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need help picking a leaders pack
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By geirw
Mar 27, 2012
Hi. I am sitting on the fence trying to decide on a leaders pack.
I have narrowed it down to either a cilogear work or hauly 20 l or a cold cold world ozone. The cilogear is about half the size of the ccw pack, right? For those of you with experience with the cg 20 l packs, is it large enough for full day 3 season alpine climbing? On the other hand the ccw packs seems nice. For those of you with experience with these packs, howe does it leadclimb?

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By Marc H
From Lafayette, CO
Mar 27, 2012
The Cathedral Spires in RMNP, left to right: Stiletto, Sharkstooth, Forbidden Tower, Petit Grepon, The Saber, The Foil, The Moon & The Jackknife.
geirw wrote:
howe does it leadclimb?


Mine sucks at placing gear.

But seriously, I like BD Bullet packs.

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By jody
Mar 27, 2012
I've never used ccw gear, but I love my cilo gear 20l work sack- hands down, best lead pack I've had. I use it for multi-pitch and alpine climbing, and it works well.

Even though it has a loop for an ice tool, I don't use the pack if I need to bring one. The set up isn't as clean for hard climbing with an ice tool as other more alpiney packs. But, for a straight up rock pack, the 20l is kick ass.

The guys at cilo gear are also awesome.

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By S Denny
From Carbondale, CO
Mar 27, 2012
I have to go with the Blue Ice Warthog Pack if you need more than a bd bullet

coldthistle.blogspot.com/2011/...

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By KevinF
From Granby, CT
Mar 27, 2012
The Cilo 20L worksack would be quite small for a full day pack. It's great for water/food/layers while on lead, but if you're going to be using it as a primary pack you're either going to be wearing lots on your harness or carrying extremely little gear. I do really like it for a lead pack on long multipitch though.

CCW packs are awesome, and the Ozone definitely is more of a all day pack that carries nicely while climbing.

The two packs are much different sizes though. Maybe what you're looking for is something in the middle?

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By daniel c
From San Francisco, CA
Mar 27, 2012
Sorry to add another pack to the list. The REI Flash 18 is the one I've been using for the past two years and love it. 18L capacity while weighing in at only 11 ounces.
rei.com/product/827110/rei-fla...

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By Jon H
From Boulder
Mar 27, 2012
At the matching crux
daniel c wrote:
Sorry to add another pack to the list. The REI Flash 18 is the one I've been using for the past two years and love it. 18L capacity while weighing in at only 11 ounces. rei.com/product/827110/rei-fla...


And it's only $29, which is the best deal in town.

I have a Flash 18 as well. It's a great summer pack but on the verge of being too small for winter. I do the approaches wearing my harness with my full rack on the harness and rope carried over my shoulders.

I did an 8 pitch ice climb 2 weeks ago and carried: 2 L of water, a light puffy (Arc Atom LT), 2 sandwiches, a headlamp, a couple clif bars, a spare pair of socks, and a spare pair of warm gloves - but not much more than that. I would have preferred to have room for my big belay jacket, but i couldn't make it all fit, so I just hoped it would stay warm and moved quickly all day.

I also have a 10"x 16" piece of cut up foam pad that I slide in to give the pack a bit of shape, cushion my back, and use as a seat pad while eating lunch or on long belays.

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By bearbreeder
Mar 27, 2012
i picked up one of these for 15$ ... 9 oz ... 17L ... 210D... enough to carry a puffy, emergency gear, water, food ... only thing it doesnt have is a waiststrap but then i just use a piece of webbing which doubles as bail material if needed


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By Ryan N
From San Louis Obispo
Mar 27, 2012
RJN
I use the Cierzo 18 by Arcteryx (last years model without the zipper top). The pack is perfect for my use. I generally do 5 or less pitches of ice and 10 or less pitches of rock. I like that it packs away small when I'm doing approaches. The only downside is it is not rigid at all and it takes some creative packing to get it to sit right while leading. The price of 60$ is pretty good for that size and Arcteryx.

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By Kilroywashere!
From Harrisonburg, Virginia
Mar 27, 2012
Kilroy
i really like my petzl bug, big enough, the waist belt tucks away when im not using it, pretty light weight, straps are designed like a petzl harness with the frame technology. 18L, sits high enough to reach a chalk bag, plus it has a sweet guide book pocket. i've worn it leading a bunch of stuff at Seneca and Nelson and hardly noticed it. only time i had a problem with it was on Conns West, trying to work my way up the chimney pitch it kinda sucked. ended up leaving it hanging on a piece of gear for my second to deal with(luckily she was all of 95 lbs and it actually made it easier for her to get up the chimney...oh yeah, this will be my 3rd season with it, and 2nd guiding with it.

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By Tyler Smith
From Buena Park
Mar 27, 2012
Walking through Echo Cove looking for a good climb.
I asked this a while ago. Check out these threads.

mountainproject.com/v/what-siz...

mountainproject.com/v/best-mul...

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By ChrisJoosse
Apr 1, 2012
on Pack Animal Direct
+1 for the Flash 18. It is cheap, light, packable. It packs down small enough to fit in an approach pack, will hold a puffy, water, sandwiches, an ice axe, and it has daisy-chain attach points for whatever other stuff you may want to carry.

When I wear a pack on lead, I like my pack to ride on my upper back and stay out of the way of my harness and gear loops. The flash does a good job of staying out of the way while carrying the stuff it does.

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By Dane
Apr 2, 2012
Cham '11
I spent the last week using, looking at, taking pictures of and quizzing the users of several climbing packs. They included CCW, the BI Warthog, a Cilo and a Golite. Packs that had been used hard.

Full disclosure? I sell the Blue Ice Warthog in NA. And have paid retail for every CCW pack I own.

Of the 4 brands we were comparing, two stood head and shoulders above the others for the quality of construction and materials as actual climbing packs. I'll eventually do a full review on Cold Thistle.

The best made pack by far? Simple, it is CCW. The other well designed and sewn pack was the Blue Ice. The fact you can have a CCW custom made to your specs is simply a bonus.

I am sure others will disagee. And when I post my full commentary at Cold Thistle, screams will erupt. But I challange anyone to make a side by side comparison with CCW and come to a different conclusion.

I'd be embarrassed to be selling some of the products we were testing. In the past I have used and suggested the Flash 18, a couple of Arcteryx sacks and a couple of good ones from MEC.

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By Superclimber
Apr 2, 2012
I like my Metolius Portacord. It's 18L and expands to 24. Very very durable. I wish it would pack up just a bit smaller and lighter. It weighs 1.5 Lbs. But other than that I like it. I also have a flash 18 that comes in handy sometimes since its light and packs up so small. The Marmot Kompressor is pretty sexy and so is that Cilogear pack mentioned above.

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By Puzman
Apr 2, 2012
Little finger
+2 for the Flash 18. Awesome little pack! I put a sheet of foam in the hydration pocket on mine, which makes it carry *really* comfortably, and put a bungee on the outside. Better than many more expensive packs I've used.

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By Graham Johnson
Apr 2, 2012
I've got a few packs I use as "leader's packs" - my favorite is the MEC genie - light, tough, simple and just does what it's supposed to do. And it's cheap. mec.ca/AST/ShopMEC/Packs/Daypa...
you do have to do a few mods to it - cutting off the bungee and making it so that there are two buckled compression straps on each side (means adding two buckles and a little bit of accessory cord)instead of the two that annoyingly meet in the middle. You can also swap out the really heavy foam pad for a bit of yellow foamie (way lighter and carries just the same) I think mine weighs about 360g, but at 30L it's a little big for a "leader's pack". Still, it compresses down well and climbs great for a fraction of the price of some of the other packs out there. And it's durable.

I had a MEC travel light top-loader: mec.ca/AST/ShopMEC/Packs/Daypa... that I used for a bit, but it carried poorly when not loaded up. The travel-light pannel loader is much better, in my opinion, but a little small. I sold that in favor of a Sea to Summit UltraSil Daypack:

seatosummit.com/products/displ...
it weighs 68g! I only really use it on pure ice climbs or alpine routes where there's not really a chance of me having to chimney up anything abrasive, or for a bouldering/sport climbing pack. It's not perfect, but I kinda like it. Fits my belay jacket, extra gloves, water, food, headlamp etc.. in a pinch I can get a jetboil in there too.

I had a Cilogear 20L but ended up giving it away before it could fall apart on me like the other 3 Cilogear packs I've had did.
I have a CCW chernobyl as my larger pack - as Dane says, the workmanship is fantastic. I don't have to worry about this one!

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By CBW
Apr 2, 2012
Check out the Gregory Fury 16. I just started using in Eldo and love it. It has great features and is super light (18oz, which is a lot lighter than most CCW, etc leader packs). Some great features include: Gu Pockets on the shoulder straps, that can either hold Gu or a topo. There are expandable external packets, that stay snug when climbing but expand for hauling gear to the approach. There is a very simple ice axe attachment. The waist belt is stretchy, so it expands with your deep breaths and keeps the load snug when you are thrashing about. The shoulder straps are comfy, aerated and super lightweight. It has a hydration pocket and nice little pockets for your cell phone and keys. I haven't had to haul it yet, but it is the pack I will use on Alpine Rock routes, as it seems bomber for the occasional hauling situation.

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By smassey
From CO
Apr 2, 2012
For the OP: It sounds like you are looking for 2 different packs. 1, you are inquiring about a 20L. The Cilo Hauly 20 is damn near indestructible. As a rock/multi-pitch leaders pack, that would be a better choice than the work sack.
2, you are asking about an overnight pack. Alpine? or just long rock routes? The Haulys are great again (i've tried to destroy a 30L for several years now), but don't really have axe attachments. Some of the negative feedback on this thread re: worksacks had to do with the materials. An alpine pack will die in a beater rock environment. Seeing that, cilo is making the Guide Service Worksacks. They have ballistics/whatever the super duty stuff is for the bottom, then heavy-duty dyneema for the rest. They are available in the 30 and 45, as well as the 30:30 which is about 37L or so. A bunch of folks are using that as their overnight/fast n light pack. They're not pictured on the website, but just give them a call and they'll answer any questions you may have.

I'm not commenting on any of the other packs, such as the CCW, since I haven't used them. I have used Cilo's almost exclusively for the past several years and have been quite impressed.

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By APBT1976
Apr 2, 2012
Black Dike 12/25/11
I love my Cilo 30L W/NW Dyneema pack. I have to admit though i have had more than one problem with it in the short it has been in use "one ice season/40days". Mind you everything that went wrong have all been easy fixes. But for a $500 pack kinda crazy you cant run it over with a Mack truck 100 times!

SO you ask what is so great about a $500 pack that falls apart then? The ride and the W/NW Dyneema material. Despite one of the lower ice axe buckles coming clear off, one of the buckles on the lid snapping in half when i was unlatching it, the buckles that hold the lid on coming undone along with various other buckles just coming undone for no apparent reason and loosing them in the snow i will still buy another Cilo Gear pack.

Just something about the simplicity of it i really really like. I use mine with no pad and no hip belt. The pack empty can be smashed up to the size of a grapefruit and is ubber light used this way. If i had it my way they would reconstruct the brain the buckles and the way the upper part of the ice tools are attached. I would also do away with those slip fit buckles that can be moved around the pack as they fall off all the dam time!! Plus once set up how i like it i have yet to ever want to move them. And better tabs to attache muy crampons to the outside of the bag would also be nice. They attache fine now but still i am not 100% in love with the system.

Really it is a ride and weight thing that has me sold. The rest of the construction and quality is questionable for sure!!!

I may just have some changes made to mine by a local cobbler.

If i had to buy another pack other than a Cilo it would be either a Blue Ice Warthog or a new 30L Mammut pack that just came on the market. I need another pack for summer rock and tbh i think it will be the 30L balistics?

I also like that 20L Cilo pack as a leaders pack.

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By Dane
Apr 3, 2012
Cham '11
"SO you ask what is so great about a $500 pack that falls apart then? The ride and the W/NW Dyneema material. Despite one of the lower ice axe buckles coming clear off, one of the buckles on the lid snapping in half when i was unlatching it, the buckles that hold the lid on coming undone along with various other buckles just coming undone for no apparent reason and loosing them in the snow i will still buy another Cilo Gear pack."

Man that is so pathetic it makes me want to actually just give you a quality made pack. But then you could buy one for $150 delivered so I'll restrain myself.

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By NC Rock Climber
From The Oven, AKA Phoenix
Apr 3, 2012
tanuki
Dane wrote:
... I'll eventually do a full review on Cold Thistle. The best made pack by far? Simple, it is CCW. ...


Your blog and posts on ST was how I initially discovered CCW. Thanks I love my Chernobyl!

When are you going to post up your review?

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By Dane
Apr 4, 2012
Cham '11
Part one is up now...2 more parts to go up shortly.

coldthistle.blogspot.com/2012/...

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By Dow Williams
From Saint George, UT
Apr 5, 2012
Dow Williams, 2011
hmmm, been climbing a bit...full time for the past 15 years, guiding, alpine V and VI routes, ice, rock, you name it....can't say I own a "leader" pack...is this something dead bird came up with to sell a new expensive pack that is suppose to make one climb better, like their $600 jackets?

In any regard, keep in mind, you are only as fast as your second....don't load him/her down with a non-"leader" pack, whatever that might be and expect to move any faster because you have a cool "leader" pack on...a classic route where you need to use low profile packs is Beckey Chouinard in the Bugaboos...I have guided this route...and can assure you...that if your partner is not experienced enough to swap leads and is going to serve as a 2nd for the entire trip...you better make sure his/her pack is no more cumbersome to climb with than whatever this "leader" pack business is....or you won't make the route in a day which is much preferred....unless of course you want to carry a bigger (I presume non-"leader") pack and bivy.

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By crackers
Apr 5, 2012
APBT1976 wrote:
I love my Cilo 30L W/NW Dyneema pack. I have to admit though i have had more than one problem with it in the short it has been in use "one ice season/40days". Mind you everything that went wrong have all been easy fixes. But for a $500 pack kinda crazy you cant run it over with a Mack truck 100 times! SO you ask what is so great about a $500 pack that falls apart then? The ride and the W/NW Dyneema material. Despite one of the lower ice axe buckles coming clear off, one of the buckles on the lid snapping in half when i was unlatching it, the buckles that hold the lid on coming undone along with various other buckles just coming undone for no apparent reason and loosing them in the snow i will still buy another Cilo Gear pack. Just something about the simplicity of it i really really like. ...


I own CiloGear. I'd love to hear more from you about the problems you've had with the pack. It sounds like you've had problems with the buckles, and as I wrote I'd love to hear more. Please call us at 503.305.3858 or send an email to cilogear @ gmail.com and let us know what's up. Did you lose the buckle or did you rip the strap off? Well, anyway, I look forward to hearing from you directly and I look forward to helping you getting your pack set up the way you want.

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By Dane
Apr 5, 2012
Cham '11
Dow Williams wrote:
hmmm....can't say I own a "leader" pack...


agree 110%

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By Vlad Rosecheck
Apr 5, 2012
Leader

Leader
Leader

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