Showing posts with label Packs. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Packs. Show all posts

Monday, 5 March 2018

Tramping Equipment: Osprey Volt 75l pack

A lighter multi-day pack for thru-hiking...


I've been looking for a new pack for long trail trips such as the Te Araroa.  I needed carry capacity combined with a reasonable weigh and cost, while still being rugged enough for New Zealand conditions.

After much searching and weighing of options I decided on the Osprey Volt 75 pack. I like this bag as it is a fairly basic design and foregoes many of the redundant features and unnecessary weight of other packs of this size and capacity.

Osprey Volt75: front view...note the gear loops and tie down points on the front

Osprey once again

I went with Osprey once again, I really like their packs I think they may be my go to pack brand from now on. They have nice harnesses and their weigh tends to the light side. I have two now and both are super comfortable to wear even when loaded to the gills with gear.

Jon wearing the Atmos 50 AG on the way back from Carrington Hut, Feb 2018

My other Osprey pack is the Atmos 50 AG I posted about a couple of weeks ago. The Volt and the Atmos are good gear...both were brought in the Bivouac end of summer sale!

The Osprey Atmos 50 AG

The Osprey Volt 75

Osprey packs are size specific, abet with a small range of adjustment possible to fit them to the individual tramper. My Volt is a large size, these also come in small and medium.

Osprey Volt 75 in use, image from YouTube

The back panel is adjustable to allow the harness to fit correctly to someone with a long torso between 43 and 51cm long.  I know this because there is a label on the bag saying so....

One cool feature is the integrate safety whistle built into the sternum strap.

Osprey Volt75: details of the harness set up, note the integrated whistle

The Volt has a removable floating lid which you could jerry rig as a small day pack if needed. I have a light weight sil-nylon bag from Sea to Summit for this purpose so it is not a feature I will use.

The Sea to Summit ultra sil-nylon pack

Osprey Volt75: more detail of the harness and back panel

There are two mesh pockets on the side of the pack for your water bottles and one 'kangaroo' pouch on the front in this same mesh. I would really prefer a hardier material but you takes what you can get.....

Additionally there are two generously sized pouches on the hip belt, they are big enough for a small camera, phone, GPS or a couple of snacks.The hip belt is fully adjustable and the belt padding can be sized to any waist between 30 and 50"

Osprey Volt75: side view showing mesh side pockets, harness setup

This is a single compartment pack, it has a removable divider between the bottom and top of the pack for a sleeping bag/bear cannister but I will use this as a single entry pack. I carry my gear in a plastic pack liner so I have no need for a separate lower compartment. 

There are side compression straps top and bottom to allow you to secure your load.

 Here is a great review of the Volt 75 on the US based Sectionhiker website.

Osprey Volt75: side profile, note pockets and compression straps

There is also a red colour available in New Zealand if that takes your fancy, I would have brought one in this colour but unfortunately they didn't have any...

Osprey Volt 75: alternate New Zealand colour- Carmine red

I think that red and grey colour scheme is pretty cool myself...

Here are some specifications;

Weight: 1.72 kgs
Capacity: 75 litres
Material:210D Nylon, poly coating inside
Harness: Size specific (S/M/L)
Price: $254 NZ dollars on sale
Colour choices: Graphite and Carmine Red/Graphite

The Volt 75l in action...

I used my new Volt pack this last weekend on my second trip to Packhorse Hut to act as the volunteer hut warden. I didn't get a lot of photos of the pack in action but it performed very well.

The pack was comfortable to carry even loaded down with my stuff and 3 kgs of extra gear DOC needed transported to the hut. The harness was easy to adjust and overall I was really impressed with the bag.

Georgia sitting next to the Volt 75 on the way to Packhorse Hut

Georgia said it looked cool, so that is all the praise you need really.....!!!!

The pack performed well on my Travers-Sabine Circuit Tramp. It is easy to use and adjust, fits well and was super comfortable to carry. I carried it for 80+ kilometres loaded to the top with food for an 8 day trip and it carried the weight magnificently.  Even the 1000 meter climb over Travers Saddle didnt cause any back fatigue.

Highly recommended obviously.

The Volt 75 on the way to Speargrass Hut, March 2018

The Volt 75 and Pole, trekking, expedient, wood, Series II in the Travers Valley 2018

Carrying the Osprey Volt to Speargrass Hut, 2018

Tuesday, 13 February 2018

Tramping Equipment: Osprey Atmos 50 AG pack

More new tramping gear for 2018...

....more weight lightening going on here. I brought a new multi-day pack for my short trips of 1-3 nights. I needed something lighter than my current 75l Vaude Ascent pack but with more capacity than my 50l Vaude Brenta pack. 

My Vaude Brenta 50 on the Nina Hut Track in 2017

 I would love to buy an ultra-lite pack from one of the US based manufacturers (like Z-Packs) but those run to $600-800 NZD and I just cant afford that. After much consideration I went with the Osprey brand who have a solid niche following in the thru hiking community.

Z-Packs Arc Haul: 62L, 700gms but $299 USD ($420 NZD + postage)

Osprey Atmos 50 AG pack

Osprey have built a good reputation with hikers over the years. While their gear is not ultra-lite they have taken notice of that movement and have begun to gradually lighten all of their packs.

I went with the Osprey Atmos 50 AG, specifications for the pack are:

Weight:1.4-1.6? kg (I have seen three different weights quoted)
Capacity: 53+ litres (I think it is closer to 55-58 myself) 
Harness: Size specific (S/M/L)
Material:210D Nylon, poly coating inside
Cost: $297 NZ dollars in the Bivouac summer sale

Osprey Atmos 50 AG: left hand front view

I heard good things about the harness system on Osprey packs and they were right.  The harness is light, breathable but sturdy. The hip belt is excellent, it is firm around the waist and holds the pack very steady.  The mesh back section dissipates heat more effectively than the more solid/rigid type. 

The backpack looks unusual but the bottom section is actually the generously sized pockets (one on each side). It is shaped almost like a climbers pack (curved), this is a feature of most Osprey packs.

Osprey Atmos 50 AG: view from the side

Osprey packs tend to use size specific harnesses, this bag has a degree of adjustment range but is tailored for people with a long to over long frame like myself. There are also small and medium sized packs in the range. 

Osprey Atmos 50 AG: detail of the harness system
The pack has a pack cover, I will probably discard this as I use a pack liner and the pack has a polyurethane coating on the inside.  Your average pack cover can weigh up to 300 gms so this is not an insignificant amount of weight to lose.
Osprey Atmos 50 AG: the integrated pack cover
The Atmos is only available in two colours the absinthe green and a dark grey colour (graphite).  I went with the green as I think it will stand out a bit better than the grey in your typical beech forest. 

Osprey Atmos 50 AG: the alternate color- graphite

If required you can remove the top lid compartment and close the bag using a handy integrated fold away flap. This allows you to use the lid as a day pack or to lighten the main bag even further. There is a pouch and a strap for hanging a hydration bladder, the port for the hydration tube is centrally located.

Osprey Atmos 50 AG: view inside the pack

The Atmos 50 AG in use:

I took the pack up to Carrington Hut at the head of the Waimakiriri river over the weekend and it performed very well. The weight, fit and comfort of the pack are awesome, and I managed to get all my gear into the bag with room to spare.

The Atmos 50 inside Anti Crow Hut, February 2018

The new Osprey on the Carrington Hut veranda, February 2018

If I use it for a multi-day tramp my tent will need to ride on the outside but I see no reason why this bag couldn't easily carry 3-7 days worth of gear.

Me wearing the Atmos while crossing Turkey Flat, Waimakiriri River Valley
My Vaude Breta 50 is now being used by my daughter Georgia as we have started going on some tramping trips together. While not perfect for her, it will suffice until I can afford to buy her a pack specially tailored to her size and frame.

Georgia checking out a side stream while wearing my Vaude Brenta pack

I will add some more photos as I use the Atmos over the next couple of years.