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Backpacks from campsite to crags
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Nov 7, 2015
Hello all,
This is a first time post. Used to live an hour from the Appalachians and was spoiled with roadside or short hike crags. I have moved below sea level and now the vast majority of my trips will be overnight. As a result I have been paying more attention to what people are using to hike into climbing areas. I currently have a small day pack for my rack/snacks/H2o and sling my rope bag over a shoulder. This has been "good enough" when the walk in was relatively short and little scrambling involved.
Last week at Horseshoe Canyon Ranch I noticed a lot of people using one bag to carry everything (including throwing rope bag inside larger pack). What do you all recommend as far as packs and capacity?
Thanks
NOLAclimber76
Joined Nov 7, 2015
5 points
Nov 7, 2015
Rock Climbing Photo: Cradle of the Deep 5.13a
I like my black diamond demon duffel, it's 42 liters and zips all the way down the middle for easy gear access. My next pack, however, will be an Arcteryx Miura 45 liter, I've heard a lot of good about that pack. Luc Ried
From Batesville, AR
Joined Mar 22, 2014
457 points
Nov 7, 2015
45-50L, in my experience is most useful. In Colorado you need a few layers no matter what time of year you climb for the fickle weather. At 45L, I find it to be tight fit for my personal gear (no draws/rack),basics and a rope bag, but it can work. I sometimes have to put shoes and helmet on an external strap, if I need an extra layer (like a fatter jacket). If I'm not schlepping the rope but have the gear, I usually have enough room for everything else. That said, my personal preferences for features are: external cinch straps, and a top cinch strap under the "brain" of the pack. I do not like some packs out there that just have a cinch cord at the top, no brain. I can't understand what is going to keep the rain out. I'm probably missing some well tested design behind that. External cinch straps allow for clipping stuff outside if necessary. Top strap is great for moving the rope without a bag. For me, I want padded shoulder and hip straps with suspension type adjustments for the shoulders; I may be carrying close to half my weigh and I need the extra comfort to get there and back. I like full side zips for easy access and it's great when there are duffel handles on the side, but those aren't deal breakers for me. Just luxuries. With all that being said, I am in the market for a 48-50L pack because 45L doesn't quite hack it for winter climbing: I need room for more warm layers and maybe a thermos. I just sold my under-loved Muira 50 because it was too heavy when empty to be practical. So my next 50L choice will have to not be heavy as well. (Don't get me wrong: the Muira was an awesome pack; if you are an average or bigger guy it could work great for you.) E Johnson
From Boulder, CO
Joined May 8, 2006
82 points
Nov 7, 2015
Thanks! This is really helpful NOLAclimber76
Joined Nov 7, 2015
5 points
Nov 7, 2015
I carry a 60 liter pack - but I usually carry the grandkids and /or part of the wife's gear etc. I like being able to just drop everything down in without having to pack carefully. Plus it has a frame and carries nice. Chris Rice
Joined Jan 11, 2013
45 points
Nov 7, 2015
@Chris. That is close to my situation. I will be towing rope, rack, gear plus son and or wife's stuff. What pack do you like NOLAclimber76
Joined Nov 7, 2015
5 points
Nov 7, 2015
I have avery OLD Karrimor 63. It's not available anymore. But it's about beat to death. I'm going to have to look for a new one before spring. It's not unusual to have 40+ pounds so a nice frame is good. I want a simple top opener with no zippers - external pockets etc except for a lid (not easy to find without all those bells and whistles). Not sure yet what I'll end up with at this point. Chris Rice
Joined Jan 11, 2013
45 points
Nov 7, 2015
Rock Climbing Photo: morning joe
Trango crag pack. 48L. Cheap ($99 I think) and durable And fits a ton of stuff. Basically built like a haul bag but w comfortable padded waist and shoulder straps that carry surprisingly well. So it is heavy. But I'm in that camp of often hauling my wife and kids' gear too, while she carries lunch and hot chocolate and diversions. Nice exterior shoe pouch and super easy access guidebook pouch you can reach while pack is still on. Sean Peter
From IL
Joined Aug 15, 2013
45 points
Nov 11, 2015
I think others are right to say that a 45-50L pack will give you the most potential for use. However, it won't be your last pack, and it will be a bit large for most day-long applications.

Because of this, I sold my 45L and went with a 38L and a 70L. The 38L suits me well on day's at the crag, or multi-day backpacking trips. It's also perfect for alpine style climbing where I'm taking a small rack and bivy gear for a couple nights in mild temps.

The 70L is wonderful when I'm hauling a large rack, food and gear for several nights in the wilderness, or big mountain pursuits.

There's really so much potential on the market. I can only recommend what I've used. My 38L is the Osprey Variant, and the 70L is the Gregory Denali. They're both rugged and have a nice frame. I love the way that they carry. The Variant has seen about 120 days of use, and the Denali has only seen about 20 because it's rather new. No visible damage yet.
George W
Joined Sep 14, 2015
41 points
Nov 11, 2015
This is all really helpful! I was just cruising on REI Outlet (just received my 20% off coupon) and these are the packs in the range you all have described. Any personal experiences or preferences?

Black Diamond Epic 45 (2014)
Black Diamond 50 Caliber (2014)
Black Diamond Speed 40 (2014
Black Diamond Epic 35 (2014)
Black Diamond Mission 50 (2014)
Black Diamond Speed 55 (2014)
NOLAclimber76
Joined Nov 7, 2015
5 points
Nov 11, 2015
Rock Climbing Photo: Snow Shoe, WV
I love my Ospray Atmos 50L. Very comfortable even with 40 to 50lbs in it. Fits my 70m rope, 12 quickdraws, small trad rack, padding for TR anchors, camp stove, med kit and food. 70oz. bladder of water fits between the mesh back and the pack itself. I hang the harness, shoes and helmet on the outside. Fajita Dave
From Barboursville, VA
Joined Feb 4, 2015
7 points
Nov 11, 2015
NOLAclimber76 wrote:
This is all really helpful! I was just cruising on REI Outlet (just received my 20% off coupon) and these are the packs in the range you all have described. Any personal experiences or preferences? Black Diamond Epic 45 (2014) Black Diamond 50 Caliber (2014) Black Diamond Speed 40 (2014 Black Diamond Epic 35 (2014) Black Diamond Mission 50 (2014) Black Diamond Speed 55 (2014)


I owned the Epic 45 and did not like the pivoting harness system, which was another reason why I sold it. Though other reviews loved it. I found that when I loaded the pack to it's limit (40+lbs) it would sway, especially to one side if it was even slightly imbalanced.

Also, I like to have a rugged side pouch for stowing things like poles, wands, and pickets. Which this pack and other BD's like it are lacking.
George W
Joined Sep 14, 2015
41 points
Nov 11, 2015
I like the Osprey stuff, too.

Other options: Cold Cold World and TOE

These are both hand-made in the USA, by accomplished climbers, to the very highest standard.

They are both outrageous bargains for what you get.
Spiny Norman
Joined Nov 6, 2015
0 points


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