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One pack idea that I have had and never seen is simple little piggy back for my harness. I don't particularly like climbing with a pack or a camel back, but would like a little mini pack that could be fixed to the back of my harness so I could carry stuff like bars, small bottle of water, first aid stuff, tape, you the ten essentials (ha). This way I wouldn't have to have crap dangling off my harness, stuffed in my pockets or carry a pack on multipitch climbs.


Sounds like you're looking for a Metolius harness pack

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There's a good reason why retailers and manufacturers who start out in a specialized technical niche turn into mass marketers -- Eddie Bauer / REI / North Face / Helly Hanson / Mountain Hardware / et al. There's probably 500 back-to-school packs bought every fall, for every one climbing pack.

I bet REI sells more heart-shaped and dog-bone-shaped caribiners than PMS sells ALL caribiners put together.

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the wife and I have two lowe expedition packs from 1979. They are still going strong with a few minor patches and zipper repairs. The design is one main compartment 4000 cubic inches, drawstring top, with a large top fold over zipper pocket that covers the drawstring top and holds down extra stuff like a rope. There is a "skirt" extension on the main compartment that allows the pack to be used as a bivy sack...yes, I did sleep in it a couple times.


It has three compression straps on each side that allow me to strap on tents or skis on the outside. It's big enough for weeklong trips, and not too heavy for cragging. It does have an internal frame that is adjustable. Everything is one inch flat webbing or thicker and the main fabric is quite thick.


I like the design of the new metolius and BD haul bag packs. They are similar to my lowe, but better. Bulletproof and simple are the keywords as rock climbing is hell on packs. All the tricked out zippers on the new designs are total BS. If you buy a fancy pack with lots of zippers, you *will* be replacing zippers in 5 years or less.



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You requested peoples thoughts on Cascasdeclimbers.com regarding backpacks. Because of your Avatar name, I figured you were looking at doing packs for alpinists. In my opinion, that would be a dry hole, Cold Cold World, Cilogear and a host of others have that simple, strong, alpine lightweight thing covered.


I have re-thought this request - there was a perfect in all (but one) respects rock climbing pack made 20 years ago.


It was called a Big Wally. Gregory made if off a Ray Olsen design. The only downside: it was priced very very high at @$150.00 (for the time and the competition). Gregory made if off a Ray Olsen design (later Ray Olsen had FROG designs, which meant "From Ray Olsens Garage". At the time, young rich professionals didn't swarm the sport like now, it was lots of poor dirtbags, and the pack was out of reach for all but a few.


Nothing is made like it today. I bought a used one, and it is the schizz! It is comfortable beyond any haul pack made, ask Joesph Healy or anyone who owns one, he's a big Metolius booster, and they don't have anything close to it. No one does. My only issue when I got this thing was that they had the haul straps hanging on the outside. When I looked at that, I thought they would get stuck on projections as you climb. However, this pack is really used more for hauling massive amounts of weight into an area and then up and down routes. Not so much for riding on your back while climbing on routes. I have found that the straps are really really damn useful. Last weekend for instance, I used them every time I picked it up off the ground out of the mud, as I didn't have to bend all the way down (as an old person, I appreciate this more than before), and I also used them to wrap them around a small tree mid-point, clipped with a biner and hang the pack while cleaning a route.


That Shit is awesome. Light, strong, versitile. My wife, bless her heart, as a gift, had just bought me the newest bestest, greatest, costliest North Face pack. It sucks in so many ways I cannot even count the ways. Heavy, complicated, full of buckles, clips and other nonsensical, and apparently non-functional bullshit.


Heres a picture of the Wally. DSCN1809.JPG


Make one of these, and you will get rich. It is so comfortable and light. I can show you mine, but to duplicate it, I think you would need to tear one apart to look at what was used for a back support and for strap supports, or just ask Ray Olsen. He posts on Supertopo as Raydog. Heres some info.


ST link for more on this wonderful pack


I ordered a Mt Tools Desparado pack because I don't want to trash this gem for the long haul hiking/new routing I need to do this summer. I can tell from the photo it isn't 1/2 the pack Wally is, but I'll beat the hell out of it anyway. Should be here in about a week.


Good luck:


Bill Coe

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  • 3 weeks later...

Desperado arrived. I got snookered. It is the same size as my Metolius Crag Station. Mt tools lists it as 3300cu, however, I took the stuff directly out of my Crag Station and put it in the Desperado and it fit to the top. Same size! Metolius lists a Crag Station as only 2500 cu.


So now I have 2 haul packs, The Metolius is a better pack, great for a day cragging - but too small for my needs.


Decided to buy the 60L Cilogear worksack, clicked the buy button but they are out of it. Did you get something together yet Mtnclimber? I'm in the market. Right now.


Any thoughts? I'm thinking this summer I'll be using the Wally and trashing it, but enjoying it while I do it. :confused:

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