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Pack Advice Please

Discussion in 'EDC Bags' started by swedishelite22, Jan 31, 2020.

  1. swedishelite22

    swedishelite22 Loaded Pockets

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    I'm sorry, but yes, another "help me find a pack" thread.

    I'm looking at selling & replacing my SOC bugout bag which has served me well but I need a change.

    The new bag will need to serve three uses:
    1) Full day hikes where I'll be carrying a light jacket or two, multiple water bottles, and lunch for 2-3 people (eg day camp with one or both of my kids).

    2) Light overnight camping with my girls and their Scout Troops. They'll have their own bag but I'll still have some supplies for them since they are still young.

    3) 2-4 day travel for work, note, I do not check bags. The bag can be bigger than the carry on dimensions so long as I can synch it down and get by. (I'll have my Evade for work documents, laptop, etc, so this would be for clothes, toiletries, etc.)

    Im thinking:
    -40-50L in volume (if it's laid out right maaaaybe 36L)*
    -Panel loading (not top loading)
    -Comfort is a must given extended use
    -Torso length = (I have to double check)
    -A hiking pack that doesn't scream backwoods camping
    -Removable hip belt a plus but not a must
    -Good organization
    -Really really really would like a beavertail
    -A couple good external pockets
    -Budget = <$100 ( very open to buying used)

    *My Daylite Plus isn't big enough at 21L. The Evade 2 at 30L is a hair too small to pull off all the needs. The SOC is good on volume but the layout isn't right for my needs here.

    Here are a couple I've been eyeing, with comments, to give an idea of the look and functionality.

    Mountainsmith Phantom Lt 40L
    Seems to be a great balance of size, volume, and pockets (one main, one small exterior, one medium exterior, 2 x hip belt, 2 x water bottle), clean look fits in on a work trip and on the camp grounds. (This picture makes the pack look much bulkier than it is.)

    [​IMG]

    Kelty Redwing 44L & 50L
    This is where the lines get a little blurry. I tried a Redwing 32L before and while I kind of liked it I felt that the HDPE sheet sucked. I picked up a model with a stay and it was better but still struggled to comfortably carry over 20-25#.

    The 44 likely is a sweet spot for volume but it's their standard one - size strap setup. The 50 has the true fit system to dial in and has great reviews because of it, but it's size is concerning. I know it synches down really small but worry it'll look really out of place for my uses.

    [​IMG]

    The Deuter Futura line would be in the running except that once you break 30L they no longer offer panel loading. it's also a little light on external pockets/organization.

    [​IMG]
     
  2. twin63

    twin63 Loaded Pockets

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    The Mountainsmith looks nice, but it appears to be discontinued? I have a Clear Creek 15 that is a really nice bag, so the Phantom may be a good choice if it’s still available.

    I agree about the Redwing 50. I’ve used one for car travel several times, although I’m not sure I would want to attempt using it as a carry on. I’ve seen passengers using the 50, but I think it pushes the boundaries for allowable size.

    One bag you may want to take a look at is the Kelty MAP 3500. It was recently re-released, though only in black and coyote. In my opinion, it excels for what you need. It seems to hold more than its stated 38L would suggest, but doesn’t feel over-sized. It’s comfortable and has a removable waist belt. It doesn’t have a beaver tail, but does have some shock cord on the front of the bag. I have 2 - one serves as a get home bag and lives in my vehicle. The other is used when
    I need to carry more than my Evade 1.0 or 2.0, but still need something reasonably sized.
     
    zyntherius and swedishelite22 like this.
  3. swedishelite22

    swedishelite22 Loaded Pockets

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    Thank you for the reply and thoughts.

    Do you think the RW 50 can be synch'd down enough to fit airplane use and not look ridiculous? Watching Gideon's Tactical review on YouTube I can't tell, but he loves the bag for all applications and suggests it.

    The Phantom is discontinued but they pop up on the second hand market here and there. They are only meant to hold up to 35# or so which is a positive and a negative. I like a lot of the features but some have said the frame hurts it since it pushes the weight farther from your back (again 35# limits). Even used in good condition they come in around $70 which is a new Redwing 44 or 50.

    The Map sounds great but it's basically the same bag I have with some updates. Would serve the purpose in some ways but not others and is very tactical looking.

    For reference the SOC Bugout bag :
    https://sandpiperca.com/products/bugout-bag-black
     
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  4. twin63

    twin63 Loaded Pockets

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    The 50 can be cinched down pretty snug. For me personally, it would be a little unwieldy for air travel - but take into account that I’m 5’6” tall. For someone taller, I doubt it would look out of sorts. It’s definitely a versatile bag that can cover a lot of uses. As for a carry on, I’ve read that most airlines are lenient with the size restrictions unless you are one of the last boarders and your bag won’t fit in the remaining overhead space. Then, you may be asked to check it.
     
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  5. cooper wafzig

    cooper wafzig Loaded Pockets

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    I have the redwing tactical 44 for basically the same reasons as you and I think it's perfect. It's a very comfortable pack even with 30+ lbs in it. That being said I got a kuiu venture 1800 as a hunting pack but I've used it for an overnight camping trip, an overnight bag, and as a large edc bag and it is by far the most comfortable bag ive ever worn. Definitely worth a look.

    Sent from my SM-T720 using Tapatalk
     
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  6. swedishelite22

    swedishelite22 Loaded Pockets

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    The Kuiu looks very nice but the camo colorways and mostly price look it.

    Thank you for the affirmation of the RW44, it's great to hear. My inner cheapskate is haunting me as Amazon has an version with heavier branding at $65, the regular black at $75, and a very slick looking grey that tips the scales at $90.

    I found a phantom on ebay but after an initial response the seller fell off so that's not looking promising.
     
  7. swedishelite22

    swedishelite22 Loaded Pockets

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    So I pulled the trigger on the 44 and really like it but am going back and forth on size.

    The more I've thought about this bag the more I'm looking at something that can be my one bag travel (eg the Evade stays home and this holds the laptop and peripherals on work trip ).

    To that same end, longer family trips drops the laptop but I pack my Osprey Day Lite Plus for EDC while on Vaca.

    The extended day camp / light overnight camping needs still exist.

    On one hand I think it's a good fit and doesn't look too big, which makes me wonder if I could go +6L, +$10, and +1" height & width to the RW50 which adds in the true fit harness, etc.

    On the other, these images have nothing in the two side, front, nor top pocket, and it kinda does flirt with looking bulky.

    I understand those two comments semi contradict each other but that's where I'm at.

    For reference, in these images the pack has 3 packing cubes consisting of 4 full days worth of clothes, and a laptop. The compression straps are pulled as tight as they can go.

    Thoughts?

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  8. cooper wafzig

    cooper wafzig Loaded Pockets

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    Man it's a 44 liter pack. It should be big and bulky lol. That being said I've a always been able to get everything I needed to in my 44. I also have the coyote 65 for backpacking trips in colder weather. There has been times I just wished I would have bought the REDWING 50 instead of both the 44 and 65. But still very happy with both packs

    Sent from my SM-T720 using Tapatalk
     
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  9. swedishelite22

    swedishelite22 Loaded Pockets

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    I guess that's what I'm stuck on.

    My current travel bag is a 40-50L SOC Bugout that I don't fill to 50L because it wouldnt fit in the overhead. Yet there are times on longer trips my wife packs a could things since she's checking a bag. I have a 75L pack I never use and really just need to sell.

    This is similar to the load for an extended day hike that would be the smallest of carry in this pack.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    [​IMG] [​IMG]