Results 51 to 75 of 80
01-09-2012, 10:50 AM #51
Originally Posted by Mystery Ranch
01-09-2012, 11:22 PM #52
I just returned a brand-new Float 36 to Backcountry, real nice pack but I can't justify investing $630 in a pack that I can only use skiing, as rarely as I get to ski.
Being able to remove the WARI and use the Blackjack (or Mammut Ride) in the summer is a big plus, so I may go that route. Considering MR's background, I'm guessing the Blackjack harness system is right up there with all of the other high-end hiking packs, unless they really trimmed it to save weight.
01-10-2012, 12:38 PM #53
The harness system on the blackjack is the same system they use on some of their other packs. It carries great and has plenty of adjustablitly to get the fit dialed so you dont really feel the weight on your back.
Very happy with the pack as other have said in this thread."College Sailing isn't about who wins the most races, its about who can stand in the morning"
01-10-2012, 02:48 PM #54
Has anyone had success filling the canister at a scuba or paintball shop? Any idea what I'd ask for over the phone, or should I just show up with the canister to see if they can do it? There's a WARY dealer in town but they want $80 to refill a canister, which seems ridiculous.
01-10-2012, 04:51 PM #55
Local SCUBA shop here wants $5 to do it, and you can trust they have clean, dry air.
Paintball shop is probably less concerned about moisture, but should be fine.
01-13-2012, 11:06 AM #56Registered User
- Join Date
- Apr 2007
Just got mine refilled at a dive shop for 5 bucks. I would trust a dive shop over a paintball shop
01-17-2012, 08:01 PM #57
Group buy is on again in Gearswap.
01-19-2012, 12:29 AM #58
I was lucky enough to score one of these this season. I'm 5'8 150lb and spend the vast majority of my ski days in backcountry terrain above tree line. (viva AK) I also tele, so one of these things was a no brainer. I'd been using an old K2 axon to hold my gear, which I think has Dana design origins. I love that old pack and was very hesitant to use anything different especially if it was some gimmicky float bag. I had seen ABS bags and was not particularly excited about all the useless shit and lack of ski carry.
So far I guess that I have about ten days with it (I don't count) and am pleased.
I've seen a couple issues creep up on this thread and others, I'll try to address what I can remember.
Airbag Connection: Absolutely bomber! The airbag is housed in the lid which is connected to the rest of the pack by a massive metal rod threaded through webbing loops. This looks MUCH stronger than any seam stitching could ever be. Webbing is all anchored in. I have no doubts about it falling off or pulling out. NONE.
Construction: High quality stitching all around. Beefy materials solid feeling buckles. These guys mean business.
Weight: Well, straight up its heavier, but its not that bad. My old pack made of heavy ripstop nylon, no frame, completely unloaded was almost four pounds. This one is about eight with the canister loaded. It's also bigger. What it boils down to, is yes, you do notice it, but the suspension on this pack is just so good that its not a big deal and makes it ski well. I initially thought that it was pretty bulky and might restrict my aerial comfort. My concerns were groundless. (har har har for the pun), but really... it does fine in the air.
Buckles, straps, etc: Solid diagonal and A frame ski carry. No complaints, but I haven't used them too much. Compression is excellent. I was worried that the larger pack would flop with only my avy gear and a layer, but this has not been a problem. My only gripe is with the waist belt cinch, which seems overly complicated. It's still workable with mittens but just barely. Leg strap is pretty clean, and you can roll it up or daisy chain/twist it into a ball and stuff it into a small sleeve on the pack when you don't want it. It's a shit ton easier than the ABS style leg loops, which I don't think I've ever seen worn correctly despite many cold minutes of fumbling by friends who have had them.
Pull triger: its red and stays in place, but still bumps the shoulder. The handle is girth hitched onto the trigger wire, and the girth hitch material is pretty stiff and had big loops, making the handle take up a lot of extra space initially. I creased the handle wire so that the girth hitch is much tighter and lays flat. It has not been an issue since.
Overall, its a solid pack. A little bigger than I usually ski with, because I'm not a huge guy and I don't carry a ton of crap when I ski, although the extra room does make me want to bring all of those nice little extras. The design is relatively spartan. I believe one of the Wildsnow write ups talks about modification, and cutting out some non-essentials, which might be a reasonable way to go. My pack remains unmodified, but who knows what the winter may bring. I've already given it a pretty good thrashing, and haven't had any durability issues.
A solid option for those already interested in an airbag, and even though its targeted towards guides and patrolers, it does fine on the back of a tourist (or one who tours).
01-19-2012, 12:19 PM #59
Thanks for the write up. I have been meaning to do the same, with added pictures, but wanted to wait until I skied it a bit.
01-31-2012, 11:10 AM #60
Cool - thanks for the beta on re-filling at a dive shop. I test fired mine after setting the pack/yoke up (sorry guys, I should have taken a video). Will get it re-filled this weekend.
I still intend on shooting the pack and posting a detailed review - but I just thought it prudent to actually get some ski days in it in the BC. Unfortunately, the Tahoe lack-of-winter is not cooperating
02-01-2012, 07:46 PM #61
MR was at SIA and had a prototype smaller pack with them, not measured yet but in the 20-25L range. Will be cheaper than the blackjack by some amount, and the system is fully removable/swappable between packs."It need not be fun to be fun." - Big Steve
02-01-2012, 08:20 PM #62
^^^ Nice, hopefully it will accept the airbag system from this year's Blackjack.
02-01-2012, 10:39 PM #63"It need not be fun to be fun." - Big Steve
02-02-2012, 10:53 AM #64
Really cool news! Although I must say the Blackjack compresses down very nicely when not filled. Obviously smaller = less weight, but don't let the size of the Blackjack scare you off.
03-13-2012, 08:23 PM #65
Just received my Blackjack - wow, what a work of art!
NO comparison in pack material or design to the Float 36 I bought from BC and returned, even though the Float 36 is a sweet pack for the money. The BCA pack is well-made and well-designed and works great no doubt, but it's like comparing a Audi A4 with cool rims to a military Humvee with a machine gun on top. The Float 36 is slick, but the Blackjack is RUGGED.
The Blackjack appears to be made just like their military packs (but with less waist padding since it won't be carrying 80 lbs), only in civilian colors, with an airbag. Yet somehow the Blackjack is a few ounces lighter than the Float 36, go figure that one out. I also got the recreational lid to replace the airbag so the pack can also be used in the off-season, which is nice considering the hefty investment. The harness system on the MR is clearly designed to carry a lot of weight if needed and is really contoured to your body so it doesn't impair arm movement (unlike the more straight BCA or Mammut straps), and the pack compresses to really thin package if all you have in it is your avi gear and a puffy on inbounds days. (The cylinder is on the left side, so put more gear on the right side of the pack to even out the thickness.) I set it up with the straps across the back as if to carry a snowboard, which pulls the pack flat.
The airbag is so high and close to your back, the 8 lbs of weight just disappears when you're wearing the pack (doesn't pull your torso backward at all). Your gear also goes right against your pack unlike the Float 36, which has a sheet of stiff foam between the air system "engine compartment" (lots of empty space in there) and the main compartment, which spaces your gear out about 3" away from your back. (The Float 30 doesn't have this sheet of foam, and allows your gear to neatly fill in the gaps between the air system components.)
Before receiving this pack I was thinking of selling it to someone who missed out on the group buy (to put the money toward a new laptop or a camera lens for work), but after drooling over the thing it would pretty hard to let it go...damn it's nice.
Areas that could be improved:
- Ship pack with a baggie over the fitting on the end of the hose where it connects to the cylinder. Leaving it loose got vacuum grease on the inside of the pack...nice.
- The trigger pouch has two tabs with eyelets to accommodate different yoke adjustments (torso lengths). It needs at least one more tab centered between the current two tabs; at my torso length neither tab works. The cable won't reach the lower tab even with the bottom cable barrel up against the hole where the cable housing comes out of the pack, and with the cylinder all the way in the bottom of it's sleeve the cable housing is too long for the upper tab. I made it work with the upper tab by pulling the cable out of the middle guide sleeve between the shoulder strap and the pack, so the extra cable can loop above the shoulder strap. Not ideal, but it will work until I can sew in another tab.
- Eliminate the zipper pull on the trigger pouch, or make the pull much smaller. The trigger handle hangs close and doesn't bounce/swing if you lower the zipper down to the top of the handle*, but then the zipper pull hangs down over the trigger handle. I don't want junk hanging over the handle when I'm frantically fumbling for it, and I don't want it swinging around like it does with the zipper all the way up. I cut off the zipper pull and put a little loop of zip-tie on it, works great. (* This only works if the cable end is fitted to the upper tab, if you're using the lower tab you'll have to accept the swinging handle.)
- The diagram for the pressure gauge in the instruction manual has "overfilled" and "underfilled" reversed. "Underfilled" should be next to the blue zone, and "overfilled" should be next to the green. Not a big deal, either way you know something isn't right.
Last edited by 1000-oaks; 04-17-2012 at 07:42 PM.
04-17-2012, 08:04 PM #66
Finally got a chance to get the Blackjack out on the hill this past weekend. Conditions didn't really warrant having the airbag attached, but I wanted to see how it handled at full weight with the usual avi gear, a BD snow saw, extra layers and water.
Fantastic, to say the least. Feels heavy when you pick it up, but the weight disappears soon as the pack is on your back. Even with a pair of Sumos/Barons in the diagonal carry, you quickly forget the pack is even there. Love the small pouch under the airbag (even though it looks odd) for little things you need during the day. The tube on the waistband works great for stowing the crotch strap, just stuff it in there and quickly pull out. Things I'll be adding: a key clip somewhere inside (I used the goggle pouch, but it would be nice to save it for goggles), a grommeted hole near the top of the right shoulder strap for a hydration bag tube, and a loop near the center top of the main compartment to hang the hydro bag.
Despite costing as much as a perfectly functional used car, the pack is a pretty good investment IMHO.
06-01-2012, 03:25 PM #67Registered User
"Alpine rock and steep, deep powder are what I seek, and I will always find solace there." - Bean Bowers
- Join Date
- Sep 2010
shroom put it best: "Man, you're one biased motherfucker."
08-10-2012, 10:58 PM #68Registered User
- Join Date
- Nov 2009
- Bellingham, USA
wondering the same?????
08-29-2012, 03:06 AM #69Minion
- Join Date
- Jan 2012
Last edited by Devo21; 08-29-2012 at 03:17 AM.
08-29-2012, 07:57 AM #70
Oh....sorry...I misread the title to read "Mustang Ranch avi", and was wondering: "an avalanche at the Mustang Ranch????? .....what would THAT be, an avalanche of tits and ass??????"
My mistake..................carry on.
--"The reason death sticks so closely to life isn't biological necessity - it's envy. Life is so beautiful that death has fallen in love with it; a jealous, possesive love that grabs at what it can." by Yann Martel from Life of Pi
Posted by DJSapp:
"Squirrels are rats with good PR."
09-23-2012, 03:14 PM #71Registered User
- Join Date
- Oct 2011
- cool side of the pillow
10-06-2012, 12:59 PM #72Registered User
- Join Date
- Apr 2011
Just curious, does anyone in the Seattle area use this pack? I'd love to check it out in person. Perhaps a 6 pack bounty would be involved?
10-24-2012, 12:42 PM #73
Group Buy for the Blackjack this year is up...
10-25-2012, 11:54 AM #74
As an update on refilling, I went to three different SCUBA shops a couple of days ago and the 1st two said they did not have the correct "adapter" to fill it. The third said it was the same as a paintball adapter and they could refill it for $3. Ultimately, I think the first two just didn't want to touch it as they did not understand what I meant when I said "avalanche airbag." Note - this was in the Bay Area.
Regardless, $3 is a great deal for clean, dry air. So if you test fire your bag, I suggest going the SCUBA route and just say paintball adapter for the fill.
10-25-2012, 12:56 PM #75