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2/5/2017 8:54 PM
 
Is there a good way to create some space between the wearers back and the back of a Aston House or Umlindi pack for the purpose of ventilation in hot and humid environments?  
 
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2/6/2017 11:00 AM
 
Unbelted, the answer is no. Belted, the AH will have a little breathing room above the lumbar area. The Umlindi will not.

The short version of my pack ventilation speech is that I have yet to use any fabric of any type that keeps my back from sweating where the pack contacts it, so 500d gets the nod for durability. Beyond that, there are places the pack *must* touch the back for good load carriage. All of the schemes out there now (such as Osprey uses) compromise good load carriage for breathability. Under a certain weight it doesn't matter. Above that, it does. Our taller packs (starting with Ute) will only contact the back in the lumbar area and across the shoulder yoke if properly adjusted.

Hot and humid sucks, straight up. Sorry that's what you're faced with. FWIW - there's a jungle skills instructor based out of Borneo who uses a Ute as his jungle pack in preference to everything else he has tried.

We are fortunate in this matter that your conduct will be your marker and, thus, your reputation. The conduct of others on this forum has been, and will continue to be, their marker, and thus, their reputation. In the west, a person invests in one's reputation carefully. - 112Papa
 
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2/6/2017 1:20 PM
 
Evan, thanks for the detailed reply. I've been reading up a lot regarding the evolution of jungle kit recently, and I got curious, as lack of ventilation can be a big issue in those environments. While I don't plan on visiting any jungles in my lifetime, I am considering a move to the southeastern states, and it can get quite hot and humid there. It's certainly not a huge concern, especially for a smaller pack that won't be worn full time like a ruck would.
 
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2/7/2017 6:30 AM
 
I live in North-Central Florida so maybe I can offer some insight.

In the summer you will notice the pack and kit bag (heavy recon/tarahumara in my case), and you will sweat a little more. I've found that keeping the clothing layers as light as possible helps a great deal. Usually that is a long sleeve poly-cotton dress shirt if I'm out in the woods. Protects from the sun and bugs, but moves the moisture out pretty well.

On the plus side, I've noticed this winter that the same combo helps keep me warmer when I take my pre-breakfast morning walk and lets me get away with lighter layers.

Caveat: I am not as big an outdoorsman as many of the fellows on this forum, and while it gets pretty hot here (near Gainesville), I don't think we get the humidity that other parts of the southeast do.

Mike
 
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2/7/2017 7:01 AM
 

If this helps at all, I have carried a Ute, Umlindi, and a modified hybrid frame C20M (old, discountinued HPG packbag) in hot / humid and hot / dry environments in Peru, Colombia, Paraguay, and South Africa.  Evan hits the nail on the head....hot & humid sucks....no getting around that.  When I've carried my Ute, I simply adjust out the load lifters on most terrain so that the pack has some space for my back to breathe.  When faced with steep terrain, I would pull the load lifters in taut, to have the load close to my back for the added agility.  While using my Umlindi or the C20M (which I have set up as a sort-of extra big Umlindi), I always use these packs with a belt (Recon or Prairie).  The load I carry in my Umlindi out in jungles isn't super heavy (under 50 lbs).  When faced with a long slog in hot / humid jungles carrying this pack (and the C20M, as well) I adjust the shoulder straps so that they are a bit on the loose side, but I keep the belt cinched taut, and I also make maximum use of the delta straps coming off the sides of the packbag down to the belt, in order to suck the load into my lumbar and hips.  Because HPG packs have that wonderful yoke-style shoulder harness, I still have decent stability while keeping most all of the weight on my pelvis.  With the Umlindi especially, I can often carry it like a "tall lumbar pack", in that once I have it dialed in to my body just right with my Recon Belt docked to it and the delta straps engaged, it will carry like I barely even need the shoulder harness.  This lets me have some air flow to my back.  As with my Ute, when I get into technical or steep terrain I tighten up the shoulder straps to bring the pack closer in.

Hope that helps.


Hill People Gear Coureurs des Bois (Brand Ambassador). Victoria faveat paratam. De Oppresso Liber.
 
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2/7/2017 3:56 PM
 
An ALICE pack works great in the heat, except for the fact that it was designed by the Marquis DeSade.
 
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2/8/2017 6:38 PM
 
Thanks a lot guys. Big help, and makes me feel better.
 
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3/8/2017 7:03 PM
 
I'm a little late to the conversation, but I can give you my solution. If I'm on a day hike with my umlindi, I fold a large handkerchief and place it under the Velcro where the belt would attach. The pack rides on my lumbar really well and I get a small bit of airflow on my back. If the hike is harder, I'll cinch the pack tighter. It's been super comfortable so far.
 
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