View Full Version : what packs do ppl use for bushcraft??
being a bit of a gear freak i'm curious as to whether members of this forum have used brands other than the common ones mentioned here such as Snugpack, Berghaur and Karrimor??
While i understand these are probably natural choices for ppl here as it is a british site, has anyone had any experience with products from American companies?
I'm referring to US companies that sell aftermarket military style gear such as Blackhawk Industries, Eagle Industries and Camelbak Military Systems etc???
I used to be skeptical of these sorts of companies at first but i've just had the opportunity to test/evaluate an Eagle Industries A-III patrol pack and a Camelbak Motherlode and i must say i've been rather impressed.
I can post a review of both at some stage if anyone shows an interes, but i'd also be interested in other ppls views on this.
I can't give you any reviews, I'm just a keen observer.
But there are plenty or reviews floating round.
The lightfigher.net forum is the best place to go for American gear information.
Everyone raves about Kifaru Packs, not alot else gets mentioned, so that should tell you somthing :)
Other tough military packs at:
Here’s a couple based on the ALICE pack:
Other good backbacks include:
Blackhawk have their gear made in Vietnam, so quality isn't really up there with the other manufacturers, they also tend to steal designs.
The eagle AIII pack is a classic, and a bargin.
I bought one a while ago, but it never arrived at my door, bloody Ebay scammers!
The only other ones i can recommend, though only through friends and aquantances who use em are Lowe alpine and Arc'teryx. Both of whom stem from climbing routes i believe. We also get Macpac here, but they seem more "backpacking" luggage, and have a good following.
Bushcraft it seems simple and tough are what we like. We are also lucky that some ex military kit fits some of our sacks as add ons.
I have a Macpac climbing Sac that has twelve years of hard labour! This is my LARGE 55ltr internalframe sack - expeditions etc, then a Karrimor 30LT Marathon sac - super lightweight KIMM sac. Needs careful packing for mountain Marathon and finally a FjellRaven Forest sac which has a built in seat - a bit sissy to some and heavy too but great for loose kit for stalking and birding etc. My best sac was a old canvas Karrimor that was 'borrowed' by an ex- friend!
Fits Scope, Kelly Kettle, warm clothes and emergency bushcraft kit for unscheduled overnighters.
Horses for courses...
Its a personal thang! :lol:
camelbacs are very good. know a few people that use them for biking, they take a beating when your doing that i i would think they would be good for bushcraft. i use a regatta landtrecka (spelling) for my small one as i dont want to kill anything expensive if i crash the bike. the back system can make it hard to pack though
another set of packs that are very good are the Maxpedition (http://www.woodlandorganics.com/shop/maxpedition/index.htm) range and Arktis (http://www.woodlandorganics.com/shop/rucksacks/index.htm) range
I like the idea of the maxpedition versipack that straps to your thigh.... seems a good little pack that is kept out of the way of your other kit. Handy for all those little things you want to keep to hand.
The one you're thinking of is the thermite versipack and you're absolutely right about it being handy and exceedingly comfortable to boot!
Anyone actually tried one of the arcteryx RT series of packs ?
They look like one of the most innovative designs around at present. The whole sack is basically a drybay with a rolltop closure. VauDe did something similar several years ago on their top backpacking sac, but the arcteryx ones look v.well made and come in 25/35/45/55 litre versions. The RT35 looks neat.
Have you got a link or a pic alick?
Although I dont own a RT, I do own Arcteryx's M30
It has the same role down top. I have used it now for 3 years with no problems. The only negative I have had is that I like to wrap my w/p bed roll on the top of the pack, which makes opining the role top to be a little bit of a pain in the neck. But I am willing to accept that due to its ability to handle weather beter than anyother pack I have owned.
Having been a Karrimor devotee for years now ( i've got about 4 of different sizes) I talked my wife into getting a Macpac. The range is good, some are travelling bags but others are very good backpacking sacs. The Kiwis know a thing or two about wild camping and they are bomb proof. Macpacs are about as waterproof as a rucksack can be without a cover or liner.
They can be pricey in the UK but order direct from NZ and you can make a saving.
The exchange rate for US dollars is so good at the minute that any American gear direct is really cheap if you don't get stung by customs.
Personally, I've settled on a Berghaus Vulcan 100 litre. :-D
If I'm out for the day, I just take the side pockets and attach them to a yoke (20 litre). If I'm going for longer, I use the main pack (80 litres). The back is comfortable and cool and it's a good, well thought out load carrier and has tood straps for external attachment.
If I need major carrying capacity, the pockets are attached!!! :shock:
as i said earlier..thanx for the input...i read with great interest the responses to my post.
Having posted this question, i've noticed that particularly in Australia (if anyone else is aussie, would love your view) and NZ, companies seem to be focusing on CANVAS as premier pack material, whereas US and to a certain extent UK/Europe seem to have moved towards Nylon (Cordura, Kodra etc) type material. Do users of this forum have a personal choice????? Canvas or Nylon???
Another point to note that some of the brands mentioned here are designed specifically with a military application in mind (snugpack, Berghaus Vulcan etc) and as such use very heavy (by industry standards) materials such as 1000dn cordura. Their buckles and webbing attachment points are also done to Milspec standards. Here in Aus, traditional defence force material has been 12 oz or VERY high quality 8oz canvas but increasingly we are seeing some gear being made of a heavy Cordura type nylon material.
On the other hand, some of the other brands mentioned such as Arc'teryx use lighter materials such as 420, 500, 600dn nylons....infact i dont think i've seen ANY company which has a civilian line make products from anything over 600dn nylon. This infact is one of the reasons that a LOT of US based companies give the Australian outdoor industry when questioned about their lack of presence in the aus market....the Aus scrub or bush is too harsh and thick and bushwalking packs made of things like 600dn nylons dont tend to last as long as the slightly heavier 8oz and 12oz canvas packs.
Well....enough of my ramblings...thank you all for your responses and look forward to partaking further on this forum.
Well, in the UK at least, nylon is popular coz it's so wet here!!! :soapbox:
I like a mil-spec pack because it is well made and tough - I can throw it about and drag it across the ground and it's still happy. I like the fabric and tough fasteners. If it's got a cordura bottom on it (or preferably all cordura) then I'm going to have it a long time.
Mil-spec packs are, I think, more versatile - with the Vulcan I really have two packs. Commercially, this makes poor sense because if the punter wants two packs, sell them two packs not one that turns into two!
I have and use several different rucksacs a Berghaus Munro and Berghaus Crusader being particular favorites these are super tough and simple and very well made.
However My Crusader has seen better days and is looking a little worse for wear so I recently bought a North Face Stamina 90. My work takes me to Vietnam quite a few times a year and there are several shops in Ho Chi Minh city selling a wide variety of cheap brand new rucksacs from a lot of the major manufactures so I plumped for this North face model It worked out about USD$50.00 it's a far cry from the simplicity of the crusader with a carbon fibre frame and more features than you can shake a stick at and it is green!!! I used it on Dartmoor over christmas and it was a vast improvement over the old Crusader comfort wise.
The best pack I have ever used is from Aarn Packs http://www.aarnpacks.com/home.html
Their harness system has to be tried to be believed. Other companies probably copy them now.
The pack stays fixed to your back while the harness moves independently. It's design is very water proof with a built in removable pack liner and roll over top.
Being from New Zealand I have tried many Macpac packs but they don't come close to the aarn pack.