Aarn input and experiences please

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Re: Aarn input and experiences please

Postby Lamont » Fri 17 Apr, 2020 12:35 pm

Nice.
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Re: Aarn input and experiences please

Postby Ms_Mudd » Sun 19 Apr, 2020 2:43 pm

I showed my husband some Aarn packs online and he understood the engineering of them and didn't think they were odd at all. I think he knows to be politely interested when I ramble on about gear. He did say though with the balance bags on the front I will know what it is like to have a big *ahem* chest. :roll: :lol: I did agree I do not actually know that feeling typically, I then pointed out that the girl in the picture on the back of his shed door clearly doesn't need an Aarn pack to know that feeling though. Ahhhh life in lockdown. Sooooo much time together :wink:

I am on days off now, so will be watching my front gate with anticipation at my pack being delivered. Poor Aust Post girl will think I am a weirdo and goodness knows what the neighbours will think when I start strutting around with my pack and camping in my backyard (again).
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Re: Aarn input and experiences please

Postby Lamont » Sun 19 Apr, 2020 3:03 pm

You should be writing comedy. :lol:
Hope the rucksack works out.
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Re: Aarn input and experiences please

Postby Ms_Mudd » Sun 19 Apr, 2020 5:14 pm

Lamont wrote:
Hope the rucksack works out.

I hope it does too, big financial outlay. Although cheaper than plastic surgery I would suppose :wink:

BPL were really helpful in explaining the features and benefits of all the Aarn packs. I feel I have chosen well. My stalking of the post lady will be next level all week.
I have got some sport balance pockets coming in the mail courtesy of a generous someone on here who doesn't need them, so haven't bought pockets with my pack. So at least I have not had to take a risk in getting the wrong sized/styled pockets.
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Re: Aarn input and experiences please

Postby Ms_Mudd » Fri 01 May, 2020 3:44 pm

The pack is here, sports balance pockets hopefully here this afternoon.
Planning a 21kmish day walk with a potential for a very wee bit of snow next week, so will pack it out heavier than I strictly need to give it a really good run.
So yes Lamont, coffee grinder will be coming with me all in the name of science and road testing a new pack, not because I am a total addict. Although I am.

Initial impressions are that I like the shoulder strap and hip 'flow mo' set up. It will be interesting to feel the effect on my balance when fully loaded and scrambling when I expect that the weight would be 'on' me more. I did worry that one edge of the plastic guide that the cordage goes through had a slightly rough edge and could catch on the cord and cause wear, but probably am overthinking it.
I also like how short it sits on my torso, I can easily look up and not hit the frame with the back of my head, I prefer a pack to be a bit wider rather than being taller for this reason.
It seems robust, the mesh on the side pockets are mesh all the way to the base though. Anyone found that over time objects in them stretch them out at all?
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Re: Aarn input and experiences please

Postby Moondog55 » Fri 01 May, 2020 4:02 pm

Yeah I'd give it a realistic test with 30% of your body weight, your post Christmas body weight not the post Marathon one, and then see how it feels after a dozen klicks
Ve are too soon old und too late schmart
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Re: Aarn input and experiences please

Postby Lamont » Fri 01 May, 2020 4:09 pm

Ms_Mudd wrote:The pack is here, sports balance pockets hopefully here this afternoon.
Planning a 21kmish day walk with a potential for a very wee bit of snow next week, so will pack it out heavier than I strictly need to give it a really good run.
So yes Lamont, coffee grinder will be coming with me all in the name of science and road testing a new pack, not because I am a total addict. Although I am.

Initial impressions are that I like the shoulder strap and hip 'flow mo' set up. It will be interesting to feel the effect on my balance when fully loaded and scrambling when I expect that the weight would be 'on' me more. I did worry that one edge of the plastic guide that the cordage goes through had a slightly rough edge and could catch on the cord and cause wear, but probably am overthinking it.
I also like how short it sits on my torso, I can easily look up and not hit the frame with the back of my head, I prefer a pack to be a bit wider rather than being taller for this reason.
It seems robust, the mesh on the side pockets are mesh all the way to the base though. Anyone found that over time objects in them stretch them out at all?

Hope it works the way you want it to! :D

Can you post a photo of the set up?


ps. Please include a photo of the rucksack as well. :wink:
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Re: Aarn input and experiences please

Postby MeanderingFlyFisher » Fri 01 May, 2020 4:54 pm

I have been waiting for what seems like an eternity for a report on your new pack.
I hope it all goes well for you.
By the way my coffee kit is always the first item packed as I am damn sure my hike/fishing partner would kick me off the trip if I forgot it.Great for balance in the front pockets anyway.
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Re: Aarn input and experiences please

Postby Ms_Mudd » Fri 01 May, 2020 7:34 pm

Pics incoming...
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Sharpish plastic guide thingy
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Re: Aarn input and experiences please

Postby Ms_Mudd » Fri 01 May, 2020 7:36 pm

Guide thingy from a greater distance
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Re: Aarn input and experiences please

Postby Ms_Mudd » Fri 01 May, 2020 7:43 pm

Mesh pocket with 1lt Gatorade bottle in situ. Aarn users , will this stretch out over time if carrying weight such as water?

Am really happy with the pack generally, clearly have too much time on my hands to be nitpicking so intensely ;-)
Shall get some Pics of the pack in the 'wild' next week and give my thoughts on it's maiden voyage, because doing the dishes while wearing it this week didn't count.
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Re: Aarn input and experiences please

Postby Ms_Mudd » Fri 01 May, 2020 7:44 pm

Darn it. The pic above is upside down. Just stand on your head while looking at it
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Re: Aarn input and experiences please

Postby matagi » Sat 02 May, 2020 9:03 am

I have the same pack, which I used on the Overland Track in late February. To be honest, I didn't use the side pockets on the pack for very much because they are awkward to reack when walking. I have the sport front pockets and noticed the mesh developed some "pulls" probably from catching on things as I walked (parts of the track were surprisingly overgrown with vegetation given the amount of use it gets during the walking season). As for the guide loop, I haven't noticed any chafe on the line that runs though it. Pics of front pocket with bottle and guide loop on belt attached.
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Re: Aarn input and experiences please

Postby cajun » Sun 03 May, 2020 11:51 am

I love my 22l (marathon magic I think) day pack as I keep most of my camera equipment in the front pockets for easy access, along with a few snacks.

When I needed a bigger day pack I looked at AARN but finally chose an Osprey pack (34l). Why? The Osprey was available in store at the time at a really good discount.

Love them both, but more recently have used the Osprey more.
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Re: Aarn input and experiences please

Postby headwerkn » Mon 04 May, 2020 10:54 am

Our experience with Aarn wasn't a good one. My partner got one just before we met and despite numerous attempts to fit it to her with different belt sizes etc. she could never get it to ride properly. It's probably worth mentioning too, for the ladies, that while the front bags are definitely useful and the counter balancing makes sense, they tend not to work so well if you've got an, ahem, ample chest. Just sayin' ;-)

Just my observation during the whole experience, but the Aarns do appear more complex than they need to be in terms of fitment. We also had issues with parts of the alloy frame coming apart. Eventually we got rid of it and replaced it with a Arcteryx Beta AR and she's never looked back.

Cheers, Ben.
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Re: Aarn input and experiences please

Postby matagi » Mon 04 May, 2020 1:32 pm

headwerkn wrote:Our experience with Aarn wasn't a good one. My partner got one just before we met and despite numerous attempts to fit it to her with different belt sizes etc. she could never get it to ride properly. It's probably worth mentioning too, for the ladies, that while the front bags are definitely useful and the counter balancing makes sense, they tend not to work so well if you've got an, ahem, ample chest. Just sayin' ;-)

Just my observation during the whole experience, but the Aarns do appear more complex than they need to be in terms of fitment. We also had issues with parts of the alloy frame coming apart. Eventually we got rid of it and replaced it with a Arcteryx Beta AR and she's never looked back.

Cheers, Ben.

When you say ample chest - how ample are you talking? I am considered a fairly well endowed female and that was my concern when I got my first Aarn pack but I haven't had any problems with the front pockets on either my Mountain Magic or my Peak Aspiration. That said, I reckon if you were built like Dolly Parton, the front pockets would be an issue.

I agree you have to get the the setup right and the belt sizes on the older packs didn't allow for much adjustment if you needed to go tighter than the smallest belt (my husband had this problem while he was working as a guide and was consequently very skinny around the waist and hips). The belts on the newer packs are supposed to be better in terms of adjustment because you can actually modify the angle of the belt so the padding sits better on your hip bones and there is more room to tighten as well.
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Re: Aarn input and experiences please

Postby headwerkn » Tue 05 May, 2020 10:18 am

matagi wrote:When you say ample chest - how ample are you talking? I am considered a fairly well endowed female and that was my concern when I got my first Aarn pack but I haven't had any problems with the front pockets on either my Mountain Magic or my Peak Aspiration. That said, I reckon if you were built like Dolly Parton, the front pockets would be an issue.


DD but she's fairly small/petite otherwise. She didn't like not being able to see her feet when walking over rougher terrain. But the main issue was the fact that despite numerous attempts we just couldn't get the thing to sit properly on her. Between that and things breaking on the frame she came to hate the pack, so we decided to cut her loses after 18 months. I'm not doubting that they aren't a great pack and a sound concept, but you definitely need to make sure you're fitted properly before handing over money. Forget the usual store trick of loading in 10kg, load in twice that and make sure it's still comfortable.

In fairness it did take a few trips to dial in the Arcteryx to suit her, but at least that was logical and easy to adjust.
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Re: Aarn input and experiences please

Postby Ms_Mudd » Tue 05 May, 2020 4:21 pm

Packed for this weeks day walk not sure which day I will go yet. I have taken the lid of the pack off. I have 1.2kgish in each of the front pockets and 5.7kg in the main pack, including 3lt water all up. I would normally pick up an extra litre once closer to my destination to cook with, but as I am road testing the Peak Aspiration I have gone all out and chucked all kinds of extra shizzit in there for weight.

Thoughts as I was packing:
I really liked that the hydration bladder loop was independent of the internal dry bag- makes sense. I will say that velcroing the dry back back in place after fitting the bladder took a higher degree of fine motor skill than I typically exercise though ;-)

The lid of the pack was SO easy to remove. Very much more straight forward than the Osprey system. The buckle fixtures had a little notch and just needed to be unhooked, will take all of two seconds to put it back on.

The balance pockets have a bit of 'sway'. This may or may not bother me. Can't cinch them in any tighter and can't cross the straps over as the buckles on the sternum strap are slightly different to the balance pockets (!). BPL are sending me replacement buckles so that they all work in together as they should. Not sure if will be any more secure when I can use my stern strap too, as they come right up to the level that I can lower my sternum strap to. It would be good if I could go lower with it, but not possible with the short harness and short me. I have taken some pics to show what I mean, will post them all after my walk.

Felt a bit awkward doing up my hip belt with balance pockets insitu, didn't know whether I should be reaching under or around them. I am sure once used to it I won't even have to think about it.

Liked putting all of my 'fiddly' things (chap stick, drop bear spray, pocket knife, inreach, ear phones, caffeine gel, hand sanitiser) in the mesh of the balance pockets. I utilise hip belt pockets for this stuff normally, but find it awkward to zip them back up and also worry that I will lose the other fiddly items in the hip belt pockets when rummaging around. I really think this set up of having it right in front of me is going to suit me nicely.

Will be a decent test of the bag as I had an emergency at work on Friday night and think I was moving in ways that were not really paying attention to my own physical well being and have 'tweaked' my back again. I am getting around okay and managed the following two nights at work just fine with some ibruprofen, but am definitely not comfortable. If I come back feeling no worse, we have a winner :lol:
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Re: Aarn input and experiences please

Postby matagi » Tue 05 May, 2020 8:05 pm

The balance pockets shouldn't sway and you should be able to cross over the chest straps, so there is obviously something not quite right there.

As far as the hip belt goes, after much experimentation I found it easier to do up by hooking my arms under the balance pockets. I also tried going between the pockets, but that was very awkward mechanically speaking.
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Re: Aarn input and experiences please

Postby Ms_Mudd » Tue 05 May, 2020 10:48 pm

matagi wrote:The balance pockets shouldn't sway and you should be able to cross over the chest straps, so there is obviously something not quite right there.

As far as the hip belt goes, after much experimentation I found it easier to do up by hooking my arms under the balance pockets. I also tried going between the pockets, but that was very awkward mechanically speaking.


Hopefully replacing the clips on the sternum strap to make them compatible with the balance bags will solve the problem. I thought about bending the stays of the bb's in a little to have the top sitting closer to my chest as they sit out quite a way which is where the sway comes in, but didn't want to start messing with that before having the correct clips to cross the straps over etc.

Ahah, will try your trick with the hip belt fastening 'underarm' style. I just didn't quite know where my arms should be, I am pretty goofy at the best of times though :oops: :lol:
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Re: Aarn input and experiences please

Postby MeanderingFlyFisher » Wed 06 May, 2020 6:42 am

I tighten the hip belt before I connect the crossover straps as they seem to hang under my arms and just reach over/around the balance pockets. I am sure you will sort out a technique with practice.
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Re: Aarn input and experiences please

Postby north-north-west » Wed 06 May, 2020 8:03 am

MeanderingFlyFisher wrote:I tighten the hip belt before I connect the crossover straps as they seem to hang under my arms and just reach over/around the balance pockets. I am sure you will sort out a technique with practice.


This is how I do it. Pack on, make sure all the straps are accessible and not caught under anything, do up the hipbelt by reaching around and under the pockets. Tighten. Then the cross straps. Then tighten everything up again and make sure it's sitting right.

Good luck on the walk, Muddy.
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Re: Aarn input and experiences please

Postby Ms_Mudd » Wed 06 May, 2020 3:34 pm

north-north-west wrote:Good luck on the walk, Muddy.

Thanks! I ended up doing a different walk to the one I had planned, woke up at 0430 to watch a meteor shower, it was as foggy as all get out, felt tired still, so went back to bed until 7am :lol: I did 16km, but all along a river, so pretty cruisy other than climbing over and under a lot of fallen trees. It made my 3litres of water and all my gear all the more ridiculous as I was within 50 metres of water at all times today. In the interest of giving it all a good test run though, I dutifully topped back up at lunch to full capacity. I packed everything but the kitchen sink, even a few nearly empty gas canisters that I wanted to use up.

I did get proficient at the hip belt thing in the end, well at least less unco than my first attempts.

Here are my maiden voyage thoughts-
I tried to get in pics how much the top of the balance pockets sat out from me, all I could do was fasten them to one another due to the incompatible buckle on the sternum strap. They did have a bit of sway, but even cinched in incorrectly as they were, they absolutely did not obstruct my view in anyway. This surprised me, I could see ahead like I normally would and looking down had a clear view of my feet too. They also didn't get in the way of my arm swing. Some kind of voodoo magic there to not cause any intrusion centre or side.

I did have some hip belt issues. I have come home with bilateral red pressure injuries on my anterior inferior iliac spines, which will probably turn to bruising I think. My iliac crests were okay as that is the softer top half of the hip belt. The lower half of the hip belt is more rigid. I did 'flare' the belt out to make it wider at the base of my hips, but still couldn't quite get it to not be noticeable no matter how many times I tried to tweak it. Hopefully having the pockets sit as they should will remedy the problem. I feel that in part this could be due to the 'lean' outward that the pockets were on potentially causing the stays to angle in too much where they met the hip belt. Hopefully the compatible buckles will arrive in the mail soon so I can cross over the straps properly.

It was amazing how much I didn't notice the weight when it was on, it really felt light. When I undid the hip belt at breaks, it was the same sensation as getting out of a pool and feeling your full weight again :lol:

I did love having everything on hand in the front. Very convenient. I am a person who likes everything in its place when I am walking - wish I were like that organised in every day life :roll: - as it makes me feel organised and safe to know that I can put my hands on any given item without having to think about it. I think the pack will be excellent for that approach as there are plenty of organisation options.

My shoulders don't feel as if I have carried a pack today, my lower back is also no sorer than when I started, so a win there. I didn't notice the flow mo harness doing its thing, but it clearly did.

So other than the hip belt fit, all was good. So keen to get my hands on the correct buckles to change them out and try another run.
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Re: Aarn input and experiences please

Postby philm » Wed 06 May, 2020 4:24 pm

Hi
A couple of ideas to make the pack more comfortable. It is a bit of trial and error but the video's on the Aarn website help. The straps on the balance pockets are meant to cross over at the top. So the top left pocket strap attaches to the right strap on the pack and visa versa.

The bottom pocket straps just connect together. The pockets will / should not sway much at all.

In terms of the hip belt rubbing there are 2 adjustments you can make (1) at the back of the pack where the hip belt joins the pack there is a velcro flap that can be lifted up and you can take the hip belt off if needed. to avoid rubbing on say the bottom of the hip crest you angle the hip belt down slightly at an angle on the velcro and then do it up again. Then when tightening the hip belt when on there are 2 straps on each side one to tension the upper part of the hip belt on the hip and one to tighten the lower part of the hip belt. You may need to reduce the tension on the lower part of the hip if this is rubbing.

You need to try a few different adjustments but will eventually get the pack to fit well. The video's help.

Good luck. I have both a natural balance and load limo and both are excellent packs. I recently took the natural balance on the South Coast Track and it was an ideal size for me (not ultralight but my starting weight with water was about 22kg)
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Re: Aarn input and experiences please

Postby Ms_Mudd » Wed 06 May, 2020 6:03 pm

philm wrote:Hi
A couple of ideas to make the pack more comfortable. It is a bit of trial and error but the video's on the Aarn website help. The straps on the balance pockets are meant to cross over at the top. So the top left pocket strap attaches to the right strap on the pack and visa versa.



Thanks Philm, really appreciate the help with it. I think once I have it dialed in I am going to be delighted with it. Just a pretty customised fit and hard to do remotely, so am loving all the help I am getting here!
I am looking forward to doing the crossover thing. I think it was super weird and annoying that my pack came with clips that wouldn't allow that. Bit frustrating. They are different to the clips on both the compact and sports balance pockets so it really makes no sense at all. Backpacking Light were really kind and helpful and said the packs get the wrong clips sometimes and were happy to send me out the right ones, can't wait for them to come. Do you find that stabilises the whole deal a lot more? Did you then need to bend the stays at all?

I tried angling the hip belt via the velcro to get a bit of a flair to the hip fit as I am quite 'hippy' (not the ganja smoking, peace sign wearing sort :P ) I might try a more extreme angling of the hip belt as you suggest and see how that goes? I guess I went pretty light on with the angling and it was on the fly, so perhaps getting my husband to help with his keener eye and measuring tape might be more precise. In my household, I am not allowed to cut loaves of bread or blocks of cheese as I am unco and wonky, so perhaps I should step away from the pack adjusting on my own too? :wink: :lol:
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Re: Aarn input and experiences please

Postby slparker » Wed 06 May, 2020 6:26 pm

If you want some expedition front bags let me know. I bought a pair for an Aarn daypack and they didn't fit and the straps were wrong etc so I pretty much wrote them off.
Sitting in my trunk awaiting me either buying an Aarn multi-day pack or putting on the pay-it-forward page. If Ms Mudd doesn't want them they're free to another good home.
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Re: Aarn input and experiences please

Postby MeanderingFlyFisher » Wed 06 May, 2020 7:36 pm

philm wrote:
The bottom pocket straps just connect together. The pockets will / should not sway much at all.



I remember seeing on a video or on the aarn website somewhere that the bottom straps are not meant to be buckled up as they are only there if you use it as a stand alone daypack.
That is how I use them and they work great.
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Gender: Male

Re: Aarn input and experiences please

Postby MeanderingFlyFisher » Wed 06 May, 2020 7:49 pm

Ms_Mudd wrote:

I am looking forward to doing the crossover thing. I think it was super weird and annoying that my pack came with clips that wouldn't allow that. Bit frustrating. They are different to the clips on both the compact and sports balance pockets so it really makes no sense at all. Backpacking Light were really kind and helpful and said the packs get the wrong clips sometimes and were happy to send me out the right ones, can't wait for them to come. Do you find that stabilises the whole deal a lot more? Did you then need to bend the stays at all?



I am pretty sure once you do the "berlei" set up the balance bags will hang better with a better weight transfer to the flo mo set up.Don't buckle up bottom clips as mentioned above.
Glad you had a pretty good workout with it and not at all surprised how easy you carried the weight.
MeanderingFlyFisher
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Re: Aarn input and experiences please

Postby MeanderingFlyFisher » Wed 06 May, 2020 7:56 pm

slparker wrote:If you want some expedition front bags let me know. I bought a pair for an Aarn daypack and they didn't fit and the straps were wrong etc so I pretty much wrote them off.
Sitting in my trunk awaiting me either buying an Aarn multi-day pack or putting on the pay-it-forward page. If Ms Mudd doesn't want them they're free to another good home.


If Ms Mudd doesn't want them I would love to give these a try.
MeanderingFlyFisher
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Re: Aarn input and experiences please

Postby slparker » Wed 06 May, 2020 7:58 pm

No worries.
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