Aarn input and experiences please

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Re: Aarn input and experiences please

Postby Ms_Mudd » Wed 06 May, 2020 8:22 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.


That is very generous of you!!! I have already been the lucky recipient of some sport balance regular size pockets courtesy of a kind forum member who had got them in PIF, then PIF on to me, so with the compact pockets and those, I am all set for mega multiday or just overnighting. Thank you so much for offering slparker, it looks like MeanderingFlyFisher will make good use of the expedition pockets.

MeanderingFlyFisher - Berlei set up :lol: Great description!
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Re: Aarn input and experiences please

Postby slparker » Thu 07 May, 2020 8:00 am

no wukkas. PM me Meandering Fly Fisher and they're yours
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Re: Aarn input and experiences please

Postby philm » Thu 07 May, 2020 9:17 am

Hi
I did not need to resort to bending the metal inside the pack and would say this would be a last resort


Backpacking light offer a
Session over Skype with video to help fit the pack and this may be of help to you

It’s news to me if you don’t connect the bottom straps of the balance pockets but you can check this with them as well

I have always used them buckled
At the bottom and never had any issues

Using the cross over straps for the top males a real difference

There is no doubt the packs require a bit of set up but once completed they work really well

Good luck
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Re: Aarn input and experiences please

Postby peregrinator » Thu 07 May, 2020 11:04 am

I've also left the lower pair of pocket straps unbuckled. Did try buckling them once or twice to see if it made any difference. No, it did not.
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Re: Aarn input and experiences please

Postby Ms_Mudd » Thu 07 May, 2020 1:54 pm

philm wrote:Hi
I did not need to resort to bending the metal inside the pack and would say this would be a last resort


Backpacking light offer a
Session over Skype with video to help fit the pack and this may be of help to you

It’s news to me if you don’t connect the bottom straps of the balance pockets but you can check this with them as well

I have always used them buckled
At the bottom and never had any issues


Brilliant, if my pack fiddling with my husbands keen eye does not work out, will contact the good folk at Backpacking light for a Skype session for sure. I didn't know they offered this.

The compact pockets don't have a bottom buckle, but the sports do. I hadn't noticed them at all until I read the replies about lower buckles and ran in to check if my own had buckles. You all just saved me from further head scratching once I *did* notice them.
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Re: Aarn input and experiences please

Postby Ms_Mudd » Fri 08 May, 2020 9:31 am

Torso length shortened- check!
Hip belt in more optimal position after torso shortening- check!
Hip belt angled to create even more of a flare- check!

I have done some portion of homeschooling with the pack on and loaded up this morning and was comfortable, even with my bruised hips. Calling out spelling words has never been so fun :lol:
Will do another decent day walk next week on my days off and give the adjustments a proper run.
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Re: Aarn input and experiences please

Postby Ms_Mudd » Wed 13 May, 2020 7:34 pm

The clips arrived..funnily enough attached to my mothers day present that my husband had bought from BPL as well, a SMD carbon 'brolly. He didn't know what they were about, clearly BPL saw the same address and sent it all together :lol:

The good news is, I could switch out the clips on the Compact pockets I have (pictured right) , but the Sports Balance (left) still are not compatible and the buckle is fixed, so no option to swap out. I have offered to send them back to the generous soul who PIF'ed them to me, bit bummed as they were a really good size for longer trips.

Do any Aarn users have any pics of their Sports Balance pockets' clip set ups at all? Hopefully I can get some to work in with my sternum straps.
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Re: Aarn input and experiences please

Postby matagi » Thu 14 May, 2020 10:04 am

That's a bit odd. I have the new version Peak Asp but the old version Sports balance pockets (size small) and didn't have any problems with clip/buckle compatibility. My husband has similar clips to the ones in your photo on his newer Load Limo (on the lid only) - he hates them BTW. Photo attached of my Sports pockets clips.

EDIT: Both the buckle and the clip on my pockets are removable, which doesn't seem to be the case in your photo.
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Re: Aarn input and experiences please

Postby Ms_Mudd » Thu 14 May, 2020 1:42 pm

ahahhh Thanks Matagi. That helps a lot, thank you. I can see that the clips are different and replaceable. I will need to buy some sports balance to get a bigger capacity for longer trips, so that is reassuring that it looks that the clips can be changed out if need be.
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Re: Aarn input and experiences please

Postby MeanderingFlyFisher » Thu 14 May, 2020 5:12 pm

Just hold off for a bit MS Mudd.
slparker is sending me the pockets mentioned earlier in this thread.There is no guarantee that they will fit my pack or that they are any more suitable than my current pockets for my purpose.I will let you know when they arrive.
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Re: Aarn input and experiences please

Postby Ms_Mudd » Thu 14 May, 2020 5:17 pm

Ooo cool! I won't pull the trigger yet on getting Sports or Expedition pockets until you have tried slpackers pockets, MFF.
Its a whole big trading ring of Aarn pockets here.
The little compacts are great, but I think once the 50lt pack is fully loaded for a multiday adventure, the compact pockets won't hold enough to get adequate weight up front to make the Aarn system work as well as it can.
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Re: Aarn input and experiences please

Postby peregrinator » Thu 14 May, 2020 6:10 pm

Ms_Mudd wrote: . . . The little compacts are great, but I think once the 50lt pack is fully loaded for a multiday adventure, the compact pockets won't hold enough to get adequate weight up front to make the Aarn system work as well as it can.


I believe your thinking on that matter is spot on. Which leads me to wonder whether maybe, just maybe, a reason why some people who've tried the Aarn system decided they didn't like it could be that they failed to understand the fundamental importance of that matter.
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Re: Aarn input and experiences please

Postby Ms_Mudd » Wed 27 May, 2020 1:23 am

Bingpot!
Short Sports Balance Pockets arrived. The clips are compatible with my sternum strap, they fit me well enough.
Going for an overnighter within the next week or so , will load em up then
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Re: Aarn input and experiences please

Postby Ms_Mudd » Mon 03 Aug, 2020 3:26 pm

Aarns brainstrust- I am still not entirely in love with my Aarn, have used it 6 times now for a total of 11 days walking. Used the Sports Short pockets 4 times, loaded up with more weight to get the benefit from the principle behind the design. Heaviest total pack weight was this weekend gone at 15kg total as I was walking with kiddos and carrying all of our food and extra gear.
Watched all the available Youtube vids- multiple times- loaded, tweaked, unloaded, tweaked, loaded etc etc . It feels okay on, but not insanely different than having all the weight on my back though,so a bit underwhelming, but just okay. Perhaps I was too ambitious in my hopes for how different loading up in front would feel ?

It is the afterwards of a walk that I notice the fit was less than ideal which makes it hard to adjust for pre-walk as it is not obvious and for all intents and purposes it is fitted as per instructions.
I get sore spots -shifting depending on what adjustments I have made- on my hips. I have tried to fit my iliac crest in the soft spot on the hip belt, tried every adjustment imaginable, yet today I find myself with yet another pressure injury after a very short distance walked over the weekend. This time on the lower right hip. This has never happened with any of my Osprey AG harness packs and it is frustrating the heck out of me.

Is the pack just not for me or is there some other magical tweak that will have me singing with joy?
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Re: Aarn input and experiences please

Postby slparker » Mon 03 Aug, 2020 5:13 pm

Just curious MM,
how much weight are you putting in your front pockets?
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Re: Aarn input and experiences please

Postby Ms_Mudd » Mon 03 Aug, 2020 7:32 pm

This weekend just gone I had 2.7kg in each +/- 30 g(weighed them indivdually to get them close to the same).

Other than the soft flasks I drink from which are 500ml each, I ended up not carrying additional water in the pockets as it took up too much volume in the short pockets and didn't allow much else to fit in.

Have had less in them on one trip and more on another, but as silly as it sounds, it is hard to get more weight in them. I would be keen to hear how others pack the pockets out. I just run out of room and put my heaviest stuff in them -my tech bag, sleep mat, fuel cannister

Feels like I am doing something wrong. Well, my sore hip tells me as much anyway, as does the fact that there are so many happy Aarn users out there. Definitely have my dunce cap on with setting it up :oops:
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Re: Aarn input and experiences please

Postby matagi » Mon 03 Aug, 2020 10:01 pm

I think you need someone to look at you wearing the pack loaded up. It will be easier for them to spot if something is not right. But it has to be someone familiar with Aarn packs.

EDIT: Also, what sort of clothing are you wearing? Is it possible the waistband of your pants/shorts is creating a "high spot" for example.
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Re: Aarn input and experiences please

Postby north-north-west » Tue 04 Aug, 2020 8:58 am

If there is any sort of seam or fold under the hip belt, it will create a sore spot. This has always been a problem for me with every and any pack, as I have very little natural padding over the iliac crest. My solution is to make a cushioning pad - usually a carefully folded microfibre towel - and place it against the skin. You have to be careful in positioning it to make sure you aren't just putting another bit of creased fabric in there, but it does work for me. Adding padding to the belt does nothing, as the seam/crease is still between the belt and you.
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Re: Aarn input and experiences please

Postby Ms_Mudd » Tue 04 Aug, 2020 8:18 pm

Thank you for the replies. I shall load it up next week and take some snaps and hopefully something simple and obvious will jump out at you all, my keen observers.

Interesting idea about clothing. I hadn't thought of that at all. I was wearing my MD Neve softshell pants on one walk,stretchy leggings with a soft top (soft pair of running shorts over them (I hate seeing camel toe on anyone else so always add some 'modesty shorts' over my own tights :lol: ) a few times and this weekend just gone wore my favourite ever pants - patagonia happy hike pants that I bought second hand on ebay. They really are a bit flimsy to take bush, but it was a short, easy walk into our coastal campsite on the weekend, they have a soft, wide stretchy band at the top instead of fly and zipper. So different dacks, similar results.

It may be a lack of padding on my iliac crest as you also experience NNW. I did lose a good 25+kg a year or more ago, which is why I sold my Osprey pack as it was too big after I shrunk a bit, I have stated it had never rubbed my hips...but now that the point has been made, I did have more padding on my hips then.

Will try posting pics up and if nothing obvious about fit, will try and McGyver something up ala NNW style.
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Re: Aarn input and experiences please

Postby slparker » Wed 05 Aug, 2020 12:43 pm

I am very much toying with getting a Mountain Magic 42l.

Anyone have any experience with them?
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Re: Aarn input and experiences please

Postby matagi » Wed 05 Aug, 2020 1:13 pm

slparker wrote:I am very much toying with getting a Mountain Magic 42l.

Anyone have any experience with them?


I have the old model Mountain Magic 55 litre (the orange and grey one) I think the new ones are quite different but the thing that annoys me about my pack is the chest strap system. Otherwise a nice, light pack - has done an Overland Track and coped fine.
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Re: Aarn input and experiences please

Postby slparker » Wed 05 Aug, 2020 7:55 pm

matagi wrote:
slparker wrote:I am very much toying with getting a Mountain Magic 42l.

Anyone have any experience with them?


I have the old model Mountain Magic 55 litre (the orange and grey one) I think the new ones are quite different but the thing that annoys me about my pack is the chest strap system. Otherwise a nice, light pack - has done an Overland Track and coped fine.


Ta. What's the drama with the chest straps?
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Re: Aarn input and experiences please

Postby Ms_Mudd » Mon 10 Aug, 2020 3:21 pm

Have my pack out now, will hopefully get someone to take some pics.

My issue is- drumroll please

the stay on the pockets and the strip of metal that transfers the load to the hipbelt. 100%. Makes sense as the pain to my hips has altered each time ,depending on how I had adjusted the pack. The injury to my hips has felt more deep tissue rather than superficial chafe each time. Although I do not for a second minimise chafing- I am a (slow) runner and run up to half marathon distance and know first hand the agony of a burn/chafe from something rubbing.

So not sure how this problem can be remedied. If I make the hip belt as big as it goes in an attempt to miss the bony prominence of my hips, the buckles meet in the middle with not much room to adjust. If I try the opposite to go shorter with the hip belt, it just alters the point of pressure. Adjusting it higher or lower on my waist as I have done on my adventures just alters the level at which my hips are impacted as the vertical metal load transfer thingy goes to whole width of the hip belt.

I am probably a funny shape. I think I look really slender up top, but have deceptively chunkily proportioned hips with not a lot of padding over them.

Excited that I have solved the mystery, disappointed that it is not an easy fix :cry:
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Re: Aarn input and experiences please

Postby Wazza1 » Mon 10 Aug, 2020 4:09 pm

I have an easy fix.
I have seen this problem with Aarn packs and bony hips in our club.
ItI was exactly as described
The solution is to make a separate padded belt that you put on before the pack.
A bit of experimenting is reqd., but I have seen it work.
By the way I own two Aarn packs. They have extended my walking life by years (together with Pacer Poles)
Good luck, when you get it right you won’t regret buying the pack
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Re: Aarn input and experiences please

Postby Ms_Mudd » Mon 10 Aug, 2020 5:07 pm

Wazza1, thank you for replying, makes me feel less like a weirdly shaped person to know others have had this issue :D

I only struck upon the answer as I did a two day walk last week and my hip was still sore from it when I put the pack on just now, so it was evident right away where the pain was in relation to the hip belt set up. It hasn't been easy to diagnose the problem as the soreness (feels like a deep bruise) only comes out after a walk rather than during.

The padded belt idea seems similar to the NNW solution.
Wazza1, do you reckon any of the members of your club would mind sharing a pic of their solution? I could show it to my mother in law and ask her to whip me something up so I can try it out too. Would really prefer not to sell the pack on, as it was $$ and my first really indulgent purchase for walking- I usually just get away with the cheapest of anything that I can.
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Re: Aarn input and experiences please

Postby Moondog55 » Mon 10 Aug, 2020 5:41 pm

Pix of the Aarn hipbelt please with the problem area circled if possible.
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Re: Aarn input and experiences please

Postby Wazza1 » Mon 10 Aug, 2020 5:59 pm

Ms-Mudd
It will be difficult atm, we are in hard lock down.
From memory the belt was simply several layers of of a felt like material, folded up and fastened by Velcro at the front and about 75mm wide and about 12mm thick.
It was nothing elaborate but It has been used for hundreds of kms overseas I believe.
Try experimenting with something like an old towel to see if if you are on the right track.
I know it is a pain but the gain is well worth it.
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Re: Aarn input and experiences please

Postby Ms_Mudd » Mon 10 Aug, 2020 6:41 pm

My apologies Wazza1, just noticed you were from Vic. I do hope you are getting through lockdown okay.

I was initially excited by the idea of an easy fix, but on further consideration, was less excited.
In a previous time I was a keen horsewoman and a poor fitting saddle, no matter how well padded out was still a poor fitting saddle. You would never continue to pad up a horse as a long term solution, you would find a saddle that fit better. Maybe I am not the right pony for the Aarn system :wink:

Shall experiment with a few things though in the meantime while I ponder what to do with the pack as have some walks planned. I have a wide lycra band with compartments that I use when running without a hydration pack, in theory I could pad out the front two compartments quite simply and see how I go.

I was just cooking dinner before while pondering padding out my hips and realised the Aarn pack was not my first big spend- two years ago I splashed out on a beautiful quilt- didn't keep it though as despite wanting to love it, turns out I sleep colder than I realised and preferred a bag.
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Re: Aarn input and experiences please

Postby Neo » Mon 10 Aug, 2020 7:26 pm

Buying a deep fryer will pad out your hips.
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Re: Aarn input and experiences please

Postby Ms_Mudd » Mon 10 Aug, 2020 7:29 pm

Neo wrote:Buying a deep fryer will pad out your hips.

Ooo I do like a good kitchen gadget :lol:
I will start deep frying everything, solved!
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