c.a5546718

c.a5546718

c.a5546718's Passions

Hiking & Camping

c.a5546718

c.a5546718wrote a review of on April 30, 2016

Superb, Stealthy, Versatile
5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I have used this pack extensively for more than 1000 trail miles, mostly on the southern Appalachian Trail.
1. Absolute Genius side pockets. The number one best feature is the bellowed side pockets, easily opened and closed with one hand without contorting elbows and wrists. They are huge and hold everything on the trail. The cinch cord can be replaced easily when worn thin.
2. Superb choice of fabrics. The side pocket and front pockets are made of the same tough fabric, and not made of mesh that always snags on things or stretch fabric that eventually sags.
3. Decent and flexible back panel. The plastic framesheet is fully sewn in between the back padding and inside fabric layer. The frame is a removable 1/8 inch spring steel rod shaped around the inside perimeter and attached with sleeves and Velcro tabs. The frame is just rigid enough to maintain shape with lighter loads, but the frame is maybe a bit too flexible so that the lumbar bows out with heavier loads. However, this flexibility allows the back panel to conform perfectly to the body and you can easily just wiggle the pack into shape.
4. The lumbar pad is soft, comfortable, and supportive, as are the shoulder straps. However, the least favorite feature is the single yoke attachment that combines both shoulder straps. It does take getting used to and, if not fitted just right, can be a little annoying or chaffing on the shoulders. With a smaller neck I have little problem, but I imagine a larger neck would not fit well. I would prefer no yoke and to have each shoulder strap attach directly to the pack.
5. Sleek and elegant, stealth design. No silly flair. Single shiny black color matches everything.
6. Looks good without lid, has two collar cinches. I usually put lid inside pack and cinch the bottom collar to give the sleek design on top. However, the front straps that attach the lid are long will have to be stowed somewhere, like in the side pockets.
7. Voluminous lid with good sling straps. I have used the lid for many day hikes, often for three hours or more. Fits everything for a day and slings well over one shoulder.
8. Light. You get a lot of bang (capacity and comfort) for the low weight. On my scale the main pack mass is 1499 g (52.9 oz) and the lid mass is 161 g (5.7 oz).
9. Sizing is just good enough for the tall and skinny. I am 5'11" with 21" torso and 32" waist. The size L fits the torso perfectly (size M was too tight), but the waistbelt has to be cinched most of the way, which means I'd better not lose weight! A removable/interchangeable hipbelt is preferred.
10. Overall, the best pack with the best feature set I have ever carried. View: https://youtu.be/SGPLzKz-Bxs and https://youtu.be/YecSSy2Ovvc

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c.a5546718

c.a5546718wrote a review of on May 26, 2015

Precision Fit and Comfort
5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vVpsfv9M014

I have been hiking sections of the Appalachian Trail every weekend (literally) for the past two months with this pack. I have had a base pack weight of 15 - 20 pounds depending on weather. Consumables makes it around 25 - 30 pounds. I really liked the Al stays that I could bend to a precise fit on my back. This ensures that the comfort is great, and means that there can be less padding on the back panel which keeps overheating to a minimum. TNF really beefed up the hip belt panel over the old Prophet line and it is very comfortable. TNF design knows that the hip belt carries the brunt of the load so its padding is much thicker than the back panel padding. The shoulder straps have also been improved over the Prophet. I have never been uncomfortable carrying this pack. I really like that I leave the lid at home and just use the stylish rucksack flap on top as it was designed for. No other pack looks as good with the lid removed as this pack does. The volume is ample and the pack looks good compressed. I like the durable cordura fabrics and it shows no signs of wear. The wand pockets are not designed as typical side pockets, but I much prefer a streamlined alpine pack for trekking in any conditions and terrain anyway. Overall, this is a high quality pack that fits all criteria: intelligent design, adjustable comfort, streamlined profile, complementary colors, and durability.

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c.a5546718

c.a5546718wrote a review of on June 25, 2013

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I was initially skeptical about the shirt because when I tried it on at home it felt very itchy and hot. But when I tried it out on multiple day hikes, overnight trips, and recently on a three day trek in the Missouri Ozarks, with temperatures above 90�, the shirt performed beautifully. It was perfectly soft and cool. Maybe it had to be washed first or sweated in first to break it in. It dries more quickly than any other shirt. When I washed it in the stream, wrung it out, and spread it across a big rock in full sun light, it was dry by the time I finished washing my other clothes, in about fifteen minutes. The size small is a perfect fit for my 38" chest and 34" arm, not too baggy and not too tight.

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c.a5546718

c.a5546718wrote a review of on January 7, 2013

Sturdy and Minimal Pack
5 5

Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions

I bought and tested the size L, and although I returned it because I needed a larger volume, I really liked the pack. It has minimal but stellar features such as the wrap –around compression system with straps that store in the front pocket. The material is burly and will take a beating. I measured the parts separately: Al stay (90g), Frame Sheet (105g), Alpine Hip Belt (205g), Lid (135g), the second webbing belt (60g), and the stripped down bag itself (1165g). It was stuffed, with little or no room for food for a minimalist weekend trek. The color scheme is bold and manly too! I tried the South Col 70 as well, but it did not have the same thick fabric on the sides and it did not fit nearly as solidly on my back as the Direttissima. The comfort is what you might expect for a climbing bag–sufficient and comfortable when loaded properly, but not spectacular. My vote is that it is a 5 Star pack. Thank you.

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c.a5546718

c.a5546718wrote a question about on December 14, 2012

What is the height of the frame, for both size M and size L, measured from the base of the pack at the center of the lumbar pad to the top of the frame (just the actual frame)? Having a torso size between the two I need to know the head and neck clearance in order to decide comfortably. Thank you kindly.

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c.a5546718

c.a5546718wrote a review of on June 25, 2012

Sleek and Smart
5 5

The North Face has a promising line of pack designs with the Alteo 50. In use in the hot and humid air and hilly terrain in the midwest I found the pack to be quite comfortable. I never expected the ventilated back panel to work as well as it actually does with mere evaporative cooling. If you turn sideways in a breeze it really feels like air conditioning on the back! The tensioned, ventilated back panel combines the best feature of external frame packs from decades ago with a modern, sleek, and smart internal frame pack. The comfortable fit of panel and waist belt conforms to the natural shape of the back and hips. The compression strap system is quite balanced and versatile and allows me to make the pack look elegant and feel sturdy even with small and compact loads. Basically, it can become anything from a 25 L pack to a 50 L pack, or more with the expandable collar under the removable lid. The external side pockets are not accessible with the pack on. The included rain cover is red, which detracts from the overall professional look of the respectable TNF black and grey colors. The hydration tube port hole is very tight and a little fancy finger work is needed to get the bite valve through (the tube itself is no problem). The front zippered access panel is convenient to get inside but does require too many steps-two strap buckles to unlock plus a fabric fold and the overhanging lid to lift up to be able to pull the zippers fully. The waist belt straps fold and tuck away under the hip belt pockets so they do not dangle. After years of using a slightly uncomfortable, minimally padded ultralight 2 pound pack, the Alteo 50 adds a little extra weight but gives an aging back a whole lot of needed comfort. On my scale the pack weighs 1600 grams/56.4 ounces, the lid itself weighs 130 grams/4.6 ounces, and the rain cover weighs 90 grams/3.2 ounces. Happy Trails!

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