Tag Archives: backpack reviews

May 5, 2015 Backpackers, Pacific Crest Trail near Cloudy Pass, Glacier Peak Wilderness.

Ask Me: Should I Buy a Larger Backpack If It’s Not Much Heavier?

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Michael,

I stumbled upon your blog and have enjoyed reading your advice. I am currently deciding between the Gregory Baltoro 75 and 65. I have always had a 65L pack and was looking to upgrade to a new pack this year. When I compared the two packs I found that there was only four ounces difference in weight from the 65L to the 75L. So I am thinking about going to the 75 even though my gear fits in a 65L pack fine. Is there any reason not to go to the larger pack?

Thanks,
Michael
Idaho Falls, ID Continue reading →

May 3, 2015 Backpacking The Narrows, Zion National Park.

Buying Gear? Read This First

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By Michael Lanza

Are you in the market for a new pack or boots for hiking or backpacking, or a new tent or sleeping bag? How do you find something that’s just right for you? What should you be looking for? How much should you spend? These are questions I’ve heard from many friends and readers over the years as they’ve waded through the myriad choices that are out there. Here’s what I’ve learned from two decades of testing and reviewing gear and helping people find gear they love. Continue reading →

Gear Review: Osprey Ace Kids Backpacks

April 17, 2015  |  In Gear Reviews   |   Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,   |   2 Comments
Osprey Ace 38

Osprey Ace 38

Kids Backpack
Osprey Ace 38
$140, 38L/2,319 c.i., 2 lbs. 4 oz. (my scale, not including the 3-oz. rain cover that comes with the pack)
One size, adjustable, fits torsos 28-38cm/11-15 ins., for ages 6 to 11 (approx.)
Osprey Ace 50
$160, 50L/3,051 c.i., 3 lbs. (my scale, not including the 3-oz. rain cover)
One size, adjustable, fits torsos 33-46cm/13-18 ins., for ages 8 to 14 (approx.)
Osprey Ace 75
$180, 75L/4,577 c.i., 3 lbs. 9 oz. (weight stated by Osprey)
One size, adjustable, fits torsos 35.5-48cm/14-19 ins., for ages 11 to 18 (approx.)
ospreypacks.com

If backpacking is sometimes hard on an adult, it presents a particular set of challenges to a kid who weighs under 100 pounds. One rule I followed when my kids were young was to not ask them to carry a backpack; instead, I waited for them to say they wanted to carry their own pack. (See my popular “10 Tips For Raising Outdoors-Loving Kids.”) And then, I made sure my kids had good-quality gear, to help ensure they’d want to go backpacking again. With the Ace series of backpacks built for a huge range of children’s body sizes—from the youngest you’d want to put a pack on to bigger teenagers—Osprey has just made it a little easier to turn your child into a backpacker. Continue reading →

Gear Review: Gregory Baltoro 75 and Deva 70 Backpacks

April 15, 2015  |  In Gear Reviews   |   Tagged , , , ,   |   4 Comments
Gregory Baltoro 75

Gregory Baltoro 75

Backpack
Gregory Baltoro 75 and Deva 70
$319, 6 lbs. (medium)
Men’s Baltoro 75 sizes: S-L
S 73L/4,455 c.i., fits torsos 41-46cm/16-18 ins.
M 75L/4,577 c.i., fits torsos 46-51cm/18-20 ins.
L 78L/4,760 c.i., fits torsos 51-56cm/20-22 ins.

Women’s Deva 70 sizes: XS-M
XS 66L/4,028 c.i., fits torsos 36-41cm/14-16 ins.
S 70L/4,272 c.i., fits torsos 41-46cm/16-18 ins.
M 74L/4,516 c.i., fits torsos 46-51cm/18-20 ins.
gregorypacks.com

Whether backpacking with my young kids or heading out on a multi-day climbing trip in the backcountry, I’ve carried 50 pounds or more on my back enough times with a mediocre pack to know that I don’t yearn to do that again. For a big load, I want a pack that’s supportive, comfortable, and more tricked out than I prefer for much lighter trips—and I know that means it will also be heavier. Having reviewed and liked the Baltoro 75 in the past, I wanted to try out the new, updated version. So I carried it with, at times, more than 50 pounds inside on a five-day, family backpacking trip down Paria Canyon, in Utah and Arizona, in late March. Without question, it remains among very few packs in this class that I’d want for backpacking with loads that heavy. Continue reading →

April 5, 2015 Bailey Range, Olympic National Park.

5 Tips For Finding the Right Backpack

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By Michael Lanza

If you’re super fit and strong, young, hike with a pack of any weight 50 or 100 days a year, and have never known any sort of injury or ache in your body, then don’t bother reading this article. But for everyone else, knowing how to find the right backpack for your activities and your body will make a world of difference in your enjoyment when carrying that pack for hours a day on a trail or up and down a mountain. The following tips reflect what I’ve learned about finding the right pack from hundreds of days testing all manner of daypacks, backpacks, climbing packs, and ski packs for the past two decades. Continue reading →

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