Sunday, May 2, 2010

Happy New Backpack Day

Yesterday I bought a new backpack.

This was momentous because it is the first new backpack I've had in 15 years. It's also the first one I bought without my dad's direct input. Last time around, he informed me that I should buy the Osprey Isis (after researching it extensively in various outdoor magazines), and took me to Marmot Mountain Works, where he supervised while I tried it on.

I insisted it "leaned to the left" but he didn't believe me. "It fits you perfectly," he said.

He was wrong. It never fit right. But I bought it anyway and have doggedly used it for the last 15 years, bringing memories of my dad with my each time. In fact, that's the very pack I'm wearing in my profile picture to the right, where I'm smiling on the High Divide trail in the Olympics. (That pack got to see a lot of great stuff before it retired).

He bought me the Arc'Teryx daypack I own too - more than 10 years ago. I love that pack and use constantly, even though a buckle is broken and it probably weighs at least three more pounds than all the new packs out their on the market.

So yesterday I took a big step in buying my own pack. I did no research, whatsoever, of course, except to ask my friend Fredd (who works for REI) which pack to buy. He recommended the REI XT, which didn't fit me quite right. After twenty more minutes, I'd tried on two more packs and decided on the Gregory Jade (pictured above).

Hopefully the new pack will be more comfortable than the old one. But it certainly won't be as special as that old Osprey.