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Gear Review

2 5

Some Speculation based on Experience

If you are experienced and know what you want go for it. But if you are not please consider this advice. External frame packs have not been popular for some time. 4.8 pounds is a heavy pack. This pack has some very nice features and would probably last your lifetime, but my guess is that as you gain experience you will understand how critical weight is and will shed this one for one that weighs closer to 3 lbs. rather than close to 5. My JanSport is not identical to this, but the weight is and I will probably never use it again because I now own much lighter packs that are more than adequate for the job.

Responded on

Internals are not to everyones liking Mr or Mrs Obvious and 4.8 lbs is not heavy for a comfy 80.

Responded on

I agree with Guy Dabney. That's not heavy for a pack that size. I have a similar older model Jan Sport, about 35 years old. It's still in good shape and gets used regularly. It's actually lighter than my internal frame packs because it's a little smaller (4,000 cu in). I usually use internal frame packs, but for some tasks an external frame is the way to go and I know people who love the versatllity of external frame packs.

Responded on

Just for fun, I did a little QAD research on this site:

http://www.backcountry.com/arcteryx-altra-backpack-75-mens-4577-5248cu-in

http://www.backcountry.com/gregory-baltoro-75-backpack-4455-4760cu-in

http://www.backcountry.com/osprey-packs-argon-85-backpack-5100-5500cu-in

One each from Arcteryx, Gregory and Osprey, with similar capacities and features as the Carson. Never mind that they cost two or three times as much, but lo and behold, all three weigh MORE than the Carson. Hmmm.

Yes, internals are more popular. And they're better suited than an external for off trail stuff, mountaineering, and scrambling. If that's your bag, fine. But if the difference in a pound or two in the unloaded weight of my pack will hinder me on the sort of trails I dig, then I probably ought not be on those trails in the first place, with or without a pack.

Responded on

So many people are focused on weight. Far too often we forget about carry comfort. A good pack can make a heavy load feel light. An extreme example would be using your hands to carry a 30lbs rock or two 20lbs dumbbells. The rock would weigh less but you could carry the heavier dumbbells much easier.

Responded on

If you have an internal frame pack I would urge you to load it up with what you are going to take on the trail. Put it on and take a nice 5 mile hike. The put the same items in an external frame pack and do the same. Even though the external frame pack might be "heavier" than the internal frame pack I suggest that the comfort level of it is probably better. Like a previous poster noted - weight is not everything - comfort definitely is the critical aspect. Now if you are going ultra-light and have a total load out of 10 or 12 pounds in a UL pack - then there is no need for an external frame pack that will amount to almost 50% of your total load out weight. I have an EXCELLENT internal frame pack in an Osprey Volt 75 that my son uses. I constantly do comparison tests between a several different model external frame Jansport packs and the Osprey - using the exact same load. I find that the Jansports are more comfortable to carry for long distances (one week to 10 day trips / 50 to 70 miles up and down mountains) than the Osprey. Just like the "Ford and Chevy" comparisons - there will always be the "internal vs. external" arguments. Find what works best for you and go with it. You can buy this pack NEW for about $50 - if you don't like it you can probably get your money back by selling it on Craig's List or to a Scout unit. Hope this helps!