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Old 02-03-10, 08:51 PM   #1
mylesau
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Backpack for Hiking on Tour

Does anyone have a recommendation for a good Backpack for Hiking during a tour.

It obviously needs to pack down small to fit in Panniers and be as light as possible.

I'm looking at doing a National Park to National Park type riding tour with extended hikes in each park so size would be somewhere in the 3000 - 4400 cubic inches (50 - 70 litre) range.

The GoLite Jam and Pinnacle look like they might be okay, but I'm not sure how small they pack down.

Anyone doing this sort of thing and have any advice or recommendations?
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Old 02-03-10, 09:10 PM   #2
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http://www.rei.com/product/778467

REI Flash: $79 dollars.. Light and 30 Liters. Best return and satisfaction warranty on the planet. It would make me happy. I can get away with a 30 liter pack for about 5 days. If you pack well you can get everything in it you'll need in it or strapped to it.

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Old 02-03-10, 09:31 PM   #3
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Food for thought. Just use the backpack as a pannier. Fill it with gear and strap it to the side of the rack. Standard pannier on the other side.
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Old 02-03-10, 10:16 PM   #4
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Define "extended hikes". All day? Overnight? Multiple nights?

I use a backpack adapter with my Ortlieb panniers, that lets me turn a 20 liter pannier into a decent sized day pack for all day walks. It doesn't carry nearly as nicely as a real day pack with a good hip belt, but it's light weight and takes up very little space in the pannier when I'm not hiking with it.
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Old 02-03-10, 10:17 PM   #5
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Extended hikes = days, possibly up to a week.
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Old 02-03-10, 10:53 PM   #6
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Myles -

I've done it - - many times.
I hiked across the Grand Canyon a half dozen times as part of a bike tour.
I hiked the John Muir in the High Sierras in Yosemite.
I've hiked Yellowstone, Glacier, Banff, Jasper, and Denali - and more.

So I can tell you from experience.

I choose to put mid-sized pack - crosswise - on top of my rack and rear panniers.
It looks like I have a lot - but I don't have too much in the pack while riding.
Generally I have my tenting stuff so I can set up in two minutes -
Tent, tarp, sleeping bag - with the pad folded flat underneath so the pack's straps don't get in the wheel.

When I go on an extended hike, I do have to do some repacking - obviously.
But it also allows me time to change modes mentally.
I strap my pad and tent to outside tiedowns -
Then use that freed space for clothing and some food.

I had a lightweight Kelty bag for many years -
I upgraded to a Kelty Redwing 2900 -
(Unfortunately discontinued)
http://www.epinions.com/reviews/Kelt...Large_22001904

The Kelty is 2900 cu inches - some of the ones you link to are MUCH bigger.
My older Kelty was about 2500 cu inches - not quite enough for two or three days - but doable.
2900 is just about perfect for short wilderness hikes - not a week.

Here's my bike setup -
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Old 02-03-10, 10:56 PM   #7
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PS - Here's a Crazyguy link of one Grand Canyon trip -
http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/p..._id=26349&v=QS
(I had loaned Itty my old Kelty bag - see how small it is)
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Old 02-04-10, 01:09 AM   #8
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Big thanks Jamawani some great info. The good thing about the GoLites is that they have compression straps which bring there size down by about half. The Jam is 3050 cu inches (50 L).

I like the idea of simply putting the backpack across the top of the rear panniers. I've got Ortlieb Back/Front Roller classics all round with a small Ortlieb Rack Pack on top at the rear, which at times I don't need and most other times it only carries light stuff. So if I swap out the Rack Pack for the backpack it should be just too easy.

I guess I just need to make sure it will fit across and decide if I really need a 70 L backpack. The GoLites aren't waterproof, but nothing a dry bag or garbage bag won't fix.
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Old 02-04-10, 01:20 AM   #9
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Have you seen the Brule panpack equipment? It could be an option.
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Old 02-04-10, 04:50 AM   #10
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Thanks Abneycat, had never seen the Brule Mountain Gear before. It would be an expensive option to replace what I already have, though they do look like a great idea. Got to wonder how good a dual purpose 'pack' would be, okay on the bike, okay on the back, but not good at either - not saying that would be the case but seems to be the general rule for such things. Wish they had better pictures on their site.
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Old 02-04-10, 06:27 AM   #11
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http://www.ula-equipment.com/index.asp

ultralight thru hikers on the AT are using these packs a lot these days. I would put my sleeping bag and pad in it and strap it down on top of the panniers. I have only seen the Catalyst, but I am sure the smaller ones are of equally good construction.
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Old 02-04-10, 08:14 PM   #12
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Hey seges, yep I have seen the ULA gear. The issue I think would be that with the OHM and above, they have a frame, which I think (not sure) would be too wide across the rear rack? The Conduit doesn't have a frame so might be worth a look - I'll keep it on my list. Thanks.
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Old 02-05-10, 07:08 AM   #13
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I have the golite pinnacle and it is a great pack. Cheap, comfortable, and extremely light. I have yet to pack it into my ortlieb, but i am almost 100% certain that it would work perfectly. The back panel is just closed cell foam and it can be taken out and slipped towards the back of the pannier, and then the pack itself can be stuffed into the bottom since it doesn't have a true frame. In addition the back panel can be used for other things, like a sit pad.
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Old 02-05-10, 07:19 AM   #14
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Check out the Arkel GT-18BP: http://www.arkel-od.com/panniers/gt1...asp?fl=1&site=
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Old 02-05-10, 08:40 AM   #15
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http://www.zpacks.com/

A frameless ultralight option. I would go with the "dyneema" model for the strength if you pack a lot. This is small and light enough to fold up and put in the botom of a pannier. I think comfort on the trail might not be as good as others, but its cheap and worth a try.
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Old 02-05-10, 09:53 AM   #16
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Pannier/backpack conversions have never been as good as a bonifide pack. wait, the Brule Panpacks look good but have never seen them - maybe they are at some of the bike expos?

the Golite packs are great to roll up and bring with on the back of a rack. Pretty much any UL rucksack without stays would fit the bill.

I've got a Golite pack for this very purpose, but GF, dog, and american vacation leave has not let me use it much.

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Old 02-05-10, 01:59 PM   #17
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I tour with a Golite Jam2 on top of a rear rack. No panniers or other bags. I've done a 3000mile trip down the East Coast, summiting the High Points of the states I've passed through. When I get to a park I lock my bike up, and either stash my cycling gear (cycling shoes/clothes, netbook, tools, etc) with the rangers or in a waterproof bag somewhere out of sight in the forest.

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Old 02-05-10, 05:44 PM   #18
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Exactly what I was originally thinking zoltani - if I'm not carting to much stuff I would prefer to do it this way i.e. pack the backpack in the pannier. Having the option to put it on top of the rear rack will be good when I'm carting a bigger load. One of the biggest issues I have, living in Australia, is carting water - lots of weight.

Enthusiast what are you using underneath the Jam2 to support it on the rack, can't quite make it out in the pic. (did you use the IMG tag in the pics as they aren't showing up on the forum at least not for me, but the links are there). I think I'd rather have it sit across so there isn't as much weight hanging over the back of the bike, but that would obviously be with 2 normal side rear panniers for support.

Thanks all.
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Old 02-05-10, 06:39 PM   #19
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I used a 10"x22" wire shelf from Wmart, cable-tied to the rack. Something like this. I had my groundcloth, a 5x7 sheet of plastic sheeting, folded up beneath the pack, protecting it. I had to be careful to pack the heavy items near the base of the pack (forward over the rack). It worked surprisingly well, but I've since welded up a custom rack with a large top platform.

Placing the pack sideways is definitely viable. That's how Ray Jardine did his bike touring. I didn't like the idea of having that wide a profile in traffic. It's a bit less aerodynamic as well.
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