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Brad_CA

Recommendations on a good ~4,000ci pack?

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Everybody tricks out their pack the way they want it, Cracked, but I have never found long straps to be a problem on a 4,000 ci pack. (I wouldn't want them on a crag pack.) I HAVE found short ones to be a nuisance.

 

It is a matter of personal habits. I don't much go in for the ice axe sheath or the shovel pocket either, and I don't even want ice axe loops on my pack, but other folks think these are essential components and they think the bar tacks that I prefer are a waste of weight.

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I like some long straps if only to yard on them with mitts on when it's cold. When it's time to pack skis, a fastex buckle on the top compression strap and ski slots make that transition really painless when it's cold, windy, and steep. Took me forever to finally put this on my pack. Seems like it's the little things that count out there! Lowe packs come with the buckles. Now if I can figure out a way to pack pickets, skis, and poles gracefully on the turgid sausage...

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I'm with Mattp on the straps, I like em long. but I do disagree on a crampon pocket. It is worth it weight in ease of use.

 

Further, I like tool tubes, but prefer the type TNF used to use and that you now see on the DaKine packs. Evem when mountaineering, the seconf point works very well to hold a shovel handel.

 

Otherwise, I like a clean and simple pack.

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Ironically I found that using a smaller pack simply makes me pack more efficiently. I have a 4000ci but I have used nothing but my Khamsin 38 (about 2500 ci I think) for the past year. That includes winter trips and that 4 day ski traverse I recently did. I guess it's just amazing what all you can fit if you try hard enough wink.gif Not that I am dismissing a larger pack, sometimes you just need the space no matter what.

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Ok, more opinions on the Serratus IceFall if you please!

 

Also, what are bar-tacks?

 

Yeah, so everyone here sounds like they know a hell-a-lot more than me, so what kinds of accessories(basically) do I need to attach a couple ice axes, some pickets, crampons, snowboard/skis, snowshoes, etc to a pack? I mean, am I too simplistic to think daisy chains and axe loops will see me through?

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The bar-tacked stips I spoke of are the daisy chains you mention.

 

You don't need anything but some cord to attach anything you want to your pack, as long as there are lash points.

 

However, some of these features do have their value. Rodchester said he thinks the crampon patch is worth it, and that a certain type of tool tube is useful. I think most people who post to this thread (it comes up at least once a year on this site) agree with him but maybe that's only because he posts to this thread every time it comes up so I've read his opinion a bunch. Somebody else will tell you you gotta have wand pockets that double as ski tail holders. Another guy thinks the shovel pocket is the coolest thing since sliced bread.

 

Personally, I think a specific crampon pocket or ice tool slot or shovel pocket is a waste. I carry crampons only one in six trips, and ice tools slightly less than that. Even when carrying crampons, I may be headed into some basecamp setting with a coleman stove or folding chair on the back of my pack and then I can't carry the crampons in their intended spot anyway. Or, if I'm going to be crawling through some heavy brush, I put the front end of the crampons in my cook pot and put them inside of the pack because I don't want anything at all lashed to the outside. The same goes for all the other custom slots and doohickeys.

 

The "truth" is that any pack will work OK. The "converse truth" is that whatever you buy, you will one day be out there, looking at your friend's pack, saying to yourself that you wish you had what they have. Consider buying a couple of packs, used, for the same price as a new one at Big Bucks Camp Supplies. This may allow you to try out a couple of things and find out what works for you most often.

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Just get a simple pack that's light and well built. If you want spiffy extras, just attach them yourself. There is no perfect pack, except mine. smirk.gif

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Ok, more opinions on the Serratus IceFall if you please!

 

I have heard that after a while the aluminum stays may wear through the fabric/seams and bust out the bottom. However, the person who told me this mentioned it as a reason for why they were buying their 2nd IceFall pack, so I guess in other aspects of functionality and durability and value they were satisfied enough to be a repeat customer.

 

I think you might want to contact salbrecher who posts here as he is as tall (taller?) than you and might have specific info for a tall person.

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Are the people who have the stays poking through the bottom of the pack doing a lot of sitting glissades? That is a frequent way to shred the bottom of a pack and a good reason to sew some extra tough fabric on there.

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Mattp points are well taken. You need the pack to do what you want it to do. A crampon pocket isn't going to do you much good on an alpine rock route. (But then again, mine holds a nalgene perfectly). So define what you really want to use the pack for. You said winter up to four nights, so I say look into larger packs (but avoid the load-monsters) that have the features that you need and will actually use.

 

Some features are great, so long as you use them. If you don't they're just useless crap that you have to carry around.

 

I know this goes without saying, but besides the issue of what features the pack bag has on it, you REALLY need to be sure that the pack frame fits you. You could have the coolest features on the coolest pack, but if the frame doesn't fit you, you'll curse the thing all trip long.

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Yup, buying second hand is the way to go and exactly what I'm trying to do. Since we dont have a strong climbing culture here in southern california it makes my job of drumming up old packs more difficult.

 

Soooo, if anyone reading has some old packs they think might be worth my trying out, I'd certainly be interested.

 

I'm also learning that there isnt a "magic" wonder pack that has it all. Its all about compromise, and thats cool with me. Hell I dont even know what I'm willing to compromise yet, I dont have enough experience!

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I have the serratus icefall. I have been very happy so far. It can't be beat for a pack that is just a shade over $100 US. I haven't heard anything about the stays wearing through; sounds more like a user issue. It's large, carries well, is very adjustable and is cheap. It also has some nice extras like daisy loops and a bungee. It gets thumbs_up.gifthumbs_up.gif from me

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Just following up on this post.

 

I got the Serratus Icefall and got a chance to take it out over night yesterday. Unfortunately it wont get to see any snow until next weekend, but it carried quite well with a light load and I'm pleased with its slim profile. Serious, its about as complex as a sausage and there is a lot to be said for that. Stuff goes in the hole, stuff comes out the hole.

 

No problems with the padding, no funky buckles or snaps or anything, no snags in the pack clothe from the dense manzanita(which loved my legs and arms by the way).

 

I'm looking forward to putting it through some more use, and if I remember I'll try and write something here.

.02

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I just bought the Dana Bomb pack. I like the fact that it caries climbing gear and ski gear equally well. The thing about Dana packs is you have to have someone fit you that knows what there doing. I had the best bet from the Mom and Pop shops that specialize in Dana packs.

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