Your Favorite Pack........Post it up and tell us why.


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Trad climber
Washington DC
Feb 21, 2013 - 10:44am PT
For climbing and approaches I always like this puppy.

Mountain Tools - Jet Pack
Mountain Tools - Jet Pack
Credit: martygarrison

Carried a full rack and a rope no problem. Tough and you can haul it if need be.

Social climber
Joshua Tree
Feb 21, 2013 - 12:09pm PT
Arc-Teryx Muira 50

+ Another.

Mister E is the reason I have one. We all pitched in and got one for the Doc. Then E said "hey, this pack is awesome" and bought one for himself. Then we went cragging one day and I got a thorough look at his along with positive testimony. So I got one shortly after.

That was about 4 years ago. Best pack I've had.

Second place: BD Bullet. Perfect size, great design, reasonably priced. Whether wearing on routes, or just stuffing my shoes/snacks/etc in and tossing inside my crashpad, I use this one all the time.

Third: Original Dana Designs Terraplane. Heavy, but if I have to carry a lot of stuff, and/or heavy stuff, this thing is a Cadillac. The bag itself is a very simple, but perfect thought out design. Suspension works great. Very well built.
The Wedge

Boulder climber
Santa Rosa & Bishop, CA
Feb 21, 2013 - 01:07pm PT

Light, streamline, insert works as a sleeping pad
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
Soon to be Nipple suckling Liberal
Feb 21, 2013 - 01:09pm PT
Mine was an ancient "Wilderness exerience" design, that had an ALL leather bottom to one third of it.. One of the first internal frame designs. That was one tough pack, and it had over twenty years of punishment before the demise.

Trad climber
The great state of advaita
Feb 21, 2013 - 01:47pm PT
Some really cool stuff here!

I'll reiterate my enchantment with the Cold Cold World Ozone for cragging. Finally did get out and use it this past weekend and the love abides.

I've long used a Lowe Contour iV (from about 1992-93) for backpacking. As Colin Fletcher would say, it's a "great bloody sack." Not a lot a frills, but space galore and comfy. 6,000+ cubic inches. Norman Clyde would be proud (though probably a bit small for him!). The pads are all worn out and I replaced it with a CiloGear 45L WorkSack for alpine climbing. It feels like a feather by comparison and will help keep me from bring the kitchen sink on those kinds of trips. I hope!

But for backpacking (especially where you're carrying all the kids stuff) that Lowe is the best. Thinking of getting it refurbed by that guy in, I think, Blue Canyon CA, who does that stuff. Anyone recall his contact info off the top of your head?

I have a boat load of other packs, but those are my faves.


Social climber
Feb 21, 2013 - 02:22pm PT

Pretty much the same pack I have been using since the late '70s. The direct ancestor of a Chouinard Fish pack. Just in modern materials made by Randy @ CCW with a few tweaks. These days I generally go with no lid and have two versions. One to climb (clean exterior) with and one to BC ski with, that has a quick compression/ski attachment system.

details here:

Mountain climber
Feb 21, 2013 - 02:50pm PT
Cold Cold World..modified Valdez by Randy.

Modified Valdez
Modified Valdez
Credit: Roots
paul roehl

Boulder climber
Feb 21, 2013 - 04:47pm PT
When super topo is good, it's really good. Somebody from the taco just emailed me a website where I found that red canvas rucsac with a leather bottom and I ordered it and I'm pretty darn happy... Thanks! I've looked and looked for one. Much appreciated.
The Call Of K2 Lou

Feb 21, 2013 - 05:51pm PT
Arc-Teryx Muira 50

+ Another.

And yet another still. Love it! I have a self-imposed "Minimum Weight" for my Miura. It doesn't go out the door unless it weighs at least 15 kg/32 lbs. I've had two potential epics turn out to be fondly remembered nights under the stars as a result. Also, the Pali ropebag that fits in the pack bottom is just the bee's knees.

Does this really need a caption? Seems sort of self-explanatory.
Does this really need a caption? Seems sort of self-explanatory.
Credit: The Interwebs
I'm sure many a SuperTopoan is familiar with this Canuck brand. I have too many to count, but my standard every-single-daypack for about 12 years was a 30 litre Brio Crag. Still use it, still looks new(ish), and bet the rent that it'll be around long after I've been made into worms' meat.

Trad climber
the basement of Lou's Tavern
Feb 22, 2013 - 01:02am PT
credit - the internet
credit - the internet
Credit: LuckyNeck

It's mine and it fits like a glove.


Feb 22, 2013 - 09:22am PT
I can't remember the Kelty model but i think it was Tioga
or Sonora. Anyways the Kelty was not frameless and did not have
a aluminum hindged waist support as did the JanSport's of that era.

The frame keeps movement from matter inside the pack off of your
body. When making shoulder strap adjustments for weight transfer
going up hill or downhill the hinged waist suppport became more
uncomfortable than the padded waist support which could be moved
more to my liking over rough terrain.

My JanSport rock climbing pack like the 1'st pictured was my
favorite for rock climbing, but they can all be just about
as uncomfortable. 100-200+ mile trips usually have more
extended periods of time wearing the pack so the old Kelty is
my favorite pack.

Feb 22, 2013 - 09:57am PT
Credit: NoTokeRedKneck

That be it. Listed as Sonora, mine was a extra large. Carried 80 lbs.
at 160 lbs. Id pick it now for another long trek over a new frameless.
Sold it in the 80's.

T Hocking

Trad climber
Redding, Ca
Feb 22, 2013 - 10:10am PT
The Kelty external frame packs were the gold standard in the 60's & 70's,
I had an early 70's Tioga that served me well for 25 yrs.

Trad climber
San Luis Obispo, CA
Feb 22, 2013 - 10:15am PT
well I have two:

the metoulious sentinal or quarter dome for cragging, mine got stolen last year:(.

Credit: whitemeat

and for wearing while you climb to carry your lunch, water, and that extra cam on a multipitch adventure in yosemite the REI flash, its only $25!

Credit: whitemeat
Lynne Leichtfuss

Sport climber
moving thru
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 22, 2013 - 10:30pm PT
Thanks for all the info garnered so far. I hope you all keep it coming. Helps many to decide what the heck is there for them in todays gear world.

I sometimes wonder, being in the "in between" generation, is the frameless pack I just got for back packing better than the old Kelty exterior framed packs?

I work in an outdoor sports gig and most are too young to even have experienced the exterior frames.

Used a great interior frame on my recent desert trip but....I have nothing to compare with. Jammed a lot into it at 45 lbs. and it carried fine.

I guess it's not about the gear. It's about you and going and making your dreams come true. Maybe too much emphasis on gear and not enough on the dreams. lynnie

Feb 22, 2013 - 10:49pm PT
I'm too lazy to take pics of my actual pack, but I've been using a Cilogear 40b for the last 2 years for everything from backpacking the Grand Canyon, hiking and peak bagging, carrying gear to the crag, trail work, flights, biking to work, you name it.

Reinforced the bottom and I couldn't be happier. Super light and comfy.

Trad climber
The great state of advaita
Feb 22, 2013 - 10:57pm PT
Hi Lynnie,

Here is a general rule for internal vs. external (as always, there are exceptions):

External frame packs are very good at what they do: carrying large loads on trails. They excel when you need to strap odd shaped things on. Think Norman Clyde and cast iron fry pans!

Internal frame packs are better when off trail and scrambling, since (when fit properly) it fits your body more closely and is more inline with your skeletal structure (that's the idea anyway). They tend to hold less that externals.

So it depends on what you want to do. It really helps to find someone who can help you fit a pack. Just like shoes, on model is great for one and a nightmare for someone else. Have someone measure your torso length (C4 vertebra—the bump at the base of your neck to your tailbone). Once you know that length, it will help you size a pack.

Happy trails!

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Feb 22, 2013 - 11:08pm PT
I guess it's not about the gear. It's about you and going and making your dreams come true. Maybe too much emphasis on gear and not enough on the dreams. lynnie

-words to live by!!

Gear's cool too though!

I had an adventure yesterday made possible by the technology in a silent partner. Other ways I could have done it but that was definitely the most elegant tool for that outing!
Lynne Leichtfuss

Sport climber
moving thru
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 22, 2013 - 11:25pm PT
Thanks for the post Jaybro. Are you ever coming to So Cal or shall I see you at TPR? How is life and teaching and the Wyde? Yo stellar. Cheers, lynnie

ps and how be the darling nieces and family? Again Cheers, joy and peace.

Social climber
Feb 23, 2013 - 10:31am PT
I have a 37 year old Kletter Works Rock pack aka: "Old Orange" that has been up and down and all around. It's a college graduate- after 8 years, it has been to the Winds, the Valley, Tuolumne, Devils Tower and the City--NOT New York! It's held smokes for folks in Mexico; every time it went to Mexico
It likes to go skiing and canoeing-portaging is it's favorite. One sad winter a yogurt was left in it for a few months but that only added to the mystique- a little time with the garden hose and it was all good. Last summer it carried rocks off the Lewis River trail and lately its been trying to learn to fly fish.
The zipper broke a long time ago but it got sort of fixed and is making do--kinda like its owner
It's been a pretty reliable friend
I'd take a picture but it is shy right now and is pouting in the basement because I told it I was writing about it. Funny how you learn to overlook things

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