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Fast N Lite Packs

B Deleted_Beck

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Btw, anybody else noticing this thread just went from about 10 pages to 4 and now back to 10? Weird!


now it is back down to 2 pages. ?????


Me thinks that might have been my first old and confused post, glad I wasn't alone Gene!


Amazing the confusion when packs are involved......, but could be the touch of mod?


Kinda wondering if anyone has any preference vis a vis rope and ice tool attachments btw.

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Where there is some smoke, look deep enough , there is usually a fire.


As some one else said previous. Not the first complaint on quality or customer service.


Never heard a single complaint on customer service or quality @ CCW. None...Zero...zip.



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I bought two packs from them in the past two years (a summit pack made out of NWD material and a 30L made out of the cheaper material). The summit pack came with a tube of SeamGrip and a note suggesting that they recommend sealing the seams. I didn't bother sealing it, as I did not expect to use it in the rain (or care if it was waterproof in any way). What the note did not say however, is that the pack would totally fall apart without the sealing. Sure enough, that summit pack began getting little spider cracks in the material after just a couple uses. Those cracks turned into tears (not emanating from the seams, I might add) within half a dozen uses. I tried to get Cilo to give me a new pack or fix the one I had, but they said no warranty if you don't seam seal the pack. (I even sent them the pack to inspect. They never responded and did not return the pack.) That warranty condition was never stated on their web site or in the note that came with the pack (if it had I would have sent it back, because I'm not willing to pay $150 for a summit pack that's not fully finished). I tried to address the issue w/ Cilo, but after telling me no warranty, they just stopped responding to my emails. Here's what Cilo says about that pack on their site:


"The light weight NWD® material used in this pack can be punctured, but it is incredibly hard to tear. Simply put, you can abuse this pack to your hearts content on an alpine climb and it will keep on going."


Based on my experience, this is a total misrepresentation.


It's also worth mentioning that I have used the the 30L on a few alpine rock climbs (e.g., North Ridge of Stuart this summer) and in my experience it is very fragile. The bottom of mine is now a massive patchwork of repairs.


I had screwed up the solvent I used (Toluene) to dilute Seam Grip (1:1) so the seams did not dry out within the suggested 24 hrs when I needed to use my brand new at the time 30 L NWD $450 pack. Likewise, I got pretty much the same problem - the fabric was torn after 2 days of use. So, I had just showed up at the Graham's office and he gave me a brand new pack (or may be I was nagging him too much :) ).


2 years later the bottom of the pack started showing worn out areas that leaked water. My NWD 30 L pack is Generation "0" ( I think now Graham is on the generation 5 or 6 of NWD packs) and the bottom panel in the gen "0" was made of the same NWD as the rest of the pack. The current versions of the NWD packs use the re-enforced laminates of NWD and WD which are much more abrasion resistant but not necessarily heavier. Still, Graham replaced the ruined bottom NWD panel on my gen 0 within 15 min for free while I was waiting and entertaining myself with the collection of ice tools at the CiloGear headquarters :).


The replaced bottom panel:



And, yes, this pack is heavily used and abused, so not much white NWD can be now seen.

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Like others mentioned, CCW packs are definitely worth looking into and you can customize it to your heart's content. And it is going to be the best fit of all since it is made just for you. When you climb with it, you don't even notice it sitting on your back. Here is the CCW custom pack (thanks to Dane Burns) in action while holding on to the dear life on the "white granite staircase" with an ice tool, steel crampons, rock gear, bivy gear and a stove inside:



However I would agree with the previous comment that Cilo and CCW volumes are running differently: CCW 30 L is best for 1 day, max 2 d trip IMO. 30 L Cilo gear would go for as long as 4 days.




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  • 2 weeks later...

I've been literally living out of my Cilo 45 Worksack for the last 6 or 7 weeks, working, hiking and climbing in central Oregon. In conclusion...


The Cilo 45 Worksack is a super technical pack, and it's best use is as a super-technical climbing pack. Properly adjusted, it rides and climbs REALLY well, and handles loads all across the spectrum. I've hiked with it stuffed to around 65L and probably 40lbs, no problems...




It's NOT a good pack for daily/day-to-day/cragging/general fun climbing use, as I think somebody said somewhere above. It's a fucking pain in the ass. If you don't take the time to properly compress and adjust the pack, it rides terrible and gets in the way. The taking-the-time part is the pain in the ass- it requires constant adjustment. If you have less than 40L in the pack, you must use straps on the top eyes to pull the frame sheet away from your helmet. If you take something out of the pack, you need to decompress the compression straps to be able to dig through your stuff, which requires recompressing and, if you took something bigger than a pair of gloves out, readjust the strap ratios to keep the stay away from your helmet and ensure the pack rides tight. And the straps are not easy to adjust, and almost impossible to adjust with gloves on- I learned just how lame that is last weekend, as I desperately tried to dig my belay jacket out in -10ish with wind-chill.


I haven't yet figured out a way to carry more than about 20lbs in the pack without the frame sheet, as it just wants to fold up on your back when you strap it down tight enough to climb with, so I've been stuck with the sheet/stay so far. I'm seriously considering taking off 6" or so from the sheet- I've never been so aggravated with a pack than scratching halfway up a pitch looking for my next protection, and even holds, for that matter, and not being able to lift my head higher than eye-level. RAGE




Totally worth it if I were doing some huge FA on some huge line and absolutely must have the tightest, best riding pack. NOT fun for any kind of general use, however.




So.. for those of you with one... Is the 30L Worksack less of a pain in the ass? It MUST be. I don't need all this extra space to have to compress, for my "overnight" pack. Deadbird just got back to me and offered me any pack they carry for 50% off, as a concession for not being able to fix my old pack.. I'm thinking about getting a 30L Worksack, and maybe one of the bigger Nozones for multi-day trips...


All the input it super appreciated, folks. This board is a great resource. Friends and climbing partners are a good source, but CC is a force-multiplier, when you want a broad range of opinions and perspectives.

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I would strongly recommend taking a look at the line of Cold Cold World packs before going to the 30L worksack. The CCW packs don't even have a stay / framesheet to get in your way and will carry 30+ pounds quite nicely. They are made of bomber materials, the strap system is a more traditional system not like the goofy CiloGear system, you can get them customized for very little upcharge and best of all they are relatively cheap.


Take a look at the Valdez (2400cu in) and the Chernobyl (3000 cu in) and I think you will like what you see.


Cold Cold World Packs


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hey ben (or anyone else with a cilo pack)


how was it adjusting those straps? I ended up with a CCW, but have looked at the cilo packs at the feathered friends store and also wondered if the straps were going to be a PITA to adjust with gloves on. I could barely get them clipped in and out with my bare hands but wondered if it was just because I sucked at it. The guys in the store told me you were supposed to dial your system in before you went out, but that seemed to defeat the purpose of an adjustable system. What's the point of being able to adjust and customize the straps, if you can only do it while sitting on your ass inside??

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I will, dude... thanks for reminding me.


Ben, keep in mind that the CCW packs don't have the same capacity as a comparable CiloGear pack with the same size designation. For instance a CCW Valdez (2400 cu in / 40L) is WAY smaller in overall capacity as compared with a 45L worksack. The Chernobyl (3000 cu in / 50L) is close to the 45L worksack in size but probably still a bit smaller.


I have a Valdez with a Chernobly hipbelt and absolutely love it for winter climbing.

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hey ben (or anyone else with a cilo pack)


how was it adjusting those straps? I ended up with a CCW, but have looked at the cilo packs at the feathered friends store and also wondered if the straps were going to be a PITA to adjust with gloves on. I could barely get them clipped in and out with my bare hands but wondered if it was just because I sucked at it. The guys in the store told me you were supposed to dial your system in before you went out, but that seemed to defeat the purpose of an adjustable system. What's the point of being able to adjust and customize the straps, if you can only do it while sitting on your ass inside??


You can adjust it in the field. It's obviously a lot easier to get it all dialed in at home, but part of the beauty is being able to totally swap configurations if you need to, or anything in between.


Adjusting the straps from eye to eye is not that hard or confusing, with a little practice. The important part is remembering which way to orient the triglide so that it will cinch on the eye- if you don't have the tail end tucked into the eye, it won't stay compressed.


Loosening the compression straps is the biggest pain... no a big deal above freezing, in the daylight, on level ground, without gloves on. But change any of those, and it can become a pretty ridiculous chore, for what it is. In my experience, needing two straps at the top fully compressed to keep the stay away from my helmet (or even just my bare head, for that matter), and having to loosen these two straps to access the pack is the biggest problem I've had.


If Cilo coudl figure out how to improve the function of the straps, this pack would be way more useful.

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I really don't like Cilogear packs, especially the strap system. I have owned 3 (all 3 fell apart relatively quickly) and I think I found the strap system the most annoying part about cilogear packs (aside from the fact that they fell apart). Once I had my packs set up the way I liked them (which, suprise! is pretty much the same as every major pack manufacturer configures their straps)I found little need for the switching or fiddling with any of the pack straps themselves. I did however, often take the lid straps off when I was using the packs without lids. A few times (once on a trip to Peru!) I would toss my pack and lid separately into the car/luggage and forget the straps that held the lid on. My fault, but still a pain in the ass.


The way the lid attaches to the front of the pack is a very weak orientation, and I eventually ripped the little tab/metal ring partially out of the seam.


I think the general design of cilogear packs is quite good - they carry and climb well. I really liked the internal compression strap. However, the external strap system is a gimmick, and some of the packs are extremely poorly made. Every time I see someone with one, I think "I wonder if you got a dud".


After 3 duds in a row (I'm a slow learner) I bought a CCW. Excellent pack, have had absolutely zero troubles with it.


As far as sizing goes, yes, Cilogear packs are HUGE for their size. I suspect that Graham is catering to the wannabe weekend warrior crowd who think "wow, look how awesome I am, I can fit 4 days worth of gear in a 30L pack".


I find sadly amusing how some people on other Cilogear love/hate threads can steadfastly love their Cilogear packs as they say that they've had their super expensive pack for a short period of time and it's failed catastrophically. If you want to make an expensive gamble, buy a cilogear. If you want an excellent, no bullshit pack, buy a CCW or pretty much anything else. Lots and lots of people make good packs these days. There's no good reason to gamble on whether you're going to get a cilogear that lasts years or days.

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  • 1 month later...

My favorite bag for carrying a minimal amount of gear was my trusted Mountainsmith Boogeyman (16L ++) but it's old and dying but it lasted forever and beat the hell out of it.

I'm looking for a replacement that to my surprise has been very hard to find, a top loading (non-zipper) rucksack with compression straps and a removal lumbar pad.



Has anybody used the Mountain Hardwear Scrambler ULT 30?






The Scrambler is a lot bigger, more than I really need for what I do but compresses down well and 2oz lighter but not sure about durability.


The Arc'teryx Cierzo 25 is also another one but again it's big.


Can anyone recommend a small bag just like the Boogeyman? Don't mention Cilo


Can't say enough about switching to a smaller bag under 20L, it's been very liberating even when carrying rain shells, an axe and crampons. I've got ton of other larger bags.

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The BD Bullet is 18l, but has a zipper (though small and only about halfway down) and compresses really small (stuff it in your bigger approach pack). It's my go to pack for day multi-pitch cragging.


The Arcteryx Silo 18 is also small, but much more rigid and a lot stronger than the bullet. It's my go to alpine pack since I can leave the rope coiled on the outside (pack strong enough to support it) and get the gear inside it, then I am climbing with only an 18l pack. I used this system on Dragontail (22hr day C2C on backbone ridge) and on Stuart (24hr day C2C on Complete North Ridge).


I had the Cierzo 25 and didn't like it, sent it right back to backcountry.com.


Hope that helps a little bit.

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That doesn't sound reassuring. The Scrambler ULT does not seam more durable than the Cierzo when holding both of them next to each other.


The shop had both of them and I picked up the Scrambler because it was 50% off and they were going fast but the last thing I want is a bag exploding on me because I wanted to save a couple of ounces. The Cierzo does not look like typical Arc'teryx quality, it wasn't just the material (not bad but old tech) but the stitching or should I say lack of that bummed me out.


I just may have to make my own using parts/straps from bags I don't use anymore or get one custom made.

Edited by mr_macgee
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Actually the Cierzo 35 is a nice classic design, it's just like the my Karrimor "Ice" bag that I had in the eighties and it had the same rip stop material.


Though the Kerrimor had way better construction. I would have to agree, I would not recommend the cierzo just yet. Just look at the detail photo's on there website, you can see the seam stitching.


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