Tuesday, October 9, 2012

The Things! (Part 3) Backpack

I have purchased my pack!

 Gregory Deva 60 Women's Pack
- Internal Frame
- 5 lbs. 11oz
- 63 liter capacity
- Independently rotating load transfer panels on the hip belt automatically register the hip angle and articulate the body's movements
-Thermomolded EVA back panel features a grippy lumbar pad that helps keep the pack positioned properly and effectively transfers load weight to the hips.

So this pack is nearly six pounds. I must be crazy. I tried on many packs at REI (with twenty-five pounds worth of sandbags jammed into them for true fitting) and this was by far the most comfortable. We were at the store for close to three hours, as it took Mike quite a while to be able to find a pack that worked for him. I had tried on a lot of packs during a different visit, so I loaded this one up and kept it on for two and a half hours at the store. It sincerely felt like I was wearing nothing at all, even though I was carrying the weight of three average-sized bowling balls. I suspect that I will be able to remove at least eight or nine ounces by cutting off excess straps and other extraneous do-dads, once I have it all situated with my gear. To me it feels as though it doesn't matter how heavy my pack is if it is so effective at transferring the weight that I don't even notice that I am wearing anything.

All of the other packs I tried on would rock back and forth as I walked, due to the nature of my figure. I tried a lot of different adjustments with the straps on each pack. Regardless, when I walked around I felt like I was giving a piggyback ride to a large and wiggly three-year-old. A three-year old with a very specific agenda of making me lose my balance and go crashing down a mountain. This was the only pack I tried on that did not sway back and forth, but stayed in place.

The hip-belt on this pack is so thick that I can rest my forearms on it. This isn't a purposeful feature, but does give the added bonus of making me look like the world's laziest hiker. The hip-belt is designed to move as I move, so that the pack stays in place and all of the weight is on my hips and none is on my shoulders. I hope that this serves to build huge leg muscles and continue the general weakness of my upper body, such that when I am done with the trail I will resemble an upside-down line backer.

The lower-back support on this baby is phenomenal. It does force me to have better posture, as the molding on the support system against my back has a definitive S-shape that fits my lumbar spine. The upper part of the back comes away from my body about an inch, leaving space for air flow, which I'm sure I will appreciate. Though that does open up more of my body to be susceptible to bug bites. 

We got our packs at the REI in SoHo, then did some other errands around downtown. It occurred to me that we probably looked like tourists walking around with these giant backpacks, but two separate people asked us for directions, so I guess we still gave off that gritty New York smell.

The next thing we did was buy ice cream, which seemed only appropriate. I got a cone covered in a rice crispy treat, because I'm healthy like that.

I got a rain-fly for my pack as well. Mike says he's just going to use a garbage bag. You can look forward to the future when it rains for the first time and I spend an entire blog entry waxing philosophical about whether the satisfaction of saying "I told you so" is worth the price of me then feeling like a jerk.

While at REI I also bought one of THESE! THE BEST INVENTION.

Light My Fire Spork. And how!

1 comment:

  1. Careful I got the same spork and it snapped within a week