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Latest packs?

14 Feb 2020
@ 05:23 pm (GMT)

Simon Crowther

I've been searching for a new pack for the last five years. I've been using my old Fairydown Endeavor for the last twenty years, it only took me the first fifteen years to get it adjusted properly. Then the sliding harness broke and caused me a lot of grief until I fixed is with steel marine shackles. I decided to look for a slightly smaller, lighter pack to give me a bit more maneuverability in the bush.

I miss the days though when a pack was just a robust bag that you stuffed things in from the top, there was nothing to go wrong with them, you just bought the correct back length and so didn't need an adjustable harness system. Now all the packs on the market are full of zips, adjusters and lots of other gimmicks, they just don't look tough enough to be hunting packs.

The only pack that I've found so far that I like are Cactus packs, made here in NZ, they are expensive though. Before I buy a Cactus, I'd be interested to know what you all think, what are your solutions?

I've even looked at military surplus packs but I'm not so sure about those, they look as if they could turn out to be very uncomfortable and some of them are massive.

Replies

14 Feb 2020
@ 05:39 pm (GMT)

Paul Leverman

Re: Latest packs?
If you want basic, packframe and removable bag, canvas material, real wood frame, uncomfortable as hell, hurts even when you just look at it, try a Trapper Nelson. Grew up with it, still hate it. Still use it 59 years later (same one).
15 Feb 2020
@ 05:56 am (GMT)

Joshua Mayfield

Re: Latest packs?
Simon, I'm completely ignorant of what is easily acquired in NZ and what is not so this may not be helpful. Then again, it might not be helpful if you were next door. Anyway. About 12 or 13 years ago I picked up a pack at a surplus store that I see online in various places as "Norwegian Nylon Rucksack with Leather Straps," "Norwegian Military Rucksack," "Norwegian Vintage Army Backpack," so on and so forth. I don't recall exactly what I paid for it but feel safe in saying it was one of my better purchases. I have used it as a daypack even though it's a touch bulky in that role. I have used it as a backcountry pack on a five day trek even though it could be argued it's a touch undersized for that role. I've shot over it plenty. It will not offer a lot of what you'll get from modern packs, but at 5 to 10 percent the cost of many packs out there I've found it to be a great value and far more comfortable to carry than it looks.

Last year I bought an Alps Outdoorz Commander but have yet to break it in properly. I do like that the company has studied reviews and feedback since they introduced the product and have made some updates and upgrades. I hope to give it a proper testing soon.
15 Feb 2020
@ 10:56 am (GMT)

Simon Crowther

Re: Latest packs?
Joshua - thanks for that reply. Yes some of these Finish and Scandinavian packs are interesting: here is a good source for them and other military style packs, they ship worldwide for not much money. They do a lot of other good stuff too.

Varusteleka also known as: 'where's the liquor.' .

https://www.varusteleka.com/en

That Alps Outdoors pack looks interesting, I've never seen much wrong with external frame packs but I haven't had one since I was a teenager and so can't remember quite what they're like.
15 Feb 2020
@ 12:04 pm (GMT)

Joshua Mayfield

Re: Latest packs?
Simon, the pack I own is listed on that site as "Norwegian Rucksack, steel frame, surplus." Looks like they're selling it for $36.99. Whether it's what you need I have no idea, but it's worth that price. I don't know who the fellas are running that website, but they appear to enjoy life.
15 Feb 2020
@ 12:07 pm (GMT)

Joshua Mayfield

Re: Latest packs?
Am I accurate that this item would approximate a New Zealand pikau?

https://www.varusteleka.com/en/product/soviet-veshmeshok-rucksack-surplus/63630
15 Feb 2020
@ 02:07 pm (GMT)

Simon Crowther

Re: Latest packs?
I hadn't noticed that one, it's pretty damn cool isn't it, a super Pikau.
01 Mar 2020
@ 01:01 pm (GMT)

Hamish Gibbs

Re: Latest packs?
Simon have you tried some of shops/packs angled more at mountaineering/climbing/tech type activity, think they are more like what your talking about, my favourite is a 25year old mountain equipment co-op just like you explained. Purchased a surplus USMC $99 job with solid plastic frame from kiwi disposals not long back, alot there for the money and amazing with a heavy load but just the pack alone is quite a weight.
01 Mar 2020
@ 06:29 pm (GMT)

Mike Davis

Re: Latest packs?
well some 20 odd years ago I saw a K2 hunter pack in smiths city...the $300 plus price tag was out of my budget but the good points of that pack kept me looking for one 2nd hand......a couple of years ago we finally picked one up at reasonable price,Ive had some gut bustingly stupidly heavy loads in it for short distances..eg a big red hind,every single scrap of meat had scales tipping over the 50kg mark.
all meat of big fallow stag was a breaze by comparison.
Ive done week long trip with that pack and the 7-8km walk in and out was fine pack wise...my fitness or lack thereof was bigger issue.
the zip off daybay works good as shoot over pikau....BUT take a spare polarfleece T-Shirt and put it on the daybag...straps through armholes...the canvas can be scratchy in the bush but covered with a tshirt it works fine.
Ive shot a couple of animals over the frame of the pack while sitting on side of hill when a prone shot wasnt on...that fallow stag was my longest shot to date at the time.
they are a good solid pack.mine is the 85ltr model.
 

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