Re: Just finished the trail...
- Hi John,
My fatal flaw, and I should have known better, was not using the pack with a full on JMT-style load beforehand. I used it for several 2-3 day trips with lighter loads (22lbs) with no problems. The extra 15-20 lbs made all the difference. Although the pad was thick and comfortable at first, after a few days it felt like a brick digging into my lower back.
It was not an easy decision to turn back but I knew I'd be miserable had I kept on. Another day and my back would have started bleeding. The thought of not being able to carry my pack and being miles into the wilderness concerned me a bit!
The REI Flash 65 performed extremely well with a 35lb load over the next 12 days. The padding on the hipbelt isn't nearly as thick as the Gregory (Its nearly a full pound lighter for it) but it was completely adequate. For a fairly inexpensive pack, I was very happy with it. I never had any issues with the hipbelt, straps, or any chafing at all.
All that being said, I've learned over the years that backpacks, like footwear, are very personal. With so many variables to our physiology, you really need to try lots of brands and styles to find what works specifically for you. All part of the fun I guess!
--- In email@example.com, John Ladd <johnladd@...> wrote:
> On Mon, Aug 29, 2011 at 5:35 PM, Aaron <sclmdlr@...> wrote:
> ... I had to turn around due to my backpack hip belt rubbing my back raw.
> Had to turn around and exit out through Whitney Portal a few days later.
> I've just been reading Colin Fletcher's Complete Walker IV (I read his first
> edition years ago) and one of the things I found interesting is his emphasis
> on hipbelts and pre-hike training. He stresses how much pack design relies
> on efficient weight transfer to the hips. He then goes on to strongly
> suggest that comfortable use of a hipbelt is benefited greatly by warm-up
> hikes with your actual pack and actual load. He was talking more about
> letting your hips adapt to the novel weight and pressure, but it's probably
> at least equally valid to suggest it was a way of finding whether a
> particular pack works with your own anatomy.
> For me, a very well-padded hipbelt that distributes the load as widely as
> possible is an important part of the pack. Probably not a big deal if you
> travel lighter than I do, but when you need 10+ lbs of food and water in
> addition to a 25+ lb baseweight, it's nice to have a big hipbelt, if it fits
> your personal anatomy, and take the pre-hike time to get used to it.
> I use an external frame pack that features a quite large hipbelt. I found
> it takes some getting used to, but now allows me to carry pretty big loads,
> by today's standards, comfortably.
> [image: Molle waist belt.JPG]
> John Curran Ladd
> 1616 Castro Street
> San Francisco, CA 94114-3707