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Join the quest for the perfect panel loading camino pack?

tarasis

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances (2019)
Portuguese (Porto) (2019)
Have now done 5 x 20+km and 2 x 30km walks with it fully loaded and would say I barely notice it, comfortable and snug. Weight I have ended with is 6.8kg

Cheers for the feedback, good to hear. I managed to try it out with a 3kg load and it seemed good (along with Osprey Stratos 34 & 36, Dueter something, and a couple of others … found they sat a little too low and swayed) . Had hoped it was a little smaller to be able to take it on as carryon.

Definitely prefer that Black and Orange over the Blue & Gray.

Will be my first backpack/rucksack of that type.
 
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trecile

Camino Addict
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
I'm back from walking nearly 1100 km on my latest Camino using the Ranger 35. It was very comfortable and carried the load well. I started out with about 14.5lbs without water.

For anyone who is interested in this pack it's now on sale for only $124! They are showing a regular price of $155, but when it was introduced, and when I bought mine in February, it was $185.

 

Hiker-jill

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino del Norte 2016
I'm back from walking nearly 1100 km on my latest Camino using the Ranger 35. It was very comfortable and carried the load well. I started out with about 14.5lbs without water.

For anyone who is interested in this pack it's now on sale for only $124! They are showing a regular price of $155, but when it was introduced, and when I bought mine in February, it was $185.

Trecile
I am confused by the "one size fits all"....is it somehow adjustable? What size torso do you have? Most backpacks that I've tried have been ordered specifically by torso length....and maybe a separate measurement for waist...So, I am curious...
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
Trecile
I am confused by the "one size fits all"....is it somehow adjustable? What size torso do you have? Most backpacks that I've tried have been ordered specifically by torso length....and maybe a separate measurement for waist...So, I am curious...
No, it doesn't have an adjustable torso length, but fit me just fine. My torso length is 18".
I'm sure that @davebugg could explain how this pack is able to fit a range of torso sizes.
 

Hiker-jill

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino del Norte 2016
No, it doesn't have an adjustable torso length, but fit me just fine. My torso length is 18".
I'm sure that @davebugg could explain how this pack is able to fit a range of torso sizes.
Thanks...I am asking for my sister....I could probably wear it, because my torso is also 18"...but hers is 16".....
 
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nidarosa

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Inglés 2009+2017, Francés 2012+2018, Astorga-Santiago repeatedly
Update on the panel loader quest: I have just returned from a 300 km walk on the Francés, in hot weather, with my supposedly 25L Osprey Escapist. I have dared myself to do it many times but this is the first time I have actually done it. And it performed great! Not too full, just enough organisation, and she even sits up by herself so no falling over and no dusting the floor in the packing process.
I didn't miss the pole stowing thing, mostly because I use my Pacerpoles all the time so no need to stow them, but when I did, I just opened the waist belt and clipped them in there.
I had my water bottle in one side pocket where I could reach and replace it myself, my Birkenstock EVAs in the other, and layers and wet stuff in the mesh stash/kangaroo pocket. Small and frequent use stuff in the zipped sunglasses pocket, general stuff in the main compartment, urgent stuff like first aid, poncho, umbrella/parasol in the larger organising pocket. Hardly used the sleeping bag compartment opening, but when I did I was glad to have it. Clothes, sleeping bag and toiletries/laundry stuff was all separated in drybags and easy to get to without lifting everything out.
The back panel is the same as the Talon/Tempest and Kestrel/Kyte models and kept me cool enough without getting the pack soaked. Harness and waist belt very comfortable and the velcro adjustment helped get the perfect fit. And when I came home I just folded her into the washing machine!
I did cut the shoulder strap pocket off though, as it was too small for my glasses and mobile, instead I put a velcro strap around that part of the strap with a drinking tube clip to attach my umbrella/parasol to shield from the blistering sunshine. I also removed the helmet holder and cinching bungee to make it easier to use the front zip, since I would fill the pack anyway.
All in all I am very happy with her and still amazed at the capacity for such a small pack!
DSC_1100.jpg
 
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nidarosa

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Inglés 2009+2017, Francés 2012+2018, Astorga-Santiago repeatedly
Oh and by the way, the new season Osprey pack features a remake of the Manta 24 and 34L, and Mira 22 and 32L - all panel loaders with aircon backs and bells and whistles! Pricey though. My Escapist adventure makes it easier not to yearn for one.
 

henrythedog

Loved and fed by David
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 2017, 2018, 2019, Ingles 2018, (Madrid 2019 partial - retired hurt!) (more planned)
Update on the panel loader quest: I have just returned from a 300 km walk on the Francés, in hot weather, with my supposedly 25L Osprey Escapist. I have dared myself to do it many times but this is the first time I have actually done it. And it performed great! Not too full, just enough organisation, and she even sits up by herself so no falling over and no dusting the floor in the packing process.
I didn't miss the pole stowing thing, mostly because I use my Pacerpoles all the time so no need to stow them, but when I did, I just opened the waist belt and clipped them in there.
I had my water bottle in one side pocket where I could reach and replace it myself, my Birkenstock EVAs in the other, and layers and wet stuff in the mesh stash/kangaroo pocket. Small and frequent use stuff in the zipped sunglasses pocket, general stuff in the main compartment, urgent stuff like first aid, poncho, umbrella/parasol in the larger organising pocket. Hardly used the sleeping bag compartment opening, but when I did I was glad to have it. Clothes, sleeping bag and toiletries/laundry stuff was all separated in drybags and easy to get to without lifting everything out.
The back panel is the same as the Talon/Tempest and Kestrel/Kyte models and kept me cool enough without getting the pack soaked. Harness and waist belt very comfortable and the velcro adjustment helped get the perfect fit. And when I came home I just folded her into the washing machine!
I did cut the shoulder strap pocket off though, as it was too small for my glasses and mobile, instead I put a velcro strap around that part of the strap with a drinking tube clip to attach my umbrella/parasol to shield from the blistering sunshine. I also removed the helmet holder and cinching bungee to make it easier to use the front zip, since I would fill the pack anyway.
All in all I am very happy with her and still amazed at the capacity for such a small pack!
View attachment 64779


I see no reason why they should not be - but are all rucksacks female, like ships? If not - and there are two (or more - I am nothing if not ‘woke’) genders - how does one tell the difference

Anyway - I’m delighted that you have found something which really works for you.
 
Last edited:
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Deleted member 67185

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I see no reason why they should not be - but are all rucksacks female, like ships? If not - and there are two (or more - I am nothing if not ‘woke’) genders - how does one tell the difference?

In 1970’s UK working-men’s-club humour (I know I’m talking to a smaller and smaller audience by the word...) we could compare the brain size (what I know as the lid), but happily those days are gone and I wouldn’t know where to start nowadays.

Anyway - I’m delighted that you have found something which really works for you.

A lot of the gender-differentiated backpacks adjust the width of the backpack at the shoulder girdle and waist areas. The size (spine length) choices are also somewhat adjusted for smaller increments between small to large. Additionally, many manufacturers will incorporate a shoulder harness that is shaped to better fit a larger chest area.

Testosterone and estrogen pheromones are optional. :)
 

henrythedog

Loved and fed by David
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 2017, 2018, 2019, Ingles 2018, (Madrid 2019 partial - retired hurt!) (more planned)
A lot of the gender-differentiated backpacks adjust the width of the backpack at the shoulder girdle and waist areas. The size (spine length) choices are also somewhat adjusted for smaller increments between small to large. Additionally, many manufacturers will incorporate a shoulder harness that is shaped to better fit a larger chest area.

Testosterone and estrogen pheromones are optional. :)
[/QUOTE

Dave - I was counting down slowly from ten and expecting you to come in with a technically unimpeachable answer before I got to one.

You didn't let me down.

I’ll have to mark on the calendar when you’re over here waking with Mrs Bugg.
 

nidarosa

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Inglés 2009+2017, Francés 2012+2018, Astorga-Santiago repeatedly
My Escapist is a unisex or male biking pack in theory but I am tall and broad shouldered and have a short back for my height so it fits me very well. Her name is Stella though 😁
 
D

Deleted member 67185

Guest
My Escapist is a unisex or male biking pack in theory but I am tall and broad shouldered and have a short back for my height so it fits me very well. Her name is Stella though 😁

Stella. . . I love it :)

There are a lot of male hikers that have started using female specific packs. The biggest reason is that they seem to fit better around the chest area. The narrower cut to the packs profiles also seems to be preferred.
 

henrythedog

Loved and fed by David
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 2017, 2018, 2019, Ingles 2018, (Madrid 2019 partial - retired hurt!) (more planned)
My Escapist is a unisex or male biking pack in theory but I am tall and broad shouldered and have a short back for my height so it fits me very well. Her name is Stella though 😁
Things that you treasure deserve names. In my humble opinion, of course.
 
John Brierley Camino Frances Guide
This guide is one of the ones that has been around for over 15 years. Updated yearly. Please read the reviews.
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DwainS

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances(2020)
Trecile, it only takes 10 seconds total to get to tbe interior...only 5 seconds more than a zipper. I'd call that a moot point. :)
just what I was thinking. i'am new to backpacking and looking for one for the camino this year. When I was reading the comments when they say it takes longer to get in a top loading were they talking about 5 minutes, 5 seconds or whatever. Everyone in these forums say don't rush while on the camino but it seems like theres a race to get into a backpack and be able to get things in and out as fast as you can. Quite hilarious actually. You took 30 seconds longer than my backpack, i'am the winner.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
just what I was thinking. i'am new to backpacking and looking for one for the camino this year. When I was reading the comments when they say it takes longer to get in a top loading were they talking about 5 minutes, 5 seconds or whatever. Everyone in these forums say don't rush while on the camino but it seems like theres a race to get into a backpack and be able to get things in and out as fast as you can. Quite hilarious actually. You took 30 seconds longer than my backpack, i'am the winner.
It's just that I'm lazy, and don't like to mess around with drawstrings and buckles more than I have to. 😂
 

Keith H

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
😱
I’ve got the Gossamer Gear as a travel pack and for 1-2 night hikes. I love it. It’s been on several long haul flights and 2 hikes so far. Easy access, comfortable, very functional.
 
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trecile

Camino Addict
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
I just came across a couple of new(ish?) panel loading backpacks from Gregory.

The Citro for men comes in 24, 30 and 36 liter sizes. Has a mesh trampoline style back and weighs 2.02 lbs / 916 g , 2.09 lbs / 948 g , and 2.27 lbs / 1.03 kg respectively


The Juno for women also comes in 24, 30 and 36 liter sizes. Weights are 1.93 lbs / 875 g , 2.06 lbs / 934 g , and 2.28 lbs / 1.03 kg.

The dimensions of both the men's and women's packs should qualify for carry on on most airlines.
 

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  • juno.jpg
    juno.jpg
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nidarosa

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Inglés 2009+2017, Francés 2012+2018, Astorga-Santiago repeatedly
Though I have found a cracking panel loader, I still keep an eye on the latest bright and shiny things, so if you have been wondering about the new Osprey Talon and Tempest bucket zip openers - the closest thing to a panel loader without actually being one - I have taken one for the team and ordered an Osprey Tempest 34 just to have a look. I have posted my highly un-scientific findings on my blog, with photos and an old Tempest 30 for comparison. I also ordered and returned a Tempest 24 and decided it was too small for me to carry my (small) kit, but it might be the perfect pack for someone going minimal or having the main luggage forwarded.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
I did buy the Gregory Juno 36 last year when I still thought that I'd be able to walk in 2020. It's waiting for me to take it on the Camino in a corner of my bedroom.
I love everything about it - color, size, zippers, pockets, and ventilated back panel. Can't wait until I can put it to use.
 

nidarosa

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Inglés 2009+2017, Francés 2012+2018, Astorga-Santiago repeatedly
I did check out the link and it looks brilliant - just what I'd want if I didn't already have my trusty fellow Escapist Stella, who has proved her camino worthiness. I really wanted to love the new Tempest so I could have one as a treat for sitting tight through several postponed/cancelled walks, but alas, it was not for me. It annoyed me that there weren't more photos of the new features though so I got one and took some myself 😄 Hope you get to take Juno for a spin soon.
 

Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances (2015); Aragones-Frances (2016); VdlP-Sanabres (2017); Madrid-Frances-Invierno (2019)Levante
I like my new Gregory Jade 38, an older women's model, so cheaper on sale than the new one. It is a little fiddly, with the number of fastenings that I have to get accustomed to, but it is a panel loading model, and I love the large pockets on the waistbelt. They are so much more useful when walking than the large side pockets which I cannot reach. I have purchased a sturdy plastic bottle which holds a cup of water and fits into a waist belt pocket, so I can go longer between stops to adjust my water supply. And the other waist pocket is useful for several smaller things that I like to have to hand. No, it is not particularly comfortable. But I am sad to admit that I have not had a comfortable pack since the demise of the external frame hiking pack, which worked for my frame. Or maybe it is just that my frame was younger in those days.
 
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Hiker-jill

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino del Norte 2016
I did buy the Gregory Juno 36 last year when I still thought that I'd be able to walk in 2020. It's waiting for me to take it on the Camino in a corner of my bedroom.
I love everything about it - color, size, zippers, pockets, and ventilated back panel. Can't wait until I can put it to use.
Do you like this Gregory pack better than the Ranger???
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
Do you like this Gregory pack better than the Ranger???
The main attribute that I like better about the Juno than the Ranger is the trampoline style back panel. I'll have to get back to you after I've done a Camino with the Juno to tell you how it truly compares with the Ranger.😉
 

Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances (2015); Aragones-Frances (2016); VdlP-Sanabres (2017); Madrid-Frances-Invierno (2019)Levante
That is a bit ageist, isn't it? Do they expect younger women to have more money for a pack! 😂
I couldn't be bothered revising my text to "earlier model women's pack." There'd just be some young whippersnapper making remarks about "earlier model women."
 
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