Which caving pack do you trust?

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Postby NZcaver » Jul 19, 2006 2:31 pm

For the last year, I've been using a pack which is very similar to the Swaygo, but slightly larger than their largest model. The Swaygo-type design is sleeker and more ergonomic than most traditional pack designs, plus it's more water-resistant. I keep a piece of closed-cell foam inside, against my back (which doubles as a seat cushion). The pack has taken a beating in really sharp lava caves, and suffered a few small holes in the PVC (which were easily patched with Shoe Goo).

Before that pack, I used one of the larger Lost Creek day packs for a few years. It's a great pack which held up well, despite being a little on the heavy side. I modified it by sewing a large pocket on the inside against my back, to accommodate the closed-cell foam without it getting all bent. Works great.

My expedition (multi-day) caving pack is a fairly simple 60-liter heavy nylon internal frame pack, which is about 20 years old. It has a padded waist belt, minimal outside pockets (1 on the back, and 1 on the lid), and a sewn tether loop I added myself. It's fine for dry caving, but for any long, wet trips I would probably go with my kayaking pack - a large PVC drybag with shoulder straps and a basic waist belt.

Bottom line - for good all-around functionality and reliability, a design like the largest Swaygo pack is probably your best bet. :kewl:
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Postby caverd » Jul 24, 2006 6:08 pm

I've been using a B&C Wunderwear B's Found II for years. It's held up to some incredible abuse in dry, wet, horizontal and vertical caves. It was reasonably priced and has features (extra pockets for gear storage) that others do not have. The only issue I have ever had is the clasps connecting the straps to the pack sometimes release when being drug through passages. It's more of an annoyance than anything.

I know some people that have tried the Swago pack and love it.

My goofy dad caves with two army surplus gas mask packs. I guess they work, but he sure looks funny with two packs draped around him (and they don't stay closed very well). But that's another story....
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Postby wendy » Jul 25, 2006 8:53 am

caverd wrote:I've been using a B&C Wunderwear B's Found II for years. It's held up to some incredible abuse in dry, wet, horizontal and vertical caves. It was reasonably priced and has features (extra pockets for gear storage) that others do not have. The only issue I have ever had is the clasps connecting the straps to the pack sometimes release when being drug through passages. It's more of an annoyance than anything.


Ya my pack has held up well. And it cleans easy too, i just toss it in the washer and it comes out looking brand new
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Postby Caver1402 » Jul 25, 2006 12:49 pm

Another vote here for the Swaygo. They do float! :woohoo:

I actually purchased a Swaygo when I first got back into caving, and then for Christmas last year I received a regular cave pack. I like it, too ... but I've only used it once -- I'm just used to my Swaygo now!

It floats, you have to take it off less, it's easy to drag behind you, and it's incredibly durable.
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Postby hardcorecaver » Nov 9, 2006 5:03 pm

i have had a lost creek pack and i was good but the i got an onrope exption pack and i love it. youcan get it on onrope1.com
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Postby batrotter » Nov 10, 2006 7:37 am

I'll chime in for Lost Creek packs. I have four different ones and have yet to wear one out. I've replaced the shoulder straps, repaired the D-rings and replaced the plastic side release snaps but have yet to wear out the main body. The first one I bought was about 15 years ago. They seemed to be the only thing available back then.
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Packs

Postby CaverScott » Nov 10, 2006 8:06 am

From the mid 80's through the 90's, I used Lost Creek Packs exclusively. I spent a many a day dragging those suckers through the low water crawls of Orange County, Indiana before I relocated to TAG. I actually wore out my first one and got another after I couldn't patch it anymore.

Jules got a Swaygo two years ago, and if she is not going on the trip I grab her pack. Although I have only used it a handful of times, I have been impressed. On a recent trip, I even got to use that floating feature. :kewl:
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Postby Wayne Harrison » Nov 10, 2006 8:58 am

My daughter loves her Lost Creek pack but I really like my Swaygo and its low profile. Sometimes I don't even notice I'm wearing it.
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Postby Cheryl Jones » Nov 10, 2006 10:13 pm

Swaygo! :wtg:

It floats, you have to take it off less, it's easy to drag behind you, and it's incredibly durable.

:yeah that: And keeps all the stuff inside dry.

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Postby killian » Nov 14, 2006 1:29 pm

Personally i only use a mountain smith pack. these things are indestructible. i have had mine for some years now and it doesn't even have one rip.. the only way to go is with mountain smith, it will cost you a little extra but it is well worth it... :boxing:
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Postby Jay » Nov 22, 2006 5:55 pm

:waving: I also have a TAG bag but I need another pack because I am carrying more gear now than when I first started caving. I am going to buy a swaygo because you can attach them to a chicken loop and rap it around you ankle when u are in low caves. Swaygos effortlessly glide across the floor unlike my TAG bag :hairpull: which always seems to get stuck. Though I must admit :boxing: it has stood up to much of what I have put it through.
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Still love Swaygo

Postby DementedCaver » Nov 29, 2006 4:37 pm

I loved my swaygo until it got a few small holes in it, I'll probably get another though since I like it. I just seem to be hard on my stuff or something. :hairpull:
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Postby Jay » Nov 29, 2006 4:57 pm

why not just patch it?
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Re: Still love Swaygo

Postby Scott McCrea » Nov 29, 2006 5:53 pm

DementedCaver wrote:I loved my swaygo until it got a few small holes in it, I'll probably get another though since I like it. I just seem to be hard on my stuff or something. :hairpull:

Email sent.

Holes can definitely be patched.
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Postby cavemanjonny » Nov 29, 2006 6:19 pm

I have a B&C Wunderwear that I got at TAG a year ago. It hasn't lasted well at all. One of the strap snaps broke, the fabric where the straps attach to the pack is tearing away, and the little drawstring thing inside the pack is all torn to hell. Maybe I got a lemon, I don't know. Either way, I would have expected it to last longer than a year. Definitely going to get a different pack when I can.
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