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sportnoob

Cilogear 45L Height and Compression

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Hi,

I'm looking at the Cilogear 45L as a climbing pack for trips where I might be carrying in bivy gear to the base of a route, then stripping it down for climbing. I'm thinking primarily alpine rock. What's attractive to me is that it's big enough that I won't have a bunch of stuff strapped to the outside for schwacky approaches.

 

I looked at a friend's Cilo 45L and liked a lot about it. My one concern is that it is really tall for the portion of the trip where I'd be actually rock climbing.

 

The conclusion I came to is that I'd remove the hipbelt, foam pad, and framesheet (probably wouldn't use the framesheet at all anyway) for climbing, then cinch down on load lifters all the way to 'eat up' the 4 - 6" of height above the connection point of the shoulder straps. This, combined with yarding down on the internal compression strap for whatever is in there, seems like it would effectively have the load on the shoulders. Playing around in his garage, this seemed like it shortened the pack up enough such that the bottom didn't ride over my harness (getting in the way of chalkbag and gear loops).

 

Is this what other people do? I'm kinda nervous about doing this a lot and somehow making the load be carried by the inner fabrics in a way that isn't ideal or something. Especially if I'm putting stuff in there for a walkoff that weighs a little something (like the rope or rack). For actual climbing when I've just got a little water, food, and clothing, seems like my setup would be OK.

 

I'd sure like to hear what others are doing who have a pack like this. The 30:30 is a little on the small side for what I'd like to be doing and the equipment I currently own; also I'd like the more 'real' hipbelt of the 45L for approach hikes.

 

Caveat emptor: I haven't done alpine rock climbing with a sack this big, as most of my stuff has been car-to-car with a smaller pack.

Edited by sportnoob

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What I do on lightweight overnight trips where you are carrying on the approach, and then trying to minimalize on the climb, is one partner takes a "normal" 45L pack, and one partner takes a completely lightweight collapsible ultralight pack (like the Lowe summit series, or the one made by Serratus).

 

While approaching, the rack goes in the normal pack, and the other guy carries the rope and the ultralight pack. At the base of the route the ultra light pack is emptied and put inside the normal pack. The leader now climbs sans pack (maybe with shoes on harness) and the second is now the only one encumbered with a pack, the "normal" pack. When you lead in blocks, it minimizes the number of pack transfers too. This is a good system for something like Backbone, Serpentine, or the like when you might actually want a dececnt rack and water, but not want the leader to climb with pack while leading 5.9 or ++ pitches.

 

This is how I climbed Slesse NE Buttress with Jens, some years back. It worked well, even carrying 6 L of water up the route. While climbing, the only thing in the pack is bivy gear and water and maybe some eats.

 

If you are really fast, you can generally get away with smaller day packs, but same strategy

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Thanks, Alex. I'm thinking of stuff like the Picket or Gunsight range where the approach is nontrivial (I know the big boys do traverses of the Pickets with small packs, but I'm not on that level). My thinking was that both partners would need the space afforded by a bigger pack for food / bivy gear, etc. I am concieving of the 45L as one-stop shopping for a carry-in big pack as well as a compressible pack OK to lead with.

 

Your line of reasoning would suggest perhaps a party having one "OK to follow with" bigger pack (like a Cilo) and one "OK to lead with" pack (perhaps something small that could compress in a regular backpacking pack if a lot of space were necessary for the approach like a REI Flash 18). Seems like a good choice that trades off a slightly heavier load on the approach in favor of something that is less of a bother for the leader.

 

Any other opinions out there?

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Check out the 30:30 GS (the GS model just adds some beefy fabric so it'll take longer to destroy). I use it alpine climbing here in MT and for winter routes in RMNP. I've found that for drytooling, as long as the pitch doesn't have any chimney sections, I can climb pretty close to my normal onsight limit. I haven't climbed much alpine rock with a large pack however. I feel like the best option for something like the gunsights is to hike in with a 45l pack and carry a light daypack like the REI Flash. Basically a stuff sack with shoulder straps, and has enough room for a couple shells and the days food. On route you bring that, leaving 90% of your shit in camp down below.

 

For a pickets traverse, linking up the North Buttress of Fury and The Stoddard Buttress on Terror you have to carry everything with you. The hardest moves are 5.8, so climbing with a full pack isn't that big of a deal. Still, you most likely don't want a full 45L, as it'll allow you to bring too much shit. The 30:30 is perfect for that, as you can fit everything in it and put the rope under the lid. On route the pack compresses down and doesn't keep you from looking up, you'll still be able to lead 5.8. Between the two of you there's plenty of space for 2 bags, stove, dehydrated food, and a firstlight style tent.

 

Full disclaimer, I haven't done either of those routes, but this is the route I'd take if I wanted a safety margin. I also might say fuckit and try and suffer through a massive couple days with barely any gear, but that strategy would involve a lot of soloing and fatigue, with an epic guaranteed if anything went south.

 

the #1 thing with climbing in the alpine isn't your gear, it's your level of fitness. Before I went to AK last spring I climbed a ton with a pack carrying ~25 lbs. Experiment on yourself, figure out what works.

 

Goodluck!

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Dude you will love this pack. I have used it extensively for 2-3 days in the backcountry, and collapsed it down for a summitpack. It is rad. If you can afford it, get the W/NWD it is worth the stupid price for the durability and being waterproof (plus it looks badass). I have a 30L in W/NWD and I wish my 45L was in the same fabric

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the W/NWD it is worth the stupid price for the durability and being waterproof

Is it really waterproof, as in you could take it on a five day trip in rain and not have to worry about getting your sleeping bag wet? If so, is it still waterproof after a couple years of wear and tear?

 

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I have the woven dyneema 45L Cilo pack. It's great, but I would not bank on the waterproofness. I've used it for about 7 years and the chief advantage has been durability. It's dirty, but the fabric and components do not show much sign of wear & tear. If I am concerned about keeping my sleeping bag dry I pack it in a silnylon drysack. Which I do anyway. There's always the good old, low-tech, cost-effective, ultralight method of lining your pack with a trash bag. Much cheaper than spending $700 on a pack.

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For a pickets traverse, linking up the North Buttress of Fury and The Stoddard Buttress on Terror you have to carry everything with you. The hardest moves are 5.8, so climbing with a full pack isn't that big of a deal. Still, you most likely don't want a full 45L, as it'll allow you to bring too much shit. The 30:30 is perfect for that, as you can fit everything in it and put the rope under the lid. On route the pack compresses down and doesn't keep you from looking up, you'll still be able to lead 5.8. Between the two of you there's plenty of space for 2 bags, stove, dehydrated food, and a firstlight style tent.

 

What he said.

Also, not all 30L packs are made equal - some are more (or less) 30 than others. Cilo packs normally run large, which I really like. Detachable lids help expand the volume and thanks to the customized options, you can strap a lot of stuff on the sides which is handy on the approaches.

30 L W/NWD was my choice for the Pickets trip last summer. Plus it is waterproof like others mentioned - which you want for the range where it rains all the time.

The newer W/NWD Cilo packs already come pre-sealed, so no need to do it yourself.

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I am starting to feel like a shill for Arcteryx recommending the Alpha FL 30/45 packs so often but they really are perfect for what you want to do. The clean exterior is perfect for schwacking on approach. The 45 liter pack is more like a 30 liter pack that has a skirt to extend up for the approach. It would be beyond awkward to climb with the skirt extended and overnight gear but it works perfectly for ditching some stuff at camp and pressing on to a technical route above. I would say the 45 is great for winter technical routes or spring/summer volcanoes whereas the 30 should get you through summer rock routes fine.

 

http://www.arcteryx.com/Product.aspx?language=EN&gender=Mens&model=Alpha-FL-45-Backpack

 

The pack is cheaper for the same size Cilogear and way lighter. In fact the Cilogear 30:30 comes in at 1,230g (2.7lbs) but the Arcteryx Alpha FL 45 weights just 650g (1.44lbs). Why pay more for a heavier and smaller pack? The only reason I see is if the fit on the Cilogear is way better for you then the Arcteryx is not an option.

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