Another pack option I have been considering is MAKING MY OWN with lightweight materials,no stays,and a standard support/strap/waist belt/sternum strap system(that might get stolen from another pack).
Because I carry/use a CCF foam pad or a z-rest type folding one,I want to incorporate a pocket between my back and the actual pack bag itself to make the pad dual purpose by becoming pack/back padding and for bed use also.As it is,my Golites have a bladder pocket inside right against the back area that I don't trust for leakage but can't really use for pads because the pocket is too small.It would be nice to get that pad outside the pack to maintain full space inside for other items.The side pockets are also too small.The rear helmet area does work for the pad but I also need to carry the bear can there which maxxes out the helmet straps and neoprene on the existing pack stretching around that can.This also makes the mesh pocket behind the helmet area pretty much useless and unaccessible.
Unfortunately the golites have no lower or upper strap attachments for slinging gear above or below the pack..something I plan on adding to the packs..or at least some nylon attachment loops on the bottom of the pack.I have placed CCF pads across the top under the floating lids which does work okay,but then the pack is without a back pad other than what floats inside the pack and it's more awkward getting things in and out of the pack while wearing the pack.
The golites have worthless waist belt pockets and it would be nice to have something big enough for a small digital camera for easy access.Also..placing waterbottles in the outside mesh side pockets makes them out of reach unless you are a contortionist or remove the pack!One pack of the two only has short lower mesh side pockets and leaves a lot of open space above those on the sides.Adding a couple upper mesh pocketsor adding lashing straps sewn on above them would increase outside storage..but that would eliminate using those pockets for small items with easy access and make them more for strapping on pads,tents,tarps,and other taller items within the small pockets and the space above.
Overall..I like the 3000cuin capacities of the golites and the main systems of them,just see a lot of improvements that could be adding using their basic design..for my
needs...I need better larger waist pockets...for trail mix and a camera.
I need a front CCF pad pocket behind my lower back..ahead of the main pack bag,for the main support of the pack.
I need better side pockets for longer items..maybe a couple 10-12" long ones with 5" diameter lashing straps above and below a couple 6"deep mesh/ elastic" ones near the top.
The front "helmet" area is handy but once the pack is full..is hard to access or put anything in there other than a wet jacket and pants.I think two vertical mesh pockets with the space in between them for lashing items on the center of that back area(when needed) might be a better idea. Front pockets or packs
: a smaller sternum strap pack setup that would hold a waterbottle over one shoulder strap and a pocket for binoculars,sunglasses, sunscreen,bugjuice,and other small items without blocking the hikers view of their feet and where they step
would be a nice removable addition to a pack..that could also quickly be removed and placed inside a tent.As long as the pockets are over the shoulder straps and not blocking the safety view window it would help balance the pack system.
As it is,I carry a water bottle strapped high to one shoulder strap(push button cap..tilt and drink) and the other side has a neoprene sack that carries an MP3 player and asmaller Nikon digital camera..with extra batteries(AA and AAA).I also carry a carabiner knife and flashlight on those straps.Other small items can be added to the carabiners for quick access..Access to anything else requires the removal of the pack..I would like a thin binocular pocket(Trinovids or travel-lites) between the two and will probably design/sew something to serve my needs.
Anyway..These are just some thoughts on pack improvements
other might consider..Your needs may differ from mine..I'm cheap..I won't be buying any new packs,have 5-6 already but only seem to use the two Golite(race and Speed) ones.Mods will be put into effect..or I'll start from scratch and build my own..i have the materials needed...
The views and opinions expressed by this person are his own and not the general consensus of others on this website.Realityguy