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Opinions Please

Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francis (2017)
#1
Took everyone's advice and spent time today at my nearest REI store. Was measured and looked at and tried all three bags suggested. With 25# in each pack, walked the store for about 10-12 minutes each. Helpful clerk did and explained all adjustments.

Narrowed it down to two of the three (which just felt better):
Osprey Kestral 48 and the Deuter Act 50+10

REI reviews favor the Kestral, but not a larger numb of reviewers. Hopeful that others here who have worn and have utilized either can offer their honest reviews on each. Also, please remember I am nearly 72, male, 5'8" and weigh 165.

Many thanks!
 
Camino(s) past & future
SJPDP-Finisterre X 2, El Norte incompleto
#2
I'd say that 25 pounds is too heavy! But the great thing about REI is their return policy. After you have your gear together, and put it in your pack you will have a better idea of exactly what size backpack you need, and you can always reevaluate and return if necessary.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francis (2017)
#3
I agree that is was over the 10% ratio I have heard, but that's what the fellow loaded. If it felt good at that 25# weight, would if fit and feel even better at 16-20#?
 

Bradypus

Antediluvian
Camino(s) past & future
Too many and too often!
#4
I agree that is was over the 10% ratio I have heard, but that's what the fellow loaded. If it felt good at that 25# weight, would if fit and feel even better at 16-20#?
My thoughts exactly - you beat me to it! Never known a pack that performed well when heavy but was less comfortable a few pounds lighter.
 
A

Anemone del Camino

Guest
#5
Did you try smaller bags? The Kestral you are comsidering is almost 4 pounds, empty! The Osprey Talon 44 is more than a pound less, and still large enough to carry all you'll need, and think you'll need. If the fit was right, I would suggest a lighter back.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2012,
2013, 2018
Camino Portuguese 2014
Camino Ingles, Finisterre/Muxia 2017
#6
Jeff,
I have the 50 +10 Deuter bag and used it walking 3 Caminos. It is a terrific back pack but is way overkill for the Camino as you need to only carry 15-17 # it weighs almost 2# by itself. I bought it with the thought of hiking the Appalachian trail which you need to carry over 25 pounds. If I was just buying a pack for the Camino I would go light weight 30- 35 size.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francis (2017)
#7
No, only tried these three. The third was an REI brand, but same size.
This was my first ever backpack seeking trip.
Have no problem buying a lighter pack (if sufficient in size and good in comfort).
I will return again soon (8 hours round trip + store time), try some others as you suggest. Buy a few and give them a real test here at home. Then, return all but the keeper.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francis (2017)
#8
Jeff,
I have the 50 +10 Deuter bag and used it walking 3 Caminos. It is a terrific back pack but is way overkill for the Camino as you need to only carry 15-17 # it weighs almost 2# by itself. I bought it with the thought of hiking the Appalachian trail which you need to carry over 25 pounds. If I was just buying a pack for the Camino I would go light weight 30- 35 size.
Thanks, thought he was showing me all pretty large stuff even though I told him my exact plan.
 

edandjoan

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
St. Gallen to Muxia
2012-2018
#10
I agree the bags are all too big. REI is good and I shop there a lot, but I don't think they understand the Camino...they are outdoor as in camping and carrying much more gear. My husband carries an osprey 36 liter. and I think the Gregory packs with the trampoline backs are great. I carry a Gregory jade 28 liter. You should go back and look at more packs. And REI is good about measuring for sizing.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2015); Ch. d'Arles: Oloron Ste Marie to Aragones; Frances (2016); V.d.l.P.; Sanabres (2017)
#11
Those bags are bigger than you need, especially if you are walking a summer camino and not planning on taking a sleeping bag. However, if you need a sleeping bag a 40 l. bag is a reasonable weight to carry and you will not need to struggle to fit in food as well as your usual gear.
 
Camino(s) past & future
2013 Camino Frances SJPP / 2014 Camino Portugues / 2015 Camino Ingles / 2015 Hospitalero Training
2016 (fall) Camino Sanabre / Hospitalero?
#12
Not that you need my agreement too but thing 35 liter and thin the list down to what you need. Also please check the "New" return policy at REI. thing have changed...... Ultreya....... Willy/Utah/USA
 

Telelama

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (Sep - Oct'14)
Frances (May - Jun'15)
Portugues (May - Jun'16)
Primitivo (2018?)
#13
My wife and I each carried an Osprey Kyte on two Camino - our third is less than a month away - and we found the Osprey bags to be high value for the dollar/euro. They have several features I don't see on any other backpack that I find essential or simply convenient; 1) a built in trekking pole attachment so you don't always have to carry your poles nor set the pack down to stash them. You can do it while you walk. 2) the hydration sleeve to hold the hydration reservoir is not in the bag itself. It is between the suspension system and the bag. This means you don't have to remove stuff from your backpack to get access to the reservoir to fill it. It also protects the gear inside if your water leaks. 3) 2 waist belt pockets. 4) zippered sleeping bag compartment, which we use for our shoes, keeps them separate from our clothes. 5) built in whistle. Yep, that's right. The clip on the chest strap has a whistle built it. 6) all the other expected crap like built in rain cover, plenty of pockets (my 46 lt has 3 more pockets than her 36 lt does), mesh outside pocket, etc. Yes, the 46 lt is a bit big, but the extra pockets make it worth it and its not like you have to fill it. Love these packs!
 
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#14
REI is good and I shop there a lot, but I don't think they understand the Camino...they are outdoor as in camping and carrying much more gear.
I have found this too. When we went to get my husband fitted for a pack, they showed him packs that were way beefier than he needed.
 
Camino(s) past & future
VDLP (Sept 2015)

CF SJPDP-SdC+
(Sept/Oct 2018)
#16
I think you narrowed it down to the correct two brands.

I had a walking partner with a REI Flash backpack and he was fighting with the adjusting straps for 600 miles (on the VDLP). It is possible that it had not been fitted correctly and it might be good for some people.

I originally bought the Kestrel 48 but exchanged it for the 38 when I realized that the 48 was overkill. The 48 does have at least one more pocket (which is convenient), but I was happy that the 38 could be carry-on luggage (on United). The Stow-on-the-Go pole storage system was nice, but I could have gotten along without it (I almost always used my poles, except in cities - and yes I used rubber tips whenever there was pavement).

Make sure that you sign up for REI's email distribution list - I think you might get a 15-20% off coupon for one item.

Since you are so far from a REI store, you might consider buying the pack you are leaning towards on-line, make sure that it will accommodate your stuff, and then stop by the store for adjustment of the shoulder straps when it is convenient.
 

Attachments

Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francis (2017)
#17
Studying still.....

Like the reviews and what I see of the Osprey Kestral 38 and the Gregory Zulu 40. Much lighter at 3#, 2oz and 2#, 15oz respectively. Seems pretty near the capacity and weight suggested here.

Personal thoughts or experience with either?
 
Camino(s) past & future
VdLP-Sanabres-Fisterra (Summer 2015); Future? Levante-VDLP-Invierno (Feb/Mar 2019);
#18
I used an Aarnpack that holds 42l that had plenty of room. I could do it with the 33l model but to me the volume is a bit small and there is less leeway for awkward shaped things. Eg the 3 snowglobes that I picked up along the way for my daughter's collection. The damn post office is always closed by the time you hit a town with one and you leave again before it opens...
If you go for a smaller size you will have less choice in what you buy re the contents that need to go in the pack. Ie you WILL need that more expensive sleeping bag because it is the one that fits.
 
Camino(s) past & future
VdLP-Sanabres-Fisterra (Summer 2015); Future? Levante-VDLP-Invierno (Feb/Mar 2019);
#19
Those bags are bigger than you need, especially if you are walking a summer camino and not planning on taking a sleeping bag. However, if you need a sleeping bag a 40 l. bag is a reasonable weight to carry and you will not need to struggle to fit in food as well as your usual gear.
The room you save not having a sleeping bag in summer is usually needed to accommodate your water supplies especially if you experience high temperatures. It partly depends on the route and I can't comment on the CF having done the VDLP. I had a 3 litre water bladder in there and some days you needed every drop. It is better to carry too much water than not enough...
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, 2013
Camino del Norte a Chimayó (USA), 2015
Camino Portugues, 2017
#20
I agree the bags are all too big. REI is good and I shop there a lot, but I don't think they understand the Camino...they are outdoor as in camping and carrying much more gear. My husband carries an osprey 36 liter. and I think the Gregory packs with the trampoline backs are great. I carry a Gregory jade 28 liter. You should go back and look at more packs. And REI is good about measuring for sizing.
I agree with all this. As to REI not understanding the Camino, I think it depends on which store and who you speak to, but yes, they--and probably most other outdoor shops--tend to recommend packs larger than what's needed for the Camino. What you need on the Camino is really just a large day pack or weekend pack in the 35-40 liter range, unless you're walking in winter and have the necessary increase in cold weather clothing. As the saying goes, nature abhors a vacuum, or in this case human nature tempts us to fill that empty space in a larger pack with unneeded "stuff."
 

pudgypilgrim

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
voie de tours 2015
#21
I think it depends on which store and who you speak to
Agree. The REI nearest me offers seminars on walking the Camino and I found that everyone I dealt with there had a very good understanding of how it's different from wilderness hiking.
They went immediately for the ~30L bags and I wound up with a Kyte. They started me with a 30L Gregory, but of all the bags I tried the Kyte was the one I could forget I was wearing, even though it's a little heavier than the others. Just depends on what fits you best.
 

Telelama

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (Sep - Oct'14)
Frances (May - Jun'15)
Portugues (May - Jun'16)
Primitivo (2018?)
#23
I wound up with a Kyte
Great bag, good choice. The 46 ltr, while bigger than required (and you don't have to fill it), does have three more pockets than the smaller version. My wife, who has the smaller version, really wishes she had these three pockets. I'm just saying...
 

pudgypilgrim

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
voie de tours 2015
#24
My wife, who has the smaller version, really wishes she had these three pockets.
I have the 36 and I really can't say that has bothered me, possibly because I didn't have anything to compare it to, but in any event I've been quite happy with it.

It could also be because I walk in a macabi, so I have plenty of pocket space in that.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francis (2017)
#25
Re- visited REI today and tried many smaller packs (32-44).
Two felt best after tracking around store with 18# packed.
Brought home two: Osprey Kestral 38 and a Gregory Zulu 40.
Will give each much more testing here at home and then choose one and return the other.

Hope I am on the right track here in terms of sizes, etc.?
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2015); Ch. d'Arles: Oloron Ste Marie to Aragones; Frances (2016); V.d.l.P.; Sanabres (2017)
#26
Re- visited REI today and tried many smaller packs (32-44).
Two felt best after tracking around store with 18# packed.
Brought home two: Osprey Kestral 38 and a Gregory Zulu 40.
Will give each much more testing here at home and then choose one and return the other.

Hope I am on the right track here in terms of sizes, etc.?
It sounds good to me. I used the Gregory Z40 on my camino last fall. It was the perfect size for me. There was room for food when everything else was in. It should be fine for you, unless you pack a lot more than I do. Buen camino.
 
A

Anemone del Camino

Guest
#27
Re- visited REI today and tried many smaller packs (32-44).
Two felt best after tracking around store with 18# packed.
Brought home two: Osprey Kestral 38 and a Gregory Zulu 40.
Will give each much more testing here at home and then choose one and return the other.

Hope I am on the right track here in terms of sizes, etc.?
Both good choices, but the Kestrel is 3 pounds. Have you tried the Talon 44?
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francis (2017)
#29
I am greatly appreciative of the considerable input offered here. Much of my confusion has been relieved. However, this newbie is still a bit torn:
My first resolve was that the original bags tried were way too large for my Camino, so I returned to REI, got a more knowledgable clerk and narrowed it down to the Osprey Kestral 38 and Gregory Zulu 40. I have begun the testing of those now.
But, there is the help offered that these two options are a heavy (+\-) 3# bags and that I ought to try the Osprey Talon 44 and/or the Osprey Exos 38 at approx. 2#.
I fully understand "light is my friend." However, the Talon allows me to perhaps overpack (44L), thus negating its lighter weight. The Exos does not have the panel opening, adjustability, sleeping bag compartment or rain cover.
So, if I pack smart, will the extra pound of the Kestral or Gregory base weights be a killer? Under the 10 percent "rule", I ought shoot for a max of 16# total back weight. With these two options I give up 1# of content vs the lighter packs.

Am I way overthinking this?
 
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A

Anemone del Camino

Guest
#30
@Jeff Johnston , over thinking it. I like leaving a little wiggle room in my back pack for end of trip shopping and to have the flexibility to use it with or without a sleeping bag. And extra pound will not make or break your camino, get a good fit first and foremost, and be strict with your packing list. All things being equal when it comes to fit, I would always pick the lighter weight.
 

pudgypilgrim

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
voie de tours 2015
#31
What matters is that the bag is comfortable. I went in planning to buy the Tempest (women's version of Talon), but it wasn't nearly as comfortable as the Kyte, which does weigh more. You can make too much of a fetish of lightweight, and there is a tendency to do that here, I think. The frame situation is at least as important in determining the right pack for you.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino France's (2016) Portuguese 2017
#32
Took everyone's advice and spent time today at my nearest REI store. Was measured and looked at and tried all three bags suggested. With 25# in each pack, walked the store for about 10-12 minutes each. Helpful clerk did and explained all adjustments.

Narrowed it down to two of the three (which just felt better):
Osprey Kestral 48 and the Deuter Act 50+10

REI reviews favor the Kestral, but not a larger numb of reviewers. Hopeful that others here who have worn and have utilized either can offer their honest reviews on each. Also, please remember I am nearly 72, male, 5'8" and weigh 165.

Many thanks!
I
Took everyone's advice and spent time today at my nearest REI store. Was measured and looked at and tried all three bags suggested. With 25# in each pack, walked the store for about 10-12 minutes each. Helpful clerk did and explained all adjustments.

Narrowed it down to two of the three (which just felt better):
Osprey Kestral 48 and the Deuter Act 50+10

REI reviews favor the Kestral, but not a larger numb of reviewers. Hopeful that others here who have worn and have utilized either can offer their honest reviews on each. Also, please remember I am nearly 72, male, 5'8" and weigh 165.

Many thanks!
Way to big. I have a Kestrel 38 and it's great.
 

The Anacortesians

Take a walk, its good for your soul
Camino(s) past & future
SJPDP 24 April 2016 - Santiago de Compostela 27 May 2016
#33
I think you narrowed it down to the correct two brands.

I had a walking partner with a REI Flash backpack and he was fighting with the adjusting straps for 600 miles (on the VDLP). It is possible that it had not been fitted correctly and it might be good for some people.

I originally bought the Kestrel 48 but exchanged it for the 38 when I realized that the 48 was overkill. The 48 does have at least one more pocket (which is convenient), but I was happy that the 38 could be carry-on luggage (on United). The Stow-on-the-Go pole storage system was nice, but I could have gotten along without it (I almost always used my poles, except in cities - and yes I used rubber tips whenever there was pavement).

Make sure that you sign up for REI's email distribution list - I think you might get a 15-20% off coupon for one item.

Since you are so far from a REI store, you might consider buying the pack you are leaning towards on-line, make sure that it will accommodate your stuff, and then stop by the store for adjustment of the shoulder straps when it is convenient.
My wife and I are on the Camino now and she is using an REI Flash 45 and I have the same in a long which gives you 50L. These are good so far and light weight. We've just completed day 14 and about 350km. Her total pack weight is 15lb or 7kg and mine is at 19lb or about 8 .5 kg. Seems to be a good pack so far.
 

Paul Menon

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
2012 - Camino de Plata from Zamora
2014 - Camino Frances from Ronesvalles to Pamplona and then from Leon
2016 - planning to walk the Frances from Sammos
#35
Ii
I'd say that 25 pounds is too heavy! But the great thing about REI is their return policy. After you have your gear together, and put it in your pack you will have a better idea of exactly what size backpack you need, and you can always reevaluate and return if necessary.
I agree 25 pounds will be too heavy. I'd suggest a lighter smaller pack like the Marmot Graviton 38 which weighs 2 pounds and is adequate for a load of 17/18 pounds.
 
Camino(s) past & future
SJPDP-Finisterre X 2, El Norte incompleto
#37
Ii

I agree 25 pounds will be too heavy. I'd suggest a lighter smaller pack like the Marmot Graviton 38 which weighs 2 pounds and is adequate for a load of 17/18 pounds.
That Graviton backpack looks great, but it's hard to find the women's model. I like the way the zipper opens up almost luggage style if desired. Plus it's really lightweight.
 
Camino(s) past & future
SJPDP-Finisterre X 2, El Norte incompleto
#38
Ii

I agree 25 pounds will be too heavy. I'd suggest a lighter smaller pack like the Marmot Graviton 38 which weighs 2 pounds and is adequate for a load of 17/18 pounds.
I did end up with the Marmot Graviton 36 women's pack, and it was great! Lots of great features and lightweight. Unfortunately, it's hard to find in a bricks and mortar store. I ordered mine from an online store.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Mar 2010, May/Jun 2016, Sep 2011, 2012, Apr 2014, St Olav's Way 2018
#39
@Jeff Johnston, I do find it interesting that everyone knows so much about how big you are and what season you are walking in that they can give you so much advice on pack size. Without that basic information, any advice given about pack size is suspect.

My own view is that I have no idea what pack size you will need, but there is a better way of having a first cut at the size. Take your walking weight in kg, halve it and the number is the approximate size in litres that you should be looking at for a summer camino. Add 25-50% for spring and autumn and double it for a winter walk.

Your next step should be to assemble the gear that you are going to carry, pack it and take it to the store and see if it actually fits into the pack size you are thinking about.

As an example, my walking weight is about 80 kg, somewhat less than my actual weight, and I have walked in autumn. I use a Dueter Guide 45+, which will expand to about 55 li. In addition to my normal camino load, this year I walked with a CPAP machine, and a whole range of medications which I haven't needed in the past. These added to the volume requirements, and I ended up carrying my spare shoes strapped to the outside of the pack. And if I bought a loaf of bread, I would attach the carry bag to the outside of my pack to avoid crushing the loaf! Otherwise, everything was in the pack.

Of course, you can carry more of your load outside the pack. On the Camino that isn't as much of a problem as it would be bushwalking, trekking or the like. I shared a couple of photos that illustrate this here.
 

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