this may sound counter-intuative, but too much padding and adjustment!
i have two Berghaus sacs: a 60l 1996 Extrem Guide, and a 30l 1992 Munro. both go to minimal to non-existant effort in trying to make carrying a tent, 4 days food, a rope, a sleeping bag (or, for the Munro, 3Ltrs of water, 2k rounds of 7.62, food and a softie jacket...) and various lumps of sharp metal comfortable to carry, yet oddly both succeed.
i thought about buying one of your new Centurio daysacs (Munro with zips and MOLLE), and i'm sad to say that with a full load, over a hard days effort, i found it less comfortable than my 20 yo munro which has almost as much padding as a pencil case.
i've tried lots of sacs with big loads - Ospreys, POD's, a Lowe Alpine and a foul Karrimor thing with adjustable back lengths, widths, and all manner of crap - and every single time i go back to my Guide, POD Cragsac and Munro. please, please make simple, faffless sacs that just work. shoulder straps, decent belt, big hole at the top, floating (removable?) lid, wand pockets and bits i can attach shock cord to. thats it.
Dig out the files on the old Berghaus Cyclop & AB sacs. Even the later light, fixed back Cyclops Extreme range of a few years back. The Octans sac designed by your MtnHaus design team looks like a sound basis for a wider range of sacs. I was impressed with the one I tried on but don't need a sac at the moment - I'm in the north-east & will be happy to test one!
Adjustment is a two-edged sword. From a manufacturing point of view it means one sack fits lots more people, and that can be handy for end-users too: I have a longer back than my wife but we can both use the same packs. However, if it's just you, and you have the right fit, there's not much point in adjusting it.
Excessive padding is a bugbear of mine. Mainly in the form of padding where it is of no conceivable use, but still adds to weight and cost and impedes ventilation. This is commonly found on packs designed for big loads with a hip-belt to take the lion's share of the weight. With the belt done up the pack will be anchored at its base with it's centre of making the pack rotate away from the wearer's back. So there is no conceivable use for putting any padding on the back above the lumbar pad, yet most pack builders do.
I know it isn't necessary, because my pack (an old 80s Lowe Kantega) doesn't have any, and remains as comfortable as any other big pack I've ever tried. Part of the comfort is free air flow and itch-scrathing space on the back. So make the build easier and cheaper by stripping the padding and the pack gets comfier too! Doesn't look so nice in the pictures though...
send me a few and ill let you know whats good.
Personally dont like the floating back style as it leaves the bag off balance. Zip entry at the bottom or side are really useful and hip belt pockets!
Shorter hip belts.
Some rucksack hip belts are so long they "meet" and can overlap, so can't be done up. So can't use that rucksack.
For people with small waists, possibly even bigger waisted people can find long hipbelts don't fit properly.
Hip belts are meant to support weight of 'sack on the hip bones, why make belts that come so far past them?
Even with pockets on hipbelt, they can have cms of extra length.
Decent padded shoulder straps, not thin twisty things. Narrow and tall profile rather than short and wide. Loadlifters help comfort, and light weight.
Loadlifters are a misnomer, they don't lift - they help draw the load closer (?). With you on the straps.
As many extraneous adjustment extras a la Osprey as possible are gr.....
Loadlifters are a misnomer, they don't lift - they help draw the load closer (?)
I'm sure more than a few of us have waists less than 30", men and girls.
I'd say even tall, well built people won't have hip bones larger than 6" max. so hip belts don't need to be any longer than/if that.
The extra lengtht is more weight that is not needed and can 'rub' and cause uncomfort, even blisters.
Also a hydration bladder sleeve. <snip>. No "floating" lid and no zip for a base compartment, which adds weight and complexity
But so does a hydration bladder sleeve!
I use a Plat with older bags that long predate "hydration compatible" and don't have any problems. They're a complete waste of time and space IME: drop the bladder in the space between the bag and the liner and take the tube out under the lid and it works perfectly well. In my Kimmlite and Lowe MM sacks I do have "hydration compatibility", but don't find it works noticibly better if I use it or ignore it. It is a bigger PITA to refill if you have to unthread it and remove it from a special pocket than if it's just put in. A Meh feature IMHO.
Floating lids and lower zips have a place on at least some packs in some situations. A pack with a floating lid is much easier to gracefully overload, which is dead handy on the first couple of days of a long trek where you have a big food load, or where you're carrying a lot of climbing gear or the like in to a base camp. Similarly, kitchen-sink loads benefit from being able to get at them in more than one place: I keep stuff I know I'll want near the top entrance and emergency stuff I might need in a hurry (FAK, waterproofs) by the lower one. Much less of an issue with smaller loads.
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