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By Travis Senor
From Mailing Address in NC
Mar 2, 2013
Profile photo, exhaustion after a long day on Rainier.

Howdy MP,
Now, I have done some searching for this already, and the information found has been great, but hasn't yet fully answered my question. So I figured I'd put it out to the MP community. Anyway, I'm thinking of going to single pack system for my climbing, hiking, and alpine pursuits. As it stands right now, I have a 40L pack that's good for single day stuff, and an 85L monster that's remarkably impractical (had to pick it up in a hurry a few years ago, going to offload it soon). However, the 40L isn't really suitable for bigger mountains, multi-day stuff, etc. and I'd rather have a pack that can do all of those things, but still strip down for summits, cragging, etc. I already also have an 18L flash pack for short multipitch trad, so that part isn't as much of a concern.
I was looking at investing in the Cilogear 60L worksack, as it would appear to suit those purposes, but wasn't sure if something like that would even be a workable solution here. Opinions?


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By FrankPS
From Atascadero, CA
Mar 2, 2013

Different size packs for different applications. I have a variety of packs. Like you said - the 18L is a good pack for multipitch, the 40 is good for day cragging, and a 60 is good for overnight. If I am going on an overnighter, I'll carry my 18L pack in the larger one, since it weighs so little. Climbing with a 40 or 60L pack is uncomfortable and unneceesary.


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By John Wilder
From Las Vegas, NV
Mar 2, 2013

You can easily do an overnighter with a Cilogear 40 or 45. The sleeve takes those packs up to 60l.

If I had to pick one pack to do it all, it'd be the Cilogear 40 or 45. Expands to 60l, compresses to 20l. Easy to climb with, light weight, very comfortable. For those who it matters to, they're designed and manufactured in Portland, Oregon.


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By scott cooney
From La Casa Taco
Mar 2, 2013
11th hour of the Sundial

I've found a 30L to be more than enough for overnight, 45L for multi night and the monster packs only come out anymore for longer trips with a set base camp. Cilo is nice for how they are so adjustable, but they don't tend to be as tough as I'd prefer. One of my friends bought a dynema version for ice and had a hole in it on his second day of use.... I prefer a Wild Things Andinista for my big pack that can compress for a summit pack. WT will also be launching a 45L class pack once the testing is done on it, very similiar to an andinista but in the 45L size if that helps. another thing to keep in mind is how the frame sheets work, you want a sturdy frame for the big load but also to get rid of the frames weight in summit pack mode. Cilo is working with Kylmit and hopefully WT will be soon too, to make inflatable frame sheets that help the packs go from one size to the next a lot easier.


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By Travis Senor
From Mailing Address in NC
Mar 2, 2013
Profile photo, exhaustion after a long day on Rainier.

All awesome responses so far, thanks all. I should clarify that my more immediate aims are 2-3 day stuff in the Cascades (specifically heading to Rainier this summer, unguided via the DC route, since it's the first go there, staying in the hut). I should have clarified that my 40L pack is the CCW Valdez, so it has a 13" expansion sleeve in a pinch, and I'm usually a pretty minimalist packer. That being the case (and based on the responses here regarding pack size), should I be fine with that on the kind of trips I'd like to do in the near future?

I mean, if I don't have to shell out for a bigger pack, that'd be awesome, heh.


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By Ben Beckerich
From saint helens, oregon
Mar 2, 2013
About half way up the East Arete on Illumination Rock

Cilos are NOT durable. Plain and simple. They're light and fast packs designed for highly technical routes where their vast versatility is not just desirable, but is necessity. If I was doing F&L FAs on huge routes in desolate corners of the Earth, a Cilo 45L Worksack would be my weapon of choice.

It's a do-everything pack in the sense that you can load it up with 75L of shit on day one, adjust it for every load size in between, and still use the same pack for a super-lite 20L load on summit day. It fills all those rolls- it does NOT fill all those rolls well.

I lived out of mine for two months.. Climbs supremely well, and carries all your shit. But it's a fucking pain in the ass to deal with, and it trembles in the presence of sharp rock.

I've personally abandoned Cilo entirely. I'm not doing huge F&L FAs in desolate corners of the Earth- I'm back to three individual packs with slightly overlapping capabilities, and a happy man.

My 2 cents


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By Jon Rhoderick
Mar 2, 2013

I've had a Cilo 40 for over 2 years as my only pack. I use it for craggin SAR mtneering hitchhiking/dirt bagging the whole 9 yards. Get one with a crampon pocket, key for rock shoes, water bottle, crampons, etc. 95% of the time my ice axe bungies are holding my chalkbag, keeping my gear chalkfree. I disagree with the previous poster, I bought mine used with a single teeny hole and have put no new holes in the main VX or 500d fabric. I think if you straight on hit it with a pick or did 6-10 pitches of hauling it would make holes but that stuff is not fragile. The lid is big, I find I mainly strip and put on the lid to control volume, I rarely close a side. The 40L is not a huge pack minus the extension so you rarely need to compress it less, the internal compression strap is really key with the small loads to not make it sag a ton. You can definitely cram a tent, bag, pad, and clothing and gear for any lower 48 objective in there for sure. It's definitely lame to have the extension too high, you can't look up and load transfer is poor.
Overall I am tempted to get a smaller pack (that I don't need). I certainly don't need anything bigger, if its too big to fit in a Cilo 40 or 45, (more than 39lbs), you most likely will not be carrying "the weight of success"


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By Ross Henry
Mar 2, 2013
me in seneca

I have liked what Gregory has done with there Alpinisto line


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By John Wilder
From Las Vegas, NV
Mar 2, 2013

I've been climbing with Cilogear packs since V2 (they're on v6), and they're easily the most durable packs I own. My original is in near mint condition despite years of abuse in red rock. My second work sack is in even better shape after 2 years of abuse. My dyneema pack is still new, so I haven't really put it through the wringer yet, but I'm not concerned.

Cilogear also has the best warranty process out there, if you have a problem, call them. They're happy to help.


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By divnamite
From New York, NY
Mar 4, 2013

I don't understand how my Cilo packs (two of them) falls apart so quickly and someone else's can last years and years. No doubt that Cilo warranty and service gotten a lot better over the past few years since they moved to Portland. I still hesitated to buy anything from them. I saw the new packs, better overall quality but workmanship still need improvement.

If you want a pack, just ask Randy at CCW make you one. Exactly the way you want it.

BTW, talking 40-50-60 Liter is pointless exercise. Most companies have their own ways to measure the volume. Cilo in my experience tend to be bigger than similar size packs. CCW tend to be smaller. Osprey is somewhere in the middle. BD's packs are all over the place.


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By ADKMan
From Upstate New York
Mar 4, 2013

+1 for the CCW packs. I have two and have been totally impressed at the design, functionality and performance. They are truly bomber packs and will last forever. One way to gague this is how few used CCW packs you ever see on the various gear boards. It is a very rare occasion to see anyone selling their CCW pack.

On the other hand it is pretty common to see Cilo Gear packs for sale all the time. I purchased a new 45L worksack for a trip up Mt. Rainier last July and from the minute I took it out of the box I knew it wasn't a pack for me. I was afraid if I looked at it too aggressively it would fall apart, I couldn't get the thing comfortable with anything over 30 pounds and the goofy strap system was useless. On top of all of this from my personal experience, Cilo's customer service was as bad as it gets.


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By aliebling
Mar 4, 2013

Another exceedingly satisfied CCW customer. I too have two of them and couldn't be happier. He will make you exactly the pack you want with amazing workmanship and a price often better than any of the made in China big boys...and your money will be going directly to a climber. Do it!


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By divnamite
From New York, NY
Mar 4, 2013

ADKMan wrote:
On the other hand it is pretty common to see Cilo Gear packs for sale all the time. I purchased a new 45L worksack for a trip up Mt. Rainier last July and from the minute I took it out of the box I knew it wasn't a pack for me. I was afraid if I looked at it too aggressively it would fall apart, I couldn't get the thing comfortable with anything over 30 pounds and the goofy strap system was useless. On top of all of this from my personal experience, Cilo's customer service was as bad as it gets.


Interesting. I think Cilo packs carry better than most other climbing packs. One of the main reasons I got them.

CCW does not carry as well, that's because:
1. I bring too much stuff
2. it has soft suspension

On the customer service, not sure when it happened to you, but it definitely is better. My last email with them in 2011 was prompt and accommodating.


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By Kai Larson
From Sandy, Utah
Mar 4, 2013
Tour Ronde North Face

Hyperlite Mountain Gear 3400 cubic inch (55 liter) ice pack:

www.hyperlitemountaingear.com/packs/3400-ice-pack.html


Big enough for multi-day trips. Lightweight, comfortable.

The bungee attachment thing is rubbish, but replace it with a couple of straps and you're good to go.


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By ADKMan
From Upstate New York
Mar 4, 2013

divnamite wrote:
Interesting. I think Cilo packs carry better than most other climbing packs. One of the main reasons I got them. CCW does not carry as well, that's because: 1. I bring too much stuff 2. it has soft suspension On the customer service, not sure when it happened to you, but it definitely is better. My last email with them in 2011 was prompt and accommodating.


When I tried the pack with anything over 30 pounds it just felt like the hipbelt was sagging. When I called CiloGear to ask about possible solutions I was literally laughed at by Graham and told I didn't know what I was talking about.

In addition to the above experience I tried calling Cilogear prior to my purchase. It took me nearly two weeks to get someone to return my call. They said that Graham was on a climbing trip and the best way to get my questions answered was to send an e-mail. I e-mailed my question (I was asking if I could get a 60 L worksack without the crampon pouch). It took Graham another 2 weeks to return my e-mail message and I was told that it would be $100 per hour charge with a minumum of like a 1.5 hour charge to make the pack without the crampon pouch. Graham then went on to say that my best bet was to buy the pack as is and then cut the pouch off myself.

I finally settled on a 45L worksack because it was available without the crampon pouch and I felt it was big enough for my intended use anyway. I ordered it with a couple of accessories and was told only one shipping charge would be applied because everything would fit in the same box. It took another 5 weeks to get a "standard pack" and I was charged shipping on each individual item and to this day the overage has not been credited.

By the way this all happened between February and May 2012. I could go on and on but this gives you a general idea of where I am coming from. Not sure why I bought the pack in the first place.


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By Ben Beckerich
From saint helens, oregon
Mar 4, 2013
About half way up the East Arete on Illumination Rock

I had to really fuck with my Cilo to get it dialed in, but once I did, it was the best riding/climbing pack I'd ever worn.

Then, after not even 2 months of pretty light daily use, I had holes all up in the side panels. And trying to get into it in frostbite temps? You have to loosen all the compression straps, which is basically impossible with any kind of glove on, and almost impossible with bare, cold fingers.. incredibly aggravating. The thing pissed me off to no end at sea-level in warm temps... trying to crack into it in the alpine finally convinced me I didn't want a do-everything pack... I just wanted my multiple user-friendly mission-specific packs back.


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By Mike Belu
From Indianapolis, IN
Mar 4, 2013
Summit of Rainier.

To the OP, I don't think an 85l is too much overkill on the dc route. Just pack what you need and compress the straps down. I had an osprey 70, and it was no big deal. If your bringing some mountain house meals, puffies, sleeping bag, pad and all the fun stuff that goes along with Rainier, the space requirement adds up. The 85l would work, but not be as streamlined as you might like. For my mid size bag, I have a bd Infinnity 50. Actually, I wouldn't recommend it. At first I liked the pivot belt, but I don't think it's all that comfortable. I think it's just so-so; I wish I got something else in hindsight.


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By Koy
From Denver, CO
Mar 4, 2013
1st ice pitch above the Black Pyramid on 6/26/09.

Osprey Variant 52. It's definitely a do everything pack. I have the 37 liter version and it's really held up well to a lot of abuse.


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By APBT1976
Mar 4, 2013
Black Dike 12/25/11

Another vote for CCW and voice saying Cilo packs fall apart. One rock and ice season with the W/NW 30L and it is falling apart.

I recently had a conversation about another piece of gear with a friend thought that i can not help but relate to this topic. He made the point to me that when comparing forming a opinion regarding a piece of gear you must first be honest as to the use the piece was intended to see. For the most part my feeling is the Cilo pack is great for its intended use but you have to be honest as to what its intended use is "fast and light" and that is it imop. If you are looking for a rough and tough pack and or one that will last the rest of your life you are looking at the wrong piece of gear.


If you want forever you want CCW if you want light you want Cilo gear. Hard to have your cake and eat it too.


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By Nathaniel K
From Littleton, CO
Mar 4, 2013
banana banana banana

+1 cilo 45


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By Peter Hurtgen
From Fort Collins, CO
Mar 4, 2013
at the rap from yellow spur

Look at the deuter guide 35 or 45!


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By Travis Senor
From Mailing Address in NC
Mar 5, 2013
Profile photo, exhaustion after a long day on Rainier.

Thanks again for all of the awesome feedback everyone. I packed and repacked my CCW Valdez last night to test out my rig, and it seems that it's actually going to suit me just fine for the foreseeable future. Which is great, because it's a bomber pack and Randy's work is top notch.

The expansion sleeve pushing it to 60L is something of a godsend as well. Or maybe it's 55L...I have a liberal arts degree.


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By Graham Johnson
Mar 5, 2013

congrats on your CCW purchase, Travis S - they are awesome packs. Good luck with your trip.

I am yet another very unsatisfied Cilogear ex-customer (mine also fell apart very quickly and were quite poorly made). I have a CCW now and am very happy with it.
I don't think Cilogear packs are really that much lighter than other packs out there - Compare CCW weights and Cilogear weights. Cilogear packs are a good design that is very very poorly made (maybe the odd person gets one that was made on a good day). And W/NW dyneema? What a waste of money.


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By Dane
Mar 5, 2013
Cham '11

"Which is great, because it's a bomber pack and Randy's work is top notch."

True!
Not everyone can say that...actually very few can say that.


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By stebbs
Mar 20, 2013

is cilogear still in business? Perhaps this is the reason for their lack of responsiveness?

records.sos.state.or.us/webdrawer/webdrawer.dll/webdrawer/re>>>


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By ADKMan
From Upstate New York
Mar 20, 2013

stebbs wrote:
is cilogear still in business? Perhaps this is the reason for their lack of responsiveness?


I hope they are still in business but that certainly explains quite a bit about my experience with Cilogear.


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