Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

OWNER REVIEW - WolfPacks Banzai Dog Pack

Expand Messages
  • Erin
    Here is my review. I will weigh the packs tomorrow at work and include them where indicated. I would also like to include pictures once the draft has been
    Message 1 of 3 , May 1, 2006
    • 0 Attachment
      Here is my review. I will weigh the packs tomorrow at work and include them where indicated. I would also like to include pictures once the draft has been edited. I actually need to take pictures which focus on pack fit, as the ones I have are mostly of the dogs walking around with the pack or lying down.

      Thanks, and I look forward to feedback on my review!

      Owner Review: Wolfpacks Banzai Dog Backpack

      Tester Bio
      Name: Erin Hamedi
      Age: 33
      Gender: Female
      Height: 5' 6" (1.67 Meters)
      Weight: 210 lb (95.25 Kilograms)
      Email address: ehamedi(at)yahoo(dot)com
      City, State, Country: Nashville, Tennessee, U.S.A.
      Date: May 1, 2006
      Backpacking Background: I have done many day hikes near the Nashville, Tennessee area since moving here 12 years ago as well as in the Boone National forest in Eastern Central Kentucky within the past year. I have finally starting doing overnight trips in the past year, nearly all of which have been basic car-camping trips. This spring and summer I plan to start getting away from the car more. Last summer my sole overnight backpack trip was a valuable lesson in gear choice, which has sent me to several online forums as well as the reviews on this site. I currently own an REI Taj3 tent, 2 REI Polar Pod sleeping bags (for the kids), an MSR WhisperLite stove, a pair of Leki PA Ti-Air trekking poles, an Exped Downmat 9DLX and a Hennessy Hammock. My dogs often go hiking with us as well.
      Bios of Dogs:

      Name: Happy

      Age: 15 months

      Gender: Female

      Girth: 24.5” (0.62 Meters)

      Weight: 50 lb (22.68 Kilograms)

      Breed: Pitbull

      Backpacking Background: Happy has gone on nearly all the day hikes and all of the camping trips. She is athletic and ready to tackle any obstacle, swims like a duck, and sleeps in the tent so the “puppy eating monsters” don’t get her!


      Name: Punkin

      Age: 2 years

      Gender: Female

      Girth: 26” (0.66 Meters)

      Weight: 55 lb (24.95 Kilograms)

      Breed: Lab mix

      Backpacking Background: Punkin goes on most of the hiking trips and has been on all the camping trips. She is independent and prefers to sleep outside. Where the pitbull is a duck, Punkin is a fish!



      Name: Magnus

      Age: 2 years, 6 months

      Gender: Male

      Girth: 29.5” (0.75 Meters)

      Weight: 90 lb (40.82 Kilograms)

      Breed: Pitbull/Great Dane mix

      Backpacking Background: Magnus goes on some of the day hikes, and has been camping once. He gets carsick on long drives, and will camp more this summer, closer to home. Magnus has not yet discovered the joy of water yet.

      Product Information

      Manufaturer: WolfPacks, Inc.
      Web site: http://www.wolfpacks.com/
      MSRP: $74.00
      Year of Manufacture: 1st size small pack purchased: 2002, color: orange
      2nd size small pack purchased: 2002, replaced 2006
      Size large pack: 2006

      One of the size small packs was ordered through Chinookwind Outfitters

      No pack weights are listed on the WolfPacks website. Sizes are given for “waist*” measurement and pack volume/pannier dimensions:

      Size
      Waist Measurement
      Pannier Size (Length/Height/Depth
      Pack Volume
      Small
      22” - 30”
      13”/6.5”/4.5”
      650 cu.in.
      Medium
      26" - 34"
      15”/8.5”/5”
      1150 cu.in.
      Large
      30” – 40”
      16”/9.75”/5.5”
      1600 cu.in.
      X-Large
      33” – 46”
      17.5”/11.25”/6”
      2200 cu.in.

      *Waist measurement refers to “a point about 2/3rds of the way back from the front to the hind legs” (according to site). If you feel under your dogs belly, you are looking for the sternum, almost where the ribcage ends. The site also has a helpful picture showing how to measure your dog.

      Measured Weights: small (include when weighed, in oz/kg)
      Large (include when weighed, in oz/kg)

      Product Description:
      The Banzai is the top end of the three current dog pack designs offered by WolfPacks. The top part is cordura nylon, the bottom half and front are ballistic nylon, with a strip of 3M reflective trim along each side and flat plastic gear lashing loops on the top of each pannier . There are two pockets in each pannier, and one pockt along the top. One pocket is the large main compartment, with a small outer pocket running the length of the pannier. The inner pocket is suitable for larger items such as dog food bag, tent, stove, etc while the outer pocket works well for utensils, keys, poop baggies,or any other relatively flat items. Packs are available in red, royal blue, forest green, orange, and purple.

      The other packs offered by Wolfpacks are the Reflector (no ballistic nylon brush guards and no outer pocket) price $59, and the saddle bag (a basic set of 10”x7” panniers, no reflective tape or brush guards, and only one size) price $45.

      Product Review:
      I have owned at least one WolfPacks Banzai for the last 4 years. The packs have gone almost everywhere with us, from short day hikes to the backpacking trip last summer. They have even been used on vacation in New Orleans, carrying the tourist necessities through the French Quarter. During the course of normal use, the packs have been worn while swimming, rolled in dirt and mud, and have passed though uncountable thickets. The oldest pack I have is nearly undistinguishable from the newest, after a ride in the washing machine.

      I chose the wolfpacks design after trying out several other manufacturers products. Issues with dog packs mainly involve slippage and chafing, and I wanted a pack that would stay put under load and not leave the dog bloody and raw at the end of the day. Wolfpacks products are designed to keep the weight on or near the shoulders, and the panniers tend to be somewhat shallower and longer as a result. Also there are only 2 straps: a chest strap and a belly strap which hits the dog around the “waist”. My dogs are all fairly light coated, especially the pitbull and pitbull-great dane mix, and a strap that hits them behind the elbows will chafe. Even a heavier coated dog does not usually have lots of hair behind the elbow, as I have discovered with my lab mix. (I had borrowed a friend’s dog pack with the 3-strap setup for a trip, and ended up strapping it to my pack after the first day.)

      Conditions:
      The packs have been used in hot dry weather, hard rain, snow, and everything in between.

      Performance:
      The day I received my first pack, I loaded it with two full nalgene bottles and went to the park to hop over rocks and logs. We have a wonderful park here with hiking trails, a creek, and sections of an old rock wall. I led the dog up, down, and over obstacles and observed the pack. While the pack is sensitive to balance weight, there was little slippage forward or listing when the pack is balanced. It stays where it is supposed to whether the dog is walking on level ground, scrambling up rocks or over a wall, or hopping a tree. One of the things I noticed was that the dogs took some time to realize they could no longer fit between the narrow trees or pass so close to people. I expect that this would be true of any pack, however, and it is more entertaining than irritating. When swimming, the pack also stays put. However, on a dog that will take off in the direction of water, never EVER let them carry your phone, camera, etc. (or just keep them on leash!) I was
      fortunate that all I lost was a bag of kibble that became dog food goop! The packs also make nice pillows at night when softer items are put into them. The packs are also fairly water-resistant, unless your dog jumps in a river or lake while wearing the pack. Fortunately, they are also easy to clean and dry moderately quickly

      The most important aspect of these packs, however, is that even when worn the first time the dogs seem to forget the pack is there. They are comfortable and do not inhibit the dog’s movement.

      Durability:
      These packs are nearly bulletproof, and have a lifetime warranty. I have had to replace one due to my own stupidity. Never leave treats in the pack, and also leave it where the dogs can get to it! I sent it for repair, and Linda (one of the owners) called me to let me know that it would be $40 to fix right (since the damage was not due to material/workmanship failure, parts of the zipper and pannier were eaten!), or they would sell me a new one for $35. I now have 3 orange packs, instead of 2 orange and a blue. Other than dog teeth, the packs still show no sign of wear in spite of being heavily used. They are easy to clean when the dogs roll in mud while wearing the pack as well.

      Summary

      I love these packs. I have tried others, but these are the ones I will keep buying (if necessary). They are comfortable for my dogs as well as durable and the come in bright orange. When hiking in the fall, that gives some added peace of mind. I would highly recommend these packs to anyone, with a word about size: measure not only your dogs waist, but also measure how the size of the panniers will fit on your dog! When purchasing a pack for my pitbull/great dane mix, I was torn between the medium and large. Waist measurement wise, a large would fit him (He is not as tall as a dane, not so stocky as a pit, but still a big guy). However, the panniers are larger than you might expect, and I am VERY glad I went with the medium for him. On the small packs worn by my pitbull and lab mix you can fit a 32oz nalgene bottle in each pannier with room left over for sandwiches. It would be very easy to overload your dog. The other down side is that the leash tends to hook
      under the front corner of the pack, which can be fixed by putting a nylon strap through the gear loops and running the leash through the strap. The pockets are generous, however the 5th pocket on the very top of the pack is somewhat limited in use. Whatever you put in the top is potentially going to dig into your dog’s shoulders/spine, so you can only put really flat/soft things in the top (extra spectra cord, soft foldable dog bowl, baggies, etc).

      Things I like about the Banzai:
      -Fits well on dogs with different body types.
      -Extremely Durable (unless your dog eats it!)
      -They come in ORANGE and other colors. Other packs have maybe 2 color choices.
      -Reflective strip for walking at night.
      -2 generous pockets on each pannier.

      Things I don’t like:
      -Price. $74 is a lot for a dog pack, but it is less than the Ruffwear Palisades2. The good part is that the pack will last forever, and the company stands behind its products.
      -Gear lashing loops are not D-rings. You have to thread your nylon straps through these, they are the flat plastic kind.
      -5th pocket on the small packs is suitable only for things like spectra cord, baggies, or a map. Who wants to let the dog carry the map?? On the medium pack, some larger items will fit in the 5th pocket. This is more than compensated for by the pannier capacity, and most other manufacturers don’t offer the top pocket anyway.
      -the packs are very sensitive to balance, seeming to have a sensitivity of ounces. This is not so much a dislike, as the way dog packs work. You can use small rocks from the trail to fine-tune the pack balance as you drink from the water bottles in the pack. When I start out or continue after eating/drinking from items in the pack, I generally have to stop once or twice for small rocks or to shift things to balance the pack. Once this is done it is more or less hassle-free.
      -the leash has a tendency to hook under the front corner of the pack. A solution to this is a nylon strap or bit of cording through the gear loop (or even a D ring zip tied to the gear loop) through which you run your leash. I think this is an inherent problem with dog pack design, and is not specific to the banzai. It’s still a nuisance.
      -being hit by the pack when my dog passes close to my leg. Watching them get stuck between trees is entertaining. This is also a common issue with dog packs.







      ---------------------------------
      Love cheap thrills? Enjoy PC-to-Phone calls to 30+ countries for just 2¢/min with Yahoo! Messenger with Voice.

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • 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 3 , May 4, 2006
      • 0 Attachment
        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
        that you post only ONE Owner Review for edit at a time. Our
        experience is that it is more efficient for both the Editors and
        yourself, if you post your first review, have it edited, approved
        and uploaded before you post your second and subsequent reviews.
        This way we can work with you on addressing any standard BGT policy
        edits which you can incorporate into your second and subsequent
        reviews before submission.

        If you are new to BackpackGearTest.org, welcome to the community!
        The Editors will work with you, within their own time constraints,
        to get your first two Owner Reviews approved and upload in a timely
        manner. Once these first two Owner Reviews have been approved and
        you have submitted your Tester Agreement you will be eligible to
        start applying for Tests. If you'd like more assistance or guidance
        with the process you can request a mentor by sending an email to
        Jennifer P, the mentor coordinator, at (jennifer.pope@...).

        You may receive edits or comments from other members of the group.
        These edits and comments, while not official, should be considered
        carefully, and if you find them substantial, revise and re-post your
        review. Incorporating member edits and re-submitting to the list
        will usually result in a better review, as well as making things
        easier for the official Editor. Please put REVISED in the subject
        line of your re-submitted review, if you take this route or make any
        changes to your review BEFORE the review has been taken by an Edit
        Moderator.

        Additionally, it is important for you to monitor the Yahoo Groups
        list to keep track of the progress of your Owner Review. Once an
        Editor has taken your OR and made the necessary edits they will post
        their comments to the list with EDIT in the subject line. Once you
        have incorporated these edits into your review please use REPOST in
        the subject line. When your OR has been approved by the Editor they
        will use APPROVED in the subject line.

        If you'd like to keep track of the progress of your OR, the entire
        Owner Review Queue is posted to this yahoo group list on Fridays.

        If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to ask via
        the list or contact me directly.

        Regards
        Jamie DeBenedetto
        Edit Administration Officer
      • colonelcorn76
        Hi Erin, Nice start here. Pretty typical edits - I ve flagged them below. Please make the appropriate changes and repost it to the list with REPOST in the
        Message 3 of 3 , May 7, 2006
        • 0 Attachment
          Hi Erin,

          Nice start here. Pretty typical edits - I've flagged them below.
          Please make the appropriate changes and repost it to the list with
          REPOST in the subject line. I'll pick it up for another look through
          and will get you the info you'll need to post it to its permanent home
          at BGT.

          Thanks again for the nice work,
          Jim
          Edit Moderator

          --- In BackpackGearTest@yahoogroups.com, Erin <eiloen@...> wrote:

          > Height: 5' 6" (1.67 Meters)
          > Weight: 210 lb (95.25 Kilograms)

          ### You can spell out the units or abbreviate them. In this case
          you're doing both (lb and Kilograms). Please change to one consistent
          style.


          > I currently own an REI Taj3 tent, 2 REI Polar Pod sleeping bags
          (for the kids), an MSR WhisperLite stove, a pair of Leki PA Ti-Air
          trekking poles, an Exped Downmat 9DLX and a Hennessy Hammock. My dogs
          often go hiking with us as well.

          ### Don't really need the gear list in your bio.


          >
          > Girth: 24.5" (0.62 Meters)
          >
          > Weight: 50 lb (22.68 Kilograms)

          ### Check the unit usage here.


          >
          > Girth: 26" (0.66 Meters)
          >
          > Weight: 55 lb (24.95 Kilograms)

          ### Units again.

          > Girth: 29.5" (0.75 Meters)
          >
          > Weight: 90 lb (40.82 Kilograms)

          ### Units again


          > Size
          > Waist Measurement
          > Pannier Size (Length/Height/Depth
          > Pack Volume
          > Small
          > 22" - 30"
          > 13"/6.5"/4.5"
          > 650 cu.in.
          > Medium
          > 26" - 34"
          > 15"/8.5"/5"
          > 1150 cu.in.
          > Large
          > 30" – 40"
          > 16"/9.75"/5.5"
          > 1600 cu.in.
          > X-Large
          > 33" – 46"
          > 17.5"/11.25"/6"
          > 2200 cu.in.
          >

          ### All of these need metric conversions.

          > *Waist measurement refers to "a point about 2/3rds of the way back
          from the front to the hind legs" (according to site). If you feel
          under your dogs belly, you are looking for the sternum, almost where
          the ribcage ends. The site also has a helpful picture showing how to
          measure your dog.

          ### Convention is to avoid projection by avoiding the use of the
          pronoun "you" (your, yours, you're, you'll, etc.). Please rephrase this.

          > The Banzai is the top end of the three current dog pack designs
          offered by WolfPacks. The top part is cordura nylon, the bottom half

          ### "Cordura" -- it's a registered trademark (of Invista Durable Fabrics)

          >pannier . There are two pockets in each pannier, and one pockt along

          ### "pannier. There" (extra space before the period)...also "one pocket"


          >
          > I chose the wolfpacks design after trying out several other

          ### "Wolfpacks"

          manufacturers products. Issues with dog packs mainly involve slippage

          ### "manufacturers' products." -- possessive case


          > Performance:
          > The day I received my first pack, I loaded it with two full
          nalgene bottles and went to the park to hop over rocks and logs. We

          ### "Nalgene" is a registered trademark and needs to be capitalized

          are put into them. The packs are also fairly water-resistant, unless
          your dog jumps in a river or lake while wearing the pack.

          ### "the dog jumps" - to avoid projection

          Fortunately, they are also easy to clean and dry moderately quickly

          ### "quickly." - be interesting to quantify "moderately quickly"

          > I love these packs. I have tried others, but these are the ones I
          will keep buying (if necessary). They are comfortable for my dogs as
          well as durable and the come in bright orange. When hiking in the

          ### "they come"

          > would fit him (He is not as tall as a dane, not so stocky as a pit,

          ### "he" - unless you're suggesting he's the deity

          but still a big guy). However, the panniers are larger than you might

          ### "than I expected,"

          > expect, and I am VERY glad I went with the medium for him. On the
          small packs worn by my pitbull and lab mix you can fit a 32oz nalgene

          ### "I can fit" and "32 oz/ 1 L"

          >bottle in each pannier with room left over for sandwiches. It would
          be very easy to overload your dog. The other down side is that the

          ### "It would be very easy to overload the dog" or "my dog" - you
          don't know anything about my dog so you're projecting as it's written


          > top of the pack is somewhat limited in use. Whatever you put in
          the top is potentially going to dig into your dog's shoulders/spine, so

          ### "the dog's shoulders/spine,"

          you can only put really flat/soft things in the top (extra spectra

          ### "I can only"

          > -Extremely Durable (unless your dog eats it!)

          ### "durable" and "unless my dog"

          > -They come in ORANGE and other colors. Other packs have maybe 2
          color choices.

          ### "Other packs I am aware of have"


          > Things I don't like:
          > -Price. $74 is a lot for a dog pack, but it is less than the
          Ruffwear Palisades2. The good part is that the pack will last

          ### Interesting but smacks of a "shootout" which BGT doesn't do. You
          should delete this part of the sentence (from "but it is...").

          > -Gear lashing loops are not D-rings. You have to thread your
          nylon straps through these, they are the flat plastic kind.

          ### "Nylon straps have to be threaded through these," avoids projection

          > pocket. This is more than compensated for by the pannier capacity,
          and most other manufacturers don't offer the top pocket anyway.

          ### "other manufacturers I know of don't" - unless you have done
          exhaustive research and are able to back this up with data, avoid
          gross generalizations

          > -the packs are very sensitive to balance, seeming to have a
          sensitivity of ounces. This is not so much a dislike, as the way dog
          packs work. You can use small rocks from the trail to fine-tune the
          pack balance as you drink from the water bottles in the pack. When I

          ### Rephrase without the "you" - since I don't have my dogs carry my
          water, this wouldn't fit my usage and is a fine example of projection.

          > the gear loop (or even a D ring zip tied to the gear loop) through
          which you run your leash. I think this is an inherent problem with

          ### "which the leash is run."

          dog pack design, and is not specific to the banzai. It's still a

          ### "Banzai."
        Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.