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OWNER REVIEW - Macpac Glissade Backpack

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  • Rowdy
    Macpac Glissade Backpack Name: Rowdy Webb, male, age 32 Height: a long-limbed 6 4 (193 cm) & 190-200 lbs (86-91 kg) Email address: rowdy at hp dot com City,
    Message 1 of 2 , May 9 7:59 PM
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      Macpac Glissade Backpack
      Name: Rowdy Webb, male, age 32
      Height: a long-limbed 6' 4" (193 cm) & 190-200 lbs (86-91 kg)
      Email address: rowdy at hp dot com
      City, State, Country: Portland, Oregon, U.S.A.
      Date: May 9, 2005

      Backpacking Background:
      I've backpacked for most of my years, though recently—in the last
      five years or so—it has become a significant part of my life. The
      pinnacle has been two month-long trips with my wife Melissa along
      the PCT through Oregon and Washington. I/we also enjoy week-long
      trips, as well as the occasional weekend jaunt. As for general
      style, my summer pack now weighs ~25-30lbs (~11-14kg) w/o food or
      water, but still holds a tent, a butane (canister) stove, a camp
      chair, a book, and a Frisbee. Some recent changes have been fixing
      home-dried dinners, walking with poles, and wearing as light of
      footwear as is safe, given the conditions. As for location, most
      trips are within the NW mountains; recently, though, we've started
      combining plane travel with tramping—just don't tell the airline
      about the stove!

      I do like gear, but I am most appreciative when it consistently does
      its job well with minimal flash and hassle, so that I can simply
      enjoy what I go for—the outdoors, the solitude, and the

      Product Information:
      Manufacturer: Macpac
      Purchased new in 1996
      Listed Weight, 2005 version: 6.4 lb (2.9 kg) (for the smallest of
      the three sizes)
      Listed Volume, 2005 version: 4270 cu in (70 l), 4560 cu in (75 l),
      and 4880 cu in (80 l)
      Measured Weight, 1996 version: 5.5 lb (2.5 kg)
      Listed Volume, 1996 version: unknown, about 4300 cu in (70 l)
      MSRP: NZ$499, ~US$360

      A note on the manufacturer: Macpac, a company based in New Zealand,
      is just now offering its products through a few independent
      retailers in the US, though they have been very popular in their
      home country for decades, and available in many other counties
      (particularly Commonwealth nations—mine was bought in Wales). The
      weak US dollar will make the introduction difficult, but we may be
      seeing more and more Macpac in this country in the coming years.

      The Glissade model is a medium- to large-size backpack. It can be
      used on- and off-trail, an assessment I make based on its rugged
      construction and its slim and body-hugging design. It has a one
      large dividable main compartment, plus a removable "butt-pack" lid
      which snaps down over the main volume's draw-string closure (as in
      many packs). The main volume is also accessible via a beefy zipper
      that wraps around the pack 1/3 up from the base. The lid has a main
      inner compartment accessible by another large zipper, as well as an
      almost-hidden zippered pocket for smaller items. (I think it took
      me a year to find this one…!) The hip belt and shoulder straps are
      modular and very adjustable. The main material used is a very
      sturdy and waterproof canvas, though heavy. Compression straps
      along the sides offer some flexibility in volume, as well as lash
      points for tent poles, wet gear, and the like.

      I have worn this pack on 95% of my backpacking in the last nine
      years, which accounts for about four months total use, plus several
      weeks of non-backpacking travel. (In fact, the most visible wear on
      the pack is the result of an extended fight with a conveyor belt!)
      It has been through 1300 on-trail miles in the Cascades in Oregon
      and Washington, other mountain miles in New Mexico and California
      and around the NW, as well as beach hiking in Washington and
      Hawai'i. Perhaps two weeks of the walking has been on rainy days, a
      number of which included downpours ranging from ten minutes to
      several hours in length. Only a handful of days have been in the
      snow. The maximum weight I've hiked with is close to 60 lbs—a weight
      the pack seemed comfortable with—though my average trailhead weight
      now is around 35lbs.

      My experience with the pack has been very positive. It has become a
      trusted and respected backpacking partner. I have had opportunities
      in the last few years to downsize to a slightly smaller pack of
      significantly less weight, but have always hesitated.

      Of primary importance is comfort. I have appreciated how the hip
      belt can rotate with respect to the load, allowing the hips to swing
      freely while still bearing the load well. Also, the foam material
      in the straps is firm but comfortable, and has proven quite
      durable. And, in general, the various adjustments have all proven
      useful (though now those adjustments start to slip—not sure if it's
      the buckles or the straps wearing, or both).

      When well packed, and well adjusted, the pack has felt glued to my
      hips and back but hasn't restricted my movement. This is
      remarkable, and is perhaps common place with today's advanced packs,
      but it does a solid job nonetheless of keeping with your center-of-
      gravity in unsteady terrain.

      My experience has been that while the pack is not water-proof, the
      fabric has been waterproof, resulting in some dampness in items only
      near zippers and (worn?) seams, but bone-dry everywhere else. I
      have never—and this is a source of pride and stubbornness—packed a
      pack cover or created an impromptu one.

      The tough materials work well on overgrown trails. On the Na Pali
      Coast in Hawai'i, with encroaching brush threatening to cast me down
      the steep cliffs, I was unafraid to lean the pack into the stubborn
      brush. One thing did manage to carve a small hole in the fabric a
      few years back—a varmint or a very sharp rock?—but it got sewed up
      and taped no problem.

      Speaking of repairs, the pack has had three over its life. This
      speaks to how much I abuse my equipment and how much I have
      appreciated this pack. All repairs have been fixing up the one
      hole, and replacing stitching which has worked loose due to my
      incessant strap wrenching. (While it is difficult/costly to return
      the pack to Macpac for repair, local repair folks have enjoyed the
      challenge of fixing gear they haven't seen before.) It is clear,
      however, that if Macpac wanted to increase the overall durability of
      the pack a notch or two, it would only need to concentrate on the
      stitching, and perhaps some of the lesser nylon material used inside
      the pack. (This may have already happened.)

      Now that many of the main straps are showing significant wear, I
      seriously consider replacing the pack. It will be a difficult

      The Glissade offers a secure & generally water-tight place for your
      stuff on the trail. It is heavy but bomber.

      Top Likes:
      • Aztec material Durability
      • Waterproof materials/water-resistant pack
      • Simplicity and flexibility of design

      Top Dislikes:
      • Few pockets on the outside (something added in later
      versions, though at the expense of added weight)
      • Some stitching and the nylon material used at the top of the
      main pack section don't come close to matching the Aztec material
      durability (so they break down well before most of the pack)
    • chcoa
      PLEASE READ THIS EMAIL IN FULL. IT IS MOST IMPORTANT! Thanks for your Owner s Review. It has been added to the Owner Review Queue and will be picked up by an
      Message 2 of 2 , May 11 10:40 PM
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