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Owner Review Auspex pack - Ray Estrella

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  • rayestrella1
    Hello to all, HTML is here; http://tinyurl.com/mjucy Mountainsmith Auspex Pack Owner Review April 2, 2006 Tester Information Name: Raymond Estrella Age: 45
    Message 1 of 5 , Apr 2, 2006
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      Hello to all,

      HTML is here; http://tinyurl.com/mjucy

      Mountainsmith Auspex Pack

      Owner Review
      April 2, 2006

      Tester Information
      Name: Raymond Estrella
      Age: 45
      Gender: Male
      Height: 6' 3" (193cm)
      Weight: 210 lb (95 kg)
      Email address: rayestrella@...
      City: Huntington Beach
      State: California
      Country: USA

      Backpacking Background: I have been hiking for over 30 years, all
      over the state of California. I have also hiked in Washington,
      Minnesota, Nevada, Arizona, and Idaho. I hike year-round, mostly in
      the Sierra Nevada, and put 555 miles (896 km) on my boots last
      year. As I start my 4th decade of backpacking I am making the move
      to lightweight gear, and smaller packs.

      The product

      Manufacturer: Mountainsmith
      Web site: www.mountainsmith.com
      Product: Auspex Pack
      Size: Large
      Year manufactured: 2004
      MSRP: $ 199.00 (US)
      Weight listed: 4 lb (1.81 kg) Actual weight 4lb 2.4 oz (1.88 kg)
      Volume: 4,000 cu in (660L)
      Torso length: 19-22 in (48-56 cm)
      Color: Bronze
      Warranty: (from company web site), "Most Mountainsmith products are
      covered by a Lifetime Warranty against materials and workmanship
      defects."

      Product description

      The Auspex is a brown and gold internal frame pack. The body of the
      pack is made of Dimension Polyant VX-21 and VX-42 nylon. The VX-42
      has a large diamond grid pattern in it. At the top of the pack body
      is a 7 in (18 cm) extension sleeve. A cord runs around the top of
      the sleeve and through a cord lock, allowing the top to be drawn
      shut.

      Running down one side of the pack on the face is a water-proof
      zipper that allows access to the pack without having to open the
      top. I rarely make use of this zipper. On either side of the pack at
      the bottom is a large pocket made of mesh and nylon. They are large
      enough to hold an insulated Nalgene bottle, or a regular bottle plus
      additional items. I like the size of these pockets.

      Zigzagging across the face of the pack is an elastic cord that goes
      through a cord-lock, and five clips. Below this are two ice ax
      loops. There are two compression straps on each side of the pack
      body. Two ports at the top of the pack near the straps allow the use
      of a hydration bladder.

      A removable top lid sits on top. It is accessed by a long water-
      proof zipper. I love this zipper. All of my other packs that have a
      regular zipper on the lid snag constantly. This zipper never does as
      there is no zipper-shield to get caught. The lid closes the body of
      the pack by the use of two long compression straps that run from the
      pockets up to connectors on the lid.

      The contoured shoulder straps are made of "breathable Brock foam".
      They are attached to the aluminum stays and slide up and down on
      them. An adjustment strap behind the shoulder strap determines how
      far up the stay they will slide. I am tall enough to just let them
      got to the fullest position. But it is easy to adjust it if I let
      someone shorter borrow it. The shoulder straps have two adjustment
      straps on them. The ones at the top of the shoulder adjust the
      distance the pack body rides away from my body. The one at the lower
      end of the shoulder strap pulls the pack down onto my shoulders
      changing the balance of weight between hip and shoulders. A sternum
      strap crosses the between the shoulder straps. It is mounted on a
      sliding connection. Each shoulder strap has an elastic nylon loop on
      them also. I keep my knife clipped to one of them.

      The stays of this "internal" frame pack, are actually on the outside
      of the pack. They slide into a reinforced pocket at top of the pack
      body, and into pockets on the hip-belt. While I was skeptical of it
      at first, I am a believer now.

      The hip belt, also made of Brock foam filled nylon is very wide,
      although not that thick. It has a large quick-release buckle that is
      adjusted with straps that form a sideways V along the padding. By
      pulling the strap it tightens both sides of the V, making for even
      pressure on my hip. It works wonderfully.

      Field Conditions

      This pack has been used in Kings Canyon National Park, Sequoia
      National forest, Jennie Lakes and Monarch Wilderness areas. It also
      was used on the north half of the John Muir Trail in October 2005. I
      used it to carry mountaineering gear up Mt Morrison, in the John
      Muir Wilderness. It has been to San Jacinto a few times in winter.
      Conditions have ranged from temperatures in the 80's F 9 (C), down
      to 15 F (C). Elevations have ranged from 5,000' to 12,000' (1,500 to
      3,700 m). It has seen beautiful sunny days, along with snow, rain
      and high winds.

      In 2005 I put 178 miles (287 k) of hiking in with the Auspex. I lost
      my log for 2004, so can not be sure about the mileage that year.

      Field Use

      I used to carry a 6000 cu in (98 L) pack, and filled it up for a
      five day hike. In 2003 I decided to completely change my style of
      hiking, aiming at reducing weight and volume. The Auspex was
      purchased to be my long mileage pack. I use it on hikes over four
      day's duration for regular three-season hiking. And as my over-
      nighter pack during the winter, when I need more space for bigger
      bags and tents

      This is may be the most comfortable pack I have ever owned. And I
      have owned, or do own, eleven of them. If I had to get rid of all of
      my current packs but one, this is the one I would keep. To the right
      is a picture of the Auspex loaded for 8 days in the fall.

      The hip belt is very comfortable. I had to go back and order a
      medium size as the large that comes with it had to be tightened the
      end of its adjustment range to work for me. That is a common problem
      for me though as I have a long torso. If I could I would put this
      belt on all off my packs.

      The shoulder straps are deceiving. They are more comfortable than I
      would have expected based on the thickness of the padding. The only
      pack I have used with more comfortable suspension are packs made to
      carry much more volume and weight than the Auspex.

      I carry a BV 300 bear canister where necessary. The canister will
      fit in the Auspex sideways at the bottom of the sack. I put my
      sleeping bag in the canister to keep the weight placement right. I
      keep my food in a sack near the top of the pack, putting it in the
      canister after I get to camp in the afternoon. Even with the
      canister inside I have plenty of room for all of my other gear.

      The laced elastic cording on the back of the pack is very handy.
      Sometimes I will strap the body of my tent under it, with the poles
      inside the pack. Or in inclement weather I will keep my rain gear
      under it ready for a quick apparel addition. After the rain passes
      it goes back to let it drip, keeping the contents inside of the pack
      dry. I also keep my river and stream crossing amphibious shoes under
      the laces. For winter trips I keep my shovel blade secured by the
      laces.

      In the winter I keep my ice ax and shovel handle in the loops on the
      back. I like the hook and loop keepers on the top. They are easy to
      access.

      The narrow aspect of the Auspex also makes it a nice pack for
      mountaineering and winter travel. It allows me to ski and snow shoe
      without the pack getting in the way of my arms. It balances well
      when adjusted tight against my body. The same is true for tricky
      areas in summer, as the following picture in Kings Canyon attests to.

      The size and placement of the exterior side pockets is perfect for
      me. Half the time I still use Nalgene bottles, and they fit great in
      them. I can get them out, and replace the bottles with no
      difficulty, something I can not say about most of my packs. But they
      are not very durable. Both sides have developed tears in the netting
      fabric. I hope that future designs use a more durable material.

      The top lid is a good size. I keep my water filter, TP, first aid
      kit, sil-nylon pack cover and a couple of food bars in it. I do wish
      that the zipper was placed a little higher on the lid, as small
      items sometimes fall out upon opening it. I really like the welded
      water-proof zipper. It snags much less that the sewn in regular type
      zippers. I would like to see all zippers go to this style.

      When I called Mountainsmith to order the replacement hip belt, they
      told me that the Aupsex was being discontinued. They said it was
      being updated, but would have a new name. I look forward to what
      they come up with, as I like this pack so much. If some of my
      concerns have been addressed I will probably try it out, but until
      then I plan on putting many more miles on the Auspex.

      Truckin' along the John Muir Trail.
    • 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 5 , Apr 5, 2006
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        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 Edit Moderator soon. Do
        not worry if nothing happens with it for several days. All our
        Editors are volunteers and your report will be subject to an
        official edit within fourteen days. If you have not had a response
        from an Edit Moderator via the Yahoo Groups list within this
        timeframe, please let me know directly at jdeben@....

        To assist in this process, if this is your first Owner Review we ask
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        and uploaded before you post your second and subsequent reviews.
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      • edwardripleyduggan
        Hello Ray, Here ya go! Best, Ted. ... ###EDIT: foam-filled nylon is very wide, ... ### EDIT: Don t forget the conversions! Elevations have ranged from 5,000
        Message 3 of 5 , Apr 15, 2006
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          Hello Ray,

          Here ya go!

          Best,

          Ted.

          > The hip belt, also made of Brock foam filled

          ###EDIT: foam-filled

          nylon is very wide,
          > although not that thick. It has a large quick-release buckle that is
          > adjusted with straps that form a sideways V along the padding. By
          > pulling the strap it tightens both sides of the V, making for even
          > pressure on my hip. It works wonderfully.
          >
          > Field Conditions
          >
          > This pack has been used in Kings Canyon National Park, Sequoia
          > National forest, Jennie Lakes and Monarch Wilderness areas. It also
          > was used on the north half of the John Muir Trail in October 2005. I
          > used it to carry mountaineering gear up Mt Morrison, in the John
          > Muir Wilderness. It has been to San Jacinto a few times in winter.
          > Conditions have ranged from temperatures in the 80's F 9 (C), down
          > to 15 F (C).

          ### EDIT: Don't forget the conversions!

          Elevations have ranged from 5,000' to 12,000' (1,500 to
          > 3,700 m). It has seen beautiful sunny days, along with snow, rain
          > and high winds.
          >
          > In 2005 I put 178 miles (287 k) of hiking in with the Auspex. I lost
          > my log for 2004, so can not be sure about the mileage that year.
          >
          > Field Use
          >
          > I used to carry a 6000 cu in (98 L) pack, and filled it up for a
          > five day hike. In 2003 I decided to completely change my style of
          > hiking, aiming at reducing weight and volume. The Auspex was
          > purchased to be my long mileage pack. I use it on hikes over four
          > day's duration for regular three-season hiking. And

          ### EDIT: , and


          as my over-
          > nighter pack during the winter, when I need more space for bigger
          > bags and tents
          >
          > This is may be the most comfortable pack I have ever owned. And I
          > have owned, or do own, eleven of them. If I had to get rid of all of
          > my current packs but one, this is the one I would keep. To the right
          > is a picture of the Auspex loaded for 8 days in the fall.
          >
          > The hip belt is very comfortable. I had to go back and order a
          > medium size as the large that comes with it had to be tightened the end

          ### EDIT: "to the end"

          of its adjustment range to work for me. That is a common problem
          > for me though as I have a long torso. If I could I would put this
          > belt on all off

          ### EDIT: of

          my packs.
          >
          >
        • edwardripleyduggan
          In case you hadn t caught it, the folder is http://tinyurl.com/mdp8o for the Auspex. Ted.
          Message 4 of 5 , Apr 15, 2006
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            In case you hadn't caught it, the folder is

            http://tinyurl.com/mdp8o

            for the Auspex.

            Ted.
          • rayestrella1
            ... Got it! Thank you for your help Ted. Ray
            Message 5 of 5 , Apr 15, 2006
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              --- In BackpackGearTest@yahoogroups.com, "edwardripleyduggan"
              <erd@...> wrote:
              >
              > In case you hadn't caught it, the folder is
              >
              > http://tinyurl.com/mdp8o
              >
              > for the Auspex.
              >
              > Ted.

              Got it! Thank you for your help Ted.

              Ray
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