Well, after months of agonizing and two previous failed attempts I have settled on my pack for the Spine.
Since I typically use a Raidlight 20+4 liter system for stage races I was a little undersized for the anticipated gear required (extra clothes, stove, bivi sack, etc.). I could possibly have squeezed everything into the 20+4 system but there would be no margin and packing would require attention to detail that may not be available during the entire week of the event. That put me in the market for a larger pack.
Not super impressed with the offerings from the US (with the exception of Ultimate Direction Fastpacks) I decided again to go with an European designed one.
My first try was with Oxsitis. The Hydragon Enduro Raid 30L appeared to fit the bill. Water resistant, more of a vest fit and appropriate pockets. However upon arrival and some test load-outs it was apparent that this was no where near a 30 liter pack. A nice pack, great for stage racing but not quite enough for the Spine.
My next attempt was to go with the standby OMM. I ordered the Classic 25 plus the Trio Map Pouch and two Go Pods. Once all the parts arrived it was apparent that my kit would fit. The quality of OMM was there however I did not find the system integrated well. The Go Pods were more designed for soft flasks or other smaller items, not for classic water bottles which I prefer and the map pouch attach system was a pain to get in and out of. Trial runs proved that the kit rode OK but in the end it just did not feel “right”.
So, it was back to Raidlight. I finally located an older Runner R Light 30L pack which is similar in design to the Evolution 2 System which I still use for Stage Racing. The fit was as expected and there was volume to spare. The shoulder straps had the attach points for a front pack (which I had a spare of from years ago) and my water bottle holders transferred right over. Some how I felt like Tuco in The Good, the Bad and the Ugly building his pistol with parts from a collection of others.
Trial runs with full kit prove this to be the pack of choice for me. It should do well, hopefully I will too!
With this behind me that’s good…one less thing (as Forest Gump would say).