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2019 Camino Guides

Sweating using pack with contact back suspension

Camino(s) past & future
Oct 2019
#1
Good day to all!

I'm planning to upgrade my Osprey Mira 32 with Camino in mind for next year. I've shortlisted few packs available in my country, most of them have the foam suspension panel. The Mira 32 has ventilated mesh panel so I have no idea how the foam suspension panel will deal with moist condition.

May I know your experience with foam contact back suspension packs (e.g. Deuter Aircontact, Kelty Redwing)? When it's being used for several days walking under warm weather on Camino, will it get smelly from absorbing moisture (sweat or rain)?
 
Camino(s) past & future
Northern Way (2017)
#2
I can’t speak to those models specifically, but mine did get sweaty, but not smelly.

Or at least not that I ever noticed-fellow pilgrims may beg to differ.

The only word of advice is if you happen to be walking a coastal route and. Feel compelled to put your pack down on a sandy beach, don’t put it back side down. You will never get all the sand out of the foam and mesh.:(
 
Camino(s) past & future
SJPDP-Finisterre X 2, El Norte incompleto
#3
Good day to all!

I'm planning to upgrade my Osprey Mira 32 with Camino in mind for next year. I've shortlisted few packs available in my country, most of them have the foam suspension panel. The Mira 32 has ventilated mesh panel so I have no idea how the foam suspension panel will deal with moist condition.

May I know your experience with foam contact back suspension packs (e.g. Deuter Aircontact, Kelty Redwing)? When it's being used for several days walking under warm weather on Camino, will it get smelly from absorbing moisture (sweat or rain)?
There are lots of other backpacks with "trampoline" style suspension. What don't you like about them? I'm thinking of packs made by Gregory, Lowe Alpine, Marmot, Thule, North Face, Osprey, and many others.
 
Camino(s) past & future
March/April 2015, Late April 2016, Sept/Oct 2017
#4
There are lots of other backpacks with "trampoline" style suspension. What don't you like about them? I'm thinking of packs made by Gregory, Lowe Alpine, Marmot, Thule, North Face, Osprey, and many others.
I like the trampoline suspension too. I have two LL Bean packs that I like (AT 35 Day Pack, and AT 60 Day Pack.) I like the 35 best, but it's a trifle small. Much of LL Bean's stuff is overpriced and not as good as above brands, but this pack I really like; the trampoline keeps me cool, the weight settles on my hips, and the straps are well placed for my build. (I'm slight across the shoulders.)
 

Jo Jo

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, July 2014
Via di Francesco (Italy), July 2015
Frances, Sept-Oct 2016
Portugues Oct. 2017
#5
Based on my experience, they are a little sweatier, but not enough to worry about. For what it's worth, my wife now carries an Osprey Talon 11 (no trampoline mesh), which she manages to get all of her gear into (note: she is a hobbit, so everything is smaller). No complaints about back sweating.

I write mainly to suggest that you look at the American ultra-light manufactures that you will not find in most stores. Specifically, Zpacks ArcBlast has a mesh trampoline back rest and is lighter than almost anything produced by any large-scale manufacturer (because of a really innovative carbon frame system). I have and love the Arc Haul, its big brother, which I use for both regular backpacking and for Caminos, but the Blast is smaller and more than enough space for a Camino. Another alternative would be the ULA Ohm (slightly heavier, no back mesh). I also carry ULA packs in the U.S. mountains and they are always very good.

Buen Camino,
Jo Jo
 
Camino(s) past & future
C. Francés April 06, C. Fisterre May 06, C. Frances Oct 17, C. Portuguese Oct 18, C. Inglese Nov 18
#6
There are lots of other backpacks with "trampoline" style suspension. What don't you like about them? I'm thinking of packs made by Gregory, Lowe Alpine, Marmot, Thule, North Face, Osprey, and many others.
One of the disadvantages of some of the trampoline styles is that the pack's weight is pulled backwards rather than held snug against the back. For some this creates a feeling of being pulled backwards, off balance. I've tried trampolines styles but in the end go back to the foam mesh suspension models. I always wear merino so if you sweat it dries and doesn't smell.

Another disadvantage that I find with trampoline styles is the contour created by the pack's arced frame. The body of he pack is a curved versus straight one and I find this less efficient to pack in the manner I prefer. I have 2 x 35 litre packs, one a trampoline style one a foam mess style same sizes and brand (Gregory) and I find the foam mesh one packs (and also carries) packs far more easily. Twice now I've admitted on the day before camino departure that the newer goal mesh pack IS in fact for me far more comfortable and have gone with it! An individual thing though
 

J F Gregory

Portugal Central - October 2019
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (March-April,2016) finished, (October 2019) Portuguese Central Route.
#7
I have been using a Osprey Exos 38 for over a year. It weighs 2 pounds and has a bowed mesh that divides the kit from direct contact It does protect the kit from sweat. Of course whatever outer layer you wear will make difference in how your body breathes. Even in cold weather being active can cause you to sweat.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés 01/09/2018 - 12/10/2018
#8
I like the trampoline suspension too. I have two LL Bean packs that I like (AT 35 Day Pack, and AT 60 Day Pack.) I like the 35 best, but it's a trifle small. Much of LL Bean's stuff is overpriced and not as good as above brands, but this pack I really like; the trampoline keeps me cool, the weight settles on my hips, and the straps are well placed for my build. (I'm slight across the shoulders.)
I used a Deuter Airlite 22L which was super light and very comfortable. I packed minimalist and still ended up offloading about 500g from my initial pack weight of 5.90kg - rucksack included. The 'tramplone mesh' back spacer worked fantastic, but I still sweated a lot. I imagine that I would have sweated much more with a close contact sponge back rucksack. I walked my Camino from August 31st to October 20th in 2018 and sweated every day, no mayer what the weather or terrain. Good clothing material ensured adequate wicking of perspiration, and a fantastic shower at the end of each day's walk was a joy.
Have fun, be sweaty and hug people
Mark
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés 01/09/2018 - 12/10/2018
#9
One of the disadvantages of some of the trampoline styles is that the pack's weight is pulled backwards rather than held snug against the back. For some this creates a feeling of being pulled backwards, off balance. I've tried trampolines styles but in the end go back to the foam mesh suspension models. I always wear merino so if you sweat it dries and doesn't smell.

Another disadvantage that I find with trampoline styles is the contour created by the pack's arced frame. The body of he pack is a curved versus straight one and I find this less efficient to pack in the manner I prefer. I have 2 x 35 litre packs, one a trampoline style one a foam mess style same sizes and brand (Gregory) and I find the foam mesh one packs (and also carries) packs far more easily. Twice now I've admitted on the day before camino departure that the newer goal mesh pack IS in fact for me far more comfortable and have gone with it! An individual thing though
I agree with the points you made about mesh back packs. I tried both types and for me the mesh back had more advantages than disadvantages. The feeling of balance - being pulled back- can be reduced by carrying daily use items in a front pouch with water bottle. I found that to work very well. The packing of a 'curved' ruck sack is a bit awkward, but I got used to it and adjusted the various straps to suit.
At the end of the day the most important aspect of the rucksack is weight - keep it light as possible. Washing clothes each day becomes a ritual just like having a shower and looking after feet. I enjoyed the natural rhythm of it all and never felt like a missed anything by travelling as light as possibke
 

Vacajoe

Traded in my work boots for hiking ones
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Aragones/Frances/Finisterre (2018), Operation Sabre (2018), Marin Ramble (2017)
#10
I have both types and definitely sweat more with the foam one that sits directly on my back (even in cool weather). It never really smells, but the back of my shirt certainly looks soaked whenever I took off my pack to eat in restaurants, attend mass, etc. not a problem on the Camino where one is surrounddd by pilgrims, but definitely embarrassing when doing urban travel at other times.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Oct 2019
#11
Thank you for sharing your thoughts and experience! I do appreciate each and every post!

I did sweat a lot even with the trampoline mesh panel but the moisture won't get absorbed onto the pack. It did tend to get pulled backwards even after good reorganization. My Mira pack can hold most of the stuffs for a week (or more as I'm doing laundry), but it's a short pack with layers of compartment. When fully packed, the pack looks "bloated" to the front and gets off-balance, mainly due to the bow-shaped panel that curved in to the main compartment. My camera can barely fit in so I want a pack that have a better balance with slightly more room.

I have both types and definitely sweat more with the foam one that sits directly on my back (even in cool weather). It never really smells, but the back of my shirt certainly looks soaked whenever I took off my pack to eat in restaurants, attend mass, etc. not a problem on the Camino where one is surrounddd by pilgrims, but definitely embarrassing when doing urban travel at other times.
My boyfriend is not too supportive of foam mesh panel for the same reason. To answer why I don't look for a trampoline panel again, either the brands or model are not available in my country, or too tall for carry-on, or the organization does not suit my need. There's no return policy so I should carefully make my decision. The shortlisted options are either contact back with non-foam panel (Osprey Kyte 36) or the foam panel. Actually Gregory Jafe 38 ticks all the marks but it's not available anywhere except ordering online.

Another disadvantage that I find with trampoline styles is the contour created by the pack's arced frame. The body of he pack is a curved versus straight one and I find this less efficient to pack in the manner I prefer. I have 2 x 35 litre packs, one a trampoline style one a foam mess style same sizes and brand (Gregory) and I find the foam mesh one packs (and also carries) packs far more easily. Twice now I've admitted on the day before camino departure that the newer goal mesh pack IS in fact for me far more comfortable and have gone with it! An individual thing though
Oh yes.. The first time I tried the foam panel packs, gosh it's comfortably hugging my body really well. I swore by my Mira 32 that it's so comfortable but these packs made me forget I'm carrying a loaded pack! The only concern is with the foam padding ( and bf's constant disagreement as I sweat more than him) as I can't justify how warm it can get on the trail.

I'm gonna check the merino layer too! Heard many good things about it but I thought it's only to regulate body temperature better.
 
Camino(s) past & future
SDC-Fisterra 08/Camino Frances SJPP to SDC 09/Nuremburg-SDC 11- ongoing
#12
One of the other advantages of the trampoline style to think about is that it reduces wind resistance allowing air to flow through and around your pack rather than slam into & spin you & it as can sometimes happen with foam panel packs.
I'm an Autumn, Winter & Spring pilgrim so I have to pack a bit more & use a larger pack 35-40ltr usually and have found this feature to be a real advantage especially on high ground.
 

NavyBlue

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy and Camino Frances. Via Francigena. Tro-Breiz in progress.
#13
Hi,

In addition to trampoline backs and foam/mesh backs, there are other designs which manage a ventilation space between the pack and the back of the carrier, such as the Sierra Designs Flex Capacitor. Got one, used it in a mountain tour, happy with it. More on the web about it.

SDFC.jpg
 


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