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8/03/2020 9:10 am  #1


Canoe pack

I bought a Chemun canoe pack last year and a few trips in I can say pretty unequivocally that I’m not a fan. The stitching connecting the shoulder strap to the bag gave way last year on trip #3 and I’ve never liked the way it sits.  So I’m looking for canoe pack recommendations. What do people use?

 

8/03/2020 9:50 am  #2


Re: Canoe pack

I've had a few of those packs, the Chemun and the North 49 Norwester (which is the exact same but blue). I've had one or two that have lasted for several years, but then one or two that gave way after the first few trips, like what happened to you. I'm always careful about putting the pack on/off, not swinging it around my shoulder or grabbing by a weak point etc., but it just seems to be a roll of the dice whether it will last or not. I really do like the features of the pack otherwise, the reinforced back to prevent objects poking you, the handy stash pockets on the sides, the mesh front, etc.

I currently have two of the Norwester, one is started to give but the other is holding up ok. I've decided once those give out I'm going to get a canoe pack from Algonquin Outfitters: https://shop.algonquinoutfitters.com/search/canoe+pack/

I saw them in person at the Outdoor Show a few years ago and they seemed well built, and I've heard good things from others that have used them. They're more expensive, but seem to be better quality to justify the price.

I think a few members here might use them so can probably chime in with their thoughts.

Last edited by trippythings (8/03/2020 9:52 am)


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8/03/2020 12:29 pm  #3


Re: Canoe pack

I've used the SeaLine versions (110L, 70L) for a number of years and have generally been happy with them.  My first large one did suffer a strap separation from the body of the pack when I lifted it fully loaded with one strap to put it on.  They did replace it for free and ever since then I do baby them somewhat when putting it on and taking it off with a heavy load.  It hasn't been an issue with the 70L size since the amount of weight in those seems to be within the design limits of the materials.

I love the dry-bag security of knowing everything in there will be bone dry regardless of conditions.  We have found that packing the contents in other bags within the dry bag helps to maintain a sense of order so you don't end up with 70 or 110 liters full of a mishmash of 'stuff' all jumbled together.  I do miss not having pockets and storage spots that are easily accessible, but have found it forces you to think through "what will I need access to during the day?" and pack accordingly.

The version you shared looks like a nice blend of big security with some pocket access - it may just be that you can't swing it around on a single strap if fully/densely loaded.

 

8/03/2020 2:18 pm  #4


Re: Canoe pack

I have 2 Seal Line packs (110L) that I've used for years without any issue.  The one is a beefier version with better straps, a waist belt and handle to lift.  I've had them for at least 15 years and never had an issue....although I'm heading into the park tomorrow for a trip and the one is loaded really heavy and I was a bit concerned about the strain on the straps.....

 

8/03/2020 2:28 pm  #5


Re: Canoe pack

I'm a fan of Granite Gear. All their gear I have owned were of very high quality and functionally almost perfect. For the last 10+ years I actively use 2 of their Superior One canoe packs.They are comfortable and huge (about 120L). I am never too careful about handling my packs and by necessity my movements are often quite violent as I use to carry 60-70lbs, i.e. more than I can easily lift from the ground. The packs survived everything without a trace of a problem.

 

8/03/2020 7:14 pm  #6


Re: Canoe pack

https://shop.algonquinoutfitters.com/algonquin-outfitters-large-ballistic-canoe-pack.html

I’ve used one of these since the 90’s. dozens of trips and still going strong.

 

8/03/2020 10:33 pm  #7


Re: Canoe pack

AlgonquinLakes wrote:

I bought a Chemun canoe pack last year and a few trips in I can say pretty unequivocally that I’m not a fan. The stitching connecting the shoulder strap to the bag gave way last year on trip #3 and I’ve never liked the way it sits.  So I’m looking for canoe pack recommendations. What do people use?

 
I’ve never used a proper canoe pack but I’ve never liked the look of the design. They don’t seem very comfortable or supportive compared to a proper backpack, like the huge MEC Serratus one I bought around 97 or so and still use to this day. It’s not ideal because it does get wet but I read an excellent article by an experienced backpacker that outlined how it’s inevitable that your pack will get wet or even soaked. It’s just a matter of how waterproof you make the various components of your packing system, according to the risk associated with that equipment getting wet. Towards that end I have started experimenting with a frame backpack that I can easily strap bags of varying waterproofness. I think this will work for me in the long run because I usually have more bulk rather than weight and I hope this system will be better for carrying all these bulky items. For sure it won’t fit as neatly into a boat as a canoe pack, but it should be easier to haul it on land, when you are typically working a little harder.

Last edited by solos (8/03/2020 10:34 pm)

 

8/04/2020 5:40 am  #8


Re: Canoe pack

I have Eureka's SS 115 and 75 packs. No complaints.

Last edited by scratchypants (8/04/2020 5:41 am)

 

8/04/2020 8:13 am  #9


Re: Canoe pack

i have the same pack as jdbonney, i have had the pack since 88, i find the pack to be uncomfortable, maybe i am getting old,, i am using a gregory baltoro now,, very comfy ,,,

Last edited by swedish pimple (8/04/2020 8:15 am)

 

8/04/2020 9:50 am  #10


Re: Canoe pack

CCS. Indestructible.
 

 

8/04/2020 9:01 pm  #11


Re: Canoe pack

I've had the MEC Slogg 70 for 4 or 5 years. I like it. Seems durable. Sometimes the 7o doesn't seem big enough but I fi nd the 115L version would be too much so I make do.

 

8/05/2020 5:43 am  #12


Re: Canoe pack

I have been using one of the AO canoe packs for 4-5 years now. The shoulder straps are badly fraying/separating in a few spots already but I am hard on my gear. I put a decent amount of Gorilla tape over the damaged straps on a 2 week trip 2 falls ago and I haven't removed the tape to inspect since but I can tell you it is still holding.
 

Last edited by ATVenture (8/05/2020 5:44 am)

 

8/05/2020 1:01 pm  #13


Re: Canoe pack

scratchypants wrote:

I have Eureka's SS 115 and 75 packs. No complaints.

My Eureka 115 was rock solid for many years but 2 years ago the glue holding the top of the harness to the pack fail catastrophically. I say catastrophically not because of any injury but because it failed all at once leaving a gaping hole in the pack and leaving it without a carry harness. 

I did reach out to Eureka that winter to ask about repairing it and the reply was that it could not be repaired. I'm sure I can repair it with a waterproof glue (g-flex?) the same as you would use for fastening d-rings to a canoe. 

Odds are that I'll go with a SeaLine for the next one since my son's SeaLine is only about a year younger and still going strong. I really liked the extra handles on the Eureka and it lasted a good 10 years or more. 

 

 

8/05/2020 6:17 pm  #14


Re: Canoe pack

RobW wrote:

scratchypants wrote:

I have Eureka's SS 115 and 75 packs. No complaints.

My Eureka 115 was rock solid for many years but 2 years ago the glue holding the top of the harness to the pack fail catastrophically. I say catastrophically not because of any injury but because it failed all at once leaving a gaping hole in the pack and leaving it without a carry harness. 

I did reach out to Eureka that winter to ask about repairing it and the reply was that it could not be repaired. I'm sure I can repair it with a waterproof glue (g-flex?) the same as you would use for fastening d-rings to a canoe. 

Odds are that I'll go with a SeaLine for the next one since my son's SeaLine is only about a year younger and still going strong. I really liked the extra handles on the Eureka and it lasted a good 10 years or more. 

 

Thanks - I'll keep a closer eye on it.
 

 

8/06/2020 8:54 am  #15


Re: Canoe pack

Solos, there are a ton of canoe packs with standard internal frame harnesses now, making them the best of both worlds- suspension and fit of an internal frame, but height and volume of a canoe pack.
I use an old Oasis pack made by Woods (sadly no longer made), it's ballistic nylon, has a fantastic harness, and isn't water proof, anything that needs to stay dry is in drybags, and the rest is in plain stuff sacks. I've seen far too many waterproof packs fail  mid trip, whether it's from seams letting go, or tearing the fabric on a sharp rock or stick to ever trust them to protect my gear. With my system, if I damage the pack, I can whip out a needle and thread and sew it up well enough to continue my trip. Those coated packs are an abomination to repair in the field.

 

8/07/2020 2:03 pm  #16


Re: Canoe pack

scoutergriz wrote:

Solos, there are a ton of canoe packs with standard internal frame harnesses now, making them the best of both worlds- suspension and fit of an internal frame, but height and volume of a canoe pack.
I use an old Oasis pack made by Woods (sadly no longer made), it's ballistic nylon, has a fantastic harness, and isn't water proof, anything that needs to stay dry is in drybags, and the rest is in plain stuff sacks. I've seen far too many waterproof packs fail  mid trip, whether it's from seams letting go, or tearing the fabric on a sharp rock or stick to ever trust them to protect my gear. With my system, if I damage the pack, I can whip out a needle and thread and sew it up well enough to continue my trip. Those coated packs are an abomination to repair in the field.

Maybe one day I'll try out a canoe pack because when the kids get bigger It may help to neatly fit things in the canoe, But I don't think I'd ever trust one to keep the down sleeping bags dry.

I think I'd like to get an Eberlestock F1 Mainframe but it costs at least $250 US which is too much for something I don't know if I'll like. Instead, I opted for an el-cheap-o Stansport Freighter, which is surprisingly comfortable (for the money) and hasn't yet failed under several heavy loads.

 

8/07/2020 8:33 pm  #17


Re: Canoe pack

Redundancy.  I've used a canoe pack exclusively  the past 5 or 6 yrs. Anything that absolutely  needs to stay dry, like my down bag, is packed  in a compression dry bag within the  canoe pack for piece of mind. Packed correctly I don't find them too uncomfortable.

 

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