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Best backpacking pack for CF October 2018

Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (September, 2018)
#1
Which of the following backpacking packs would you recommend for Camino Frances from late September through October?

Source: https://www.switchbacktravel.com/best-backpacking-backpacks

1. Osprey Atmos AG [50]

1530970243863.png

Weight: [4 lbs.]
Fabric: Nylon (100D x 630D)
Capacity: [50L]
What we like: Close fit and fantastic back ventilation.
What we don’t: No zipper to the main compartment.

The Atmos AG is our top backpacking pack for 2018 by deftly balancing all of our priorities: comfort, organization, durability, and weight. The attention grabber is the suspended “Anti-Gravity” backpanel, but we like the Atmos because it’s a lot more than just an advancement in pack ventilation. We’ve found it easy to dial in a good fit, the pocket design is thoughtfully laid out (although we’d prefer zippered access to the main compartment), and it’s tough enough for rough treatment while staying under 5 pounds. Overall, the Atmos is an extremely well rounded design that works great for anything from quick overnight trips to extended jaunts into the backcountry.
As mentioned above, the most prominent feature on the Atmos AG is its mesh backpanel. Bucking the trend of protruding foam panels that contact your back in certain areas—back, lumbar, and hips—the Atmos AG has a single large ventilated panel that covers the entire back and hipbelt. The result is best-in-class ventilation, and the flexible mesh conforms to your back and waist very well. Impressively, the design manages to carry heavy gear comfortably—we’ve had it loaded with over 45 pounds on more than one occasion—although the mesh is a little less supportive than the foam on a pack like the Gregory Baltoro below. Those looking to shave weight certainly can do so with one of ultralight choices below, but it’s tough to beat the feature set and build quality of the Atmos AG...

2. Gossamer Gear Mariposa 60

1530970243975.png

Weight: 2 lbs. 0.7 oz.
Fabric: Nylon (100D & 200D)
Capacity: 60L
What we like: Impressive durability, capacity, and comfort for the weight.
What we don’t: Foam backpanel bunches up.

A number of ultralight packs are designed for thru-hikers and minimalists, but our top pick is the Gossamer Gear Mariposa 60. Most impressive is how few tradeoffs there are in using this 2-pound 3-ounce bag (ours has a large frame and medium hipbelt). While brands like Hyperlite and Zpacks use Dyneema fabric (formerly cuben fiber) to cut weight, Gossamer Gear uses a light yet tough Robic nylon. Unlike our Dyneema packs, we’ve had no issues with punctures or wear from the Mariposa. It’s still smart to take extra care when bushwhacking or setting the pack down on rocks, but so far it’s the least compromised ultralight pack we’ve tested.
Organization on the Mariposa is excellent. In addition to the large main compartment, the pack has a total of 7 external pockets of varying sizes, making it easy to distribute your gear. Comfort-wise, we’ve found the Mariposa has sufficient padding and plenty of support right up to its 35-pound maximum rating. If we were to change one thing, it would be the backpanel: the removable foam padding is prone to bunching and we prefer to leave it behind. Otherwise, the Mariposa stands out as the most complete ultralight pack on the market and a great option for backpackers looking to cut weight...

3. Osprey Levity [45]

1530970244081.png

Weight: 1 pound 12 oz.
Fabric: Nylon (210D x 200D & 30D)
Capacity: [45L]
What we like: Super light without being overly compromised.
What we don’t: Can’t carry more than 30 pounds comfortably.

Osprey’s Exos has been their leading ultralight pack model for years, but the all-new, sub-2-pound men's Levity and women's Lumina is on a whole new level. We recently took the 60-liter model to Utah’s Canyon Country and it quickly stood out. Despite weighing 12 ounces less than the Exos, the Levity never felt delicate or compromised. You get a real metal frame that provides a solid structure, excellent ventilation with the suspended mesh backpanel, and the 210 x 200-denier nylon covering a good portion of the pack was plenty durable when brushing up against red rock. All told, we were so impressed with the Levity that’s its already overtaken the Exos on our list for 2018.
What are the shortcomings of the Osprey Levity 60? We carried a little under 30 pounds on our trip and were comfortable, but it was clear that the thin padding along the shoulder straps and hipbelt couldn’t handle much more weight. Further, the pack body and sides of the lid use a 30-denier silnylon, which is so thin that it’s see-through (we haven’t put any holes in it, however). But the Levity’s combination of functional organization, excellent build quality, and low weight quickly should make it a top choice among thru-hikers and other ultralight backcountry adventurers...
 

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J Willhaus

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
24 May 2016- 14 July CF
Hospitalero, Zamora Dec 15-31, 2017
#2
Which of the following backpacking packs would you recommend for Camino Frances from late September through October?

Source: https://www.switchbacktravel.com/best-backpacking-backpacks

1. Osprey Atmos AG [50]

View attachment 44377

Weight: [4 lbs.]
Fabric: Nylon (100D x 630D)
Capacity: [50L]
What we like: Close fit and fantastic back ventilation.
What we don’t: No zipper to the main compartment.

The Atmos AG is our top backpacking pack for 2018 by deftly balancing all of our priorities: comfort, organization, durability, and weight. The attention grabber is the suspended “Anti-Gravity” backpanel, but we like the Atmos because it’s a lot more than just an advancement in pack ventilation. We’ve found it easy to dial in a good fit, the pocket design is thoughtfully laid out (although we’d prefer zippered access to the main compartment), and it’s tough enough for rough treatment while staying under 5 pounds. Overall, the Atmos is an extremely well rounded design that works great for anything from quick overnight trips to extended jaunts into the backcountry.
As mentioned above, the most prominent feature on the Atmos AG is its mesh backpanel. Bucking the trend of protruding foam panels that contact your back in certain areas—back, lumbar, and hips—the Atmos AG has a single large ventilated panel that covers the entire back and hipbelt. The result is best-in-class ventilation, and the flexible mesh conforms to your back and waist very well. Impressively, the design manages to carry heavy gear comfortably—we’ve had it loaded with over 45 pounds on more than one occasion—although the mesh is a little less supportive than the foam on a pack like the Gregory Baltoro below. Those looking to shave weight certainly can do so with one of ultralight choices below, but it’s tough to beat the feature set and build quality of the Atmos AG...

2. Gossamer Gear Mariposa 60

View attachment 44378

Weight: 2 lbs. 0.7 oz.
Fabric: Nylon (100D & 200D)
Capacity: 60L
What we like: Impressive durability, capacity, and comfort for the weight.
What we don’t: Foam backpanel bunches up.

A number of ultralight packs are designed for thru-hikers and minimalists, but our top pick is the Gossamer Gear Mariposa 60. Most impressive is how few tradeoffs there are in using this 2-pound 3-ounce bag (ours has a large frame and medium hipbelt). While brands like Hyperlite and Zpacks use Dyneema fabric (formerly cuben fiber) to cut weight, Gossamer Gear uses a light yet tough Robic nylon. Unlike our Dyneema packs, we’ve had no issues with punctures or wear from the Mariposa. It’s still smart to take extra care when bushwhacking or setting the pack down on rocks, but so far it’s the least compromised ultralight pack we’ve tested.
Organization on the Mariposa is excellent. In addition to the large main compartment, the pack has a total of 7 external pockets of varying sizes, making it easy to distribute your gear. Comfort-wise, we’ve found the Mariposa has sufficient padding and plenty of support right up to its 35-pound maximum rating. If we were to change one thing, it would be the backpanel: the removable foam padding is prone to bunching and we prefer to leave it behind. Otherwise, the Mariposa stands out as the most complete ultralight pack on the market and a great option for backpackers looking to cut weight...

3. Osprey Levity [45]

View attachment 44379

Weight: 1 pound 12 oz.
Fabric: Nylon (210D x 200D & 30D)
Capacity: [45L]
What we like: Super light without being overly compromised.
What we don’t: Can’t carry more than 30 pounds comfortably.

Osprey’s Exos has been their leading ultralight pack model for years, but the all-new, sub-2-pound men's Levity and women's Lumina is on a whole new level. We recently took the 60-liter model to Utah’s Canyon Country and it quickly stood out. Despite weighing 12 ounces less than the Exos, the Levity never felt delicate or compromised. You get a real metal frame that provides a solid structure, excellent ventilation with the suspended mesh backpanel, and the 210 x 200-denier nylon covering a good portion of the pack was plenty durable when brushing up against red rock. All told, we were so impressed with the Levity that’s its already overtaken the Exos on our list for 2018.
What are the shortcomings of the Osprey Levity 60? We carried a little under 30 pounds on our trip and were comfortable, but it was clear that the thin padding along the shoulder straps and hipbelt couldn’t handle much more weight. Further, the pack body and sides of the lid use a 30-denier silnylon, which is so thin that it’s see-through (we haven’t put any holes in it, however). But the Levity’s combination of functional organization, excellent build quality, and low weight quickly should make it a top choice among thru-hikers and other ultralight backcountry adventurers...
All nice bags, but I would buy the one that fits me the best. Go to a store where the staff will measure you, then load up bags with some weight and then help you with the strap fit. That is really the most important factor. Also resist the urge to take a larger pack like the 60 or 50 liter. You will be more likely to fill it up and make it heavier than you want. Although it is easy to buy something online it is better to go to a store where someone will help you with the fit.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Via Francigena (Zwolle, Netherlands to Rome) 2013
Camino Vienna to Santiago de Compostela 2018
#3
Just like with your question on what shoes to get, the answer is: Go to the store. Fit what seems ok. Everybody is different and that is why there are so many bags/shoes in the world.
What helped me though is to know what I want to bring with me, so I also know what backpack size I need to buy.
 

Morgan Holmes

Every day is a path to walk.
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances to Santiago from SJPDP (2014); Sahagún to Santiago (2018).
#4
New member... commercial interest?

At any rate, I'd never take a super-light-weight pack on Camino because it's too stripped down. I need a place for rain gear (bottom compartment), a place for meds and first aid (lid), a place for money and ID (inner lid pouch). I want places to hang the shoes I'm not wearing (I do sandals in the Meseta and boots in the mountains), places to secure my poles, and at least two places for water bottles, plus a sleeve for a water bladder (even if I don't drink all of the bladder, the cold water in the sleeve helps keep my back cool). I want a frame of some sort to allow venting between my back and the pack.

At far less money, and with the ability for many size adjustments, and a nice, wide hip strap, the Osprey Kyte 36 is my favourite for Camino. Why would I pay roughly $100 more to have fewer features?

as they say, by the end of a full Camino Frances, one *is* the pack; one is not wearing it.
 

davebugg

DustOff: "When I have your wounded."
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances...
Sept. 2017: SJPdP to Burgos
Sept./Oct. 2018: SJPdP to Santiago de Compostela
#5
The Gossamer Gear Mariposa is the pack I use. I first tried it when was hired to gear test it when it was in pre-production, and found I really liked it. It weighs under two pounds with a couple of modifications, I used it on part of my Pacific Crest Trail thru-hike and Colorado Trail thru-hike. Its main bag is about 40 liters, which can become 50 liters with the extended collar. The fabric is waterproof, but not the seams; although for light rain it is fine. I have used it on last year's Camino, and will do so again this September/October, after I make use of it for a few hundred miles of backpacking in the Cascades this summer.

I will also point out that the back panel -- which is NOT the internal frame of the pack --- was changed. It is now a very comfortable soft, open mesh style which has a bit more rigidity to it, but is still extremely comfortable against the back. It is also highly breathable. Plus, it can be removed quickly and used as a sit pad when taking a rest stop and wanting to avoid sitting directly on the ground.

The pockets on the hip belt are the easiest to open of any I've used in other packs. I keep a Zpacks poncho in one of the side pockets and easily reach it if needed, so it is quick to put the poncho on and to take it off.

Also, I think you can pick one up for 20% off today online.
 
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davebugg

DustOff: "When I have your wounded."
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances...
Sept. 2017: SJPdP to Burgos
Sept./Oct. 2018: SJPdP to Santiago de Compostela
#7
. . . . . . . At any rate, I'd never take a super-light-weight pack on Camino because it's too stripped down.
That used to be the case, but not anymore. See my post about the Gossamer Gear Mariposa. It definitely meets all of the criteria 'must haves', and then some :) The same is true for a lot of manufacturers nowadays, especially the euphemistically described 'cottage manufacturers'. :)
 

davebugg

DustOff: "When I have your wounded."
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances...
Sept. 2017: SJPdP to Burgos
Sept./Oct. 2018: SJPdP to Santiago de Compostela
#8
As to fitting a backpack, the volume or carrying capacity of a pack is not the same thing as that pack's size. Size in a backpack is not based on the "volume" that the pack can carry, it is based on the "length" of the frame. It is also about whether the shoulder harness feels good, because the actual shape of the shoulder straps determine if they will be comfortable with your body shape.

It is vital, for a comfortable fit and so that the pack can be properly adjusted, to have the proper measurements made of one's spine length. Hipbelt sizing is pretty straightforward, and many quality packs now have the ability to swap out different sized hip belts.

It is actually quite easy to take the necessary measurements. Having someone help for a couple of minutes makes it a snap. Thousands of folks have successfully purchased packs online, and almost all of the online backpack retailers have easy exchange or return policies should that be necessary. I would also point out that purchasing from a brick-n-mortar store is no guarantee of a proper fit or of comfort. I have had numerous experiences with people who were given 'expert' advice by a store employee, only to come to me for help as to why their pack didn't feel really comfortable or 'right'. A trip to watch the REI returns counter will underscore that point. :)

Some manufacturers offer choices of an "S" strap shape or a "J" shape. The names reflect the actual shape of the strap. The "J" strap is the traditional shape. As women became a bigger part of the backpacking market, one of the most common complaints was that the "J" strap would rub and press against the bosom, which is not a problem for most men. The "S" shape helps eliminate, or at least markedly reduces, that issue. When fitting and trying out a pack, you can see how this might be an important thing to pay attention to. Not too surprising, there are men who prefer the "S" shape as well because of having a larger chest size. Some manufacturers have combined and modified the two shapes into a sort of 'hybrid'.

Here are a couple of videos that may help with the above information. Ignore the product references; the information applies no matter what pack is being considered.


 
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Morgan Holmes

Every day is a path to walk.
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances to Santiago from SJPDP (2014); Sahagún to Santiago (2018).
#9
That used to be the case, but not anymore. See my post about the Gossamer Gear Mariposa. It definitely meets all of the criteria 'must haves', and then some :) The same is true for a lot of manufacturers nowadays, especially the euphemistically described 'cottage manufacturers'. :)
Not the point... I compared the recommended Osprey in the OP, to my Osprey Kyte. The recommended one is $130 USD more than I paid for my 36l Kyte and has fewer features.
 

Morgan Holmes

Every day is a path to walk.
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances to Santiago from SJPDP (2014); Sahagún to Santiago (2018).
#10
As to fitting a backpack, the volume or carrying capacity of a pack is not the same thing as that pack's size. Size in a backpack is not based on the "volume" that the pack can carry, it is based on the "length" of the frame. It is also about whether the shoulder harness feels good, because the actual shape of the shoulder straps determine if they will be comfortable with your body shape.

I think you are addressing my post so I will say that I already know this. My labelled "36L" Osprey is actually 34 L carrying capacity because mine is a size SMALL. And within that there are specific *sizing* options. I've been professionally fitted, and my bag is for fieldwork as well as for travelling.

Your notes may be of interest to other pilgrims, but the straw man is unnecessary.

I did not claim that volume and size are the same thing. I said that the 36L Osprey Kyte is my favourite (I also have an Auros 45, and ditched a Deuter 25). I then noted that part of the attraction of *that model* was the many size adjustments possible. On camino when layering can mean the difference of a few inches, when variable pack weight can require adjustments through the day as one drains one's water supply, having a "fit on the fly" belt, the load lifters at the shoulders, and the changeable spine-length in the back panel all matter to me.
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF(x4), Fisterra/Muxía(x2), VdlP, Jerusalem, VF, Walsingham,
C inglés. 2019? Who knows! ;-)
#11
Which of the following backpacking packs would you recommend for Camino Frances from late September through October?

Source: https://www.switchbacktravel.com/best-backpacking-backpacks

1. Osprey Atmos AG [50]

View attachment 44377

Weight: [4 lbs.]
Fabric: Nylon (100D x 630D)
Capacity: [50L]
What we like: Close fit and fantastic back ventilation.
What we don’t: No zipper to the main compartment.

The Atmos AG is our top backpacking pack for 2018 by deftly balancing all of our priorities: comfort, organization, durability, and weight. The attention grabber is the suspended “Anti-Gravity” backpanel, but we like the Atmos because it’s a lot more than just an advancement in pack ventilation. We’ve found it easy to dial in a good fit, the pocket design is thoughtfully laid out (although we’d prefer zippered access to the main compartment), and it’s tough enough for rough treatment while staying under 5 pounds. Overall, the Atmos is an extremely well rounded design that works great for anything from quick overnight trips to extended jaunts into the backcountry.
As mentioned above, the most prominent feature on the Atmos AG is its mesh backpanel. Bucking the trend of protruding foam panels that contact your back in certain areas—back, lumbar, and hips—the Atmos AG has a single large ventilated panel that covers the entire back and hipbelt. The result is best-in-class ventilation, and the flexible mesh conforms to your back and waist very well. Impressively, the design manages to carry heavy gear comfortably—we’ve had it loaded with over 45 pounds on more than one occasion—although the mesh is a little less supportive than the foam on a pack like the Gregory Baltoro below. Those looking to shave weight certainly can do so with one of ultralight choices below, but it’s tough to beat the feature set and build quality of the Atmos AG...

2. Gossamer Gear Mariposa 60

View attachment 44378

Weight: 2 lbs. 0.7 oz.
Fabric: Nylon (100D & 200D)
Capacity: 60L
What we like: Impressive durability, capacity, and comfort for the weight.
What we don’t: Foam backpanel bunches up.

A number of ultralight packs are designed for thru-hikers and minimalists, but our top pick is the Gossamer Gear Mariposa 60. Most impressive is how few tradeoffs there are in using this 2-pound 3-ounce bag (ours has a large frame and medium hipbelt). While brands like Hyperlite and Zpacks use Dyneema fabric (formerly cuben fiber) to cut weight, Gossamer Gear uses a light yet tough Robic nylon. Unlike our Dyneema packs, we’ve had no issues with punctures or wear from the Mariposa. It’s still smart to take extra care when bushwhacking or setting the pack down on rocks, but so far it’s the least compromised ultralight pack we’ve tested.
Organization on the Mariposa is excellent. In addition to the large main compartment, the pack has a total of 7 external pockets of varying sizes, making it easy to distribute your gear. Comfort-wise, we’ve found the Mariposa has sufficient padding and plenty of support right up to its 35-pound maximum rating. If we were to change one thing, it would be the backpanel: the removable foam padding is prone to bunching and we prefer to leave it behind. Otherwise, the Mariposa stands out as the most complete ultralight pack on the market and a great option for backpackers looking to cut weight...

3. Osprey Levity [45]

View attachment 44379

Weight: 1 pound 12 oz.
Fabric: Nylon (210D x 200D & 30D)
Capacity: [45L]
What we like: Super light without being overly compromised.
What we don’t: Can’t carry more than 30 pounds comfortably.

Osprey’s Exos has been their leading ultralight pack model for years, but the all-new, sub-2-pound men's Levity and women's Lumina is on a whole new level. We recently took the 60-liter model to Utah’s Canyon Country and it quickly stood out. Despite weighing 12 ounces less than the Exos, the Levity never felt delicate or compromised. You get a real metal frame that provides a solid structure, excellent ventilation with the suspended mesh backpanel, and the 210 x 200-denier nylon covering a good portion of the pack was plenty durable when brushing up against red rock. All told, we were so impressed with the Levity that’s its already overtaken the Exos on our list for 2018.
What are the shortcomings of the Osprey Levity 60? We carried a little under 30 pounds on our trip and were comfortable, but it was clear that the thin padding along the shoulder straps and hipbelt couldn’t handle much more weight. Further, the pack body and sides of the lid use a 30-denier silnylon, which is so thin that it’s see-through (we haven’t put any holes in it, however). But the Levity’s combination of functional organization, excellent build quality, and low weight quickly should make it a top choice among thru-hikers and other ultralight backcountry adventurers...

Impossible to say, we don’t know which one will fit you best. Just try them:
I needed a small ‘day pack’ for local walks round here and I knew what I wanted and the size (from looking at them online). Nope, didn’t work. After trying them on in the shop, I settled for a different model.
Sorry I am not more helpful.
 

davebugg

DustOff: "When I have your wounded."
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances...
Sept. 2017: SJPdP to Burgos
Sept./Oct. 2018: SJPdP to Santiago de Compostela
#12
Morgan Holmes, I apologize for being obtuse, but I am confused.

1. What 'straw man'? I have never intended to make false assumptions or non sequitur comments; if so I apologize.

2. I was not addressing your post with regard to pack sizing. Again, my apologies if I caused offense. This was a re-post of information I have provided before, and it was meant for the OP since he is shopping for a backpack. My intention was to help him, not antagonize you. I am sorry for creating a muisunderstanding.

3. I agree with you that on some backpack models there is the ability to tweak the frame length in between sizes. And some manufacturers, like Osprey, have adopted a hybrid sizing --- instead of just S, M, L, XL, they have gone to S/M, M/L, L/XL. Which is designed to allow the frame adjustment to which you have referred. A number of manufacturers have such a system.

As a professional gear tester for a lot of manufacturers, and as someone who has professionally fitted backpacks, along with other gear needs for climbers and backpackers, you are correct that attention to detail is important for a good fit with a backpack. A professional is an option, although but these days, with proper guidance, it is relatively easy for most people to also do it themselves. I would also make the uninitiated aware that the level of knowledge by staff with a store, even ones like REI or EMS, is variable and may not be at the most competent level. The returns counter demonstrates that fact pretty sufficiently :)

4. Out of curiosity, which backpack(s) are the ones which you find lacking in the features which you prefer, or is it just that your Osprey has all the features of the others, but at a lower cost? Of course, one should use the pack which meets their needs which means that I would not presume to say otherwise about your personal preferences.

Again, any offense was not meant and I apologize for inadvertently doing so.
 
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ksam

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Portuguese '08, Frances '11, del Norte '14, Invierno '16, Ingles '17, Primitivo October 2018
#13
Back your way into your pack or another way of working it out! Find out first...what size pack (torso length) you need. Collect all your bits and bobs...including what ever your sleeping equip will be (liner, bag, blanket....) then put that into your stuff sacks and or plastic bags etc etc.....NOW go find the smallest possible bag that will fit your gear!!

(I learned this from someone else disaster just prior to their first walk. They had all the gear and finally put it all together two days before leaving for the Camino, only to find...it didn't all fit. Speed drive to nearest outdoor gear shop and buy a new bag. Now leaving on their trip anxious and edgy with an unknown, untested piece of equipment!! Not a fun way to begin.)

So, when I decided to leave my beloved and overly large, but way comfy Osprey Atmos 65 behind and get me a cute smaller bag, that's what I did! I had all my basics and a few odds and ends, happily in a large canvas tote, as I wandered into my REI to pick up the wonderfully cheap on sale with coupon Osprey Talon 33 that I'd ordered. I had decided on pick up at the store because if it didn't fit, it wasn't crossing my threshold. Happily the staff there weren't surprised when I asked to test fit it before leaving the store. About 10 minutes later I walked out with a packed backpack and a big smile! I'd neatly shaved more than two pounds from my pack weight! All my gear was in there including my sleeping bag!

So...happy shopping!! and Buen Camino!
 

Morgan Holmes

Every day is a path to walk.
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances to Santiago from SJPDP (2014); Sahagún to Santiago (2018).
#14
I apologize for being obtuse, but I am confused.

1. What 'straw man'? I have never intended to make false assumptions or non sequitur comments; if so I apologize.

2. I was not addressing your post with regard to pack sizing. Again, my apologies if I caused offense. This was a re-post of information I have provided before, and it was meant for the OP since he is shopping for a backpack. My intention was to help him, not antagonize you. I am sorry for creating a muisunderstanding.

3. I agree with you that on some backpack models there is the ability to tweak the frame length in between sizes. And some manufacturers, like Osprey, have adopted a hybrid sizing...


4. Out of curiosity, which backpack(s) are the ones which you find lacking in the features which you prefer, or is it just that your Osprey has all the features of the others, but at a lower cost? ...

Again, any offense was not meant and I apologize for inadvertently doing so.
Thanks for the clarification... I read yours as a reply to mine because of the quotation of my observations and then the addendum about size vs volume. The "straw man" is the creation of an argument or position that was not taken (an assertion that someone had confused size and volume) as an opportunity to make one's own argument rather than simply starting anew (which can take more time). So, for example, it's important to let people know that size of pack and internal volume are not the same (and, moreover, that the labelled volume may not refer to the actual volume -- as is the case with packs the come in S/M/L etc), but ti did not have to read as though you were correcting a flawed assertion when none had been made in my comments about sizing. I may have misunderstood your intent, but I don't think so.

In response to your question 4, I found the OP's Osprey Levity to be especially unsuitable to the different demands of a Camino walk (or even of my other uses). It simply does not have the compartments I want (as noted above). I am sadly bound to carrying a significant weight in asthma/allergy meds (almost 2 pounds worth!) and they need to be kept as cool as possible and easily accessible. The bottom zippered compartment on my Kyte is perfect for that purpose. Most stripped down daypacks don't have that capacity -- and they are significantly more expensive. The Gossamer in the OP is way too big, and lacks the kind of structure in the compartments that I find really valuable for protecting more delicate tech (phones, tablets, cameras etc).

Every pilgrim will have different needs but I advise caution about going to high price-points to get less adaptability. Most of us don't need anything more than 30 actual litres capacity on Camino.

The only thing that will change about my pack on this trip is that I was able to get the updated Kyte that has a side-access zipper on the main compartment. Very handy for getting to things at the bottom without unpacking the whole thing.

It's important too, to be aware that some lines within some brands are more "tweak able" for sizing, and some less so. I would never get a heat-moulded hip belt, for example, because I drop too much weight on Camino and want more flexibility in the hip belt. I also would never again try a rigid metal frame as my Deuter pack pressed indentations onto my iliac crest even though it had been properly sized for me.

And, yes... absolutely be aware that the people in the shops may know less than the shopper about pack fit and features. In Canada, I've found the most knowledgeable to be at Sail rather than at MEC or at our local specialty outdoors store. And amazingly, the people at Sail will focus on getting you the best value for your money, rather than on trying to extract the most money from you.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances: September 24 - October 31 (2015); February/March (2019)
#15
It's all in the fit. I suggest trying on the packs with a pro. Packs that look great on paper may not feel good on your back. Also, I suggest going with something smaller than what you posted. 35 - 40 liters ought to be fine for the Camino. Many people go with smaller bags. Mine is a 36l Osprey Stratus.
 

davebugg

DustOff: "When I have your wounded."
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances...
Sept. 2017: SJPdP to Burgos
Sept./Oct. 2018: SJPdP to Santiago de Compostela
#16
Thanks for the clarification... I read yours as a reply to mine because of the quotation of my observations and then the addendum about size vs volume. The "straw man" is the creation of an argument or position that was not taken (an assertion that someone had confused size and volume) as an opportunity to make one's own argument rather than simply starting anew (which can take more time). So, for example, it's important to let people know that size of pack and internal volume are not the same (and, moreover, that the labelled volume may not refer to the actual volume -- as is the case with packs the come in S/M/L etc), but ti did not have to read as though you were correcting a flawed assertion when none had been made in my comments about sizing. I may have misunderstood your intent, but I don't think so. . . . . snip
In gentleness let me again clarify that I did not quote you with regards to pack sizing. It is a repost I had made previously; you were not a participant in that thread, so even back then it lacked a connection to you. This repost was a response to the OP, where the next logical step in backpack purchasing process would be to make sure the OP was adequately aware, if he didn't already possess the information, about proper fitting of his backpack. That you and I are both posting to the same thread will likely create a probability of 'crossing paths' with regard to subject matter; and I can see where an inadvertent conclusion could occur that I may have been addressing your post.

I have taken pains to clear all of this up. If I do address someone's post, I always quote it in my reply; I do not obfuscate it with rhetorical shenanigans. It's not my style, nor is respectful to the poster. I do find it distressful that you reject my apologies, and with the statement --- ("So, for example, it's important to let people know that size of pack and internal volume are not the same (and, moreover, that the labelled volume may not refer to the actual volume -- as is the case with packs the come in S/M/L etc), but ti did not have to read as though you were correcting a flawed assertion when none had been made in my comments about sizing. I may have misunderstood your intent, but I don't think so.") --- you have, in effect, stated that I have lied and am being deceitful. I do not know why you would prefer to believe such a thing above any any other explanation, but I am still hopeful that you will re-examine what I have posted in this thread and then re-evaluate your conclusions.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Primitivo,2017,Argonne and salvador,sept.2019
#17
I took the osprey exos 38 on the primitivo last fall. I hike with a similar 58 in the mountains for years. The 38 was plenty large enough and I saw lots of them on the primitivo.
 

davebugg

DustOff: "When I have your wounded."
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances...
Sept. 2017: SJPdP to Burgos
Sept./Oct. 2018: SJPdP to Santiago de Compostela
#19
Sorry to disappoint @Iuri Colares , I cannot recommend any of these.

1) too heavy

2) no frame

Be pleased to elaborate if anyone asks.
Hi, Alwyn...

I just want to gently note that all of those packs do have frames, and the frames work well within their stated load weight limits. The internal frames on a lot of modern lightweight packs use composite and specially designed fiberglass and thinner but stronger aluminum frames and stays which function extremely well, but are much less noticeable than the ones used on packs even three years ago. Some manufacturers still use the older materials today, just as they are still using the heavier materials for the bags, when far lighter yet tougher fabrics are being used by the 'cottage' manufacturers. The resulting weight savings overall is incredibly significant while the strength, comfort, and useability have, for the most part, increased

I do agree that the Osprey Atmos is too heavy for my consideration, although it can be a very comfortable pack to carry.

The Mariposa is a lightweight pack which weighs under 2 pounds / 0.91 kg; with a couple of simple modifications, without the mods it will weigh a few ounces more. It is exceptionally comfortable with loads up to 35 pounds. It is my goto for backpacking right now, and is a delight when I used it on Camino.

The Levity that I tested for Osprey during its initial release is fine for Camino load weights, but I never could 'ignore' it with loads much past 18 to 20 pounds / 8 - 9 kg. The Levity is Osprey's attempt to target the ultralight thru-hiker, like those on the Pacific Crest Trail and the Appalachian Trail. Right now, that market is dominated by the 'cottage' manufacturers. In my report to Osprey I noted the insufficiency at normal Pacific Crest Trail loadouts -- which for an ultralight hiker averages between 15 to 25 pounds / 6.8 to 11.5 kg of total pack weight -- of both the shoulder harness and the hip belt systems. It seems that they haven't done anything to modify that issue.

I note that other packs by some quality manufacturers like ULA, Zpacks, Hyperlight Mountain Gear, Granite Gear, and others are not mentioned at all, but make some really good lightweight packs.
 

J F Gregory

Portugal Coast - March 2019
Camino(s) past & future
March-April,2016 finished
March 2019 the Portugal Coastal Route
#20
I took the osprey exos 38 on the primitivo last fall. I hike with a similar 58 in the mountains for years. The 38 was plenty large enough and I saw lots of them on the primitivo.
I have found the Exos 38 carries everything I need also. I use it also for packing into the Olympic and Cascade mountains regularly.
 
Camino(s) past & future
please see signature
#22
I just want to gently note that all of those packs do have frames
@davebugg , kia ora (greetings, good health, thank you)

At one manuacturer's on line shop I noted internal removable framing strips. When I started training I tried packs with similar arrangements available retail here and found, for me, they were glorified "kidney bashers" and did not keep the back of pack away from my back. This lead, for me, to a lot of heat build up and the need to carefully place the contents. And consequential significant discomfort on both counts.

Also these packs tended to weigh 1.5 to 2.0 kg. This seemed just too big a proportion of my total target weight of < 7.0 kg (including water, tablet, clothes, everything)

My search for a light-weight full frame pack took me, eventually, to zPacks. At about 600 gram it has been with me for over three years and about 4,000 km (about half in training) and still holding up. zPacks also provided a drySac for internal use but generous enough to envelope the pack for check-in baggage (and even put a carry handle on it!!).

So, my comment was not a casual throw away. Rather, it came from more than 50 years of backpack use.

Kia kaha (take care, be strong)
 

davebugg

DustOff: "When I have your wounded."
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances...
Sept. 2017: SJPdP to Burgos
Sept./Oct. 2018: SJPdP to Santiago de Compostela
#23
@davebugg , kia ora (greetings, good health, thank you)

At one manuacturer's on line shop I noted internal removable framing strips. When I started training I tried packs with similar arrangements available retail here and found, for me, they were glorified "kidney bashers" and did not keep the back of pack away from my back. This lead, for me, to a lot of heat build up and the need to carefully place the contents. And consequential significant discomfort on both counts.

Also these packs tended to weigh 1.5 to 2.0 kg. This seemed just too big a proportion of my total target weight of < 7.0 kg (including water, tablet, clothes, everything)

My search for a light-weight full frame pack took me, eventually, to zPacks. At about 600 gram it has been with me for over three years and about 4,000 km (about half in training) and still holding up. zPacks also provided a drySac for internal use but generous enough to envelope the pack for check-in baggage (and even put a carry handle on it!!).

So, my comment was not a casual throw away. Rather, it came from more than 50 years of backpack use.

Kia kaha (take care, be strong)
Hi, Alwyn....

:) I can well understand your dislike of the pack style you tried; I wouldn't care for that arrangement either. I have gear tested two out of the three backpacks for the manufacturers, so I have a lot of hands on experience with them. The third pack, the Gossamer Gear Mariposa, has been my personal backpack for the last three years. What I can assure you of is this: the backpacks in question have no similarity to what you have described as your "kidney basher" (I love that term :) ).

Thankfully, none of the backpacks are remotely similar to the system which you describe. The packs do not rest on the back directly and all have ventilated back panels, which means that none of the packs requires any special packing arrangement just to keep the pack's contents off of the back. They all have full internal frame systems that are effective at transferring the load to the waist belt and works effectively with the shoulder harness systems.

The frames are full frames, not simple 'stays'. What may be a bit confusing is the fact that in the Mariposa, for example, the frame can be removed in order to replace it, or to reconfigure the suspension system. Most of the newer generation of packs allow the same thing. Being removable, however, does not affect the full frame functionality. If you were able to see the frames, you would be better able to observe how substantial they are. They not only are lighter in weight, but are much stronger than previous internal frame structures due to the new metals or composites, like carbon fiber, which are utilized.

Structurally, your Zpacks backpack is no different in the function of its suspension system from that of the three backpacks in question, although the design form of the Zpacks frame is positioned differently so that its back panel 'arc' can be made adjustable. The Osprey's pack's internal frames have the back panel tensioned away from the back, also, but the amount of adjustment is set and is not adjustable because it is internal. If you look at these pack's back panels up close, you observe that there is an air gap between the back of the pack and the open mesh panel, just as with the Zpacks.

The Gossamer Gear Gorilla and Mariposa packs approach the air gap between one's back and the backpack a bit differently, but very effectively as well. An open mesh pad fits against the back of the backpack, and is held into place by two long and open horizontal pockets --- one pocket at the top of the bag, and one pocket at the bottom. The pad simply slips into place. Because the sides and top of the frame are internal, the pad provides no real support to the backpack; its sole function is to provide ventilated air space on one's back. However, a side benefit is that it is quick and easy to remove the pad during rest breaks and use it as a 'sit pad' :) . Although I was skeptical about how well the Gossamer Gear backpad panel's ventilation system would work, I found it very comfortable and it kept my Sweaty Back Syndrome to a minimum.

I would also like to mention that I am at a loss as to why there is such a large difference between what you state are these pack's weights, vs what I have personally measured -- as well as what is stated on the websites. Two of the packs weigh under 1 kilogram: my Gossamer Gear Mariposa weighs in at 1.9 pounds (0.86 kg)., and the Osprey Levity 45, which I gear tested for Osprey last year, weighed in at 1.85 pounds (0.83 kg) for the Medium.

Using my Mariposa for last years Camino (and this year's as well) my total pack weight was just shy of 9 pounds (4.1 kg). This year, because I am bringing my new GoPro camera for a video project, I will be adding another 1.5 pounds (0.6 kg) to that total. That is a blessed difference from the PCT, where needing to carry 7 days of food and fuel between supply points, plus my Zpacks tent, air mattress, and a few additional bits and pieces, my total pack weight was 22 pounds (9.9 kg). Without the food and fuel, the base pack weight was around 14.5 pounds (6.6 kg).

I love the light load that the Camino allows me to carry :)

I do agree, though, that the Osprey Atmos is a heavy pack at over 3 pounds.

Your Zpacks backpack is a good pack. I had tried it out when I was putting together my gear for a Pacific Crest Trail thru-hike. For me, it felt too 'odd'; I couldn't warm up to it. A lot of others love it, though, and i saw quite a few on the Pacific Crest Trail, and also when I thru-hiked the Colorado Trail. I have done some gear and clothing testing for Zpacks and own several of their items, like their poncho and their latest generation rain jacket --- although the jacket was given to me (when I finished testing it, Zpacks told me to keep it. I still prefer the poncho, though :) ).

I have to say that I have respect for your experience; it is nice to know a fellow longtime backpacker. :)
 

Vovo

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
future 2019
#24
Hi, Alwyn....

:) I can well understand your dislike of the pack style you tried; I wouldn't care for that arrangement either. I have gear tested two out of the three backpacks for the manufacturers, so I have a lot of hands on experience with them. The third pack, the Gossamer Gear Mariposa, has been my personal backpack for the last three years. What I can assure you of is this: the backpacks in question have no similarity to what you have described as your "kidney basher" (I love that term :) ).

Thankfully, none of the backpacks are remotely similar to the system which you describe. The packs do not rest on the back directly and all have ventilated back panels, which means that none of the packs requires any special packing arrangement just to keep the pack's contents off of the back. They all have full internal frame systems that are effective at transferring the load to the waist belt and works effectively with the shoulder harness systems.

The frames are full frames, not simple 'stays'. What may be a bit confusing is the fact that in the Mariposa, for example, the frame can be removed in order to replace it, or to reconfigure the suspension system. Most of the newer generation of packs allow the same thing. Being removable, however, does not affect the full frame functionality. If you were able to see the frames, you would be better able to observe how substantial they are. They not only are lighter in weight, but are much stronger than previous internal frame structures due to the new metals or composites, like carbon fiber, which are utilized.

Structurally, your Zpacks backpack is no different in the function of its suspension system from that of the three backpacks in question, although the design form of the Zpacks frame is positioned differently so that its back panel 'arc' can be made adjustable. The Osprey's pack's internal frames have the back panel tensioned away from the back, also, but the amount of adjustment is set and is not adjustable because it is internal. If you look at these pack's back panels up close, you observe that there is an air gap between the back of the pack and the open mesh panel, just as with the Zpacks.

The Gossamer Gear Gorilla and Mariposa packs approach the air gap between one's back and the backpack a bit differently, but very effectively as well. An open mesh pad fits against the back of the backpack, and is held into place by two long and open horizontal pockets --- one pocket at the top of the bag, and one pocket at the bottom. The pad simply slips into place. Because the sides and top of the frame are internal, the pad provides no real support to the backpack; its sole function is to provide ventilated air space on one's back. However, a side benefit is that it is quick and easy to remove the pad during rest breaks and use it as a 'sit pad' :) . Although I was skeptical about how well the Gossamer Gear backpad panel's ventilation system would work, I found it very comfortable and it kept my Sweaty Back Syndrome to a minimum.

I would also like to mention that I am at a loss as to why there is such a large difference between what you state are these pack's weights, vs what I have personally measured -- as well as what is stated on the websites. Two of the packs weigh under 1 kilogram: my Gossamer Gear Mariposa weighs in at 1.9 pounds (0.86 kg)., and the Osprey Levity 45, which I gear tested for Osprey last year, weighed in at 1.85 pounds (0.83 kg) for the Medium.

Using my Mariposa for last years Camino (and this year's as well) my total pack weight was just shy of 9 pounds (4.1 kg). This year, because I am bringing my new GoPro camera for a video project, I will be adding another 1.5 pounds (0.6 kg) to that total. That is a blessed difference from the PCT, where needing to carry 7 days of food and fuel between supply points, plus my Zpacks tent, air mattress, and a few additional bits and pieces, my total pack weight was 22 pounds (9.9 kg). Without the food and fuel, the base pack weight was around 14.5 pounds (6.6 kg).

I love the light load that the Camino allows me to carry :)

I do agree, though, that the Osprey Atmos is a heavy pack at over 3 pounds.

Your Zpacks backpack is a good pack. I had tried it out when I was putting together my gear for a Pacific Crest Trail thru-hike. For me, it felt too 'odd'; I couldn't warm up to it. A lot of others love it, though, and i saw quite a few on the Pacific Crest Trail, and also when I thru-hiked the Colorado Trail. I have done some gear and clothing testing for Zpacks and own several of their items, like their poncho and their latest generation rain jacket --- although the jacket was given to me (when I finished testing it, Zpacks told me to keep it. I still prefer the poncho, though :) ).

I have to say that I have respect for your experience; it is nice to know a fellow longtime backpacker. :)
Equipment! The scripture that was read today in every nation was the following from Mark: He summoned the Twelve and began to send them out in pairs giving them authority.....And he instructed them to take nothing for the journey except a staff - no bread, no haversack, no coppers for their purses. They were to wear sandals, but he added, 'Do not take a spare tunic.'..... from Jerusalem Bible Some leap of faith there!
 

Vovo

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
future 2019
#25
Equipment! The scripture that was read today in every nation was the following from Mark: He summoned the Twelve and began to send them out in pairs giving them authority.....And he instructed them to take nothing for the journey except a staff - no bread, no haversack, no coppers for their purses. They were to wear sandals, but he added, 'Do not take a spare tunic.'..... from Jerusalem Bible Some leap of faith there!
Later, I wrote the above reply on scripture and then happened to read the rules of the forum re point system and the avoidance of religion on the forum. Really, religious debate is not intended, I saw the item as a curious point I came upon on this very day and when I was absorbed in planning. As you were......
 

Jeri

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances: March-May (2016)
Del Norte: April-May (2018)
Finisterre: May (2018)
#26
Which of the following backpacking packs would you recommend for Camino Frances from late September through October?

Source: https://www.switchbacktravel.com/best-backpacking-backpacks

1. Osprey Atmos AG [50]

View attachment 44377

Weight: [4 lbs.]
Fabric: Nylon (100D x 630D)
Capacity: [50L]
What we like: Close fit and fantastic back ventilation.
What we don’t: No zipper to the main compartment.

The Atmos AG is our top backpacking pack for 2018 by deftly balancing all of our priorities: comfort, organization, durability, and weight. The attention grabber is the suspended “Anti-Gravity” backpanel, but we like the Atmos because it’s a lot more than just an advancement in pack ventilation. We’ve found it easy to dial in a good fit, the pocket design is thoughtfully laid out (although we’d prefer zippered access to the main compartment), and it’s tough enough for rough treatment while staying under 5 pounds. Overall, the Atmos is an extremely well rounded design that works great for anything from quick overnight trips to extended jaunts into the backcountry.
As mentioned above, the most prominent feature on the Atmos AG is its mesh backpanel. Bucking the trend of protruding foam panels that contact your back in certain areas—back, lumbar, and hips—the Atmos AG has a single large ventilated panel that covers the entire back and hipbelt. The result is best-in-class ventilation, and the flexible mesh conforms to your back and waist very well. Impressively, the design manages to carry heavy gear comfortably—we’ve had it loaded with over 45 pounds on more than one occasion—although the mesh is a little less supportive than the foam on a pack like the Gregory Baltoro below. Those looking to shave weight certainly can do so with one of ultralight choices below, but it’s tough to beat the feature set and build quality of the Atmos AG...

2. Gossamer Gear Mariposa 60

View attachment 44378

Weight: 2 lbs. 0.7 oz.
Fabric: Nylon (100D & 200D)
Capacity: 60L
What we like: Impressive durability, capacity, and comfort for the weight.
What we don’t: Foam backpanel bunches up.

A number of ultralight packs are designed for thru-hikers and minimalists, but our top pick is the Gossamer Gear Mariposa 60. Most impressive is how few tradeoffs there are in using this 2-pound 3-ounce bag (ours has a large frame and medium hipbelt). While brands like Hyperlite and Zpacks use Dyneema fabric (formerly cuben fiber) to cut weight, Gossamer Gear uses a light yet tough Robic nylon. Unlike our Dyneema packs, we’ve had no issues with punctures or wear from the Mariposa. It’s still smart to take extra care when bushwhacking or setting the pack down on rocks, but so far it’s the least compromised ultralight pack we’ve tested.
Organization on the Mariposa is excellent. In addition to the large main compartment, the pack has a total of 7 external pockets of varying sizes, making it easy to distribute your gear. Comfort-wise, we’ve found the Mariposa has sufficient padding and plenty of support right up to its 35-pound maximum rating. If we were to change one thing, it would be the backpanel: the removable foam padding is prone to bunching and we prefer to leave it behind. Otherwise, the Mariposa stands out as the most complete ultralight pack on the market and a great option for backpackers looking to cut weight...

3. Osprey Levity [45]

View attachment 44379

Weight: 1 pound 12 oz.
Fabric: Nylon (210D x 200D & 30D)
Capacity: [45L]
What we like: Super light without being overly compromised.
What we don’t: Can’t carry more than 30 pounds comfortably.

Osprey’s Exos has been their leading ultralight pack model for years, but the all-new, sub-2-pound men's Levity and women's Lumina is on a whole new level. We recently took the 60-liter model to Utah’s Canyon Country and it quickly stood out. Despite weighing 12 ounces less than the Exos, the Levity never felt delicate or compromised. You get a real metal frame that provides a solid structure, excellent ventilation with the suspended mesh backpanel, and the 210 x 200-denier nylon covering a good portion of the pack was plenty durable when brushing up against red rock. All told, we were so impressed with the Levity that’s its already overtaken the Exos on our list for 2018.
What are the shortcomings of the Osprey Levity 60? We carried a little under 30 pounds on our trip and were comfortable, but it was clear that the thin padding along the shoulder straps and hipbelt couldn’t handle much more weight. Further, the pack body and sides of the lid use a 30-denier silnylon, which is so thin that it’s see-through (we haven’t put any holes in it, however). But the Levity’s combination of functional organization, excellent build quality, and low weight quickly should make it a top choice among thru-hikers and other ultralight backcountry adventurers...
If you aren't carrying a tent, pad, cooking utensils (which you don't need anyway) these packs are too large. On both of my caminos I used the Osprey 35 liter. It was perfect.
 
Camino(s) past & future
April/May 2018
#27
I'm using the Osprey Exos 38 for my first Camino, commencing on September 22 and ending sometime in late October. Fully packed the thing weighs almost 8Kg. For me, minimising the weight of the bag and contents that I carry is as important a factor as wearing good footwear is, in leading to a successful outcome for this 5 to 6 week undertaking.
 
Camino(s) past & future
(2016) ; 1st Camino ; Frances Way ; 2017 Camino Frances begins August 10,2017
#28
My search for a light-weight full frame pack took me, eventually, to zPacks. At about 600 gram it has been with me for over three years and about 4,000 km (about half in training) and still holding up. zPacks also provided a drySac for internal use but generous enough to envelope the pack for check-in baggage (and even put a carry handle on it!!).

So, my comment was not a casual throw away. Rather, it came from more than 50 years of backpack use.

Kia kaha (take care, be strong)[/QUOTE]

I wish I had known about zpacks before I bought my last Osprey, which is exremely nice and used on my last Frances. Thank You for the info !
 
Camino(s) past & future
(2016) ; 1st Camino ; Frances Way ; 2017 Camino Frances begins August 10,2017
#29
Which of the following backpacking packs would you recommend for Camino Frances from late September through October?

Source: https://www.switchbacktravel.com/best-backpacking-backpacks

1. Osprey Atmos AG [50]

View attachment 44377

Weight: [4 lbs.]
Fabric: Nylon (100D x 630D)
Capacity: [50L]
What we like: Close fit and fantastic back ventilation.
What we don’t: No zipper to the main compartment.

The Atmos AG is our top backpacking pack for 2018 by deftly balancing all of our priorities: comfort, organization, durability, and weight. The attention grabber is the suspended “Anti-Gravity” backpanel, but we like the Atmos because it’s a lot more than just an advancement in pack ventilation. We’ve found it easy to dial in a good fit, the pocket design is thoughtfully laid out (although we’d prefer zippered access to the main compartment), and it’s tough enough for rough treatment while staying under 5 pounds. Overall, the Atmos is an extremely well rounded design that works great for anything from quick overnight trips to extended jaunts into the backcountry.
As mentioned above, the most prominent feature on the Atmos AG is its mesh backpanel. Bucking the trend of protruding foam panels that contact your back in certain areas—back, lumbar, and hips—the Atmos AG has a single large ventilated panel that covers the entire back and hipbelt. The result is best-in-class ventilation, and the flexible mesh conforms to your back and waist very well. Impressively, the design manages to carry heavy gear comfortably—we’ve had it loaded with over 45 pounds on more than one occasion—although the mesh is a little less supportive than the foam on a pack like the Gregory Baltoro below. Those looking to shave weight certainly can do so with one of ultralight choices below, but it’s tough to beat the feature set and build quality of the Atmos AG...

2. Gossamer Gear Mariposa 60

View attachment 44378

Weight: 2 lbs. 0.7 oz.
Fabric: Nylon (100D & 200D)
Capacity: 60L
What we like: Impressive durability, capacity, and comfort for the weight.
What we don’t: Foam backpanel bunches up.

A number of ultralight packs are designed for thru-hikers and minimalists, but our top pick is the Gossamer Gear Mariposa 60. Most impressive is how few tradeoffs there are in using this 2-pound 3-ounce bag (ours has a large frame and medium hipbelt). While brands like Hyperlite and Zpacks use Dyneema fabric (formerly cuben fiber) to cut weight, Gossamer Gear uses a light yet tough Robic nylon. Unlike our Dyneema packs, we’ve had no issues with punctures or wear from the Mariposa. It’s still smart to take extra care when bushwhacking or setting the pack down on rocks, but so far it’s the least compromised ultralight pack we’ve tested.
Organization on the Mariposa is excellent. In addition to the large main compartment, the pack has a total of 7 external pockets of varying sizes, making it easy to distribute your gear. Comfort-wise, we’ve found the Mariposa has sufficient padding and plenty of support right up to its 35-pound maximum rating. If we were to change one thing, it would be the backpanel: the removable foam padding is prone to bunching and we prefer to leave it behind. Otherwise, the Mariposa stands out as the most complete ultralight pack on the market and a great option for backpackers looking to cut weight...

3. Osprey Levity [45]

View attachment 44379

Weight: 1 pound 12 oz.
Fabric: Nylon (210D x 200D & 30D)
Capacity: [45L]
What we like: Super light without being overly compromised.
What we don’t: Can’t carry more than 30 pounds comfortably.

Osprey’s Exos has been their leading ultralight pack model for years, but the all-new, sub-2-pound men's Levity and women's Lumina is on a whole new level. We recently took the 60-liter model to Utah’s Canyon Country and it quickly stood out. Despite weighing 12 ounces less than the Exos, the Levity never felt delicate or compromised. You get a real metal frame that provides a solid structure, excellent ventilation with the suspended mesh backpanel, and the 210 x 200-denier nylon covering a good portion of the pack was plenty durable when brushing up against red rock. All told, we were so impressed with the Levity that’s its already overtaken the Exos on our list for 2018.
What are the shortcomings of the Osprey Levity 60? We carried a little under 30 pounds on our trip and were comfortable, but it was clear that the thin padding along the shoulder straps and hipbelt couldn’t handle much more weight. Further, the pack body and sides of the lid use a 30-denier silnylon, which is so thin that it’s see-through (we haven’t put any holes in it, however). But the Levity’s combination of functional organization, excellent build quality, and low weight quickly should make it a top choice among thru-hikers and other ultralight backcountry adventurers...
Osprey makes a great product...you may want to consider the Oprey Kestrel 48. It's light weight and has two side pouches for water bottles and a side opening ,so you don't have to rummage from the top looking for something...side pouches are important for carrying food and water.
 
Last edited:
Camino(s) past & future
Frances “2019”
#30
I have the mens Kestrel 48lt backpack. I will be leaving on my first Camino in September, I am starting in the Meseta, where I assume it is going to be quite hot and dry so do I buy a water bladder and carry that or would it be sufficient to just purchase plastic water bottles and refill along the way ? Am a little concerned as water weighs a lot.
 
Camino(s) past & future
(2016) ; 1st Camino ; Frances Way ; 2017 Camino Frances begins August 10,2017
#31
My opinion on bladders is...in hot weather it's hard to keep it bacteria free. Places to buy water are everywhere and fountains to refill as well.
 

davebugg

DustOff: "When I have your wounded."
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances...
Sept. 2017: SJPdP to Burgos
Sept./Oct. 2018: SJPdP to Santiago de Compostela
#32
I have the mens Kestrel 48lt backpack. I will be leaving on my first Camino in September, I am starting in the Meseta, where I assume it is going to be quite hot and dry so do I buy a water bladder and carry that or would it be sufficient to just purchase plastic water bottles and refill along the way ? Am a little concerned as water weighs a lot.
I use a water bladder/reservoir. It is a Platypus Big Zip 2 liter, which is about 3.5 ounces. I hate having to reach and contort to grab a water bottle; I can just quickly put the drinking tube to my mouth. I only fill it with the amount of water I want to carry, usually 1 to 1.5 liters.

I also have a quick disconnect hooked into the drinking tube. With the quick disconnect, I never have to remove the bladder from the pack to refill ... or even take off the pack ... and it is a matter of 30 seconds or so to do the refill.

Bladders are very easy to maintain, especially since there is a constant flow of water through them. I will remove mine at the end of the day and rinse it out; that's about it. If I am concerned about needing a quick disinfection, I can add a few drops of bleach, or a disinfecting tab and let it set for a few hours while I do chores, have dinner, visit the town, etc. Rinsing and refilling and putting it back in the pack takes little extra time.

Others have their preferences.
 

davebugg

DustOff: "When I have your wounded."
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances...
Sept. 2017: SJPdP to Burgos
Sept./Oct. 2018: SJPdP to Santiago de Compostela
#33
My opinion on bladders is...in hot weather it's hard to keep it bacteria free. Places to buy water are everywhere and fountains to refill as well.
A lot of folks think that, but it is not really the case at all. :) The real risk for bacterial contamination of either reservoirs or bottles is: 1. filling with contaminated water. 2. Not properly cleaning and drying prior to storage. There is little issue or bacteria when either type of water container is in use.

While working for the local public health district, I did a review of the literature, which I again did in 2016. Comparisons of bacterial contamination levels between bottles and hydration bladders were indistinguishable -- both had equally low rates of bacterial contamination. And both were at about equal risk for developing significant levels of bacteria and mold if not cleaned and dried properly prior to storage. In the last few years, the hydration reservoirs have become more modular in nature and have wider openings to access the water compartments, making it much easier to clean and prepare for storage than previous generations of the product.

One study, from 2009:
https://www.wemjournal.org/article/S1080-6032(09)70419-3/fulltext
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF April 2016 April - Jun
Del Norte, Finesterre 2018 May - Jun
#34
Hi, the Osprey Lumina 45 (ladies fit, Levity for the guys) was great for my recently completed Del Norte @ 800g!! I especially liked the front opening side pockets (opening at the top also) for water which was easily accessible without removing the pack or contorting the torso to reach it. The large pocket at the back was great for my poncho especially if it was still damp. I also used a ZPack multipack (weighs nothing) attached to the front of my pack for camera, phone, charger and book which weighed enough as a counterbalance). It’s such a personal thing - these backpacks!!! Next time I’ll try out my Aarn Natural exhilaration with front balance pockets which I decided against this time because of the weight - 1.7kg.
The utube videos shown in above posts are vital for a good fitting backpack.
Buen Camino
 
#36
Love my Exos but lighter version seems like a good idea to me. Really don't think you would need 30lbs of gear on the camino so a 48 should more than do it. I have done several long distance walks & I stick to the 10% of bodyweight rule........its hard but can be done. And you will enjoy it. Unless you are 25 years old, carrying too much everyday for many days will just get you injured. Its not like backpacking where you typically go for days at a time & distance is limited, often, by the vertical. Walking 20-25km everyday for weeks is very hard on the joints ....all of them! And the feet! Shin splints abound & limiting pack weight is the best prevention. Go for the lightest most comfortable pack.

p
 
Last edited:
Camino(s) past & future
Haven't walked the Camino yet. But I've hiked all over this beautiful planet and hope to walk the Camino in the near future.
#37
I’m an osprey guy. I have a Talon 33 & 44 and the Stratos 34 & 50. I love the Talons for when i wanna go light and the Stratos when i want a more cushy carry. The Talons are really great, light weight minimal packs but with plenty of pockets. The Stratos packs have thicker padding and a trampoline back panel for ultimate air flow. They also come with rain covers, but the covers also fit the talons, so it’s a wash. I tend to prefer packs under 50L cause i like carry on only...but the Stratos 50 is actually shorter height wise than the talon 44, so i’ve never had a problem with it as carry on.

To the OP, i also have the Atmos AG 65, and agree that the anti-gravity suspension system is a dream. But i only use my 65 for extended backpacking trips in the wild. Even the Atmos AG 50 is a bit heavy & big for my taste for international travel. It’s a very tall pack and wont make carry on. But i have seen many many photos of pilgrims walking the camino de santiago with the Atmos(and aura) 50 AG. So it’s up to you.

I have seen people walk the camino with anything from a 20L daypack to a 50L plus backpack. I agree with the general rule tho that the sweet spot seems to be somewhere between 30L & 45L. But again, there are so many factors.

Bottom line, the most important thing is - does the backpack you choose FIT you properly and is it comfortable? If it is, thats better than an ill fitting smaller pack any day.

Bien Camino!
 

NavyBlue

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy and Camino Frances. Via Francigena. Tro-Breiz in progress.
#38
Hi all,

Iuri, you have posted a web page of "best backpacking packs".

You will find other selections, with different packs. But above all, IMHO, there is no such thing as a "best back pack".

Because it depends so much on :
- your program : 65 l packs are overkill for the Camino, unless you bring your tent/pad/stove etc. 35 pounds are irrelevant as well.
- you : your back size/form as developped above
and your personal criteria and ranking.
e.g. about comfort : avoiding the WBS (wet back syndrom) with a trampoline back is nice. But should you pay it with, say, 1 kg more, which is, per se, another type of discomfort ? Really a personal thing.

I have walked these last years with a mainstream 45 l pack. I purchased recently this SD Flex Capacitor. Not yet tried on caminos, but carried for one week in a mountain trek. I think we are going to make good friends :)
 

cpskona

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
frances (2018)
#41
I took the GG Mariposa on my Camino and absolutely loved it. Saw a lot of Ospreys, but I found the Mariposa to be near flawless...
 
Camino(s) past & future
Finished: See post signature.
Upcoming: ?+VdlP (Sept 2018)
#42
The Gossamer Gear Mariposa is the pack I use. I first tried it when was hired to gear test it when it was in pre-production, and found I really liked it. It weighs under two pounds with a couple of modifications, I used it on part of my Pacific Crest Trail thru-hike and Colorado Trail thru-hike. Its main bag is about 40 liters, which can become 50 liters with the extended collar. The fabric is waterproof, but not the seams; although for light rain it is fine. I have used it on last year's Camino, and will do so again this September/October, after I make use of it for a few hundred miles of backpacking in the Cascades this summer.

I will also point out that the back panel -- which is NOT the internal frame of the pack --- was changed. It is now a very comfortable soft, open mesh style which has a bit more rigidity to it, but is still extremely comfortable against the back. It is also highly breathable. Plus, it can be removed quickly and used as a sit pad when taking a rest stop and wanting to avoid sitting directly on the ground.

The pockets on the hip belt are the easiest to open of any I've used in other packs. I keep a Zpacks poncho in one of the side pockets and easily reach it if needed, so it is quick to put the poncho on and to take it off.

Also, I think you can pick one up for 20% off today online.
Have you used the old back panel? Mine is very worn out on my Mariposa 2013 and I'm looking into replacing it but Don't know if the extra weight on the new one is worth it or not but it seams like you like the new backpanel should I go for that one instead of trying to find the old style?
 

davebugg

DustOff: "When I have your wounded."
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances...
Sept. 2017: SJPdP to Burgos
Sept./Oct. 2018: SJPdP to Santiago de Compostela
#43
Have you used the old back panel? Mine is very worn out on my Mariposa 2013 and I'm looking into replacing it but Don't know if the extra weight on the new one is worth it or not but it seams like you like the new backpanel should I go for that one instead of trying to find the old style?
:D Yeah, I've used both the original pad and the new one... in fact I was one of the primary testing 'guinea pigs' for the new panel after -- how shall I say this -- VIGOROUSLY AND RELENTLESSLY hounding, cajoling, finigling, and otherwise 'communicating' my suggestions for a modified and upgraded panel. Ever since the times when I was hired to do gear testing on both the Gorilla and Mariposa packs as each was prototyped before final production, I lobbied for a back panel that had a similar degree of airflow as some of Ospreys models. The original pad was ok, I just knew it could be better.

My clumsy prototypes utilized a very lightweight composite 'subframe' pre-tensioned with a lighter weight mesh trampoline than what Osprey uses. As with the original backpad, it could slip into the top and bottom pockets located to the inside of the internal frame of the packs. Gossamer Gear played around with that concept, but went with developing the new backpad instead. Oh, well .. thank goodness inventing stuff isn't my livelihood :)

Bottomline: Get the new pad. The weight penalty is insignificant when looking at it from a cost/benefit ratio kind of way. The new pads are about $12 or so higher in cost than the originals as a replacement, but I think they are well worth it. Also, keep all the packing materials and if you wear it around the house for a few days and end up not liking it, you can ship it back for a refund and get the original instead. :) If it were me and I wasn't sure, I'd probably order both and then just return the one I didn't end up wanting to keep. Just to save a bit of time :cool:
 
Camino(s) past & future
Finished: See post signature.
Upcoming: ?+VdlP (Sept 2018)
#44
:D Yeah, I've used both the original pad and the new one... in fact I was one of the primary testing 'guinea pigs' for the new panel after -- how shall I say this -- VIGOROUSLY AND RELENTLESSLY hounding, cajoling, finigling, and otherwise 'communicating' my suggestions for a modified and upgraded panel. Ever since the times when I was hired to do gear testing on both the Gorilla and Mariposa packs as each was prototyped before final production, I lobbied for a back panel that had a similar degree of airflow as some of Ospreys models. The original pad was ok, I just knew it could be better.

My clumsy prototypes utilized a very lightweight composite 'subframe' pre-tensioned with a lighter weight mesh trampoline than what Osprey uses. As with the original backpad, it could slip into the top and bottom pockets located to the inside of the internal frame of the packs. Gossamer Gear played around with that concept, but went with developing the new backpad instead. Oh, well .. thank goodness inventing stuff isn't my livelihood :)

Bottomline: Get the new pad. The weight penalty is insignificant when looking at it from a cost/benefit ratio kind of way. The new pads are about $12 or so higher in cost than the originals as a replacement, but I think they are well worth it. Also, keep all the packing materials and if you wear it around the house for a few days and end up not liking it, you can ship it back for a refund and get the original instead. :) If it were me and I wasn't sure, I'd probably order both and then just return the one I didn't end up wanting to keep. Just to save a bit of time :cool:
Thanks. I haven’t found the old one in any Swedish online stores only in a German store and they don’t have the new one. So I have to order from 2 different places in that case but I have used the old one and dislike the pooling of sweat in the cavities. I have been looking at using a Thermarest z-lite sleeping pad, 2-4 sections of it as an alternative.
 

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