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Old August 6, 2008, 08:39 PM   #1
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Day Pack

In your opinion, who makes the best? Smallest?

I don't carry much. Two bottles of water consume the most space. Binoculars, bug dope, spare ammo, small emergency kit, flashlight, low light glasses, knife and folding bone saw pretty much covers it.

My son has a nice one with a handle on the top (plus shoulder straps), he picked it up at a gun show and can't remember who he bought it from. His makes for a good range bag too.

It needs to have some small pockets to isolate things like eyeglasses and binoculars that have previously been damaged when thrown into the mix of things. Water/weatherproof would be good too.
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Old August 6, 2008, 10:26 PM   #2
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maxpeditions stuff is pretty cool....ive bought several of their items and looking for more
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Old August 6, 2008, 11:34 PM   #3
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I really like stuff from Lowe Alpine and Gregory. The LL Bean Bigelow daypack was rated a best buy from Outside magazine. LL Bean makes great stuff and stands behind it forever. Outside and Backpacker both test daypacks and you can see the review results on their sites.

If I'm not buying LL Bean I buy from Sierra Trading post. They stand behind what they sell the same as LL Bean does even if their name isn't on the product. I've had hiking poles fail after two years of modest use. Called Sierra and they exchanged them no questions asked. They have Lowe Alpine among other great brands although their Lowe Alpine selection is smaller than I've ever seen it right now. The Kelty Redwing is a classic daypack and Sierra always has them at a great price. Both my Gregory and Lowe Alpine packs feel like they are a part of you when you put them on. You don't carry them, you wear them, and can do so comfortably all day, mile after mile. jMountainsmith is also on my shortlist of packs I just don't need another one now and probably not for a long long time.

A good daypack needs to have a comfortable wide padded hip belt to carry the weight. Even if I'm only carrying 10 pounds it's much less tiring for the load to be on my hips then on my shoulders. The shoulder straps should do nothing but keep the pack close to my body, not carry weight. The wide belt makes carrying a handgun more comfortable too, especially in a Wilderness Safepacker. For an all around pack I like one in the 2500 - 3000 ci range. This gives me enough room to put a fleece jacket, lunch, binoculars, camera, water, dog treats, bird book, and a few other items. It's surprising how much room a fleece jacket and a rainshell take up in a pack. My wife gets to carry a much smaller pack just because her clothes are so much smaller. The pack has to have a good set of cinch straps so the load can be tightened and stabilized so it doesn't shift. I also like a shovel pocket since it's handy to stash raingear or your jacket when you're out and conditions keep changing.

Pack section of Sierra. Their selection is a fraction of normal right now. I'm not sure what's up.

Some picks
I like this Mounainsmith. If you look you can see that the small very back pocket has a stuff pocket right in front of it with a strap so you can stuff a jacket or other things you want really accessible in it.
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Old August 7, 2008, 06:53 PM   #4
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Here is another vote for Maxpedition. They make tough stuff and have just about any kind of setup you want.
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Old August 7, 2008, 07:45 PM   #5
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Whatever you choose, get one with a built-in hydration bag. For most people and trips a 2-liter bag is plenty. I've got a 2 liter and for a day's hunt I usually only fill it about half to 3/4 full.
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Old August 8, 2008, 01:04 PM   #6
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I recenty picked up a Camel Bak Deamon, which has a nice concealed carry compartment in the small of the back. I bought it for hiking trips and the like. Has a 2 liter hydration pack, holds my stuff well, isn't too big, and I keep a revolver in the pack, readily accessable, instead of wearing it on my belt.

The CCW compartment has plenty of room, comes with an adjustable holster and a spare mag holder. I tend to carry my Taurus Judge in it with an extra ammo pouch, though I can carry most any handgun in it with little difficulty.
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Old August 8, 2008, 06:44 PM   #7
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Google Badlands back packs. They are great
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Old August 8, 2008, 08:31 PM   #8
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Here is another vote for Maxpedition
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Old August 8, 2008, 09:55 PM   #9
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Wuchak, no offense but with the packs that you suggested I could leave home permanently. I consider 11-13#s max even for a few weeks.

Open: I find that the water bags tend to taste like plastic and prefer to take a few bottles of water with me. Even swamp water with a few drops of chlorine tastes better than that plasticy taste IMHO.

I haven't had time to check out the suggested sites, I'll be back in a few days and thanks to all.
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Old August 8, 2008, 11:46 PM   #10
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Here's my best buy tip. I bought a High Sierra from Costco for $19.95 two years ago. It is the model pictured. As a mountain biker in the past I've owned two name brand hydration packs both of which rand around $50. The High Sierra is as good as any with a 70 oz bladder and room enough for some food, emergency food, and once expanded, a raincoat or sweatshirt. The only drawback it the bladder imparts a strong taste on the water. For $8 I upgraded to a Dieder (Germany) bladder which is much easier to clean and much better tasting. The pack is insulated around the bladder and water will stay cold for hours (with ice in it) on a 95ยบ F. day. I've used it mountain biking, hunting, and hiking. Great deal.
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Old August 9, 2008, 12:23 PM   #11
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Eagle has some nice stuff too. I have a couple of their range bags and a "Patrolman's Bag"; very high quality stuff.

Here's a link it their backpacks.
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