Hiking Project Logo

Back Pack Help!

Original Post
Gus Mays · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2018 · Points: 0

Hey everyone,

First time poster. Actually, first time even visiting the site. =) Im, not a hiker, I am an arborist (tree climber).  But you all are the only people who I could think of that might understand and be able to help me in my search.

I am outside and on the go everyday. Switching from truck to truck, hiking to the tree in question, moving from place to place. Im sure everyone here can appreciate the amount of things one needs to keep on their person to be prepared. The most important of all these things: FOOD AND WATER! But also, safety glasses, meds, a few utility tools, wallet, keys, eating utensils, ect ect. For the longest time I have just always resigned to carrying around a plastic lunch box AND a back pack. I hate the back pack. It is a really nice bag and has stood the test of time, but its flimsy, hard to find things, I cant just open it and see. I have to dig. But at the same time I cant keep all my other things in my lunch box. Plus having to carry the lunch box in my hand can be a hinderance (I know this seems whiney, but I promise its not). I tried an insulated backpack with an insulted compartment. I thought it was going to be perfect. But, like my other back pack it is flimsy. So once its loaded up it is awful to try and retrieve anything. It seems like most of the insulated bags i found are this flimsy style. The hardshell backpacks seem to all be suitcase style with just one big compartment. *Sigh*


I am looking for a hardshell (or very firm) insulated (for food and water) back pack. With lots of compartments and organization for other things. Even if just one compartment is insulated.

Thank you all so much for your time and tips. Sorry if I am out of line to just barge into the joint and start asking questions. Im just so desperate. 

Bryan Palmer · · Marietta, GA · Joined Nov 2018 · Points: 0

Based on what you explained I would suggest something from black diamond, Kelty or Lowe Alpine. Saying this due to the description of your current back pack. 

TheGnat . · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Sep 2018 · Points: 1

You might also consider a sturdy backpack that will fit your lunch box in it. Gregory tends to put lots of pockets, although I'm personally more a fan of Osprey - their daypacks have lots of pockets to work with. There's also something like the REI Trail 40 - it opens up just about every which way, 40 liters should give you enough room to fit a lunch box, and it's got... way, way more pockets than any thru hiker wants (pockets mean weight!). So your box can sit at the bottom until you need it, and everything else is organized and accessible. 

If there's an REI near you, bring your current load-out to the store, and someone there will be more than happy to help you find something that will suit your particular needs. On here, more specific information on your current pack and lunch box would help a lot to narrow things down. 

Isaac Bozeman · · Pacific Islands · Joined Sep 2017 · Points: 5,913


I would recommend Ultra by Arctic Zone. It is a backpack with one big insulated pocket and many other pockets for other things. This or similar might work for you! I have attached a photo of said pack.

Happy Trails!Isaac Bozeman  

HugeGordon monokenyokuretsudo@gmail.com · · New York · Joined Dec 2018 · Points: 0

How about these hiking backpacks reviewed in the following article? There are backpacks of various size.


Michael Feigel · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Nov 2017 · Points: 5

My all time backpack and friend over years is the Lowe Alpine Peak Attack.

There are so many options and possibilities, it is incredible.

Unfortunately they have now new products, but they are even improved (hard to imagine for me). Lowe Alpine Peak Ascent is a good choice to me.
Anyway I used and tried a lot backpacks and I got my Lowe Alpine from which I will not go away. Until it brokes ...

Skippy Davis · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2019 · Points: 0

Hi Gus,

Keeping your food cold is a excellent way to keep climbing trees! When I'm away from a fridge for long enough I always bring a cooler of some sort.

Since several people above have suggested commercial products I'll go a different route.

Build your own. Reflective insulation sheeting is a good way to regulate temperature. You can find it at your local hardware store along with the some duct tape.

Try using the material to build a cooler for your existing bag. You can use as many layers as you like to obtain the correct firmness and more importantly the cost your looking for.


Bruce Hope · · Medford, OR · Joined Oct 2015 · Points: 11,327

I'd check-out Mystery Ranch. They build a range of rugged packs for uses from hiking to SAR to the military. I don't know about insulated but none of them are flimsy.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

Gear Discussion
Post a Reply to "Back Pack Help!"

Log In to Reply