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Hanzo
03-24-2006, 06:36 PM
Well, after a lot of help (thank you Alisha) I was able to pick my pack up today after work. Let me say its friggin' awesome. I couldn't be happier with the pack. There are so many doo-dads on here that it's going to take me forever to figure them all out.

Now, there are two downsides. One for me, one for the rest of you.

The downside for me is that due to the recent surgery I had on my shoulder, I can't really try it out yet and probably won't be able to for awhile.

The downside for all of you is that when I went to take pictures, it turns out that my camera took a giant dump on me and is now gone. Don't think I gave up. I still had my camera, but obviously, the quality sucks. I'll borrow one from a friend soon and take some more.

I only did the one configuration because it was starting to hurt moving around that much.

http://www.imagestation.com/picture/sraid202/p6e74814d21e6dbce7f6fc3539220f303/efb8ada0.jpg

Aimless
03-24-2006, 08:47 PM
As much as that crappy picture is a tease, I really can wait a little bit for the pictures 'til you can actually move your arm without it falling off. /images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/wink.gif

Looks like a very clean set up.

Hanzo
03-24-2006, 08:53 PM
Yeah...I'm really pissed off about my camera. Besides just the fact that I need to buy a new one now.

Once I get enough strength back to really work on it, I'll tidy up the straps a bit and get better pictures up.

Hanzo
03-24-2006, 09:36 PM
Well...I don't know what's going on with my camera, but it decided to cooperate for about 30 seconds, so I snapped 3 quick pictures.

http://www.imagestation.com/picture/sraid202/pddebe69363b94b1ca6a4470e24e0e6d8/efb84c45.jpg

http://www.imagestation.com/picture/sraid202/p60a83cce795c9154e6032388a97b2be1/efb84b95.jpg

http://www.imagestation.com/picture/sraid202/p7a1d834214a8536d92448861c32e819d/efb84b2b.jpg

ThePrepared_com
03-24-2006, 09:46 PM
Congrats on your new pack. It looks great!

RalstonS
03-25-2006, 05:50 AM
That's a really good looking pack.

militarymoron
03-25-2006, 01:57 PM
very nice, hanzo. hope you heal up quick!
cheers,
MM

Hanzo
03-25-2006, 07:36 PM
Thanks guys. I'm still in awe of it everytime I walk in the room (which is pretty often cause I have a very small apartment).

One of the first things I noticed was that even the bungie cord and lock for it matched. Now THATS attention to detail.

I'm still playing around with it a bit here and there. I talked to Mel last night and he gave me some pointers on getting the fit right. (thanks Mel!) I can't wait to REALLY load this SOB down and see how comfy I can get it.

Those of you who have one know that once you put the camelbak in there, your internal volume is brought down quite a bit. Which isn't such a bad thing, I'm just learning what to put where so that I can still get at everything.

I've also realized that I'm going to need a small pod and an E&E soon. I always figured that I wouldn't get bitten by the bug since I only wanted one pack. I didn't take into account all the pouches.

Forest522
03-26-2006, 09:30 AM
Hanzo, looks great. I assume you supplied the Marpat material...how many yards did it take?

Once your shoulder heals, you will be surprised at how much weight you can load in the Express. The longer frame stays really make a difference. Now all you need is a Marpat E&E!! Good luck with the shoulder. 522.

Hanzo
03-26-2006, 10:26 AM
Forest,

Yes, I did supply the fabric. I think I sent about 4 yards. If I recall correctly, Janice said it would take about 3 for the Express. But, I wanted there to be extra for other pockets. I do intend to get either an E&E or back pouch in Marpat in the future. Then the question is do I want a small pod up top or a Marpat Claymore? I've been looking and I think I've already decided to get an OD claymore for inside on the bottom flap.

Hanzo
03-26-2006, 11:29 AM
OK, update:

Screw the shoulder, I wanted to play. So, I grabbed everything heavy I could find and put it in my express and strapped everything I could find to the outside. I laid down, put it on, and stood up. It felt heavy on the legs, but more comfortable than my ALICE at 60lbs. I assumed I was somewhere around 60lbs on the Express, but just more comfortable. Then I stepped on the scale...

I couldn't believe my eyes. The pack weighted in at 110lbs!!!!

With that kind of weight and with my weak arm, I couldn't fully put all the weight on my hips, but it was about 50/50 hips shoulders and was comfortable to wear. Oh, and I was wearing a tank top and basketball shorts, so I can definately say that there are no hot spots.

I still can't believe that. 110lbs in an Express.

For those of you who are wondering how the hell I did that...well...I'll tell you.

I had my full camelback already in the hydration sleeve, dropped a 35lbs dumbbell in the bottom and then loaded the rest of the pack up with MREs. I put a long pocket on one side filled with MREs (we're at a total of 13 MRES if you're counting)and between that long pocket and the Express attached a machete. On the outside of that long pocket I attached an e-tool and a 1 quart canteen with canteen cup. On the other side I had a long pocket filled with socks, shirts, etc. I attached 2, 2 quart canteens onto the outside of that. On the front of it with the bungie cord I wrapped a 1 quart canteen with canteen cup up in gortex pants and lashed them on. On the bottom I had a medium pod stuffed full with a ghillie suit. On the top was another medium pod with a black military sleeping bag and bivy in a stuff sack.

Gizzmo
03-27-2006, 04:27 AM
Good looking Pack ! Congrats.

wolfmen
03-27-2006, 05:40 AM
Very nice pack /images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/cool.gif Thx for the review.

"The pack weighted in at 110lbs!!!!"
/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/eek.gif /images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/eek.gif /images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/eek.gif

Did you carry it walk around or hiking? How's that feel?

you used 110lbs to test your 38L express.
i have 330lbs to test my EMR (123L)??? /images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/eek.gif /images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/eek.gif

Hanzo
03-27-2006, 06:20 AM
Wolfmen,

I didn't really get to test it out much. Pretty much just put it on, walked around in my apartment a little bit and weighed myself.

Obviously the Express wouldn't be the first pack choice if you were going to carry this kind of weight, but I wanted to see what it felt like really loaded down. In all honesty, I had no intention of making it THAT heavy. I just loaded it as heavy as I could with what I had on hand so that I could get a feel for the most uncomfortable I could make it.

That didn't work because it was still more comfortable with a large ALICE at 60lbs. My next experiment will be to load it the way I actually intend to carry it and see A) how much it weighs, and B) how it feels. My guess is that I'm going to be in heaven. The only thing I'm a bit worried about is that the areas I frequent don't have much water, so I pretty much have to carry all of my water in with me. That is obviously going to weigh me down quite a bit. I figured that I'm looking at around 20lbs of water alone. At least that'll be the first trip. I'm hoping that after a few outings I'll find I don't need that much water...I hope.

Hanzo
03-27-2006, 06:28 PM
Well, I loaded it up tonight at around the weight I actually expect to carry which is around 50-55lbs for a 3-4 day outing in cold weather.

But...the cruel humor of God struck again...

Today I had to go in for a check up and they found something else that they didn't like, so...biopsy part 2. They took a chunk out of my back today, so now I can't even put the pack on.

It'll probably be awhile till I can give a report on how it rides over longer periods of time.

wolfmen
03-28-2006, 02:58 AM
Hanzo, don't worry. everythign will be fine.

Just take a good rest.

anthracitic
03-28-2006, 08:01 PM
Man, that is one fine lookin' pack!

Hanzo
04-22-2006, 08:39 PM
Finally got a chance to test it out today.

I loaded it up with enough food and water for 3 days and enough clothing and sleeping gear for winter weather. It came in at 55lbs with a medium pod and 2 long pockets.

There's a lake near here with a paved road around the perimeter with mile markers so I figured that'd be a good spot to give it a try. You'd think I'd get some strange looks, but it's about 2 miles away from MCAS Miramar, so nobody flinched.

I probably haven't walked 4 miles without stopping since I was in the Marines, so, in retrospect, that particular goal was probably a bit lofty. But, like they say, if you don't test yourself, it's a wasted day.

Well...humping sucks. No two ways about it, it is NOT fun. Ever. As I type this, I'm pretty confident that I will be walking funny tomorrow and my shoulders and back were NOT happy with me when I finished. I hate humping.

But, this isn't saying anything about the pack because it was awesome. Yes, I hated every second of it, but it was still 10 times better than it would've been with a different pack. I was able to easily shift the weight on the move (which was great because my shoulders weren't used to it. It always takes them awhile to acclamate to the weight) Oh, I should also note that it could've been even better but as I was taking the pack off, I realized I had never cinched down the left delta strap which probably explains why my left shoulder kept feeling more weight than the right no matter what I did to the shoulder straps.

Even though I only did 4 miles and everything hurt like hell, I could've easily kept going. If my legs were stronger, I have no doubt that I could've gone all day and night. Yeah, it sucked, but it sucked a whole lot less than it would've with any other pack.

I also feel that I was much better balanced. This is a HUGE deal to me because, as I've stated before, my ankles are all screwed up and I roll them very easily. At no time did I feel off balanced.

All in all, I couldn't be happier with this pack, it's awesome. The only downside is, I can't fully experience the Kifaru addiction because I'm so happy with what I have, there's nothing else I want.