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PostPosted: Thu Apr 17, 2008 12:28 pm 
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From another pack thread on expedition packs Yoda indicated that the mountainsmith shavano is one of his personal favorites...

viewtopic.php?t=4339

I like reading the thoughts of packing variables and why people put certain things in certain places. I guess I'm always trying to carry more yet have it more comfortable or retain some of the extra features of the pack (like still being able to compress even with a splitboard somehow attached). I think I'm going to tinker with my current two large packs through this spring and summer, possibly even carrying my spit gear on trips where I'm really just backpacking and camping. The fitness benefit and ability to assess what ends up working best is probably worth the effort.

Iceworm, I like how you think about getting things of higher mass closer toward your body, even if you have to put them on the sides of the pack. My snowboards were alwasy solid before, now that i can split them there may be better weight distribution and carry options that I never had before.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 17, 2008 3:39 pm 
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kjkrow wrote:
The Shavano seems a bit more alpine oriented, with a lot of features, but it's hard to tell if it's snowboard carry is similir to the Osprey straightjacket, ie, you lose the ability to compress the sides. I think the Shavano might be a bit overloaded feature wise, especially as the weight is almost 6 pounds for the large size, nearly double that of the Ospreys. Note, the Phoenix also ways 5 lbs 8 oz.


I agree on the many alpine features of the Shavano, can anyone chime in about the vertical board carry and simultaneous compression ability?

I did observe the weight, and my personal approach is that if I am considering carrying a 60L+ pack it is because the trip is extended and technical (i.e. lots of heavy gear, e.g. rope(s), tool(s), pro, etc...), in which case I know the pack is going to be a ball-buster and accept the additional empty pack weight as it usually means a beefier suspension and thus more pleasurable carry. Note that most all packs seem equivalent or lighter in weight than a Gregory, but few carry more enjoyably! Otherwise I squeeze into a 45L or under pack.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 17, 2008 3:58 pm 
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Chris,

I agree about the weight comment. I guess my point was, having not personally tried an Osprey, they seem to earn high marks (as does Gregogy) for comfort, while in this case being about half the weight of the Shavano. So if they do carry just as well, that's 2-3 pounds less that you don't have to take along with you.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 17, 2008 4:30 pm 
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I'm (obviously) not all that worried about how far the snowboard is from my back. At any rate it doesn't feel like I'm carrying an akward load at all. I'm much more worried about how tight the carry system is so stuff isn't shifting around on me as I walk. And then of course you have to have good clearance for your head and legs and decent access to the contents of the pack. From those points of view I like carrying the board as a solid on the back of my load.

One thing I usually do is carry the board nose-downward when I climb which keeps the board from towering overhead.

The osprey straightjacket system holds a board really well if the pack is full or modifed with extra compression straps. That's because the straightjacket runs continually along the board for about a foot or so rather than just making contact at two points. I don't think I've seen any pack of this size that comes with the necessary straps to both carry a board (in board mode) and compress the pack. The Arcteryx Silo series does it well, but their biggest pack is 50l. The mountainsmith shavano pack looks promising but I couldn't see the snowboard carry system well enough online to get a sense of how it works.

For sure I would recommend bringing a board in with you when you go pack shopping so you can make sure you're happy with the carry system and that you can access the other features of the pack when the board is attached. A lot of times I found these features to work better in theory than they do in real life.

Here's some full-pack bootschwacking from this past weekend. Yay.
Image

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 17, 2008 4:34 pm 
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kjkrow wrote:
So if they do carry just as well, that's 2-3 pounds less that you don't have to take along with you.


Care to be the guinea pig? :D

Moosejaw currently has the best pack ever promotion running on Osprey packs. Load it with the same gear/weight in the same/nearly similar packing style as a Gregory/Mountainsmith of similar size and let me know how it performs. I greatly appreciate all your first hand knowledge, and for saving me the time needed to do it myself. :twisted: Cheers

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 17, 2008 5:25 pm 
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Interesting MooseJaw offer, I'll have to think about.

Another compression strap idea, that would require no modding and probably wouldn't add any discomfort to the carrier: Take a long piece of webbing, at least as long as the circumference of the pack with board on and attach the male/female ends of a quick release buckle. Repeat with another equally long piece of webbing. Then using the two of these, wrap the pack body, going through the shoulder loops and connect, cinching down for as much compression as desired. If positioned with some thought, they should compress well and not really slip or move around a whole lot.

This obviously isn't as slick as Storn's mod, but allows a bit of flexibility on how/where you could compress the pack, plus it's completely removable, so if you have to return it to MooseJaw or REI, no worries. Faster/easier to. Thoughts?

Edit: Another thought on the weight, and having not played around with them in person, this is purely speculation. If Pack A (say the Exposure 66) weighs 3 lbs and Pack B (say the Shavano) weighs 6 lbs (not accurate weights), how they carry shouldn't be purely reflective of the weight. Both packs are designed for the same thing, but if Pack A has less "gimmicky" features, such as Pack B's sleeping bag compartment, tool holsters, shovel pocket thing, trekking pole holsters, then it seems reasonable to me at least that Pack A could carry just as well as Pack B despite the weight difference. My point being that a heavier pack doesn't imply it will carry better than a lighter pack.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 17, 2008 6:27 pm 
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kjkrow wrote:
My point being that a heavier pack doesn't imply it will carry better than a lighter pack.


Not implying a direct correlation on my end. Simply stating that one of the easiest ways for a manufacturer to save on weight is with a thinner, less padded hip belt, a narrower, shorter, less padded shoulder strap and a lighter, less rigid internal frame. These things are of smaller importance when you a discussing carrying less than 40 pounds. However, these points become magnified when you begin to discuss carrying in excess of 50 pounds, especially over an extended trip.

Come on....be the guinea pig :lol:

Edit: Just remember that with the Exposure you have to create your own A-carry method, unless someone can verify that it will carry a split in touring mode, so you will add some weight and its utility will be based on the effectiveness of your modifications.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 17, 2008 6:43 pm 
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No doubt, but...

I already had an Osprey Crescent for backpacking when I got the expedition. The Crescent is the deeeluxe cruiser in the osprey lineup and it is very comfy. However I prefer the Expedition for snowboard trips. This guinea pig will tell you that it carries 60 lbs very nicely for a 4 lb pack.

When I'm tooling around with the Crescent and 1/2 my wife's gear I'm not ususally doing the kind of vert I am when I'm on a snowboard trip. For that reason I prefer saving weight with the lighter pack when I'm snowboarding. It's true the expedition has less hip padding but it also is scaled back feature-wise. Now that I have a good system I find the expedition is easier to use than the crescent so I pretty much always think twice about bringing the Crescent and its extra weight.

Edit: It does have an A-frame method that accomodates splitboards but I never use it.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 17, 2008 8:52 pm 
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SanFrantastico wrote:
Edit: It does have an A-frame method that accomodates splitboards but I never use it.


Really, any reason why? Also wondering if the top buckles on the side straps do a good job of maintaining the applied tension?

I prefer the A-carry as it tends to keep the center-of-mass of the pack closer to my body and I personally think it reduces the cross-sectional area of my pack exposed to the wind, but have to compromise with the added height. I do however want my pack to also accommodate a vertical carry for rolling terrain or short traverses where I don't want to carry the board in ride mode under my arm or make-shift horizontally between my back and the pack.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 17, 2008 9:12 pm 
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I don't have anything against A-framing - I just find that I don't do it very often. Usually I'm booting down low and skinning up high so my board is already in solid mode when I strap it on and go. I also have a fantasy that I can compress the pack a little with the board and the whole thing is a tight package, which I like. When I'm doing a short stretch in boots between skinning then I carry the boards in ski mode. I haven't had to do it with the expedition yet and my day pack has no side straps.

The bottom straps on the expedition look basically just like compression straps but they're at the very bottom of the pack. The top straps are actually removable straps that thread through a set of loops, so you could put any strap you want in there. The regular one looks ok though. But I've never had the chance to carry in A-frame mode with this pack so I couldn't tell you how well it actually works.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 17, 2008 10:31 pm 
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kjkrow wrote:
Another compression strap idea, that would require no modding and probably wouldn't add any discomfort to the carrier: Take a long piece of webbing, at least as long as the circumference of the pack with board on and attach the male/female ends of a quick release buckle. Repeat with another equally long piece of webbing. Then using the two of these, wrap the pack body, going through the shoulder loops and connect, cinching down for as much compression as desired. If positioned with some thought, they should compress well and not really slip or move around a whole lot.



I have two long leg holster straps from a tactical pistol holster (former life) that I use to wrap / secure / compress. I like it, it adds a little weight, but gives me a solid feeling when I use this to attach to a pack not really designed to carry my board. I have used this to make many different non snowboard friendly packs work just fine. I think I'm just liking the idea of board halves on the sides of the packs to put that 10# closer to my center of balance. I can see the points that you all bring up. Lots of personal preferences. I guess i will try then decide.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 17, 2008 11:08 pm 
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kjkrow wrote:
Another compression strap idea, that would require no modding and probably wouldn't add any discomfort to the carrier: Take a long piece of webbing, at least as long as the circumference of the pack with board on and attach the male/female ends of a quick release buckle. Repeat with another equally long piece of webbing. Then using the two of these, wrap the pack body, going through the shoulder loops and connect, cinching down for as much compression as desired. If positioned with some thought, they should compress well and not really slip or move around a whole lot.

MEC up here, the canadjian REI, was selling a snowboard carry kit that attached to your compression straps. I added a couple of quick release buckles to my compression straps and gave my pack a convertable snowboard carrier. a third strap off the top of my shoulder straps added a bit of stability (stole that idea from the Dakine guys). The compresion straps still worked in compressing the pack and everything was snug. I don't use the set-up, but if I can find it, i'll post some pics.
Only discomfort was carrying the d*** board on my back while slowshoeing

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 18, 2008 1:20 pm 
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Alright, I'm happy to be the guinea pig for any pack testing, but I can only afford to buy one of them. So, if you want a review of a pack, buy one, send my way, and I'll get back to you. :D

Off to Second Ascent, REI, Feathered Friends to do some in-store research, and perhaps come closer to making a decision. Hopefully I can find a store that has the Mountainsmith packs, but I doubt even REI carries them this time of year, so that makes it a bit harder to examine/try before committing to a pack. Keep the ideas coming.

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