separate compartment for dirty laundry or wet clothes, many different pockets, etc.

As far as quality goes, though, north Face is great quality. I think the top-loading issue is the biggest thing for me.
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Old 03-24-2005, 02:49 PM   #8
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http://www.livetoplay.com/pages/product/pr...000&cmpn=900000

i think this is it, boys. i was at a skiing/rock climbing/hiking/backpacking place today, and i talked to the one guy there for about an hour about what im doing. he highly recommended this pack, himself using it when he went to europe and during every excursion he has had in the past few years, and as proof he showed me the bag in his car. it is top loading, which most people say is a problem, but there is more than one way to get in than from the top. kind of like a girl.

another website had only good reviews for the bag.

any opinions/experience/reviews?
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Old 03-24-2005, 05:38 PM   #9
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Check out Backpacker Magazine for some top notch gear reviews.These guys put gear through hell and back and give you the down low on it.

I really think that some Tpunkers should lay down some reviews on gear that has been used on there travels.
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Old 03-28-2005, 11:18 AM   #10
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Hey Elixer,

I know quite a bit about backpacks and just got through some extensive shopping for one to use just for travel (I've got 3 others I use for backpacking).

Northface used to be a top notch company but has been bought out (can't remember by who off the top of my head) and their quality has suffered for it. I wouldn't by anything new from Northface. Their old stuff (pre-buyout, around 5 yrs or older) is still good though.

Are you looking for a backpack for just traveling or are you looking for one for travel and backpacking? Backpacking backpacks get pretty beat up when you check them for your flight, the carrosel can rip them up sometimes.

Here's my recomendations:

For a carry on travel backpack that you can still use for backpacking if you really want to get the Dana Design Far Flung. I just picked one up for $100 at moosejaw.com. Dana makes arguably the best packs in the world. This one can go carry on, has a removeable daypack and an integrated duffel bag it goes into when you want to check it at the airport to keep it safe from harm.
http://www.northernmountain.com/NMSMain.as...;&ClearLast=Yes

If you want a larger sized pack made specifically for travel they have the Swift Traveler. danadesign.com

Osprey makes a travel pack called the Departure which comes in different storage capacities. It's pretty unconventional looking too.
http://www.backcountry.com/store/OSP0012/c...ransporter.html
http://www.backcountry.com/store/OSP0038/c...ack-Womens.html
http://www.backcountry.com/store/OSP0037/c...nt-60-Pack.html


Now for Backpacking backpacks. You're pretty much stuck with top loaders 'cause that's just how they make most packs nowadays.

Dana Design Alpine: Can carry monster loads no problem.
http://www.livetoplay.com/pages/Product/pr...al+%2F+External

Dana Design Bridger: Lighter suspension than the Alpine but you won't know it until you start packing more than 50 pounds (which is a lot)

Dana Design Bomb Pack: Similar to the Bridger but a bit smaller in capacity. Won't start sagging until you put 40-50 pounds in it.

Osprey Luna: Osprey packs are another top of the line backpack. They don't just have Womens sizes. They make packs specifically to fit a womans body. The Luna is the workhorse of their female line. http://www.ospreypacks.com/3D_Luna/luna_intro.htm

Osprey Ariel: The Ariel series cuts down the weight of the pack without compromizing it's load bearing capacity. A lighter pack is easier to carry. http://www.ospreypacks.com/ariel_intro.htm

ArcTeryx: Made in Canada, Expensive and worth it. Their Bora series ranges from 45 liter capacity all the way up to 92 liter. They are one of if not the best quality made pack available and completely bombproof. They are rugged and heavy though, more suited for mountaineering than travel, but you can drag these things behind a donkey thru the jungle without worrying about your clothes getting wet or hurting the pack. Some people just find their waistbelts too padded (if that makes any sense) and stiff .
http://www.arcteryx.com/product.aspx?prod=1881

The above packs I've listed for you are so well made and so comfortable to carry that I am confident buying any of them online for myself without trying them out first to see how they feel. Packs are like shoes though. And backpacks are best when fitted for you if you are inexperienced fitting packs on yourself (especially Osprey who sell their wide selection of waistbelts seperately in order to better customize each packs fit to your body type)

Another pack I like but needs to be tried on before laying down the money for it is the Mountainsmith Specter. I liked the pack a lot, it just fits me funky compared to Danas and Ospreys.
http://www.backcountryedge.com/products/mo...px?Affiliate=29
It's been discontinued so you might find some good clearance sales.
Mountainsmith mountainlight series: http://www.mountainsmith.com/store/?page=s...877a9a052ef8a16
Mountainsmith travel packs: I don't have any personal experience with their travel line so I can't realy say much about them. http://www.mountainsmith.com/store/?page=s...1b620cc5861ab57

Other packs that are good (but in my opinion not as good as the ones I've listed for you above) are:
Lowe Alpine
Gregory
Kelty
Jansport (careful here. not all their packs are created equal. pioneers of the "lifetime warranty")

Here's some review links for ya:

http://search.rodale.com/search97cgi/s97_c...sultCount%3D10&

http://search.rodale.com/search97cgi/s97_c...sultCount%3D10&

http://search.rodale.com/search97cgi/s97_c...sultCount%3D10&

http://www.thebackpacker.com/gear/backpack...sign_alpine.php

http://www.backpackgeartest.org/reviews/Pa...ob%20Wardecker/

http://www.outdoorreview.com/outdoor-equip...37_2957crx.aspx

Search for sales. Depending on your height (most Women fit small packs which are the hardest for retailers to sell) you can find some incredible bargains on some expensive packs. Also check Ebay regularly.

I hope this helps you some. If you have any other questions I'll try to answer them (I'm just new to 'travel' backpacking. I've been wilderness backpacking all my life.)
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Old 03-28-2005, 12:21 PM   #11
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You know, it just occured to me that you might not be female. From your name and avatar I just assumed you were.
If you're not:
Osprey Crescent is the mens equivalent of the Luna
Osprey Aether is the mens equivalent of the Ariel.
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Old 03-28-2005, 04:13 PM   #12
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^ nice work croaker
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Old 03-28-2005, 04:29 PM   #13
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wow...thanks a lot, croaker!! and yes, i am a dude.

i ended up buying the Contour 3 by Lowe Alpine. its a great bag. im not going to be flying or anything, traveling by bus/car/walking around the US (the US for now...). i hope to hike and camp out a lot, too. i fit my 6 year old niece into my bag haha! i got a picture of it, il post it soon.
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Old 03-28-2005, 06:54 PM   #14
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Good Choice. Lowe Alpine makes bags for NOLS (National Outdoor Leadership School), the benchmark for gear able to withstand the toughest trials by nature and man.
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