Replacing my GoLite Odyssey

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Wandering Daisy
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Re: Replacing my GoLite Odyssey

Post by Wandering Daisy » Mon Sep 14, 2020 8:21 pm

I am not used to seeing packs sized in cubic inches, but just from the photo it looks small. Maybe because the water bottle they show in the pocket is large? When you get it packed with the bear can, put a photo here so we can see how it works.








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robow8
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Re: Replacing my GoLite Odyssey

Post by robow8 » Tue Sep 15, 2020 7:53 am

kpeter wrote:
Mon Sep 14, 2020 7:32 pm
I had a question about a customization request and emailed ULA. They answered my question, customized the pack, and got it out via UPS within 1/2 a day of receiving my order. Count me impressed.
A couple of years ago, my son wanted to get a Circuit after sampling my wife's and my packs. We happened to have a trip to Utah planned and talked to them about coming by and trying on some packs. So we went by, tried on some packs, and my son made his choice. BUT, they didn't have any of what he wanted in stock. BUT, they said that they could sew one up in a couple of hours. So, we went and had lunch, drove around a bit, then went and picked up his pack. Wonderful people!

Congrats on your pack. Show us some photos!

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rlown
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Re: Replacing my GoLite Odyssey

Post by rlown » Wed Sep 16, 2020 4:48 pm

Got my pack. Lots of straps, but lighter (and smaller) than my Kelty. Now we'll see if I can pack it with my stuff. I'm thinking vertical on the 12" bearikade over the sleeping bag, and everything else goes around it, with cooking stuff on top of the bear can. No lower straps to put the sleeping bag on.. No worries. Rods fit in the back side pockets and then held in place by the top straps. It does extend upwards, so more room there.

Where there is a will, there is a way.

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kpeter
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Re: Replacing my GoLite Odyssey

Post by kpeter » Wed Sep 16, 2020 7:29 pm

Yes, mine arrived today too.

NOTES ON PACKING:

In my sloppy first packing job I could not quite fit all my existing kit in--I will have to downsize a couple of things, but then I was expecting that. Sleeping bag needs to downsize, and my big titanium pot needs to downsize. But I already planned those things.

I was pleased that the whole tent goes easily in a side pocket.

My old BV 300 (equivalent of BV 500) fits, snugly, horizontally in the middle of the pack. I will put the sleeping bag and clothing underneath it. Getting the tent outside of the main compartment helps.

What doesn't fit is my large titanium pot--at least not on first pack. I am going from 90 to 75 liters so I expected to have some issues until I adjust. Maybe I will look at those silicone collapsible cookpots.

The side pockets will not be carrying water for me--I will use a Platypus inside the pack as usual. I won't use the hydration sleeve--that would position the water bag right where the BV would crush it. I am used to throwing the water bag on the top interior of the pack anyway.

One side pocket will carry my tent and the other I am not sure--probably my first aid kit. Those side pockets will be a major part of my carrying volume. Anyone who wanted to increase the volume of this pack could get a couple of long narrow stuffsacks to go in those side pockets.

The big mesh pocket pretty much replaces the big zipped pocket I had on my Golite on a 1:1 basis.

NOTES ON FEATURES AND WORKMANSHIP

The cloth seems tough. Thicker and more sturdy than the old Golite. On the other hand the abrasions on the old Golite never made that pack fail--the seams did.

I wish the hipbelt pockets were an inch wider. My Inreach fits only diagonally, my tube of sunblock fits only diagonally. No biggie, there are other places for those things.

I'm getting used to the roll top, but I think I will like it. It does expand to give a lot more room, and I will need that room.

I like the hip belt. I especially like the two way adjustments possible. This hip belt is more substantial than my old Golite.

I'm not certain about the shoulder harness. It is probably fine. I've been doing a lot of fiddling with it. There ARE a lot of straps.

I got one of the add-on pockets for the shoulder straps. It looks like it is a useful size but I haven't gotten it positioned where I like it yet.

More after I have actually used it.......
Last edited by kpeter on Sat Sep 19, 2020 2:32 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Replacing my GoLite Odyssey

Post by Wandering Daisy » Sat Sep 19, 2020 1:32 pm

You can slip the titanium pot onto an end of the stuffed sleeping bag. I do this until I can fit mine inside the bear can.

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Re: Replacing my GoLite Odyssey

Post by kpeter » Sat Sep 19, 2020 2:29 pm

Wandering Daisy wrote:
Sat Sep 19, 2020 1:32 pm
You can slip the titanium pot onto an end of the stuffed sleeping bag. I do this until I can fit mine inside the bear can.
Very nice idea. I have sometimes managed to pack the pot inside the Bearvault, but it is inconvenient to have to unpack all the food that goes into it just to heat water the first night. Putting it over the end of a sleeping bag stuffsack makes a whole lot of sense.

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michaelzim
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Re: Replacing my GoLite Odyssey

Post by michaelzim » Sun Sep 20, 2020 4:55 pm

I am in the same backpack re-boot situation...and not getting very far.

I Have spent way, way too many hours online. Talked to way too many reps teasing out made-to-confuse details not clear in the specs [Like try figuring out "true volume" via measuring the stated linear dimensions of various packs!!!]. Tried on a bunch at nearest REI a good 2 hours drive away. Tried out all the Ospreys they had in stock at local Pacific Outfitters. Ordered the high rated Granite Gear Crown2 60 and it is going back to where it came from.

Not a high success rate yet trying to replace my old pack of past 32 years.

I have had a Lowe Backpacker since 1988 and it is still going strong. Nothing broken or wrong with it at all...except it weighs 6 pounds!
With my new quest to reduce total weight from around 48 pounds without water (10 day trips average) to around 40 pounds, I need to shave off 8 pounds or so. The Lowe is a true 70 liters, with extension to 90 liters so is one of the big candidates for lighter renewal.
However, as a pack it is ideal for my tastes. The 'big four' packing items all had easy, accessible places that NONE of the new packs I have looked at can match - or often even cover two of, which is ridiculous.

- Bearcan.
- Tent.
- Sleeping Pad.
- Sleeping bag.

After these items all the rest of my stuff is easy to get in somewhere. The Lowe fitted all four of them superbly. The bottom sleeping bag compartment fitted my Garcia bearcan and my sleeping bag above it - without removing the divider either! The tent (6.5 pound REI Half-Dome) strapped horizontally across the lower bottom of the pack via two vertical straps just for that purpose. Thermarest sleeping pad rolled up and strapped horizontally across the top pack section c/o the flip-top top straps attaching half way down so plenty of room to cinch up tight and even fit two Thermarests in there if needed.
By the way, this outside strapping above is all referring to the "front" of the pack - which is what I used to call the "back" of the pack as figured where the pack met my back was facing frontward right, so was thus the "front". Wrong. The industry calls the front the back...Ummmmm, well that part facing backwards...Ummmmmm, errrrrr, the part NOT directly attached to your back when the pack is on! Whew! So I remember by thinking: "Back to Back = the Back"...Whatever. More pack pain jargon for not much gain.

Speaking of pain, the Granite Gear Crown2 60 has to be the most uncomfortable pack I have ever worn. I note in a past post @Wandering Daisy had some similar comments and even used a foam pad in-between her back to make it acceptable. Now I have not even taken the labels off or trail used it, but after just barely getting a Garcia can to fit into that big one-piece main compartment, then added some other gear, then goof-tied my new lightweight tent (BA Copper Spur) and Thermarest on the outside...it sucked. And was barely close to 30 pounds! Yet I want at least another 10 pounds in there. (Yes I know the 35 load range rec.)
It was like having a piece of plywood against on my back, also much more unstable than my Lowe as could not strap the tent and sleeping pad horizontally top and bottom like usually do. I find for me that the lateral configuration of those two items is much more balanced and preferable than if lashed on vertically. A short walk around the house and nope! A "boom" on the Crown2 60 I'm afraid.
Also do not like small amount of inside volume once have bearcan and sleeping bag are in there, plus lack of proper pockets that zip closed, and...well, I plain don't like it.

But can't find anything else yet either. The Aether AG 70 was kind of way too much stuff going on. Straps everywhere but not where and how I need them for externals. Heavier than I would prefer (just shy of 5 pounds). The spring-loaded hip belts made me feel like I was in an EPA designated seatbelt trial. The amount of back comfort webbing and mesh stuff on most all the Osprey packs seemed too complex overkill.

Maybe I have to look at the non main name-brand manufacturers?! I really like organizer pockets that zip up v. open mesh and ULA (like others) seems to have the opposite stance. Hummmmmmmmmmm?!!

Anyway, I will watch this thread with interest to see what choices others have made in the backpack gradient from old, heavy favorites of youth bowing to the realities of getting older and needing to be half the weight...and yet please, at least be half as good!

Best ~ Michaelzim

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Re: Replacing my GoLite Odyssey

Post by bobby49 » Sun Sep 20, 2020 6:55 pm

Here is a suggestion. Try Zpacks. I think that their largest capacity pack is only 64L, but that might work for you. I've been using a somewhat smaller one (57L ?) of theirs successfully for years now. The material is a strong composite of cuben fiber and polyester, and I've never even begun to think about material failure or stitching failure. My smaller one weighs less than a pound, but the 64L model goes about a pound and a half.

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Re: Replacing my GoLite Odyssey

Post by kpeter » Sun Sep 20, 2020 11:22 pm

I have been on a long journey to reach the current backpack. In 1988 I bought a Kelty Radial Light and still own it. The best external frame pack in terms of stability and comfort ever made--although few pockets for an external. It carries a ton and shifts all the weight effectively to the hips. It also weighs 6 pounds. It was the perfect pack for when I was young and carrying a lot of weight on basecamp trips. It sounds a lot like it occupied the place in my life that your Lowe occupied in yours.

Ten years ago I chose the Golite Odyssey which is linked earlier in this thread. It was probably the largest volume lightweight pack of its weight (3.5 pounds) ever sold. To make it work, I had to downsize my weight, but not really my volume. I loved its very large zipped-up rear pocket, where I could keep everything I needed for the day. As for that mesh pocket on the Catalyst--I was also skeptical, but it works fine and is growing on me. I can see what is in it more easily rather than rummaging around for what I am looking for.

The ULA Catalyst is, as I said, the closest equivalent I could find. I rejected the Granite Gear for being significantly lower volume than the Catalyst and with less convenient pockets. As for comfort--too soon to say. The Catalyst Hipbelt is very comfortable, one of my favorites. I may need to mold the stays a bit and I need to use the pack on a heavy first day to form an opinion.

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Re: Replacing my GoLite Odyssey

Post by michaelzim » Mon Sep 21, 2020 8:08 am

@bobby49 ...Yep, in 'throwing up hands' mode I am finally starting to look at the lesser known companies that I had never even heard of until starting digging into this "getting lighter" crusade. The convenience, choice, sales, and amazing REI return policy had me pretty well hooked to what they offered. However, does no good if still can't find what I want!

These are the lesser known companies I have discovered so far - if anyone has others of note I would appreciate knowing of them too:

- Gossamer Gear (Mariposa 60)
- ULA (Catalyst or Circuit)
- Zpacks (64 looks biggest?)
- Zimmerbuilt Custom Packs (Uhhhhhhhh..where to start?!)

Maybe there are others, but just getting to know this lot will be a project in itself. I will also have to see how their return policies work as for sure this is a: "Have to try it on before know diddly" type of product item. With my track record so far, I am not confident in my guess rate c/o online pictures, specs, and real volume assumptions.

@kpeter have you loaded your Catalyst up and done a test hike in the neighbourhood to get a sense of how it may ride? Seems like we have some similarities in what we want out of a new pack. (P.S. I am flat bang in the middle of "Medium/Regular" in size, torso, hips, weight, etc. as far as sizing goes so no specialized idiosyncracies...well except resistance to changes for the worse!)

Thanks ~ Michaelzim

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