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FR - Terra Nova Laser Elite 20L - mwilliams

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  • Michael
    Chari, Attached is my FR for the Terra Nova. I hope I caught everything, but I wrote this in the Miami airport during a layover and I m dead tired from a lot
    Message 1 of 3 , Jan 31, 2010
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      Chari,

      Attached is my FR for the Terra Nova. I hope I caught everything, but I wrote this in the Miami airport during a layover and I'm dead tired from a lot fun in the sun. Please let me know what I need to fix - I'm sure I messed up on some stuff.

      Thanks,

      Mike

      The html can be found here http://tinyurl.com/ylho4yd

      Field Conditions & Performance

      During the Field Report phase of this test I really felt that it was unfortunate that I was testing this pack in winter condition as this pack was not designed for winter use. I began testing this pack in Colorado and have taken it on 3 snowshoeing trips to Rocky Mountain National Park with weather ranging from 10 F (-12 C) to 50 F (10 C) in blowing snow and heavy blizzard conditions.

      At the beginning of this test I had a strong feeling that I would not like this pack for winter activities and for the most part I still don't. On the first trip with this pack the large volume allowed me to carry my standard winter kit which includes a stove and a sleeping bag; however I had a hard time with load stability and comfort of the shoulder straps and lack of a sternum strap. I quickly learned that I prefer a framed pack for anything with a load over 10 lb (4.5 kg).
      <<IMAGE GOES HERE. ALT TEXT = "IMAGE 1" IMAGE CAPTION = "Snowshoeing">>
      For the second trip I used a foam pad to add structure to the pack and that made the pack much more comfortable, however it significantly reduced breathability on my back. The back sweating was a concern considering the conditions I was in and forced me to go at a slower pace and regulate my layers more that I would normally prefer. In addition to a sweaty back I had a hard time keeping my water from freezing either in the bottle holders or inside the pack.

      On my third trip I experienced the same issues and came to the decision that I did not feel comfortable talking this pack on snowshoeing trips. That is when I came to the realization that, while it performed at a less than desirable level I was using this pack in a method that it was not designed for. So I took the pack and loaded it up with summer gear I would take on a day hike and went to the gym and got on a tread mill.

      While on the tread mill I walked on steep inclines and also ran with the pack on. Walking was fine; however my shoulders were a bit sore from the narrow cut of the shoulder straps. While jogging, in simulated conditions, a steady rhythm developed and the pack started to shift from left to right with each stride and was not something that I would like on the trail if I was running a mountain marathon, which I will never do. One issue that I noticed while jogging was that my arms will not bend enough to allow me to get to water bottles kept in the side pockets; I had to stop and take off the pack to get water.

      At this point I was ready to pass judgment on the pack as something that was not for me but I decided to take the pack on vacation. I took the Terra Nova since it packed light and we planned on doing some light rock scrambling and other hiking and I didn't want to bring anything substantial on the trip. On our vacation we went to Jamaica and I learned that I really liked this pack.
      <<IMAGE GOES HERE. ALT TEXT = "IMAGE 2" IMAGE CAPTION = "At the Falls">>
      The first use of the pack was some rock scrambling up Dunn's River Falls and I was amazing with this pack. At the DR Falls, the rock scrambling rout actually goes up the falls and we were wading chest deep in some areas. The pack fit well, not a lot layers to add bulk to my shoulders and I didn't really notice the light load in the pack. However the packs water resistant features really shined in the water. I kept the pack on while I waded through chest deep water and also while walking under falling water and at the end of the hike nothing was wet in the pack. We also kept money and credit cards in the belt pockets that were absolutely bone dry, I was very impressed.
      <<IMAGE GOES HERE. ALT TEXT = "IMAGE 3" IMAGE CAPTION = "At the Falls">>


      Observations

      I have tested this pack in a wide range of conditions, from below freezing blizzards to a waterfall hike in the Caribbean and believe that I have used the pack enough to begin to form an opinion. Some issues that I have with the pack are related to using the pack in conditions that exceed its design purpose such as winter use and would not be fair to comment on. However, when used within the design parameters of the pack there are some items that I feel I could comment on.

      Things I Like…

      <ul><li>Water Resistance</li>
      <li>Packable Size</li>
      <li>Large Volume</li>
      <li>Bright color was easy to spot in crowds and cover</li></UL>


      Things That I Would Change…

      <ul><li>Hook and loop closure catches on fleece and Merino wool sleeves</li>
      <li>Water Bottle Pockets are hard to reach</li>
      <li>Shoulder straps are narrow and thinly padded</li>
      <li>A lack of a frame / structure can cause load shifts in certain conditions</li>
      <li>Heavy loads are uncomfortable</li></UL>


      Field Report Summary

      I do like the pack; however I will not use it in significant winter conditions anymore. I believe that this is a niche pack and its use is limited to lightweight loads in temperate / wet conditions. It is my hope that I will be able to continue the testing of this pack in a more suitable test environment for the Long Term phase of this test series.

      This concludes my Field Report of the Terra Nova Laser Elite 20L backpack, my Long Term report will be completed in approximately 2 months. I am grateful to Terra Nova as well as Backpackgeartest.org for allowing me to test this product.
    • cdaignault
      Hi Mike! Your report looks great -- love the pictures of the waterfalls in Jamaica; I could almost feel the warmth. :) EDIT: on your HTML version, your listed
      Message 2 of 3 , Feb 2, 2010
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        Hi Mike!

        Your report looks great -- love the pictures of the waterfalls in Jamaica; I could almost feel the warmth. :)

        EDIT: on your HTML version, your listed height is 4"4"... I believe that was left over from when you tested something with your son; from what I remember you're actually around 5'9".

        "The first use of the pack was some rock scrambling up Dunn's River Falls and I was amazing with this pack."
        EDIT: I think you mean "amazed" and not "amazing". However, you could actually be quite amazing with the pack. If you are, then no edit required. ;)

        "At the DR Falls, the rock scrambling rout actually goes up the falls and we were wading chest deep in some areas."
        EDIT: spelling -- please add an "e" to "rout".

        "However the packs water resistant features really shined in the water."
        EDIT: "... the pack's" please add that pesky apostrophe, as it's possessive.

        "The pack fit well, not a lot layers to add bulk to my shoulders and I didn't really notice the light load in the pack..."
        EDIT: "... not a lot *of* layers to add bulk.."

        That's it. Thanks for getting this in early! I apologize for the delay in getting it edited; I hope to be back tomorrow.

        Please upload when ready and delete your file from the TESTS folder.

        Thanks,

        -- Chari
      • Michael
        Thanks Chari, All edits made and FR has been uploaded to the appropriate folder. The test file has been deleted from the test folder. See you in a few
        Message 3 of 3 , Feb 2, 2010
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          Thanks Chari,

          All edits made and FR has been uploaded to the appropriate folder. The test file has been deleted from the test folder. See you in a few months.

          Mike

          --- In backpackgeartesters@yahoogroups.com, "cdaignault" <chari.daignault@...> wrote:
          >
          > Hi Mike!
          >
          > Your report looks great -- love the pictures of the waterfalls in Jamaica; I could almost feel the warmth. :)
          >
          > EDIT: on your HTML version, your listed height is 4"4"... I believe that was left over from when you tested something with your son; from what I remember you're actually around 5'9".
          >
          > "The first use of the pack was some rock scrambling up Dunn's River Falls and I was amazing with this pack."
          > EDIT: I think you mean "amazed" and not "amazing". However, you could actually be quite amazing with the pack. If you are, then no edit required. ;)
          >
          > "At the DR Falls, the rock scrambling rout actually goes up the falls and we were wading chest deep in some areas."
          > EDIT: spelling -- please add an "e" to "rout".
          >
          > "However the packs water resistant features really shined in the water."
          > EDIT: "... the pack's" please add that pesky apostrophe, as it's possessive.
          >
          > "The pack fit well, not a lot layers to add bulk to my shoulders and I didn't really notice the light load in the pack..."
          > EDIT: "... not a lot *of* layers to add bulk.."
          >
          > That's it. Thanks for getting this in early! I apologize for the delay in getting it edited; I hope to be back tomorrow.
          >
          > Please upload when ready and delete your file from the TESTS folder.
          >
          > Thanks,
          >
          > -- Chari
          >
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