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SctDad

Backpacks

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I know that this has probably been gone over for many years and I know that there are many schools of thoughts on this topic, but I have narrowed down my choices:

 

I am looking at two different Kelty backpacks. They are both Red Cloud models:

 

Red Cloud 90 http://www.rei.com/product/811560/kelty-red-cloud-90-pack

 

Red Cloud 110 http://www.rei.com/product/811563/kelty-red-cloud-110-pack

 

I am tall 6'5" to 6'6" depending on when you measure me.

 

There is a $10 difference in the cost of the two backpacks, but a 1050 cubic inch difference.

 

This bag is also being considered for a 7 day trip to Philmont.

 

I hope that this is the information that you need for some advise. I am looking at reviews, so I can see how other people felt about the pack. Others in the troop are also considering this pack too.

 

So what do you guys and gals have for input.

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Both packs weigh in the 6 pound range, twice the weight of a good pack that will fit your needs. Try finding a pack that fits you (torso length) and fits all your gear. You can find one weighing around 3 pounds easy. I just came off thruhiking the Appalachian Trail and the most popular pack out there was the Osprey Aether 70 which I consider too heavy at over 4 pounds. The lighter packs were the ULA brand and they held up well to 4 or 5 months use.

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The problem with finding a pack that is Ultralight and weighing 3 pounds is there is not enough capacity.

 

According to the 2011 Summer packing guide that is provided by Philmont, you internal frame pack needs to have a capacity of 4800 Cubic inches. The ultralight is 600 cubic inches shy.

 

 

Or maybe I still need to spend more time looking for some. I have searched REI, Campmor and some on Overstock. Any other places that I need to look.

 

Please remember that this is for a 7 day trek at philmont.

 

 

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I carried everything I needed for 5 months in one.

ULA Catylist, 47 oz., 4600 cu. in. is one example.

Choosing a pack is a very personal decision, what works for one person doesn't work for the next. I'm just offering that there are lighter options than a 6 pound pack.

 

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SctDad,

 

Within the parameters of your choices, I'd buy the smallest one that my gear would fit in. Most people tend to "feed" their pack until its full. Kind of like all the cool loops and straps and "tie-down" points folks like to fill with danglies on the outside of their packs. Open space just seems to make us want to fill it, to avoid that get the smallest pack you need. You'll cut weight and remove temptation.

 

If there's an REI or similar store where you live, go and try on a couple of packs AND see if your gear will fit in the space. If you NEED the 1050 extra cubic inches, the price difference doesn't matter.

 

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not sure of your age.

 

Kelty or osprey are great packs. but so are alps and a whole list more.

 

 

But as pointed out why use a 6 pound backpack. ULA is an excellent recommendation. I like golite as well.

 

I recommend you take a look at the rest of your Pack and gear and put the whole thing on a diet.

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I use a Granite Gear Nimbus Ozone with a 3800 cu. in. capacity and it carries everything I need and weighs just at 3 lbs. It has a full frame sheet and is very comfortable. It's starting to show some wear but it has almost 3,000 miles on it now. Osprey was by far the most popular brand pack on the AT this year followed by Gregory. I would suggest reviewing all your gear and trying to find lightweight and compact options that will allow you to use a smaller pack.

 

Suggested reading: "Philmont Scout Ranch: How Light Can You Go" on backpackinglight.com

http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/philmont.html

Also there are many other articles on that website that are free to access (those without a red M next to them. Lots of great info on that sight. I subscribed for a while and it was worth the small fee.

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Bottom line is the pack needs to carry your gear.

If you aren't a kid(and thus don't throw your pack around) and if you don't "bust brush" when you are hiking you can very easily use a lighter pack.

If your carry load is 50 lbs(a normal Philmont load, but many folks carry too much) - and you carry a six pound pack, the pack alone is more than 10% of your load(12%), an eight pound pack is 16% of your load! Thus the pack becomes the load instead of carrying it.

 

I can think of no reason why any competent person couldn't use a lightweight pack at Philmont. Just ensure you pay attention to carrying the lightest gear(especially Tent, Pack and Sleeping bag) you can afford and skip some of the extras - you will look at them after the trek and wonder why you carried them anyway. Cut your sans food/water load to about 30-35 lbs including pack and you will love yourself later.

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my son took the red cloud 110 for his 2 week philmont trek... made it the whole way without a problem... and has returned with a still usable pack for other backpacking treks. And he's still a growing 15 year old. biggest thing is to make sure it fits good and practice a lot with loaded pack - only people who had issues were those that hadn't practice with their pack regularly.

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