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70L pack overkill?

tabibito

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino del Norte June 20 (2018) Irun to Santiago
#1
Hi There! Starting my (first) Camino next month from Irun. I'm 194cm x 96kg and chose the Osprey Farpoint 70L pack as it was long enough to fit my Leki walking poles and all my other stuff too. That said, I've been reading a lot of posts and everyone seems to be carrying a 35-45L pack. I've weighed my pack with all my stuff and it's coming in under 10kg so weight isn't an issue per se. Any advice?
 

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domigee

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF(x3), VdlP, Jerusalem, VF, Walsingham.
2018? Vf again or Via Lemovicensis
#2
Hi! Have you done some trial walks with it fully loaded? Are you comfortable carrying that weight, bearing in mind you'll have to walk with it every day, day after day?
I think a lot of other pilgrims carry 10kgs....
It seems very heavy to me but then we are not the same size or weight ;-)
 

Dorpie

Active Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Santiago to Finisterre to Muxia 2013
Camino Frances May 2015
Camino Frances July 2017
#4
If it works for you that's all that really matters.

I'm maybe 12cm shorter than you and for me it would be too big. I carried a 45-55L and for me that was great, perfectly comfortable and I didn't have to pack too carefully to fit everything in each morning.

I guess the one thing to be wary of would be your pack being too empty and items shifting as you walk, I can imagine that getting annoying pretty quickly.

Buen Camino,

Rob.
 

Dutchwalk53

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2015 with son #1, CF 2016 alone, CF 2017 with son #2 and husband , CF Sept 2018 with daughter
#5
I have a 50 L. But never stuff it. But have used it for other "regular vacation " where I did need the extra space. They are expensive so think about what you would use it for. Just the Camino(s) or other trips. I only carry 8 kilo's during my Camino's and love my pack. so like someone else said. If that pack feels good to you , why not. My son who is about your size had a 55 L pack.
 

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Rick of Rick and Peg

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, 2015
#6
I used one that size but I took it to do backpacking in the Pyrenees too. It was comfortable and had plenty of places to put things to keep handy.

Fill it with water bottles and you don't have to worry about a grab and run theft.
 

falcon269

no commercial interests
Camino(s) past & future
yes
#8
Hi There! Starting my (first) Camino next month from Irun. I'm 194cm x 96kg and chose the Osprey Farpoint 70L pack as it was long enough to fit my Leki walking poles and all my other stuff too. That said, I've been reading a lot of posts and everyone seems to be carrying a 35-45L pack. I've weighed my pack with all my stuff and it's coming in under 10kg so weight isn't an issue per se. Any advice?
Save money. Use it. Just don't fill it...
 
#9
My opinion...the 10 kgs sounds ok as a starter. My guess is that you will immediately start eliminating stuff you thought “was really good to have along.” However, the size of the pack would worry me because IF it is not full (and at that size it shouldn’t be!) your load will lie low in the pack and that is not where you want it. It will be an invitation to back and hip problems. Best is to have the weight up high. That’s why a smaller pack actually works better. Just my experience.
 

t2andreo

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances: 2013, 2014
Madrid: 2016
Portuguese: 2015, 2017
Invierno: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 to 2017
#10
While it sounds huge at first glance, 70 liters is only 35 liters if you fill it half-way. I understand the desire to economize, as you will use the pack for other, non-Camino, activities, like traveling. However, you have to adopt a very rigid discipline to avoid accumulating things that individually weigh "almost nothing."

Hundreds of the forum members can tell you stories of items weighing 'almost nothing' that contributed to a overly heavy pack. We have all fallen prey to this gremlin, myself included...several times.

One of the reasons the 'sweet spot' for a Camino pack in the 30 - 40 liter range is the relationship between packing your gear very tightly and weight or mass. Fellow member 'Dougfitz' has established a mathematical model to equate weight to volume. He is actually very accurate. Search for his articles on rucksack or backpack weight. I consider him the resident expert at packing and pack size.

Personally, I started six years ago, with an Osprey Kestrel 48 liter rucksack. Now, after five learning attempt and as many Caminos, this year I used my new Osprey Kestrel 38 liter bag. The intentionally smaller volume bag, with no 'dangly bits' outside, forces me to economize on packing. It actually worked.

Another reason for this preference is the simple fact the 30 - 40 liter packs can usually be carried onto an airplane, especially if it is not over-stuffed. Sharp items like knives and metal tipped hiking poles must still be checked. But that can be facilitated by using an small, inexpensive folding duffle bag to check restricted items. Get a sturdy cardboard shipping tube from a stationery store to put your poles into. Or, the airline will provide some container or another.

Personally, I choose to check my rucksack in a large brightly colored nylon laundry bag. This way, the laundry bag takes all the handling bruises and the rucksack remains intact. I carry on personal electronics, expensive items, all valuables, and my medications. In six trips for a Camino it has worked well every time.

Finally, if you still intend to use this large(ish) rucksack, do have a viable Plan B to ship surplus to needs items ahead to Santiago. Ivar, who runs this forum, has this service. I virtually guarantee that at some point you will decide that you do not need this or that, or you will question bringing some item. Search here in the Forum. Alternatively, you can use the Correos (post office) in Spain to ship your excess items ahead to the main post office on Rua Franco in Santiago.

Here is a link to a good hread discussing Ivar's service:

https://www.caminodesantiago.me/community/threads/luggage-storage-questions.45692/#post-483458

Here is a good link to the appropriate Correos page (in English):

http://www.elcaminoconcorreos.com/en/

I hope this helps.
 

Lurch

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
looking at 2018-2019
#12
I am right at 2 meters and 110 k and found the 48 liter Bergen’s of Norway pack to be long enough for me. Bought it off of EBay last year. Haven’t walked the Camino yet ( Sept/Oct coming up) but have packed and carried if for 10 mile hikes. Relatively inexpensive, so you might want to give it a look/ see.
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF June 2015
CP June 2017
Del Norte, Finisterre / Muxia Oct 2017
VDLP 2018
#13
I stay below 50L to use it as a carry on, if that is your intention.
Hi There! Starting my (first) Camino next month from Irun. I'm 194cm x 96kg and chose the Osprey Farpoint 70L pack as it was long enough to fit my Leki walking poles and all my other stuff too. That said, I've been reading a lot of posts and everyone seems to be carrying a 35-45L pack. I've weighed my pack with all my stuff and it's coming in under 10kg so weight isn't an issue per se. Any advice?
 
Camino(s) past & future
One, currently in Pamplona
#14
Hi There! Starting my (first) Camino next month from Irun. I'm 194cm x 96kg and chose the Osprey Farpoint 70L pack as it was long enough to fit my Leki walking poles and all my other stuff too. That said, I've been reading a lot of posts and everyone seems to be carrying a 35-45L pack. I've weighed my pack with all my stuff and it's coming in under 10kg so weight isn't an issue per se. Any advice?
I too purchased a 70l pack for my trip nd currently am in Pamplona. My pack is completely filled and definitely wish it was lighter. I think the size of the pack works well and also enjoyed having room for my poles when flying but definitely wish I left so of my "essentials behind. After 15K days it's more then I think is necessary
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés (May-July 2017)
Camino Primitivo (May-June 2018)
#15
Hi There! Starting my (first) Camino next month from Irun. I'm 194cm x 96kg and chose the Osprey Farpoint 70L pack as it was long enough to fit my Leki walking poles and all my other stuff too.
Bear in mind that the 70L includes the day pack, which is 13L - so the pack is 'only' 57L. I have the Osprey Farpoint 55L (42L for the big pack) but I use it for regular travel and not for hiking as it's not designed for that. On Camino, I take a 35L North Face pack.
 

Robo

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
Alone.
------------------------------
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
with my wife Pat.
------------------------------
CF SJPDP-SdC
(Apr/May 2018)
together again :-)
#16
The Farpoint is classified as a "travel" backpack, so I'm not sure that it would be the best choice to carry for hours and hours each day. It's also huge, and a bit heavy at 1.78 kg.
Tend to agree sadly. It' s more of a travel pack than a hiking pack. Does it have a frame and hip belt?
 

GettingThere

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Roncesvalles-SdC Apr-Jun 2015
Roncesvalles-Sarria Sep-Oct 2017
#17
Hi There! Starting my (first) Camino next month from Irun. I'm 194cm x 96kg and chose the Osprey Farpoint 70L pack as it was long enough to fit my Leki walking poles and all my other stuff too. That said, I've been reading a lot of posts and everyone seems to be carrying a 35-45L pack. I've weighed my pack with all my stuff and it's coming in under 10kg so weight isn't an issue per se. Any advice?
Tabibito, as others have commented here, the Farpoint is a travel pack, not a hiking pack - a very different beast. It's designed for people just needing to walk from transport to accommodation rather than walking all day. Apart from the size (and many people do hike with large packs), the pack is not structured for multi-day hiking. It might be big enough to pack away your poles when travelling, but it is missing a number of useful features a hiking pack would have - including side pockets to hold water bottles, and/or an internal space for a water reservoir, pole loops for stowing your poles if you're not using them all the time while walking, and in general the shape. Have you tried hiking with it? The best way to judge would be to pack it with what you plan to take, then wear it for some consecutive day training hikes, over varied terrain (including hills and rough ground), for several hours at a time. If it seems super-comfortable then take it - but your pack is one of the most important pieces of equipment for a long walk and anything less than super comfortable is quickly going to become a pain - in more ways than one!

If you do decide it isn't the right pack for you, you should be able to return and exchange it.

Good luck and Buen Camino!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances - September - November (2017)
#19
Up to you, but I can tell you i carried a 70L Osprey Either on my Camino Frances starting in Pamplona to Santiago (43) days. I selected the 70L because I needed to carry a CPAP and it filled up my pack and total pack weight was 38 pounds. Oh yes it was way to much as I learned on the trail. I would never tell someone what works for them but I learned that 70L was not for me walking that much each day. I now use an Osprey 48 L Exos lite weight pack @ 2 pounds. Best of luck to you. Oh I am 6 ft 2 inch 325 pounds so I am carrying way to much weight even before the pack.
 

tomnorth

Active Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances: September 24 - October 31 (2015); March/April (2019)
#20
While it sounds huge at first glance, 70 liters is only 35 liters if you fill it half-way. I understand the desire to economize, as you will use the pack for other, non-Camino, activities, like traveling. However, you have to adopt a very rigid discipline to avoid accumulating things that individually weigh "almost nothing."

Hundreds of the forum members can tell you stories of items weighing 'almost nothing' that contributed to a overly heavy pack. We have all fallen prey to this gremlin, myself included...several times.

One of the reasons the 'sweet spot' for a Camino pack in the 30 - 40 liter range is the relationship between packing your gear very tightly and weight or mass. Fellow member 'Dougfitz' has established a mathematical model to equate weight to volume. He is actually very accurate. Search for his articles on rucksack or backpack weight. I consider him the resident expert at packing and pack size.

Personally, I started six years ago, with an Osprey Kestrel 48 liter rucksack. Now, after five learning attempt and as many Caminos, this year I used my new Osprey Kestrel 38 liter bag. The intentionally smaller volume bag, with no 'dangly bits' outside, forces me to economize on packing. It actually worked.

Another reason for this preference is the simple fact the 30 - 40 liter packs can usually be carried onto an airplane, especially if it is not over-stuffed. Sharp items like knives and metal tipped hiking poles must still be checked. But that can be facilitated by using an small, inexpensive folding duffle bag to check restricted items. Get a sturdy cardboard shipping tube from a stationery store to put your poles into. Or, the airline will provide some container or another.

Personally, I choose to check my rucksack in a large brightly colored nylon laundry bag. This way, the laundry bag takes all the handling bruises and the rucksack remains intact. I carry on personal electronics, expensive items, all valuables, and my medications. In six trips for a Camino it has worked well every time.

Finally, if you still intend to use this large(ish) rucksack, do have a viable Plan B to ship surplus to needs items ahead to Santiago. Ivar, who runs this forum, has this service. I virtually guarantee that at some point you will decide that you do not need this or that, or you will question bringing some item. Search here in the Forum. Alternatively, you can use the Correos (post office) in Spain to ship your excess items ahead to the main post office on Rua Franco in Santiago.

Here is a link to a good hread discussing Ivar's service:

https://www.caminodesantiago.me/community/threads/luggage-storage-questions.45692/#post-483458

Here is a good link to the appropriate Correos page (in English):

http://www.elcaminoconcorreos.com/en/

I hope this helps.
Your advice is spot on. There is a real risk of taking on more stuff as you go since you have all that extra room in the pack. But, if you’re disciplined about it you certainly can do it. The one thing about a pack that is sized for the load you’re carrying is that it may carry better than a way oversized pack. Things won’t be shifting around on you. In the whole scheme of things, a backpack is not a huge expense as a percentage of the total you’ll be spending on your Camino. My vote is for getting a pack sized for the load you’ll be carrying. For me that was a 36l Osprey Stratus. I’ll be taking the same pack next year when I walk my second Camino.
 
Camino(s) past & future
2017
#21
I have that pack - it’s a good one. I use it when traveling, and when fully packed I find it a tough slog (much as I like it for travel). However, half-full it might work out. I’d put your stuff in it and give it a try.

I used an Aarn Mountain Magic on the Camino, which was a good choice for me. Before I left, I had put all my stuff in another 34-liter pack (also more of a ‘travel’ hybrid) and practiced a bit, and decided that having weight in front and in back would be a big benefit.

However, I saw a ton of mid-sized traditional backpacks that looked like they were well-designed, and a ton of people in average shape bearing them just fine all the way to Santiago.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy - Figeac (2017)
Figeac - StJPdP (2018)
#22
Hi There! Starting my (first) Camino next month from Irun. I'm 194cm x 96kg and chose the Osprey Farpoint 70L pack as it was long enough to fit my Leki walking poles and all my other stuff too. That said, I've been reading a lot of posts and everyone seems to be carrying a 35-45L pack. I've weighed my pack with all my stuff and it's coming in under 10kg so weight isn't an issue per se. Any advice?
Hi, last year I walked the first 260kms of the Le Puy route with an Osprey Stratos 36l sack, with 10kgs of gear. This year I will walk the remaining 500kms and I aim to get my pack weight down to 5kgs or less. Be meticulous and disciplined about your bag contents, as others will recommend after the first 3 days your hips and shoulders will be thankful that you limited your pack weight. And there are plenty of shops en route where you can buy essentials.
Good luck and buen camino
 
Camino(s) past & future
Sarria - Sept 2015 test run. St Jean - Aug/Sept 2016. Burgos - Aug/Sept 2017. Leon - Apr/May 2019.
#23
I have a 70L as well but I never fill it. Max weight I've had in it is 17 kgs so lots of free space.

Also, it's deep enough for my poles so I can get them into the cargo hold and NOT have them refused to carry on as cabin luggage which would mean I'd have to leave them behind or pay extra - I don't do the pay for poles thing.

I don't buy a new rucksack to fit the hike/walk I just use the one I've had for a few years now.

It may one day come in handy to have a bit of free space to help someone else.
 
Camino(s) past & future
CdS from Leon to Santiago, June 16, 2016 to June 30, 2016.
#24
Hi There! Starting my (first) Camino next month from Irun. I'm 194cm x 96kg and chose the Osprey Farpoint 70L pack as it was long enough to fit my Leki walking poles and all my other stuff too. That said, I've been reading a lot of posts and everyone seems to be carrying a 35-45L pack. I've weighed my pack with all my stuff and it's coming in under 10kg so weight isn't an issue per se. Any advice?
Go light. You will be carrying this for weeks!
 
Camino(s) past & future
March 2018
#25
Most people will give advice for lightweight packs and they are right for them but I’m offering you a different take in this topic.

I have an Osprey 55 and I bought it after watching the Osprey company videos designed to educate people who sell Osprey packs and then visiting REI and a few smaller shops to test out different packs at different weights. All outdoor shops have weights and you can try the various packs with them.

What I learned is that it is fact that the larger packs provide more support and give you many more options to control the placement of weight. I had had surgery on my hip area two months before my Camino so I needed the ability to adjust where I carried the weight as well as more support for that weight.

The actual weight you put in the pack is 100% about what feels comfortable to you - not anyone else...so put what you want in there, practice at home (climbing both up and down hill) and adjust as you need to or want to.

Non-Camino hikers routinely carry much more weight than Camino hikers. My husband did an Alaska trek in which he carried 50 pounds along mountain trails. We are now home from our Camino and happy we have larger packs as we want to do portions of the PCT so will need to carry tents, food, etc. The larger Ospreys are designed to do this comfortably so are not only a better investment for the future but generally out perform the smaller packs with smaller weights and lastly, provide many options for adjustment of the weight.

Buen Camino
 
#26
My turn?

70L is overkill, X2. 10kg is overkill, for me, X2.

The perfect backpack is no backpack. That not being feasible, start with a list of items, only needs, not wants. If there is 3 of anything, drop it to 2. If some things have been doubled up but you can make due with one, drop the extras. It is not impossible to achieve and 5 kg pack but is usually involves a smaller pack.

Pack options can include something not as structured as an Osprey Farpoint. With less weignt come fewer demands on the body to carry much more than itself. With fewer vertical demands on the body, it can apply its energy toward horizonatl action more efficiently. It is all physics and math. Perhaps a pack that can be folded up to pocket size may have sufficient features and can drop pack only weight by as much as 1 kg, alone? I know there are some as large as 40L.

Hope this helps.
 
Camino(s) past & future
in fall 2017
#27
Bear in mind that the 70L includes the day pack, which is 13L - so the pack is 'only' 57L. I have the Osprey Farpoint 55L (42L for the big pack) but I use it for regular travel and not for hiking as it's not designed for that. On Camino, I take a 35L North Face pack.
Ditch the big one: take the day pack. I took a 16 litre Osprey. It was stuffed put adequate. I was carrying two pounds of meds [including special meal supplements] along with my clothes etc.
 
#28
Hi There! Starting my (first) Camino next month from Irun. I'm 194cm x 96kg and chose the Osprey Farpoint 70L pack as it was long enough to fit my Leki walking poles and all my other stuff too. That said, I've been reading a lot of posts and everyone seems to be carrying a 35-45L pack. I've weighed my pack with all my stuff and it's coming in under 10kg so weight isn't an issue per se. Any advice?
I have the Farpoint as well. Good travel pack but the hip belt is not as good as the Osprey hiking packs. My wife and I have only walked in 3 week bursts and carried WAY to much (15kgs in my case) with an Osprey Aether. 10 kgs is a good start ...
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances June 2015
VDLP May 2017
del Norte September 2018
#29
I too purchased a 70l pack for my trip nd currently am in Pamplona. My pack is completely filled and definitely wish it was lighter. I think the size of the pack works well and also enjoyed having room for my poles when flying but definitely wish I left so of my "essentials behind. After 15K days it's more then I think is necessary
I carry a 28L pack and I clearly recall spending my evening in Pamplona cutting tags off underwear and packing my first shipment for home.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino del Norte June 20 (2018) Irun to Santiago
#30
Sounds HUGE to me. I’m carrying a 28L pack this year and carried 30L on the Camino for over 10 years. Whatcha bringing? The kitchen sink? :p
Jajajajaja. After reading all these helpful posts I shaved off two more kilos. Now down to about 8.5kg total. Although I'm going to miss my kitchen sink me thinks. :p
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino del Norte June 20 (2018) Irun to Santiago
#31
Tabibito, as others have commented here, the Farpoint is a travel pack, not a hiking pack - a very different beast. It's designed for people just needing to walk from transport to accommodation rather than walking all day. Apart from the size (and many people do hike with large packs), the pack is not structured for multi-day hiking. It might be big enough to pack away your poles when travelling, but it is missing a number of useful features a hiking pack would have - including side pockets to hold water bottles, and/or an internal space for a water reservoir, pole loops for stowing your poles if you're not using them all the time while walking, and in general the shape. Have you tried hiking with it? The best way to judge would be to pack it with what you plan to take, then wear it for some consecutive day training hikes, over varied terrain (including hills and rough ground), for several hours at a time. If it seems super-comfortable then take it - but your pack is one of the most important pieces of equipment for a long walk and anything less than super comfortable is quickly going to become a pain - in more ways than one!

If you do decide it isn't the right pack for you, you should be able to return and exchange it.

Good luck and Buen Camino!
Thanks GT for your insightful post. I have done a few trial hikes/walks (25km) with an Osprey 80L and the size wasn't an issue. That said, a few 25km walks does not a Camino make. I've got a small Eagle Creek fanny pack which I wear in front with two 350ml water bottles as well (plus another 500ml inside my Osprey). I've been training for about two months now and on walks/hikes longer than 20km I feel about the same (tired and wondering why I decided to do this...hahaha) whether I have a pack or not.....but I'm getting better each time. I'm actually doing an around the world trip Tokyo-Kuala Lumpur-Bangkok-Zurich-London-Camino-Gran Canaria-Barcelona-New York-Los Angeles-Tokyo and thus the 70L Farpoint. I guess I'm just going to have to find out whether I made the right decision after my Camino. Cheers!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino del Norte June 20 (2018) Irun to Santiago
#33
Most people will give advice for lightweight packs and they are right for them but I’m offering you a different take in this topic.

I have an Osprey 55 and I bought it after watching the Osprey company videos designed to educate people who sell Osprey packs and then visiting REI and a few smaller shops to test out different packs at different weights. All outdoor shops have weights and you can try the various packs with them.

What I learned is that it is fact that the larger packs provide more support and give you many more options to control the placement of weight. I had had surgery on my hip area two months before my Camino so I needed the ability to adjust where I carried the weight as well as more support for that weight.

The actual weight you put in the pack is 100% about what feels comfortable to you - not anyone else...so put what you want in there, practice at home (climbing both up and down hill) and adjust as you need to or want to.

Non-Camino hikers routinely carry much more weight than Camino hikers. My husband did an Alaska trek in which he carried 50 pounds along mountain trails. We are now home from our Camino and happy we have larger packs as we want to do portions of the PCT so will need to carry tents, food, etc. The larger Ospreys are designed to do this comfortably so are not only a better investment for the future but generally out perform the smaller packs with smaller weights and lastly, provide many options for adjustment of the weight.

Buen Camino
Muchas Gracias for your message. :)
 

davebugg

DustOff: "When I have your wounded."
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances...
Sept. 2017: SJPdP to Burgos
Sept./Oct. 2018: SJPdP to Santiago de Compostela
#34
Most people will give advice for lightweight packs and they are right for them but I’m offering you a different take in this topic.

I have an Osprey 55 and I bought it after watching the Osprey company videos designed to educate people who sell Osprey packs and then visiting REI and a few smaller shops to test out different packs at different weights. All outdoor shops have weights and you can try the various packs with them.

What I learned is that it is fact that the larger packs provide more support and give you many more options to control the placement of weight. I had had surgery on my hip area two months before my Camino so I needed the ability to adjust where I carried the weight as well as more support for that weight.

The actual weight you put in the pack is 100% about what feels comfortable to you - not anyone else...so put what you want in there, practice at home (climbing both up and down hill) and adjust as you need to or want to.

Non-Camino hikers routinely carry much more weight than Camino hikers. My husband did an Alaska trek in which he carried 50 pounds along mountain trails. We are now home from our Camino and happy we have larger packs as we want to do portions of the PCT so will need to carry tents, food, etc. The larger Ospreys are designed to do this comfortably so are not only a better investment for the future but generally out perform the smaller packs with smaller weights and lastly, provide many options for adjustment of the weight.

Buen Camino
Are you referring to the Ariel 55? It is a decent pack. I did a gear test for Osprey on the 'male' equivalent Aether AG. You are right, they are comfortable packs. :)

I will offer you a counterpoint to some of your thoughts. This comes from a perspective of a backpacking gear tester for manufacturers, as a backpacker with thousands of miles on the trails of the Sierras, Cascades, Olympics, and the Rockies. I've thru-hiked the Pacific Crest Trail and the Colorado Trail.

There is no meaningful equivalence between the weight of a pack and load carrying comfort or capacity. Yes, there are backpacks that are lightweight and designed to carry light loads, and there are heavy packs which will carry heavy loads comfortably.

What is also true is that these days, is that there are a lot of gear manufacturers who make comfortable, lightweight packs which can carry the same volume and weight of gear as heavier packs. For example if we go back to the Osprey Aether 60 backpack, its load carrying comfort spot tops out at around 45 pounds. It can carry more, but the harness and belt system of the pack begin to exert uncomfortable pressure to the shoulders and hips.

That Aether weighs in at around 5.25 pounds.

The Gossamer Gear Mariposa, for example, will carry the same size volume and weight as the Aether, is as comfortable and as adjustable, if not somewhat more so, but weighs in at less than 2 pounds. Why? Osprey, like Gregory, Deuter, Mystery Ranch (formerly Dana Designs), etc use materials and techniques that result in heavier, yet no more durable, backpacks.

And these manufacturers know this as they lose increasing numbers of sales to gear manufacturers producing much lighter equipment. In fact, if one looks at Osprey, for example, over the last three years, they have slowly evolved their lineup to include much lighter backpack options to try and stave off the competition.

The weight in a backpack is not a subjective measurement. In other words, 30 pounds of weight takes more effort to carry, regardless of ability to do so, than does 15 pounds. The ability to avoid injury, go further using less energy, avoid fatigue, and feel comfortable for long hours while walking or hiking is directly related to how heavy one's backpack is.

The less weight on one's body, the less stress on the back, knees, and feet; this can result in a dramatic difference in recovery time after a day of walking with a pack, and how well one feels to go out in the evening and enjoy walking through the town or village and see the sights in the area one is spending the night.

On the PCT, my pack's base weight (total gear weight without consumables like food and fuel) was 14 pounds. With an 8 day supply of food and fuel to get me to the next resupply point that total weight increased to 22 pounds; and as food and fuel was consumed daily, would drop every day.

I can tell anyone that I would much rather carry 22 pounds than 45 pounds any day.

Let me insert here that for the Camino my base pack weight is about 7.75 pounds. With water and snacks that goes up to about 9.8 pounds. (3.50 kg/4.8 kg).

I have no problem with people making decisions and choices for themselves about how much gear and weight to carry. I do think it is a mistake for us to give folks the impression that the amount of weight is of no consequence as long as there is short term comfort while carrying such, especially when there are many ways nowadays to lighten a load and still have the necessities for either backpacking or Camino.

Weight matters and the best load is the one that is the lightest.
 
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Camino(s) past & future
(2017)
#35
Hi There! Starting my (first) Camino next month from Irun. I'm 194cm x 96kg and chose the Osprey Farpoint 70L pack as it was long enough to fit my Leki walking poles and all my other stuff too. That said, I've been reading a lot of posts and everyone seems to be carrying a 35-45L pack. I've weighed my pack with all my stuff and it's coming in under 10kg so weight isn't an issue per se. Any advice?
My two bobs worth....

A70 l pack is only overkill if it tempts you to take 70 l of ‘stuff’....

If it is comfortable, take it rather than buy another smaller one. If you have walked with 10 kg in it and don’t feel comfortable, my suggestion would be to replace it.

Golden rule of the Camino - sort out your footwear and pack before you start!

I walked SJPP to Santiago with a 65 l pack carrying 12 - 13 kg, and had no problems at all.
 
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Camino(s) past & future
August - September 2015
#36
hell yes it's overkill. I did the camino with a 24 liter osprey pack that was not even full. You need a 70 liter if you are doing something like the pacific crest trail and have to carry all the food you will need for the next 50 - 100 miles. On the camino you don't need to carry any food, only some snacks if you want them. You are going to find somewhere to get what you need every 10 KM or so. You don't need a stove, you don't need pots and pans.
 

davebugg

DustOff: "When I have your wounded."
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances...
Sept. 2017: SJPdP to Burgos
Sept./Oct. 2018: SJPdP to Santiago de Compostela
#37
hell yes it's overkill. I did the camino with a 24 liter osprey pack that was not even full. You need a 70 liter if you are doing something like the pacific crest trail and have to carry all the food you will need for the next 50 - 100 miles. On the camino you don't need to carry any food, only some snacks if you want them. You are going to find somewhere to get what you need every 10 KM or so. You don't need a stove, you don't need pots and pans.
You are correct and I agree regarding equipment logistics. But, maybe or maybe not as to pack size. :) Let me explain where I am coming from.
If you are using a pack for both backpacking and Camino, then a 70 Liter pack is just fine. After all, it is not the size of the pack that determines the load, it is the knowledge and discipline of the pilgrim in what to bring or not bring.

For example, my Gossamer Gear Mariposa is expandable -- with collar extended -- to a 60 liter size. I have used it for thru-hiking the Colorado Trail (486 miles in the Rockies) and I use it on Camino. It weighs 862 grams compared to the 24 liter osprey Stratos, which weighs in at 1,020 grams. The only reason for me to purchase a smaller size backpack would be for either:
  1. Decreasing weight by a sufficient margin.
  2. Having a pack sized small enough to assure that I can use it as a carry-on for a flight.
As such, my Mariposa is lighter and it fits all the criteria for a carry-on for both domestic and international flights.

Another backpack that I have used and like is the ULA Ohm, which I used for part of my Pacific Crest Trail thru-hike. It has about 63 liters of volume and about the same weight as your Osprey, at 993 grams. I have also used it for carry-on.

However, if one is needing a backpack for just the Camino, then you are absolutely correct. The pack size can be customized to specific Camino needs, and that will generally be a smaller pack than one that is 40 liters in volume.

BTW, I use the Osprey Stratos 24 for my daily training hikes. I include a Platypus Big Zip, 2 liter sized water reservoir which fits nicely in the packs internal hydration sleeve. I really like the pack and think it is comfortable. I usually keep about a 12 pound load in it while training. I do hate the zippers on the pockets of the waist belt, though; they are harder to pull than they need to be. I use a combination of a zipper lubricant and silicone lubricant to help them out. Overall, it is a nice little pack. :)
 

Dorpie

Active Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Santiago to Finisterre to Muxia 2013
Camino Frances May 2015
Camino Frances July 2017
#38
While I may not be as tall as the OP (who is about 6 foot 4 inches) I am pretty wide. As a result my clothes are significantly bigger than many others. This seems to be a factor that no-one ever takes into account in these discussions. I simply couldn't fit my stuff into anything less than a 35l pack. I only take 2 pairs of shorts, 3 t-shirts, 3 pairs of socks etc. of which I'm wearing one set at any one time but then there's things like sleeping bag liners (XXL), towels (XXL), rain jackets (XXL) and flip flops (US size 14, EU 48), even socks that all take up a lot of room so even though I am toward the low end in terms of items packed the volume is considerable.

Compare this with one of my previous camino companions who was 6 inches shorter and less than half my weight and you have a situation where even though we have roughly the same items in our pack my kit was getting on fordouble the size of hers.

As such anyone saying pack light and you can manage with such and such a pack size is ignoring the fact that not everyone is the same.
 
Camino(s) past & future
2015
#39
My wife and I traveled the Camino last year, and, in addition, spent about six months wandering around Europe. I carried a 26 liter pack, about 15 pounds. She carried a 20 liter pack, about 11 pounds. We always had everything we needed and most importantly loved the freedom to wander at will. If no room at the inn we would just move on. No need to drop heavy burdens or find a place to dump our gear before exploring a town or going to dinner. Movement is life and light is best.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2016
#40
At the risk of sounding like narrow-minded and dogmatic know-it-all, and notwithstanding that there are varied opinions about assorted topics regarding the Camino, there are some, truths including these two:

A 70L pack is way overkill--I think a previous comment called it x2. A 35-40L pack is far more sensible.

And 10 kg (20+ lbs) is significantly more than necessary, or, if you want to finish, desirable.

I walked the Frances in 2016 with a 40L Gregory and with 15 lbs. Starting again in about a week with a 38L pack and 13 lbs. And I could even shave another couple lbs off, and may between now and departure. Prior to the Camino, I have had a couple thousand miles of mountain backpacking over a number of years with a relatively heavy pack. But, the Camino is not wilderness backpacking. You could argue it's not even a trek or hike, but rather a leisurely walk.

Tabibito, the great thing about this forum is that you can get unvarnished advice from Camino veterans. My observation in my 2016 Camino was that the people I saw at the beginning of the Camino with heavy packs (or leather boots) was that I did not see them in Santiago, and in most cases didn't see them again after the first week (or less). Of course, one can carry 20 lbs in a big pack for 30-40 days, but the cumulative effect of that unnecessary weight is likely to impair your ability to complete as well your overall enjoyment.
 

davebugg

DustOff: "When I have your wounded."
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances...
Sept. 2017: SJPdP to Burgos
Sept./Oct. 2018: SJPdP to Santiago de Compostela
#41
At the risk of sounding like narrow-minded and dogmatic know-it-all, and notwithstanding that there are varied opinions about assorted topics regarding the Camino, there are some, truths including these two:

A 70L pack is way overkill--I think a previous comment called it x2. A 35-40L pack is far more sensible.

And 10 kg (20+ lbs) is significantly more than necessary, or, if you want to finish, desirable.

I walked the Frances in 2016 with a 40L Gregory and with 15 lbs. Starting again in about a week with a 38L pack and 13 lbs. And I could even shave another couple lbs off, and may between now and departure. Prior to the Camino, I have had a couple thousand miles of mountain backpacking over a number of years with a relatively heavy pack. But, the Camino is not wilderness backpacking. You could argue it's not even a trek or hike, but rather a leisurely walk.

Tabibito, the great thing about this forum is that you can get unvarnished advice from Camino veterans. My observation in my 2016 Camino was that the people I saw at the beginning of the Camino with heavy packs (or leather boots) was that I did not see them in Santiago, and in most cases didn't see them again after the first week (or less). Of course, one can carry 20 lbs in a big pack for 30-40 days, but the cumulative effect of that unnecessary weight is likely to impair your ability to complete as well your overall enjoyment.
I agree about the amount of weight being carried can affect one's performance and enjoyment of walking the Camino... or anywhere. In this specific case, as you have said, 10kg of weight (22 pounds) is a huge, honkin', hairy load for a Camino.

But I am just as concerned that the Osprey Farpoint is not the type of backpack I would want anyone to wear for carrying a load during long hours over multiple days and weeks. It is not designed for that purpose. That fact will be just as significant as the 10 kg weight load; and then when one combines the two factors --- a heavy weight, and a non backpacking pack --- then that becomes a compounded formula for discomfort and energy drain.

In general, and apart from this specific backpack in this thread --- Osprey Farpoint --- a 70 liter backpack for Camino use doesn't bother me. Given the right choice in gear, it can still be a base for an ultralight or lightweight total pack weight. Of course, a 70 liter backpack for the Camino might have a lot of leftover, empty space after being packed up. Though considered more pack than is needed for a Camino application, I can't say that, despite the 'overkill' that my advice would be for someone to spend more money to buy a new, smaller pack if they already owned a large backpack.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2016
#42
Just had a look at the Osprey Farpoint 70--it weighs 4 lbs. There are plenty of good 35-40L packs that weigh in at just over 2 lbs. So, a big pack is not just extra room, it's extra pounds as well. If I hadn't carried so much damn weight in my backpacking years--before the ultralight movement--I might think "what's the big deal about a couple pounds"? But, as many on this forum will attest, 2 lbs is a big deal when carried day after day for 500 miles. Regardless of perceived physical condition of a pilgrim, feet and knee issues can arise at any time. And I would surmise that each of us has a point in load bearing that could trigger a foot or knee problem. Actually, davebugg expressed it nicely in an earlier post in this thread:

"The weight in a backpack is not a subjective measurement. In other words, 30 pounds of weight takes more effort to carry, regardless of ability to do so, than does 15 pounds. The ability to avoid injury, go further using less energy, avoid fatigue, and feel comfortable for long hours while walking or hiking is directly related to how heavy one's backpack is.

The less weight on one's body, the less stress on the back, knees, and feet; this can result in a dramatic difference in recovery time after a day of walking with a pack, and how well one feels to go out in the evening and enjoy walking through the town or village and see the sights in the area one is spending the night."
 

davebugg

DustOff: "When I have your wounded."
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances...
Sept. 2017: SJPdP to Burgos
Sept./Oct. 2018: SJPdP to Santiago de Compostela
#43
Just had a look at the Osprey Farpoint 70--it weighs 4 lbs. There are plenty of good 35-40L packs that weigh in at just over 2 lbs.
Quite right. :) In fact my Gossamer Gear Mariposa is a 60 Liter ( with collar extended, but when not extended the main bag is 40 Liters) weighs in under 2 pounds, and was exceedingly comfortable on my thru hike of the Colorado Trail at 22 pounds of total weight with 8 days of food and fuel between resupply points; it was an absolute joy at around 8.5 pounds base weight (10 pounds with water and snacks) on Camino. :cool:
 
Camino(s) past & future
2015
#44
Addendum: I should have added that the fifteen pounds I carried was the maximum I carried at any time and included food and water for the day, and later in the year a puffy jacket. My base weight on the Camino, which I carried in a NF Verto rucksack weighing 12 oz, was well under ten pounds.

If it would be of interest to anyone I would be glad to post my packing list. In my classes (which are about applied meditation) I've taught many people over the years to travel light. Too much weight can spoil a journey and lead to injury. In addition to physical weight the heaviest things to carry are prejudices and preconceptions. Traveling light, with little baggage and an open mind provides profound rewards.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino del Norte June 20 (2018) Irun to Santiago
#46
I agree about the amount of weight being carried can affect one's performance and enjoyment of walking the Camino... or anywhere. In this specific case, as you have said, 10kg of weight (22 pounds) is a huge, honkin', hairy load for a Camino.

But I am just as concerned that the Osprey Farpoint is not the type of backpack I would want anyone to wear for carrying a load during long hours over multiple days and weeks. It is not designed for that purpose. That fact will be just as significant as the 10 kg weight load; and then when one combines the two factors --- a heavy weight, and a non backpacking pack --- then that becomes a compounded formula for discomfort and energy drain.

In general, and apart from this specific backpack in this thread --- Osprey Farpoint --- a 70 liter backpack for Camino use doesn't bother me. Given the right choice in gear, it can still be a base for an ultralight or lightweight total pack weight. Of course, a 70 liter backpack for the Camino might have a lot of leftover, empty space after being packed up. Though considered more pack than is needed for a Camino application, I can't say that, despite the 'overkill' that my advice would be for someone to spend more money to buy a new, smaller pack if they already owned a large backpack.
Thanks for your reply. Quick question. Can you elaborate on why the Osprey Farpoint is not the type of backpack you would want to carry? Just for sake of discussion let's say I had an Osprey Exos 48L of 8kg total weight or the Osprey Farpoint 70L also at 8kg. Is the design of the straps, waist belt etc. between the two packs going to make a huge difference? and if so; what are those differences. My dilemma is that I really need the day pack which is offered on the Farpoint 70 but not on the other backpacking only type packs as I'm going to be traveling for 3 months. (7 weeks on the camino) and need the flexibility of checking in the Farpoint and detaching the day pack when flying or just a simple jaunt around town where I can leave the main pack in my room etc. This all being said, if the design aspects are going to be deal breakers (as in not being able to finished the camino) I'll buy a new pack.
I've done a few practice walks with a fully loaded Farpoint and it was heavy at 10kg so I shaved off 2kg and found it to be OK. I get the whole discussion on less is more weight-wise, but after all these great insights I'm still a bit confused as to why a certain pack design is better than others. Thanks!
 

davebugg

DustOff: "When I have your wounded."
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances...
Sept. 2017: SJPdP to Burgos
Sept./Oct. 2018: SJPdP to Santiago de Compostela
#47
Hi, tabibito....
The frame, padding, shoulder harness and waist belt in the Farpoint are meant for light use. It is meant to be a backpack style equivalent of a soldier's duffle bag... only with a lot better organization capability.

With backpacking packs, there are also more fine adjustments to the shoulder harness in order to get the load of the pack more 'centered' to your back; the same for the waist belt adjustments. While the Farpoint has the ability to grossly adjust the fit, there are additional strap connections, like load lifters and belt tensioners, in regular backpacks that really fine-tune the fit.

As a travel pack goes, the Farpoint is a lot better than some. But it is designed to temporarily carry loads comfortably over shorter distances than is the case with the design of a regular hiking backpack which is designed for long days "in the saddle" for lots of days and weeks in a row. :).

There are any number of ultra light and strong daypacks which can be rolled up into the size of a softball and stored in a backpack. I use one from Sea To Summit which weighs in at around 1.5 ounces. I keep it in a corner of a side pocket on my backpack. At the end of the Camino day, it comes out of my backpack and is used to carry stuff around town.

8 kg of weight is a lot of weight. Perhaps, if you would like, forum members could help make suggestions to help pare that total weight down if you post a list of what you are bringing while walking Camino. I don't want to presume, but that is about the weight I would have with a 5 day food and fuel supply, clothing, sleeping gear, tent, etc while on a wilderness backpacking trip.

Things may be a bit confusing, but you are dealing with a learning curve while trying to keep track of a lot of details. I can dig that :).

Let us know how we can help; if needed, we are here for you, Pilgrim.
 

trecile

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Aug - Sept (2016) SJPDP - Finisterre
July - Aug (2017) SJPDP - Muxia - Finisterre
#48
Thanks for your reply. Quick question. Can you elaborate on why the Osprey Farpoint is not the type of backpack you would want to carry? Just for sake of discussion let's say I had an Osprey Exos 48L of 8kg total weight or the Osprey Farpoint 70L also at 8kg. Is the design of the straps, waist belt etc. between the two packs going to make a huge difference? and if so; what are those differences. My dilemma is that I really need the day pack which is offered on the Farpoint 70 but not on the other backpacking only type packs as I'm going to be traveling for 3 months. (7 weeks on the camino) and need the flexibility of checking in the Farpoint and detaching the day pack when flying or just a simple jaunt around town where I can leave the main pack in my room etc. This all being said, if the design aspects are going to be deal breakers (as in not being able to finished the camino) I'll buy a new pack.
I've done a few practice walks with a fully loaded Farpoint and it was heavy at 10kg so I shaved off 2kg and found it to be OK. I get the whole discussion on less is more weight-wise, but after all these great insights I'm still a bit confused as to why a certain pack design is better than others. Thanks!
Since you will be doing other travel besides the Camino have you thought of a two bag solution? A proper backpacking backpack with your Camino things, and a small duffel or roller bag with you other travel clothing. You can mail the second bag to Santiago, where it will be waiting for you when you complete your Camino.
 

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