LL Bean Continental Rucksack - Any Thoughts??
Well I came across this pack a couple years back (online, never had an opportunity to see it in person), and immediately fell in love. I know it definitely steps aside from the contemporary technical packs we're used to seeing, but that's actually a big part of the appeal to me. The reviews I've seen have been mostly positive, but I wanted to see if anyone here had some input/thoughts/concerns etc. I finally got the specs on it, and it's a bit smaller than I actually thought (link and specs below), so that part is immediately a concern for me. Any thoughts?
L.L. Bean Waxed Cotton Continental Rucksack
http://www.llbean.com/llb/shop/54122?pa ... l-rucksack.
If the aesthetic of the pack really speaks to you then I say go for it. It's always good to go see one in person if you can find a dealer near you.
Unfortunately I don't really have the option of seeing it in-store, as L.L. Bean does not have any locations available in CA. They *do* offer free shipping, so I guess I have the option of buying it and returning if necessary... if I was able to see it in store, I'm sure I wouldn't still be waffling about it and have made a decision gahhh :-/. I appreciate your reply, and also look forward to any other input here.
Google gave me 2000 (cu. in.) = 32.774128 litres
It's got somewhat of a thin hip belt, so the whole thing might be a tad uncomfortable if you really weight it down and plan to carry it all day. With a completely normal packout though, I think it'd be pretty comfortable and weather resistant.
It's got a lot of really good reviews on the LL Bean site, and this thread should give you a good idea of what you can stow in it: http://bushcraftusa.com/forum/showthread.php?t=16016
You could buy one for $30 and invest in a $15 can of water repellent spray and/or a rain cover instead.
I'd just buy a phone when you reach your first destination. Pick up a cheap model with a removable SIM card.
32L sounds like a lot, but you'll have to make a lot of sacrifices to go smaller. You can get away with using a compression sack to pack down clothes a lot, but most willll wear out after a month of heavy use.
I have a 37L bag and most people who see it can't believe how small it is. No one ever hassles me when I'm boarding a plane, and it fits into almost every overhead compartment.
If you're bringing an iPod/Tablet, I'd also bring a wall charger that has a USB plug. Even a tablet with good battery life will end up critically low at an inopportune moment when you're not near a computer.
Scritch wrote:Honestly, it looks like the L.L. Bean version of a European rucksack that you could get for a fraction of the price at a military surplus store. I'm sure it's well-made, but for the size and functionality, I'm not sure it's worth 3 to 5 times as much for the L.L. Bean version, when it may not even be more durable than the everyday version.
Yeah but.... furry shoulder straps!
I had the thought about finding a cheap version too, but I also covet certain overpriced items and know well the pull they can exert.
Actually, I just realized that both bags I brought with me, my Tom Bihn shoulder bag and the CCW Ozone, are hand-sewn, which is a bit of a splurge on both counts. So they're really well-made, but I could have definitely just bought similar knockoffs in Asia for less than half the price.
What I did take away from it, however, was that I think I need to get past the aesthetic and go with something a lot more practical - I doubt the one I saw today had a dramatically-less amount of space, and considering the size of clothing involved in someone of my frame (6'3, size XL-XXL shirts), I do not suspect I would be capable of carrying everything I need.
Sooooo, I guess it's more REI and Sportmen's Warehouse shopping (oh shucks lol) for me, and maybe I'll come across something else I like as much.
Markus wrote:Not if it's waxed cotton and properly cared for throughout the years.
Still doesn't matter, cotton is the red-headed step child of the outdoor/gear world. It's akin to saying you would rather use a floppy disk as opposed to a flash drive as far as performance goes: much better options out there. But I do like how it looks.
People seem to think that things like Gore-tex and other tech fabrics are magically waterproof and resistant to everything, but the fact is that they require just as much care to maintain as something like a canvas ruck. Sure, the new fabrics are much lighter, but a dirty three year old Gore-tex jacket will absorb moisture into the outer fabric because it's loaded with hydrophilic dirt, and because the DWR wore off after the first season of heavy use. When the outer fabric wets out you create an environment where even minimal amounts of sweat will condense inside the jacket because of the temperature differential between the inside and outside climates. So your jacket is wet on the outside, wet on the inside, but hey it's still waterproof!
I think a better analogy would be to say that using a waxed cotton bag over a pack with 420 denier flatweave ripstop nylon is akin to choosing a paper notebook over a flash drive. They both work perfectly well, they're just different.
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