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PostPosted: Sun Nov 18, 2007 3:20 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 23, 2005 8:51 am
Posts: 636
One feature that I love in a pack that very few have is a zip-off back panel. My bergan's pack has it. It is so nice if you have your board strapped onto your back (I know this is rare when splitting but sometimes you gotta) and still being able to access stuff in your pack. It also makes it easier to stuff larger items in there too.

I wish more companies would add this to their pack designs because I consider it a must have option now.

Also it would be nice to have more packs in the mid range category. I'm talking not a day pack and not a 9000 cubic inch but something in the 4000 range. My old dana bridger was the perfect size for trad gear or overnight/long day in the BC with ropes and shit.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 20, 2007 8:15 am 
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Joined: Wed Oct 06, 2004 10:57 pm
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Location: California
Thanks for the input all! :thatrocks:

This thread is a good example of some of the challenges a designer faces when making a new product. You will never be able to please everyone because people's likes and dis-likes vary so much.

The example I'll give is the backside access. For me personally I don't care for that while others love it.

Thanks again for the input, I'm sure Osprey will find it useful. Keep an eye out for the new packs. :)


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 22, 2007 8:47 am 
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Joined: Mon Feb 06, 2006 11:31 pm
Posts: 590
Location: ca. - sierra
i like my switch

shoulder straps could be a little more beefy and padded. waist belt could be a little more padded and beefy as well. maybe they were trying to save on weight with lighter straps? i think the comfort factor outweighs weight in this case.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 22, 2007 1:08 pm 
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Joined: Fri Nov 19, 2004 8:41 pm
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Location: Santa Cruz, CA
I tried out a Switch 26 proto in 06. I thought in general it's a really well-made pack with a lot of cool features, but for my particular needs it doesn't quite cut it. Here's a list of comments from my notes, which I sent to Osprey:

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.

- It would be nice if there were a couple mini "organizer" pockets inside the main compartment for keeping small and/or frequently accessed stuff handy. One pack I have has some see-through mesh pockets for this, which works well.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2008 6:56 pm 
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Joined: Tue Feb 21, 2006 1:57 am
Posts: 1110
Location: Santa Barbara, CA/Ashland, OR
My first season with my switch 36:

I can overnight in this bag with a highly compressible bag and a bivy, though the room in the "wet" pocket is rarely completely utilized while the "dry" pocket is always stuffed.

I would really like the back panel access that the switch 26 users have and I'm not sure why that feature didn't get onto all 3 packs. I am grateful to at least have the side access zipper.

The belt pouches are kind of hard to reach, it seems like they are kind of behind you, though if you had to sacrifice room in the pouches, I'd probably choose to keep them as is.

I LOVE the helmet pocket. The material is not bomb-proof, true, but I don't really think it needs to be since it's rarely exposed unless the helmet is actually in the pouch, in which case you're probably not riding trees-where the most damage to MY pack can be done.

I don't like pulling the waiststraps in the opposite direction as normal to tighten them, it also makes loosening them inconvenient, two things I do OFTEN. I do like the waistbelt anchoring at 4 points though, if there were anyway to keep that feature and make the waistbelt tighten in the normal (outward pulling) direction, it would be ideal.

This may very well may just be me, buy my Voile mini Handle barely fits inside this pack and stretches out the top hatch a bit.

I also think extra pockets in the main compartment would be handy, though a very lightweight product would be preferable so as not to add any weight.

Regarding the helmet pocket and board carry at the same time? I can count on one hand the amount of times that feature would have mattered, and even those times it was quite easy to buckle the helmet to the board, the compression straps, or wedge it in somewhere. There's only so much you can expect a 3# pack to do, what else you guys want? A DVD player?

Regarding the pole storage, the compression flaps are perfect if you've got a shovel blade in the wet pouch, it appears to have been either a beautiful side-effect of the engineering, or a part of the engineering that is underappreciated. I have fit both Verts and poles in the compression flaps/straps with no problem.

An easy mod would be to make the ski-carry bottom loops (on the sides) adjustable with a clip of some sort that would allow boarders to use those for the poles as well. As far as I'm concerned, I like using the compression flaps/straps since it secures my poles so solidly and keeps them a bit away from my body.

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"Winter is not a season, it's an occupation."
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2008 10:56 pm 
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Location: Santa Cruz, CA
jbaysurfer wrote:
Regarding the helmet pocket and board carry at the same time? I can count on one hand the amount of times that feature would have mattered, and even those times it was quite easy to buckle the helmet to the board, the compression straps, or wedge it in somewhere. There's only so much you can expect a 3# pack to do, what else you guys want? A DVD player?

Well, yeah! :roll:

I guess I was just hoping for something that would work all the time for storing the helmet. I hate hanging my helmet off the pack somewhere and having it banging around while I'm climbing. Rigging a strap to cinch it down is easy enough but yet another thing to forget, so I was excited to have a pack with a solution for that. Just sayin' it didn't end up being all I was hoping for.

Quote:
Regarding the pole storage, the compression flaps are perfect if you've got a shovel blade in the wet pouch, it appears to have been either a beautiful side-effect of the engineering, or a part of the engineering that is underappreciated. I have fit both Verts and poles in the compression flaps/straps with no problem.

Interesting. In my case the poles didn't seem to be very sturdy in there w/o something on top of them. Maybe the shovel profile was different or this is different in the 26 vs. 36. I guess it's OK with the Verts piled on top of them but I'd rather just have them on the side, independent of what's on the back.

But the main deal killer for me is the lack of compression straps on the side. There's just no way to compress it if there's something on the back, like a board.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2008 1:16 pm 
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Joined: Fri Nov 23, 2007 3:40 pm
Posts: 159
Location: Aurora, CO
I have the Switch 18, that is a couple years old. Love the pack.
Things I would change though:
Ski carry loops on the side are useless for anything else. If they had a collapsable pocket to hold poles that would be great.
The heavy duty material of the board carry straps is a little short. If the pack is full the board edges rub on the bare webbing.
The pocket on the shoulder strap that holds the hydration tube gets narrow at the bottom and makes it a pain to zip up the bite valve.

Mostly little things. Like I said, I like the pack. Good construction, easy access, easily adjusted waistbelt.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 05, 2008 12:48 pm 
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Location: N. Vancouver <=> Santa Cruz
JimW wrote:
- 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.

Do you mean the upper straps are non-adjustable? I have the pack with the removable aquasource/no helmet compartment, I think it's a 2006. The lower side straps adjust fine, the upper ones are adjustable but they don't cinch down making putting anything there a little precarious. But, those straps are replaceable. You can remove the buckle and the webbing slides right out leaving a nice little sleeve. I inserted a Voile strap in it's place and now I can cinch my poles to the sides REALLY effectively. It also makes AFraming a lot more stable.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 06, 2008 2:28 am 
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Location: Santa Cruz, CA
wavy wrote:
JimW wrote:
- 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.

Do you mean the upper straps are non-adjustable? I have the pack with the removable aquasource/no helmet compartment, I think it's a 2006. The lower side straps adjust fine, the upper ones are adjustable but they don't cinch down making putting anything there a little precarious. But, those straps are replaceable. You can remove the buckle and the webbing slides right out leaving a nice little sleeve. I inserted a Voile strap in it's place and now I can cinch my poles to the sides REALLY effectively. It also makes AFraming a lot more stable.

It was definitely the lower straps on the pack I tried that were non-adjustable. The upper ones adjusted, and could be removed like you said. The bottom ones were fixed, non-adjustable, and non-removable. Here's a pic (in this one the pole handles/whippets are actually running through the ice axe loop on the back of the pack):

Image


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 02, 2008 11:46 am 
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Location: Santa Barbara, CA/Ashland, OR
jbaysurfer wrote:
Regarding the helmet pocket and board carry at the same time? I can count on one hand the amount of times that feature would have mattered, and even those times it was quite easy to buckle the helmet to the board, the compression straps, or wedge it in somewhere. There's only so much you can expect a 3# pack to do, what else you guys want? A DVD player?


jimw wrote:
Well, yeah! :roll:

I guess I was just hoping for something that would work all the time for storing the helmet. I hate hanging my helmet off the pack somewhere and having it banging around while I'm climbing. Rigging a strap to cinch it down is easy enough but yet another thing to forget, so I was excited to have a pack with a solution for that. Just sayin' it didn't end up being all I was hoping for.


Yeah I just reread what I wrote and I can say there are probably more then a few times when I'm ascending on foot that I don't want to be wearing my helmet as well (warm clear spring days!). So I recan't my statement. It WOULD be nice to have a way to carry a board while the helmet's in the pouch.

Also, I couldn't agree more about the compression straps...I'm a big believer in having a backcountry item serve more then one purpose, but maybe in this case I'd make an exception. The straight jacket straps should not be the sole provider of compression for the pack...I'll take a couple more ounces to have dedicated compression straps.

Cheers..

_________________
"Winter is not a season, it's an occupation."
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 Post subject: Re: Osprey Switch User Input
PostPosted: Sat Jan 17, 2009 12:45 pm 
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Joined: Thu Dec 29, 2005 7:32 pm
Posts: 24
Location: Vail, Co
So I read all these posts and a whole bunch of reviews online about the Switch 26 and bought it. A mistake for me. There are a few noticeable flaws with the pack that I am surprised got through the design.
The biggest being the goggle helmet area. Its made out of a lightweight netting which might stretch to fit a helmet? The problem is that it tears once it gets near a limb. It lasted about 2 days with me before it had a HUGE hole through it.
The next is no compression straps. I hold a minimal amount of stuff on lots of days and want my pack to be as skinny as possible. But there were no compression straps to really tighten the pack to your back. This also made board movement a little more noticeable when it was strapped on the pack.
Too much crap going on. They've got more ways to hold board/skis and tighten your hip belt with lots of other straps going this way and that. Like they are trying to design a pack for everyone doing everything. Its just not possible. So when you have a small loop hanging off the back of your pack (for I don't know what reason) and it grabs on a tree and rips the pack bottom out your not too happy.
The interior size... I really liked the overall total size. But I think I might prefer it to be a bit taller. That way it can easily fit my shovel handle and probe.
What I did really like... Back panel opening. Won't buy another pack unless it has this. An internal place to hold shovel, probe and a small first aid kit. Small hip belt pockets, goggle pocket.

So basically I am sending my pack in and do not want it replaced. With how easily the top netting rips it won't hold up for me. I ride lots of trees in CO and the netting would constantly be torn to pieces. And if you were planning on buying this years Osprey (08-09) I might wait till they figure out these problems or buy a different pack.


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 Post subject: Re: Osprey Switch User Input
PostPosted: Thu Apr 09, 2009 5:56 am 
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I recently bought the Switch 36 (on sale, I couldn't afford the normal price).
I tried it twice for a night in the mountain with the snowboard and I was pleasantly surprised. The main quality is the confort of the backpack, when the total weight is around 15kgs, you don't want a crappy backpack.
I made a long hike without discomfort, whereas my Osprey Stratos 32 was not as confortable as this one. (they're not supposed to carry the same weight, thats true). I felt no pain on my shoulder, great pack for that ! (and I've tried a lot).

I'm not the biggest fan of the separation inside the bag, but I haven't used it much so far. I'll give it a try.

I also think that the netting for the helmet pocket is way too fragile, I'm pretty sure I'll make hole in it :/ Remember that we're supposed to use this gear in the backcountry, where you might find some trees, branches, etc...
The rest of the pack seems to be really solid, I like that.

I haven't found a good way to attach the poles, the bottom is not attached and move to much. When I do snowboard, I don't want anything to move on my back. This can be easily corrected by adding a bottle pocket on the side like on the Stratos 32.

Compression straps would be really nice, I've always used my bag full and haven't needed that so far, but it will be usefull. I also use compression straps to carry stuff like mattress or poles.

Oh, I forgot : I love the side access, really good idea !


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