Home · Register · Search · View Winners · Software · Hosting · Software · Join Upload & Sell

Moderated by: Fred Miranda
Username   Password

  New fredmiranda.com Mobile Site
  New Feature: SMS Notification alert
  New Feature: Buy & Sell Watchlist
  

FM Forums | General Gear-talk | Join Upload & Sell

  

Archive 2012 · Rain-resistance of F-stop packs
  
 
dsjtecserv
Offline
• • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Rain-resistance of F-stop packs


I'm considering an F-stop pack, probably the Tilopa. Having just come back from a week in West Virginia where I was constantly in thunderstorms and sustained rain, I'm reminded that any pack I expect to take in the backcountry has to be able to deal with rain. For top-loading packs I use a bag liner which, unless it has undetected pinholes, is always the safest bet. The pack cover approach works OK, but is always vulnerable to water running down between my back and the pack, since that area has to remain uncovered. A pack with built-in barriers to moisture penetration on the back panel allows this to be workable.

But the Tilopa (and other F-stops) has the openable back panel to allows access to the ICU. That involves a zipper and back panel of unknown water resistance. For those of you with F-stop packs, what has been your experience with the pack in serious rain -- thunderstorms or other rain sustained enough that it would otherwise soak the pack? Is the pack, with pack cover, sufficient to resist penetration to the inside (especially to the ICU), or do you resort to other measures, such as separately bagging the ICU?

Dave



Jul 26, 2012 at 05:34 PM
dsjtecserv
Offline
• • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Rain-resistance of F-stop packs


Hmm, more than a day with no responses...this doesn't look good. Doesn't anybody go out in the rain?

DAve



Jul 28, 2012 at 12:04 AM
sjms
Offline
• • • • • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Rain-resistance of F-stop packs


ok, they are coated fabric with a couple of thousand stitching holes in it. it is strongly recommended that a well made rain cover be used in anything but light drizzle. yes i have 2 of their packs (satori/loka). i use sea to summit covers for the heavy weather. with a good cover it would take quite a bit to get through to your and my gear. you can lay a sheet inbetween the pack and icu and do a partial wrap. as with any other pack zippers and such you need to judge what you feel you need.


Jul 28, 2012 at 12:30 AM
dsjtecserv
Offline
• • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Rain-resistance of F-stop packs


Thanks. Sounds like this might be a bit more of an issue with the F-stops than with a top loader.

Dave



Jul 28, 2012 at 04:24 AM
nyesimmons
Offline

Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Rain-resistance of F-stop packs


no problems so far in the rain but have never had a problem with any pack using a properly fitting rain cover - Sartori carries better than most except maybe my old Dana Designs which was not a dedicated photo backpack


Aug 02, 2012 at 01:52 AM
chez
Offline
• • • • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Rain-resistance of F-stop packs


I've been caught in a thunderstorm downpour with my F-stop. I had a snug rain cover on it, but like you feared, the water ran down my back as I too had a rain coat on and entered the pack through the zippers. Lucky enough for me only a little entered as I found shelter in about 15 minutes time, but the rear entry zipper is a problem. I suggest getting an extra large ziplock to hold your ICU to ensure water does not get to your gear.

Shame F-stop bags don't come with their own designed rain covers that can take care of the rear entry zippers. They cost enough...rain protection should be included...hope they are listening.



Aug 02, 2012 at 03:36 AM
dsjtecserv
Offline
• • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Rain-resistance of F-stop packs


Thanks, chez, that's exactly the experienced-based account I was looking for. I suspected that might be an issue. It may or may not affect my choice, as any pack will have a challenge at the back and straps without a very customized design for a pack cover. As you note, I can always put the ICU (and other items in the pack) into plastic bags, but that obviously makes them less accessible. It's a shame that F-stop hasn't designed a solution for this, as they they make a convincing case that their packs are otherwise well-suited to serious backcountry usage.

Dave



Aug 02, 2012 at 02:59 PM
dgdg
Offline
• • • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Rain-resistance of F-stop packs


some 3rd party covers had straps to cover the back of the pack some, but pooling at the bottom inside of the rain cover is still a possibility with all rain covers depending on fit and amount of rain.
regardless, if in the rain, you should use thick trash bag for your gear.
I love my f-stop loka, wouldnt change to another bag due to zippers.



Aug 02, 2012 at 03:41 PM
dsjtecserv
Offline
• • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Rain-resistance of F-stop packs


Thanks, dgdg. In my top-loading packs I use an internal pack liner, which doesn't affect accessibility and protects all the gear inside quite reliably. But that would not be practical with the F-stops, which are designed to allow access to the ICU through the back. I suspect it would be possible to put a bag around the ICU, with a zip lock opening facing toward the openable back panel of the pack, so that accessing the ICU would only require the additional unzipping of the plastic bag. The rest of the gear in the pack, which doesn't require access through the back panel, could be put in an up-facing liner, just as with a top loader. So have you used any arrangement such as that, and found it workable?

Dave



Aug 02, 2012 at 03:53 PM
dgdg
Offline
• • • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Rain-resistance of F-stop packs


I used to hike a fair bit for vacations until a couple years ago. Waiting for my little girl to get a bit older for some bigger hikes again. Back then I always used top loading packs and trash bag liners. Day long pouring rain was an issue from time to time. Water accumulation at the bottom inside of the rain cover (streaming along my back) was the main problem if I did not have the rain cover adjusted properly to drain, then gradual saturation of the back side. In the end, water wins and you need some type of impermeable liner on the inside. I like thick leaf bags best, they tear less and need less frequent replacement during the hike.

Have not used my current f-stop except for mild weather daytrips/dayhikes where it is wonderful. I think if rain were an issue now, I would use the rain cover and cinch the back straps to at least cover the zippers. I think my cover is campmor brand. On the inside I would use a large thick ply garbage bag with the opening towards the back, tied with quick release knot (slip knot), then fold downwards and tucked to the side.
Then when I need to access, I'd just open the plastic bag's slip knot that is already facing the rear panel of the pack. I have a medium icu, so a zip lock would only work for individual items, not sure I'd trust a zip lock over a regular trash bag.



Aug 02, 2012 at 05:13 PM
 

Search in Used Dept. 



JohnJos
Offline
• • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Rain-resistance of F-stop packs


Having just bought an f-stop Guru, I'm listening in here to see if this could be a problem on my Fall trip to Yellowstone. I'll have a rain cover and will just be doing day hikes but still could get caught in a downpour. And will be carrying a small Pro-ICU full of camera gear.

The f-stop zipper is the main concern it seems. They could use the WaterTight zippers used in high-end Gore-Tex raincoats. That would essentially prevent the zipper as being the water entry point. These zipper are on my Arc'teryx Bora 80 backpack and work great.

Of course the other problem with f-stop gear is availability. I was informed that the Loka will not be available until November!



Aug 02, 2012 at 07:29 PM
dsjtecserv
Offline
• • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Rain-resistance of F-stop packs


Thanks again dgdg. I'm envisioning a set up similar to what you describe. I have used the very large (2 1/2 gal?) Hefty bags with the plastic zipper, which are thick enough to stand up to use in a pack. Depending on which ICU, this may be big enough to enclose the ICU, leaving it open for normal use and zipping it up when bad weather threatens. The rest of the pack contents, accessed from the top, would go in a garbage bag or pack liner.

JohnJos, I'd recommend having a system in place and ready to use, even if the risk is low. I didn't expect to get caught in sustained rain or heavy thundershowers last week. I had enough options with me to protect everything adequately, but I had to make some compromises on accessibility. At minimum, having some large ziplock bags along in which to toss your most valuable or vulnerable equipment, in case the pack gets soaked despite the rain cover, would be a good idea.

Dave



Aug 02, 2012 at 09:01 PM
sjms
Offline
• • • • • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Rain-resistance of F-stop packs


you will note that on the above mentioned Bora 80 that the zippers do not make the particular type of U that is used on the FStop packs. the WP zippers need to stay on the same plane in order not to leak. you cannot do flat curves with them. the must remain essentially straight as the do on the the B80 and front zippers on jackets


Aug 02, 2012 at 10:58 PM
thebigape
Offline

Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Rain-resistance of F-stop packs


having just received a used F-stop Tilopa BC, can't give you much experience stories but... being in the garment/apparel business... here's some of my takes on it.

1) no matter what they say, no zipper is waterproof unless they use those special types seen on diving drysuits...

this includes the ykk zippers used by arc'teryx and gore etc...

it is merely a polyurethane coating placed on the back side of the zipper, slit for opening and a specially created/molded slider head to accommodate the zipper chain being on the other side.

2) bags are tough to waterproof... like said above, thousands of holes for stitching... and considering heaver needle/machinery used for the thicker fabrics... this is a weak point... and the sheer thickness and bulk of the seams make it almost impossible to seamseal... and seamsealing, if done, will be quite costly.

3) fabric is a nylon fabric with a clear polyurethane coating... bad thing about this is that it will eventually wear out/degrade, especially in corners...

being that F-Stop uses aluminum tube reinforcement, i was saddened to see that they did not opt to reinforce the section of the bag that comes in contact with the corner of the alum tubing... i saw that the fabric is showing a more rapid wear and tear in that area.


i would have loved to see a lining used to protect the coating,
i would have loved to see a separate compartment for the water bladder,
and i would have loved to see reinforcements where needed... but overall, it is a good bag.

no bag is waterproof...
i will be purchasing raincovers for this bag soon.



Aug 03, 2012 at 05:02 PM
dsjtecserv
Offline
• • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Rain-resistance of F-stop packs


No one expects the pack itself to be waterproof. The questions revolve around how to adequately protect the pack sufficiently so it doesn't allow damaged gear. Packs with an openable back panel have an inherent vulnerability that creates unique challenges in adding the needed protection without compromising the functionality of the pack. I'd be interested in what you come up with.

Dave



Aug 03, 2012 at 05:40 PM
JohnJos
Offline
• • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Rain-resistance of F-stop packs


sjms wrote:
you will note that on the above mentioned Bora 80 that the zippers do not make the particular type of U that is used on the FStop packs. the WP zippers need to stay on the same plane in order not to leak. you cannot do flat curves with them. the must remain essentially straight as the do on the the B80 and front zippers on jackets


Good point.



Aug 06, 2012 at 10:57 AM
pbraymond
Offline
• • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Rain-resistance of F-stop packs


dsjtecserv wrote:
No one expects the pack itself to be waterproof. The questions revolve around how to adequately protect the pack sufficiently so it doesn't allow damaged gear. Packs with an openable back panel have an inherent vulnerability that creates unique challenges in adding the needed protection without compromising the functionality of the pack. I'd be interested in what you come up with.

Dave


See here:
http://www.campmor.com/outdoor/gear/Product___20256?cm_vc=PDPZ1 or something along those lines.

Not pretty, but would work well to address seepage. I would second a large garbage bag for over the ICU if hiking in extended rain. Yes, you'd have to stop and wrap the bag around the ICU when it starts to rain, but then it's only once and you're likely not shooting in that extended downpour without some sort of shelter.



Aug 06, 2012 at 09:05 PM
dsjtecserv
Offline
• • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Rain-resistance of F-stop packs


Thanks, Ray. A few years ago my brother, who is a recognized innovator in ultralight backpacking, did some experimentation with poncho designs to cover both the pack and the person. It didn't work out well. The volume needed turned out to be similar to wearing a tent, and the whole thing was unwieldy , especially in the woods on narrow trails, or in the wind. I don't think he ever came up with anything he felt was satisfactory.

Actually, I do shoot in the rain, at least when its not utterly pouring, so the ability to switch between a protected mode and accessible mode without too much trouble would be of considerable value. I think that's doable with a well enough thought-through bag for the ICU, but it complicates planning for use of the Tilopa.

Dave



Aug 06, 2012 at 09:49 PM
pbraymond
Offline
• • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Rain-resistance of F-stop packs


Dave
I've never tried the poncho over backpack thing myself, but I can see your logic and the issues that would bring up. Please post whatever solution you come up with as I'm sure there's quite a few people who would welcome that.

Ray



Aug 07, 2012 at 02:35 PM
dsjtecserv
Offline
• • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Rain-resistance of F-stop packs


Will do, Ray. Of course, this is all pending what is likely to be a long wait for the pack itself!

Dave



Aug 07, 2012 at 05:29 PM





FM Forums | General Gear-talk | Join Upload & Sell

    
 

You are not logged in. Login or Register

Username   Password    Reset password