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Need a new pack. Suggestions?
#56552 11/08/19 10:07 PM
Joined: Feb 2015
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My current Osprey Exos 58 is getting pretty frayed and I'm thinking of replacing it for next year's backpacking.

Unfortunately, the new Exos doesn't have the hip pockets like my current one does, so that's a deal breaker. Also might like (or need) something with more capacity (see my JMT 2020 thread for why).

Preferably something not too much heavier than the 3 pounds of the Exos.

I'd also want to switch to an external hydration sleeve. Many times I end up putting my camelbak in the rear pocket to allow me to refill quicker without unpacking the pack to get the bladder out from inside.

I'm okay with the single internal compartment, although if it doesn't add too much weight, some additional organization compartments are okay. The removable top of the Exos is also useful.

So any suggestions?

Re: Need a new pack. Suggestions?
WanderingJim #56556 11/09/19 03:23 PM
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I've been using a Mystery Ranch Men's Sphinx 60 Backpack for several years. It is large enough to carry everything I need for 7 days. Not super-light at 4.5 pounds, but super comfy. It has the best lumbar and hip support of any of the many packs I've used...including Osprey's best. Mystery Ranch also makes a water-bottle/accessory pouch that attachs to the shoulder straps.

Re: Need a new pack. Suggestions?
WanderingJim #56558 11/09/19 10:23 PM
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My last 3 packs have been from ZPacks. Their Arc Haul series is similar to what I have.

Re: Need a new pack. Suggestions?
WanderingJim #56559 11/10/19 08:04 AM
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Lots of options from companies like ULA, SWD etc. Many can be customized to your needs with pockets, colors etc.

I never could get comfortable with the ZPacks arc series. Always thought the arc just reduced interior space when "arc'd". I also couldn't quite get my weight down low enough into the sweet spot for that pack.

When I wanted to save a little weight from my Gregory Paragon 58, I picked up a used Gossamer Gear Mariposa. It strays a bit away from the single compartment of the packs mentioned above with some extra pockets (like a large/ tall side pocket I use for my tent).

Have only used a few times, but so far so good. And it's only 2lbs.

Only thing I'd change is to put larger hip pockets, but that is not an option. They're fine, but just a bit larger would be nice.

Last edited by MikeH; 11/10/19 08:05 AM.
Re: Need a new pack. Suggestions?
WanderingJim #56560 11/10/19 08:13 AM
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Re: Filling your bladder.

I've never done it, but have seen people cut their drinking tube and add a connection for their filter system. This way they can fill their bladder through the drinking tube eliminating the need to remove the bladder from the pack.

Last edited by MikeH; 11/10/19 08:15 AM.
Re: Need a new pack. Suggestions?
MikeH #56561 11/10/19 09:35 PM
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I quit using the bladder and tube system when I realized they add ounces to the total weight. I stick with a Gatorade liter and a smaller water bottle.

Re: Need a new pack. Suggestions?
MikeH #56562 11/10/19 09:46 PM
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Originally Posted By: MikeH
Re: Filling your bladder.

I've never done it, but have seen people cut their drinking tube and add a connection for their filter system. This way they can fill their bladder through the drinking tube eliminating the need to remove the bladder from the pack.


Yeah, I tried that, but once the bladder is drained and compressed, it's sometimes hard to force water back into it (the stuff in the backpack are compressing it).

Re: Need a new pack. Suggestions?
Steve C #56564 11/11/19 10:07 AM
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Originally Posted By: Steve C
I quit using the bladder and tube system when I realized they add ounces to the total weight. I stick with a Gatorade liter and a smaller water bottle.


For me it wasn't the weight that made me change to bottles. I stopped using a bladder and won't start using them again until they offer some sort of 'fuel gauged". More than once I started sucking air when I thought I should still have water. When it is 110 degrees out and water still a few miles away, a person can get real thirsty.

Re: Need a new pack. Suggestions?
WanderingJim #56565 11/11/19 10:44 AM
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I love my Osprey Talon 44. I use a bladder that has anti-microbial material on the bladder and mouthpiece. Osprey has a deal where you send in your old Osprey pack (doesn't matter what year or condition it's in) for repair and they will fix it for free or give you a brand-new one. My old 44 that had some rips in the outer pocket was replaced by my choice of same pack or similar brand-new pack for free. Love these guys..

Re: Need a new pack. Suggestions?
EdHaynes #56566 11/11/19 11:39 AM
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Originally Posted By: EdHaynes
Originally Posted By: Steve C
I quit using the bladder and tube system when I realized they add ounces to the total weight. I stick with a Gatorade liter and a smaller water bottle.


For me it wasn't the weight that made me change to bottles. I stopped using a bladder and won't start using them again until they offer some sort of 'fuel gauged". More than once I started sucking air when I thought I should still have water. When it is 110 degrees out and water still a few miles away, a person can get real thirsty.


Actually, Camelbak did make one (don't think it's currently being made). Not sure how accurate it was.

Amazon has one for sale: https://www.amazon.com/CamelBak-90702-Ca...C209&sr=8-1

Last edited by WanderingJim; 11/11/19 12:57 PM.

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