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40L volume at capacity, next to a BV500 bear canister (11 liters)

Reader question: Is the Flex Capacitor Pack appropriate for a thru-hike?

From Lisa K.: For two reasons I wanted to share my answer to this reader question. First, I have not yet addressed the appropriateness of the Sierra Designs Flex Capacitor 40-60 Pack for thru-hiking, and I probably should. Second, it gives me an opportunity to discuss the specific needs of thru-hikers in regards to backpack selection. Appropriateness for thru-hiking […]

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The black rubber around the perimeter is very durable, and the colored rubber is more sticky. The flaw is the strip of foam between the rubber compounds -- the shoe would fall apart here first.

Long-term gear reviews: Product insights after a 100-day Appalachian Trail thru-hike

Intro by Skurka. After his recent 100-day thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail, Garrett contacted me with some gear reviews, some about products I have written about previously. I thought his insights were valuable, due to his extensive use and to his unbiased viewpoint, and asked his permission to share them. If you have questions for Garrett, leave a comment. […]

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How-to || Pack a backpack: Load distribution, organization, waterproofing, & canisters

When packing my backpack, I have two primary goals: Minimize its effect on my center of gravity, and Keep oft-needed items easily accessible so that I can hike uninterrupted. I’ll start by discussing these goals in-depth. Then, I will address special considerations like bear canisters and backpack styles. Center of gravity When not wearing a […]

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The BV500 and Ursack AllWhite S29.3 are both about 650 cubic inches in volume. But the Ursak is 60 percent lighter and is soft-sided. Which would you rather carry?

Interview with Ursack CEO: Yosemite food regs, lobbying, & new products

Among bear-resistant food containers certified by the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee (IGBC), the Ursack S29.3 AllWhite is easily my favorite. It weighs just 8 oz, or 80 percent less than my BearVault BV500, which has the same volume. It’s also $10 less. And, Unlike plastic or carbon fiber canisters, it’s soft-sided and collapsible, and as comfortable to […]

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Final side pocket. Clean and functional, but less durable than pack fabric, and no lock-out.

Room for improvement: Self-critique of the Flex Capacitor 40-60 Pack

Recently I highlighted seven standout specs and features of the Sierra Designs Flex Capacitor 40-60 Pack. Today, I’ll do nearly the opposite: identify its imperfections. Since I co-developed the Flex Capacitor with Sierra Designs, naturally I want to see strong sales of it. But I also want prospective buyers to understand its optimal applications and […]

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The easy-gliding #10 zipper offers annoyance-free access to the pack's main compartment.

Sales Pitch: Seven reasons the Flex Capacitor 40-60 Pack stands out

Earlier today I filmed the product video for the new Sierra Designs Flex Capacitor 40-60 Pack, which with the High Route Tent 1FL currently constitutes SD’s “Skurka Series.” To develop my script, I had to prioritize and succinctly describe the pack’s must-mention specs and features. Later I’ll write a self-critique, as I did for the High Route, but for […]

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