FR Ruff Wear Palisades II Pack Jo Ann Moffi
- Hi Ryan,
I realized I sent you the Boots when you should have gotten the pack. Sorry!
Here it is: http://snipurl.com/2s7oc
July 1, 2008
Morgan has worn the pack on our hiking and backpacking outings. Most
of our hiking and backpacking has been in the Hiawatha Highlands and
Voyageur Trail system areas in the Algoma region just outside of Sault
Ste. Marie, Ontario. These two areas have many linked trails
meandering through red and white pine old-growth forests and dense
boreal stands of jack pine and spruce linked by a network of rivers,
lakes, and wetlands. Elevations range from 225 to 315 m (738 to 1033
ft) above sea level. We have also ventured up into Lake Superior
Provincial Park, about 2 hours north of Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. The
terrain here consists of trails similar to those found along the
Voyageur Trail with the addition of rock and pebble beaches, long
sandy stretches, and numerous stream crossings.
We hike an average of 5 km (3 mi) per week. Sometimes this would be a
2 km (1.2 mi) trek, others times it would be a 7 km (4.4 mi) trek.
Over the past two months, I estimate Morgan has worn the pack for 10
km (12,5 mi) of trails and bushwhacking. This is a very rough estimate
though, as my husband and I only walk along the our path once, but
Morgan trots and runs all over in the bush, running up ahead and
coming back to us the entire time we are on the trail. She is not
leashed when we are hiking and backpacking unless we are in a well
traveled area. A rough estimate would be her traveling 3-4 times the
distance we do depending on how interesting the bush is along the
The weather has been cool for spring; temperatures have ranged from 0
to 24 C (32 to 75 F). Although we haven't had any snow as
precipitation, there has been snow pack in the bush into early June
this year. The skies have been clear, cloudy, and dark with
thunderstorms over the field testing period.
The Fit of the Palisades Pack:
Putting the pack on is a simple process, we start out at home by
putting the harness. She typically wears this until we either stop for
the night, or we finish our day hike. Once we hit the trail head, I
clip the pack onto the harness. The clips are very accessible and easy
to use. The hook and loop fasteners are not as easy to access.
Morgan's long hair makes it difficult to see and the hook part
collects her hair very easily. It takes me longer to get those two
straps done up than it does for me to put on both the harness and the
clips for the pack. The fuller the pack is, the more challenging it is
to get the fasteners done up. A different style fastener such as a
clip or a snap of some sort would make this a much nicer feature.
In The Field Performance:
On our first backpacking trip of the season, Morgan wore the pack
while we bushwhacked through about 4 km (2.5 mi) of unmaintained trail
and bush. She carried her sleeping bag, her food, her doggie first aid
kit, and her boots when she wasn't wearing them. The pack was really
put through quite a lot as she ran through the bush, into muddy
puddles and boggy areas, over logs and brush, along large flat rocks
near the shore of a small lake, and over boulders. She even got into a
stream that was up to the pack in depth before I could tell her not
When we fill the pack with her things on a backpacking trip, it can
get flopping around if I don't get the hook and loop fastened
properly. Once I have it done up and we are set to go, Morgan charges
off down the trail hardly noticing she is wearing the pack. It slides
a little from side to side with the cadence of her gait, but it is a
natural looking swing. When she stops briefly, the pack stops and
re-centers on her back. As long as I have the pack weighted evenly on
each side, it will stay centered. I haven't had the opportunity to use
the bladders as counter weights to keep the load balanced. As she is
an older dog, I try to keep the weight she is carrying to a minimum so
the addition of water to the bladders would be an unnecessary weight
on her back. I am able to balance her load easily enough.
On other hikes, I have cinched the compression straps right down when
she was carrying very little - a leash, her first aid kit, and boots
when she wasn't wearing them. The pack does very little flopping when
it is worn like this.
The assistance handle on the top of the harness has been very useful
when I quickly need to grab Morgan to either keep her from heading
into something I don't want her in or when we are passing another
hiker on the trail. The hole made in the back panel portion of the
packs allows me to access this when she is carrying the packs as well.
When the pack is fully loaded with her stuff, it has quite a wide
profile. She has never gotten used to being careful when carrying any
pack while going through trees that are close together or through
dense bush. The pack was frequently bounced off the side of a tree or
dragged through close branches. Despite this, the pack is free from
any rips or tears. It does show the usual signs of use and accumulated
dirt, but nothing more than I would expect considering what Morgan
takes it through. Most dirt is easily wiped off when we finish for the
This concludes my Field Report. Please check back in approximately two
months for the addition of the Long Term Report. Thank you to
BackpackGearTest and to Ruff Wear, Inc. for the opportunity to test
the Ruff Wear Palisades Pack.
- Jo Ann,
Nice report. I liked the action shots as well. Once again, you've
made my job very easy. No edits. You are free to upload at will.
Thanks, and see you again in two months.