Camping Backpacks

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Camping Backpacks

Postby Izawwlgood » Mon Aug 29, 2011 3:00 pm UTC

I'm looking to buy some newlyweds a pair of backpacks for trips and whatnot, and know almost nothing about what to look for. They're pretty adventurous people, but probably aren't going to be doing any crazy 10 day on the trail trips, so I'm thinking something nice that could serve as a backpacking through Europe pack or a couple day on a trail trip. Any suggestions for small to medium sized adventurizing packs?

I'd like to spend 200-250.
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Re: Camping Backpacks

Postby Jacque » Mon Aug 29, 2011 3:10 pm UTC

In all the backpack experience I've had I've come to the conclusion that if you want a backpack - especially one for hiking/backpacking - you really need to try it on to make sure it's suitable for your frame.

Perhaps a gift certificate to an outdoors store like REI would be best.

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Re: Camping Backpacks

Postby Izawwlgood » Mon Aug 29, 2011 3:17 pm UTC

That's a good point. I wonder if I could get them a backpack and include the receipt with instructions to try it, and get fitted for a new one if it doesn't work?
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Re: Camping Backpacks

Postby philsov » Mon Aug 29, 2011 5:24 pm UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:That's a good point. I wonder if I could get them a backpack and include the receipt with instructions to try it, and get fitted for a new one if it doesn't work?


Or if the style isn't to their liking. For lighter trips they'd probably be more apt to mess with an internal frame, and for all I know may not even want to mess with waist straps.

I've had nothing but good experiences with Kelty brand packs, so I recommend that if it'll help narrow things down.
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Re: Camping Backpacks

Postby bluebambue » Mon Aug 29, 2011 6:37 pm UTC

I third that they be able to get fitted to the backpack. I think internal frames are better for what you have in mind. They are more comfortable and less bulky.

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Re: Camping Backpacks

Postby Dark567 » Mon Aug 29, 2011 7:43 pm UTC

Look for a highly adjustable, hybrid or internal frame pack. External are basically becoming obsolete. Make sure the width of shoulder straps, height of the shoulder straps, and height of the waist strap are all adjustable. It's your best chance of finding one that fits. Of course, still include the receipt.
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Re: Camping Backpacks

Postby Izawwlgood » Mon Aug 29, 2011 8:34 pm UTC

I remember reading about highly modular packs, any suggestions for something along those lines? Are they typically frames with accessories?
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Re: Camping Backpacks

Postby Chuff » Mon Aug 29, 2011 10:00 pm UTC

I've got a Deuter that I love, but with large bags it really does come down to the individual. You're probably not going to be able to find something adjustable enough to have your guess be right. I've not really heard much about highly modular packs, but if they are external frames with accessories, I don't think they'd be terribly comfortable. The internal frame makes a huge difference.
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Re: Camping Backpacks

Postby rath358 » Tue Aug 30, 2011 12:31 am UTC

I second getting them a gift card to REI with instructions to buy backpacks. Aside from the necessities of fitting the bag, REI is an awesome store.

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Re: Camping Backpacks

Postby Chuff » Tue Aug 30, 2011 12:53 am UTC

REI is an awesome store.
True!


(My dad has a 6 digit REI number)
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Re: Camping Backpacks

Postby Izawwlgood » Tue Aug 30, 2011 2:24 am UTC

I'll look into those brands, and encourage them to exchange in the case of ill fitting selections, but I'm not going to give a good buddy a gift certificate for his wedding.

In terms of nicer stuff, how does eagle creek rank?
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Re: Camping Backpacks

Postby mercutio_stencil » Tue Aug 30, 2011 3:19 am UTC

Eagle Creek makes some nice travel stuff, but I wouldn't backpack with it.

I'm also going to side with not buying them a pack; fit aside, you also want to buy them a pack that's just big enough to fit all their camping gear, but not much bigger (no need to carry all that extra weight). I won't even buy myself a pack unless I have the rest of my kit ready; the only thing worse than carrying ten pounds of gear in a five pound pack is not being able to fit all your equipment into your pack.

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Re: Camping Backpacks

Postby Jacque » Tue Aug 30, 2011 3:26 am UTC

Eagle Creek? Never heard of it.

Oh, and one of the best things about REI... lifetime warranty on all products. No questions asked. As long as you're a member (it's a co-op thing, $20 for lifetime membership) you can return the product at any time in pretty much any condition, though abusing the honor system will get you the evil eye. And then there's the dividends on your purchases... and the sweet yearly 20% off whatever coupons...

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Re: Camping Backpacks

Postby bluebambue » Tue Aug 30, 2011 5:25 am UTC

Maybe buy them some other smaller camping items and also give them a card saying they'll need something to put it all in, then they look down and see you also got them some backpacks.

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Re: Camping Backpacks

Postby Cloud Walker » Tue Aug 30, 2011 5:41 am UTC

I have an internal-frame Kelty and I like it. I'm also an REI member. So yeah. What they said.
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Re: Camping Backpacks

Postby semicharmed » Tue Aug 30, 2011 9:00 am UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:I'll look into those brands, and encourage them to exchange in the case of ill fitting selections, but I'm not going to give a good buddy a gift certificate for his wedding.

In terms of nicer stuff, how does eagle creek rank?


Eagle Creek makes really nice luggage - I got a set of 3 pieces for my 21st birthday - but it's definitely not backpacking stuff. I love all the pieces I have, but none of them are something I'd want to take on a backpacking type trip. Or camping. They're ideal for packing a lot of stuff and lugging said stuff through airports but not something I'd want to carry with me on a backpacking trip where I'd be moving every day.

And I don't think the gift certificate, with a nice card and maybe some small camping gear, is a bad idea. People give checks at weddings/graduations, and a gift card given with a specific purpose in mind seems totally appropriate. Especially because a good backpacking backpack really needs to be tried on, filled with stuff, and walked around in. I have a friend who's shares my build, but we have really different camping bags - her's feels really uncomfortable on me, and she hates mine. So assuming they'll probably have to return at least one of the packs, buying two would be like buying gift certificates, only with slightly more hassle.

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Re: Camping Backpacks

Postby Heisenberg » Tue Aug 30, 2011 8:47 pm UTC

I got an REI gift card for a backpack, and I cannot recommend that highly enough.

My experience was an employee who assessed my needs, fit me for the correct pack, and encouraged me to test it out with weight in the pack.

I ended up with an REI pack, but Kelty makes good packs as well. I used to be a die-hard external frame guy, but internal frames have improved greatly in the last decade or so, and I wouldn't go back to external. The comfort level just can't compare.

If you do buy packs, the most important thing is volume (which you can judge based on your assessment of their needs) and person size (just small, medium, or large). There are men's and women's packs, but mostly the difference is in the straps, so it's a question of boobage.

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Re: Camping Backpacks

Postby Izawwlgood » Tue Aug 30, 2011 9:03 pm UTC

Turns out someone already bought them a backpack, so getting a camping one would be a poor idea. I think I'm going to raid an REI for adventure gear.

So... Slight change of pace to the query: any suggestions for adventure gear?
On the topic of outdoor backpacks, I was oogling Osprey bags. Anyone know if they're solid?
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Re: Camping Backpacks

Postby Cloud Walker » Wed Aug 31, 2011 7:53 am UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:Turns out someone already bought them a backpack, so getting a camping one would be a poor idea. I think I'm going to raid an REI for adventure gear.

So... Slight change of pace to the query: any suggestions for adventure gear?


Hmmm. . .

A good set of GoreTex boots are nice. But the price can get steep for those. There are some other things that I find valuable: a backpack cover (rain cover / waterproof), large stuff sacks (waterproof as well), a rain jacket that stuffs into one of its own pockets, an MSR Pocket Rocket stove, MSR Hyperflow Microfilter (water filter), a hat like this, Mountain House freeze-dried meals. . . I would list a tent, but just about any tent that isn't too big should do fine in most environments. That's about all I can think of without getting into clothing, which would be hard to size correctly for others. Oh wait, maybe trekking poles? They're on my list, at least.
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Re: Camping Backpacks

Postby semicharmed » Wed Aug 31, 2011 12:01 pm UTC

A set of travel towels! I have a large, and it's enough to dry myself completely, but it would be nice to have a medium to use on my hair so I don't just drip all overmyself. And the large isn't quite large enough to walk around in, it barely makes a skirt. Not the most exciting gift, but if they'll be backpacking/hostelling or even camping, they can be really useful.

Also, maybe a pair of sleep sacks/travel sheets? [url=http://www.rei.com/search?cat=4500001_Sleeping+Bags&cat=4500057&hist=cat%2C4500001_Sleeping+Bags%3ASleeping+Bags^cat%2C4500057%3ALiners+and+Accessories]This[/url] or this are a little fancier than what they might buy for themselves (the microfibre/synthetic ones are half the price) but that's why they would make a nice gift. Other than that, the other things I'd love to have all require trying on - a good pair of hiking boots, a lightweight waterproof jacket, biking gloves, etc.

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Re: Camping Backpacks

Postby Dark567 » Wed Aug 31, 2011 11:28 pm UTC

This is like the greatest reasonably priced backpacking tent in the world, just sayin'.

http://www.google.com/search?sourceid=c ... 16&bih=703
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Re: Camping Backpacks

Postby mercutio_stencil » Thu Sep 01, 2011 9:45 am UTC

If you want to get them a shelter (and you think they're the adventurous type) look into [url="http://www.tarptent.com/index.html"]Tarptents[/url]. I've found it only takes one or two big trips before most backpackers realize they want to shed some weight, and moving to a Tarptent is a great way to do it. If you get them a Double Rainbow, it will be all the shelter they need for years to come, and at about half the weight of traditional tents.

Then again, my lightweight sensibilities might be showing.

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Re: Camping Backpacks

Postby DSenette » Thu Sep 01, 2011 2:20 pm UTC

if they're more of a weekend outdoors type people instead of trekking down the AT for months at a time, maybe an "adventure hammock" or a hammock tent?

i've got an ENO hammock tent that is THE ONLY thing i camp in. even when camping with someone else. they can sleep wherever the shit they want, i'm sleeping in my hammock. no bugs, no rocks, just swaying in the breeze.
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Re: Camping Backpacks

Postby Cloud Walker » Thu Sep 01, 2011 11:47 pm UTC

mercutio_stencil wrote:If you want to get them a shelter (and you think they're the adventurous type) look into Tarptents. I've found it only takes one or two big trips before most backpackers realize they want to shed some weight, and moving to a Tarptent is a great way to do it. If you get them a Double Rainbow, it will be all the shelter they need for years to come, and at about half the weight of traditional tents.

Then again, my lightweight sensibilities might be showing.


Great, I just went to that site and then other sites with lightweight camping gear and now my list of crap I want has expanded.
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Re: Camping Backpacks

Postby Izawwlgood » Fri Sep 02, 2011 2:50 am UTC

Yeah, those hammocks are awesome. Any idea's how to string one up in an apartment?
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Re: Camping Backpacks

Postby mercutio_stencil » Fri Sep 02, 2011 7:46 am UTC

DSenette wrote:if they're more of a weekend outdoors type people instead of trekking down the AT for months at a time, maybe an "adventure hammock" or a hammock tent?

i've got an ENO hammock tent that is THE ONLY thing i camp in. even when camping with someone else. they can sleep wherever the shit they want, i'm sleeping in my hammock. no bugs, no rocks, just swaying in the breeze.


Hammocks are bad for couples. I have one, and it gets no use, my SO won't let me bring it camping. After all, we can't cuddle in it.

Izawwlgood wrote:Yeah, those hammocks are awesome. Any idea's how to string one up in an apartment?


Be careful trying to hang a hammock indoors though, they can put a lot of stress on vertical members, and your landlord might not like it if you happen to crack a stud. Check out The Hammock Forums, this question gets raised surprisingly often, and there are some cool solutions. Although if you are one for seriously overthinking things, this is an interesting perspective on hammock camping. Accurate too, from my experience.

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Re: Camping Backpacks

Postby DSenette » Fri Sep 02, 2011 12:49 pm UTC

mercutio_stencil wrote:
DSenette wrote:if they're more of a weekend outdoors type people instead of trekking down the AT for months at a time, maybe an "adventure hammock" or a hammock tent?

i've got an ENO hammock tent that is THE ONLY thing i camp in. even when camping with someone else. they can sleep wherever the shit they want, i'm sleeping in my hammock. no bugs, no rocks, just swaying in the breeze.


Hammocks are bad for couples. I have one, and it gets no use, my SO won't let me bring it camping. After all, we can't cuddle in it.

Izawwlgood wrote:Yeah, those hammocks are awesome. Any idea's how to string one up in an apartment?


Be careful trying to hang a hammock indoors though, they can put a lot of stress on vertical members, and your landlord might not like it if you happen to crack a stud. Check out The Hammock Forums, this question gets raised surprisingly often, and there are some cool solutions. Although if you are one for seriously overthinking things, this is an interesting perspective on hammock camping. Accurate too, from my experience.

the couple thing depends on the hammock and the couple i guess...i've slept pretty comfortable in a two person hammock before, though, not a two person camping hammock, so it probably might not translate the same.

i had mine strung up in my apartment for quite some time when i still lived in an apartment. of course, my apartment was made of concrete so i just drilled some holes in the walls and put in some expandable rock anchors with sport hangars on them...when we moved out i pulled the anchor cores and spackled the holes. no one ever knew anything was there.
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Re: Camping Backpacks

Postby mercutio_stencil » Fri Sep 02, 2011 7:44 pm UTC

DSenette wrote:the couple thing depends on the hammock and the couple i guess...i've slept pretty comfortable in a two person hammock before, though, not a two person camping hammock, so it probably might not translate the same.


Most camping hammocks don't have spreader bars to hold the fabric flat, and instead rely on laying diagonally to get the right position. It's harder to get two people in comfortably, though not impossible. The two people often end up forced together a little too close. There are apparently people making two person hammocks now, but most of the better ones I've seen have two separate compartments.

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Re: Camping Backpacks

Postby Enuja » Sat Sep 03, 2011 11:06 pm UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:Turns out someone already bought them a backpack, so getting a camping one would be a poor idea. I think I'm going to raid an REI for adventure gear.

So... Slight change of pace to the query: any suggestions for adventure gear?
On the topic of outdoor backpacks, I was oogling Osprey bags. Anyone know if they're solid?
I have a 12 year old Osprey women's internal frame backpack. I got it because I liked the Osprey my sister had purchased the year before. I am 5'2", and it fits me perfectly. My ex is 6' and took my backpack with him to Europe both this summer and last summer. The frame broke out of the bag near the end of my ex's most recent trip with the backpack, but my ex loves the bag. It's supremely adjustable (including the torso length, obviously), and so works really well for both of us. 12 years is a long time, especially given that my ex lived out of it (on trains and long wilderness hikes) for a total 5 months, so that fact that it's broken doesn't bother me at all. In fact, I'm planning on trying to fix it. I strongly recommend Osprey backpacks.

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Re: Camping Backpacks

Postby Sungura » Thu Sep 08, 2011 7:02 pm UTC

They make tent hammocks for 2 I do believe. I know someone with a single that we both fit into just fine, actually. We tried out of curiosity ha. The tent hammocks are amazing.
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