Tuesday, February 5, 2008

New Pack

I bought a Granite Gear Vapor Trail from Midwest Mountaineering today.With tax, it was about $170. I got a small hip belt, so it should weigh in at just under 32 ounces. I tested it out in the store with approximately 33 lbs of weight. The hipbelt felt great, and the shoulder pads did a great job whenever there was weight on my shoulders. The pack, by the way, is rated to max out at 30 lbs. I'm curious how it will hold up after 10 hours on my back. Given it's proven trail record with thru-hikers (GG states that last season, (no year is given), roughly 40 percent of AT thru-hikers carried a the VT. I'm in good hands.)

The frame is interesting. It is a thin framesheet, like a flexible, dense plastic. Between be and the plastic is the foam padding. It conforms to my back and moves with me, unlike what a pack with aluminum stays would do.

The pack is listed at 3600 in^3, or 59 liters. It is slightly bigger than my sil nylon hand sewn pack. The volume comes from the main compartment and the massive extension collar. There are only two exterior pockets. Each is an elastic lycra-liek material. I can easily stuff my rain pants and rain jacket in one of them. The other pocket will be reserved for a fuel bottle (with the Dragonfly) or my water filter.

I think the selling point though, was the strap setup on the back of the pack. This is designed to strap shelters or sleeping pads to the outside of the pack. The straps are long and accommodate a larger packed shelter than the TarpTent Double Rainbow (4" x ~20") that I put in there. This is free up the massive amount of space a one's pack. It also allows for me to carry extra food for longer trips, should I need to. A quick check with my gear revealed that my stuff takes up very little space in the pack's interior. I should have no problem carrying two weeks of food in there.

I'll test it this weekend at camp.

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