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Best for rifugio hiking?

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    Best for rifugio hiking?

    Hi all! Advice needed please!! My husband is planning a hut to hut hiking trip in the Dolomites in August, assuming Delta doesn't shut everything down. He was planning to use an old Arcteryx hiking backpack, but I was thinking it would be nice to get him a TB pack (he currently has no TB products whereas I have a Synapse, Aeronaut, etc etc etc). What do you all think? He's 6'1" and wiry. Shadow Guide 33 or Brain Bag? I realize they are completely different packs but I'm confused by how many ppl seem to love using their Brain Bags as travel bags. Thanks so much!!!

    #2
    What a lovely idea; but, as much as I love and use Tom Bihn products, I would not use them for serious mountain hiking. It really depends a lot on how much kit weight your husband will need to carry. More specialist alpine and backpacking rucksacks (Berghaus and Karrimor are my favourites) have more useful load carrying. The Tom Bihn Shadow Guide is the closest match in my opinion, and I do use this for less rugged hiking.

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      #3
      Welcome to the Forums kooby !
      I like all the blues and greys...and all the happy citrus colours too! My search unicorn is the Sapphire Dyneema original Small Shop Bag...

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by kooby View Post
        He was planning to use an old Arcteryx hiking backpack ... He's 6'1" and wiry. Shadow Guide 33 or Brain Bag?
        I'm with BigBadD in that, in general, I'd want a dedicated hiking pack, i.e., one with a full harness & suspension system and ideally ultralight, especially if it's over 5 miles / day. Going more niche I'd be looking at Zpacks, Six Moons, Zimmerbuilt, etc, or more mainstream, Osprey, or something from REI.

        That said, of the two you asked about, I don't have direct experience with the SG33, however I can say the BB is awesome for how I'd pack for such a trip: the rear compartment would be for clothes in a cube, the middle compartment would be for camping/utility gear & food, and the front for all the odds/ends, dopp kit, handy clothing (jacket, rain gear, scarf, etc), and the center waterbottle area is great!
        Seeking Verde Aeronauts

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          #5
          I have no experience with either the BB or SG33 so can't comment on that. Just want to echo BigBadD and GrussGott that TB bags are not really meant for serious/long-distance hiking and backpacking.

          When you have a pack on your back 6-10 hours a day and many days in a row, getting the correct fit is absolutely essential in order to avoid back pain and injury. That is why many hiking and mountaineering backpacks come in different sizes to fit different torso length, hip size and other measurements. It might be a good idea to check out your husband's pack measurements before buying him one; REI has a good article on this. I am lucky that the S25/S30 fits my torso perfectly.

          There are also other considerations e.g. easy access to gear and equipment such as water bottles, camera, trekking poles etc. without having to take your pack off. If you keep taking your pack off and putting it back on, chafing might occur and your shirt might wear out quicker (esp. for materials like merino wool), not to mention it's tiring. There are various ways of making this possible on a TB bag (e.g. using a pair of hip belt and attaching HLTs/hip belt pockets), but it's easy to go too far too quickly with this approach - imagine things dangling off the pack and having the pockets fall off when you unbuckle the hip belt.

          Waterproofing is another consideration; most hiking backpacks allows for easy attachment of rain cover and/or are highly water resistant (seam sealed/taped); I tried attaching rain cover on my S25 and it will not stay on.

          My personal favourite (larger) hiking pack is the Hyperlite Mountain Gear Southwest 2400 - very lightweight, highly water resistant, carries well and has good-sized external pockets.

          Sorry if I made it sound like TB bags are not good, that's absolutely not what I mean. Bags are built for different purposes, and it is not ideal if you use bags for purposes which it is not intended for. Having said that, I think TB made some good accessories that work well for a backpacking trip - HLTs, pouches, day packs, etc. Might be something to consider!

          Hope that helps and trust your husband will enjoy hiking in the Dolomites. I hope to do the TMB someday!

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by PeaceBell View Post
            I have no experience with either the BB or SG33 so can't comment on that. Just want to echo BigBadD and GrussGott that TB bags are not really meant for serious/long-distance hiking and backpacking.

            When you have a pack on your back 6-10 hours a day and many days in a row, getting the correct fit is absolutely essential in order to avoid back pain and injury. That is why many hiking and mountaineering backpacks come in different sizes to fit different torso length, hip size and other measurements. It might be a good idea to check out your husband's pack measurements before buying him one; REI has a good article on this. I am lucky that the S25/S30 fits my torso perfectly.

            There are also other considerations e.g. easy access to gear and equipment such as water bottles, camera, trekking poles etc. without having to take your pack off. If you keep taking your pack off and putting it back on, chafing might occur and your shirt might wear out quicker (esp. for materials like merino wool), not to mention it's tiring. There are various ways of making this possible on a TB bag (e.g. using a pair of hip belt and attaching HLTs/hip belt pockets), but it's easy to go too far too quickly with this approach - imagine things dangling off the pack and having the pockets fall off when you unbuckle the hip belt.

            Waterproofing is another consideration; most hiking backpacks allows for easy attachment of rain cover and/or are highly water resistant (seam sealed/taped); I tried attaching rain cover on my S25 and it will not stay on.

            My personal favourite (larger) hiking pack is the Hyperlite Mountain Gear Southwest 2400 - very lightweight, highly water resistant, carries well and has good-sized external pockets.

            Sorry if I made it sound like TB bags are not good, that's absolutely not what I mean. Bags are built for different purposes, and it is not ideal if you use bags for purposes which it is not intended for. Having said that, I think TB made some good accessories that work well for a backpacking trip - HLTs, pouches, day packs, etc. Might be something to consider!

            Hope that helps and trust your husband will enjoy hiking in the Dolomites. I hope to do the TMB someday!
            You are correct. Every bag is suppose to serve a purpose for the job. As much as I love TB bags, their back panels are not that breathable. If you will be hiking for a long time in the heat, do you want some thing that can breathe. Hyperlite bags are excellent but the Dyneema doesn’t allow you to carry too much weight. I personally have an Osprey that has an elevated back panel, so that their is a gap between the mesh panel on your back and the actual bag itself, that allows air to flow. His back will rank him.

            Moutain Laurel Designs makes excellent packs out of Dyneema and material like what TB calls Halcyon which is a “X” pattern grid ripstop. I have a couple pieces along with pouches and they are durable.

            However, I love my TB products for everything else but long hikes.

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              #7
              I just realised that I made an implicit assumption: that it will be a self-supporting hike where your husband carries everything himself. If it is a fully-supported hike (with porter/luggage transfer service), then the factors to consider change entirely - bags like the S25/S30 will make an excellent day pack in that case!

              ETA: And the Yeoman duffel for the transfer luggage!
              Last edited by PeaceBell; 07-18-2021, 08:26 PM.

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                #8
                Wow, thank you all for this advice!!!! and for the welcome to the forums! Now I'm considering the Shadow Guide just for myself a travel bag, haha... I will encourage him to get fitted at a store in person (I had wanted to just buy a bag for him bc he never wants to spend money on himself). And PeaceBell, you are correct - he will carry everything in and out himself.

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                  #9
                  Originally posted by kooby View Post
                  Wow, thank you all for this advice!!!! and for the welcome to the forums! Now I'm considering the Shadow Guide just for myself a travel bag, haha... I will encourage him to get fitted at a store in person (I had wanted to just buy a bag for him bc he never wants to spend money on himself). And PeaceBell, you are correct - he will carry everything in and out himself.
                  on the SG33, ha, buy it "for him" and then, "oh gee guess it not perfect, let's go to REI"

                  But yeah, I'd go to REI, try out a few for fit and be sure to put 30 lbs in them ... i can say from experience what fits great empty doesn't always work with 30lbs after 5 miles! And, for me, I'm a HUGE fan of a ROBUST (wide) hip belt that can carry the full weight of the pack as weight on my shoulders cuts off my arm circulation after awhile (and I've tried EVERYthing) ... plus a nice hip belt and shoulder straps with pockets for trail treats, water, and gadgets (cell phone, GPS device, etc) are great.

                  If you haven't already, you also might want to look into a Garmin InReach Mini and a good durable portable battery and/or solar panel if he's got other devices. I'd also definitely have a good hiking watch like a Garmin Instinct or Fenix.

                  Though, to PeaceBell's point, it depends on how much of a support team there is ... if it's a few people using public trails that are of the less traveled / slow daily traffic variety then I'd have that stuff.
                  Seeking Verde Aeronauts

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                    #10
                    Originally posted by kooby View Post
                    Wow, thank you all for this advice!!!! ... he will carry everything in and out himself.
                    One other thought kooby : LE GRAND DERRIERE! As a 2nd bag to a hiker's backpack it provides a lot of options and a way to get 5lbs out of the big bag and onto for your waist, of course depending on style. If I were going on such a trip I'd for sure bring one!

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                    Seeking Verde Aeronauts

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                      #11
                      Originally posted by PeaceBell View Post
                      There are various ways of making this possible on a TB bag (e.g. using a pair of hip belt and attaching HLTs/hip belt pockets), but it's easy to go too far too quickly with this approach - imagine things dangling off the pack and having the pockets fall off when you unbuckle the hip belt.
                      I tried setting this up earlier - it works but that's one busy setup - especially need to take care when unbuckling the hip belt. (Yes I did succumb and buy the coyote HLT2...) Everything is within easy reach though. Now I need to test this on the trail...

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                        #12
                        Thank you all for the comments!!!! I love all the suggestions!! I wanted to update you all: my husband went to REI, Patagonia, and Arcteryx, and he's leaning toward getting a super lightweight Arc' pack - he's super excited, and thanks you all for the excellent advice!!!!!

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                          #13
                          I have hiked the Dolomites: you are in for a treat! As the others have said, a true mountaineering pack is your best choice, although a shadow guide might work. Pack light, and if the weather is at all warm, take lots of water. And note: some of the refugio serve very good food. One was so good it brought me to tears….

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