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PostPosted: Sun Sep 17, 2006 1:48 pm 
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Here's your photographic evidence... :P They told me I could take it home and try my gear in it and return it If I want to.

This is the backzip area. It contains the water resevoir, so that takes up a fair amount of space when filled.
Image

This is what the backzip area looks like stuffed with water, a down vest, and a relatively bulky shell.
Image

This is the topload area, which is pretty spacious. I have a shovel, probe, splitboard crampons, and skins in there with plenty of room to spare.
Image

I think that if I went with this pack, it would work best if I forgot about the whole 'wet' & 'dry' thing. My jacket is too bulky for the backzip area and there is plenty of room in the topload area. The pack is really well made. I love the huge hipbelt pockets and the helmet pocket seems to work really well. It's a nice pack for sure. I would have to experiment around to figure out what to put in each compartment.

I'm also going to try to get my hands on an Arcteryx M30. I want to try that one because it has a lightweight internal frame and the board-carry straps are separate from the compression straps so the board can snug up against the load even when the pack isn't full. No hip pockets, though, but it does have skipole clamps. (woo hoo)

Image


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 18, 2006 10:24 am 
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Location: Seattle
[quote="SanFrantastico"]

I'm also going to try to get my hands on an Arcteryx M30. I want to try that one because it has a lightweight internal frame and the board-carry straps are separate from the compression straps so the board can snug up against the load even when the pack isn't full. No hip pockets, though, but it does have skipole clamps. (woo hoo)

[img]

I was checking the M30 out also last year.. SF, do you know if that model let's you carry your board horizontally? Looks like a sweet pack.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 18, 2006 10:40 am 
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Hey SF,

Thanks for the pics. You win! :)

Looking more closely at the info on the Osprey website too, I guess it was designed that way. They mention “Access your avy gear through the top pocket and your wet gear (although I think they mean dry) through full zip backpanel.â€Â


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 18, 2006 2:53 pm 
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Thanks, BCR-

I think the backzip area could work well for someone organized and disciplined enought to figure out a good system. Knowing me I'm sure I'd have both compartments open at every stop. At least one thing I wouldn't have trouble finding is my 'back pain medication,' since they provided and labelled a special pocket:
Image
(Photo credit on that to jimw's TPR trip report, by the way.)

ReeferMadness - I don't think the M30 does horizontal snowboard carry, but I haven't actually found one to check out in person yet. I'll let you know if I find out.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 18, 2006 5:28 pm 
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Location: Ft. Collins, CO
I finally caved and decided to upgrade the pack this year. I just got my hands on the Osprey Switch 36. That coffee color is pretty damn slick too, if i do say so. Is Nice!! I love the pack so far. I've used a burton Paradise (i think) and i've been using the DaKine poacher. This one def. blows em away. Way comfy and much more storage. I didn't know if i'd like the top pocket access, but it is way simpler than most. I dig it. Plus i don't have all those damn useless straps everywhere, confusing me. I love the Avy tool pockets and the whole seperate storage area. The only thing i'm still trying to deal with is the storage of my poles and the ice axe(when needed.) They can't fit inside the pack like on my ol poacher. Got any ideas, or better yet pictures, of how you'd stow poles?? I saw the pics of how BCrider stowed poles on that other Switch model (whats in your pack thread)but that can't seem to work on mine. I use the Black diamond expedition dealyo's. I'd like to stow it with the points down, cause i just don't like sharp things behind my head, but am open to some suggestions.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 18, 2006 8:47 pm 
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Nevermind, i figured out that if i slide out the last section of pole they fit right inside. Perfect. Sorry,I was under the influence. The stickiest of the icky.... :lol:

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 18, 2006 8:53 pm 
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Congrats Splitfire!

I used that same pack for much of the season last year and loved it. I ran my poles in the main compression straps with the tips up (never had them touch me even in a couple of good tumbles, I also were a helmet though). I'll try to post a pic later. The pack needs to be pretty full for this to work well however. I'm definitely going to be hounding Osprey to come up with something better though. Probably wouldn't hurt if you sent them a quick email too. Tell ‘em Chris at splitboard.com sent ya. :)

SF,
I spoke to Osprey and they confirmed (and corrected) those two errors on their site.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Sep 18, 2006 8:55 pm 
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Splitfire wrote:
Nevermind, i figured out that if i slide out the last section of pole they fit right inside. Perfect. Sorry,I was under the influence. The stickiest of the icky.... :lol:


If you're short like me, 5'7'' or so you can also cut the poles down a little so you don't have to mess with seperating them every time.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 19, 2006 11:46 am 
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Location: Littleton, CO
The problem I see with most of the packs I've seen in this thread is the hipbelt.

None seem to have the padding/support I'm looking for on longer approaches carrying your boots, board, etc.

I think Osprey needs to put out a switch with a beefed up hipbelt like the Arcteryx Bora.


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 Post subject: Re: jimw - how is the Switch 26??
PostPosted: Tue Sep 19, 2006 9:43 pm 
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SanFrantastico wrote:
Hey Jimw -

Didn't you use a prototype Osprey Switch 26 on your TPR trip?? How did it work for you in the field? I just had a chance to check one out and it seemed kind of funky in a few ways.

It seemed like cramming the helmet in the top pocket would render that space kind of useless. I also didn't really understand the division of the main compartment into a 'wet' space, accessed by the zipper in back and the topload 'dry' space. Did the pack work well for you, or was is annoying?

Thanks...

Sorry for the delay getting back to you. Yes, I did try a Switch 26 this year. It was a proto so I think a couple things may have changed in the production models. Here's what I thought:

Good

- I like the separate "wet" tools compartment. I didn't have any issues fitting stuff in the pack, even with the full water bladder. The tools comparment is pretty thin, and the main compartment has the most room, so I don't think it would make much difference if, say, the hydration pocket were in the tools compartment. But I would only use this for day trips, and I don't usually have much bulky clothing in there on day trips.

- I really dig the back panel access. It makes it super easy to access the contents even when the board is on the back. You can even get in there while skinning if you want (leave hip belt on, take shoulder straps off, rotate pack around hips in front of you and the back panel access is right there).

- The helmet pocket is nice, but not when you're trying to carry the board on the pack.

- The hydration-tube-in-the-shoulder-strap works well to prevent freezing.

- Side pockets on the hip belts are useful for frequently-accessed stuff. The waistbelt uses smaller than normal webbing - it cinches down well, but I can't use my usual iPod case camera holder rig on it.

- It seemed pretty comfy for the most part.

- Construction is bomber.

Bad

- The pole issue. There is simply no good way to attach poles to the pack. You can do it like bcrider does, putting them on the back panel, but that doesn't work if you have something else there (like a pair of Verts, which I have with me on practically any trip). The side straps kinda work, but the lower straps are non-adjustable so you can't cinch them down.

- If you don't have something on the back panel, you can use the back panel straps and bring them all the way across the pack to a special extra set of buckles, which will compress the pack more (for when it's not full). However, if you have something on the back (like a snowboard), there is no way to compress the pack. The board attachment straps across the back panel only go to the depth of the outer tool compartment, not the full pack. This is a serious bummer and makes stuff flop around on your back when it's not full. In addition to regular compression straps, it would be nice if there were a separate "board tension" strap on the top for when you have the board on the back - this would bring the top of the board closer to your head and further compress it against the pack. I find that packs that have this carry the board in a much more stable fashion.

- You could carry the board in split mode like skis, and go A-frame. However, then the helmet pocket isn't very useful (you can't A-frame the tips with the helmet in the way). It also still feels like the "skis" aren't super stable. It would probably help if the lower ski straps were also adjustable.

- They also have a diagonal ski carry strap, but I didn't even try that. It seems like that would just combine the worst of the two issues I just mentioned.

- In actual use, it seemed that the chest strap ended up riding too high even when adjusted all the way down.


Bottom line - it seems to me this pack is designed more for skiers (i.e. usually never having to stash the poles, and carry systems more optimal for skis). Don't get me wrong, for what it does it's a great pack; but for my needs it doesn't cut it.

(And yes bcr, I'll be sending my comments to Stephen at Osprey... :))


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Sep 19, 2006 11:15 pm 
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After having worked in a gear store all summer and trying on upteen zillion packs not to mention talking to reps it seems like what people have been saying on here is pretty good advice. Arcteryx and Osprey are the two front runners interms of inovation and desighn as well as just making bomber packs. Osprey tend to have a little bit better thought out suspension systems while Arc Teryx sticks to their tried and true method of building indestructible gear that stands up to anything. Alot of the Osprey packs are now coming with removable and moldable hip belts, so you mite ask your local shop if you can get a hip belt off of one of their big back packs and put it on your day pack when you need it.
-Barret


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Sep 20, 2006 7:44 am 
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Yeah - although for some reason it seems like Osprey left the suspension system off of the Switch series, which is their ski and snowboard specific line. I saw an Osprey Atmos (I think) pack at REI and I was really impressed with its lightwieght little frame.

http://www.ospreypacks.com/packs/14/Atmos35/

Why wouldn't they put something like that in the Switch packs for the poor bastards who are carrying a snowboard on their backs??


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Sep 20, 2006 9:12 am 
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SanFrantastico wrote:
Why wouldn't they put something like that in the Switch packs for the poor bastards who are carrying a snowboard on their backs??


I'm not a designer or spokesperson for Osprey (just a tester and sponsored athlete) but I'll take a stab at that….

The Switch packs don't have (or need in my personal opinion) the type of frame (alloy aluminum with titanium struts) found in the Atmos Series because the Switch packs are not designed to carry that same amount of weight. The reality is that most backcountry skiers and snowboarders are not carrying 35lbs of gear for a basic day hike. If you are, then you should probably look at a different pack in the line, like the Exposure Series, the 42L is designed to carry more weight yet still has snowboard carry and winter use in mind. It also has more padding in the shoulder straps and a custom molded hipbelt.

My daypack typically weighs about 10-12lbs, if I reach a section on the tour where I need to carry my board it adds about another 12-13lbs. Together that only adds up to 25lbs, not 35lbs so I really don't need a beefier frame or more padding. Overall I probably only carry my board a small percentage of time compared to having on my feet as well.

Also keep in mind that if they put that type of frame into the Switch packs it would make the packs heavier and more expensive.

But if you are carrying heavier loads and need more support check out this pack.
http://www.ospreypacks.com/packs/19/Exposure42/
Image

Keep in mind however that if you plan to carry your board, you need to have the volume fairly full for the board carry to work properly. Kinda of a moot point though because if you don't need the added volume, why carry a pack this big in the first place? You're better of with a smaller pack.


Jimw,
You mean you haven't sent your thoughts to Stephen yet? You're gonna give us a bad name man. That was supposed to be done months ago. ;)

I agree with you on some of your thoughts. The snowboard carry could be improved upon for times with you don't have much stuff inside the pack. The ski pole carry could also be improved although I really haven't experienced what I would consider a real problem with it.

Maybe we should hound them for a bcrider “backcountry snowboarderâ€Â


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