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BACKPACKER PHOTOS

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Outdoor Products Firefly Pack

The Firefly is a multipurpose entry-level performer, at a low price.
By Joe Flowers
  • Cheap scout pack from your attic? No! Inexpensive old school external frame that fits multiple people? Yes! Outdoor Products Firefly is a good entry-level backpack, as I found on various trips around Jefferson National Forest, in Virginia.
  • At the heart, is the polypropylene frame. With multiple adjustment points in the "ClickFit" system including the hipbelt, shoulder straps, and width of shoulders, it can be modified for many body types. It also has an adjustable mesh suspension.
  • Cool feature: The shoulder and hipbelt remain on the frame, but you can remove the packbag! So it works as a frame carry system, too. Bonus: Multiple attachment points.
  • During a three-day trip in Jefferson National Forest, VA, the Firefly hauled 40 pounds of gear with ease. It did take adjustment, as the narrow shoulder setting on the frame made the pack bounce around on my average shoulders until I made adjustments.
  • With pockets galore for the packrats, six of 'em to be exact, there is plenty of room for a gear junky. The main front pocket worked for all the little things, and the side pockets worked for a lightweight jacket or tarp. Total capacity: 3,750 cubic in.
  • The two easy-to-reach lower pockets work for water bottles, but they also have a draw string so you can secure a map or snacks.
  • The main compartment has enough room for plenty of clothes, and the bottom compartment can hold a 0 degree bag and still have a little room, perfect for those new to backpacking, and want to bring everything along.
  • Bonus: It comes with its own rain cover that stores in the top.
  • Overall, I was surprised with the performance of this inexpensive pack. I was a bit skeptical of the construction but the stitches held up fine over several months of hard use. Bonus: Lifetime guarantee.
  • The Specs<br><b>Cost:</b> $100 (but you can find it for half of that online)<br><b>Weight:</b><br> 6lbs. <br><b>Capacity:</b><br> 53.1 liters/ 3,750 cubic inches<br> One size fits most <br>Outdoorproducts.com
Cheap scout pack from your attic? No! Inexpensive old school external frame that fits multiple people? Yes! Outdoor Products Firefly is a good entry-level backpack, as I found on various trips around Jefferson National Forest, in Virginia.
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Cheap scout pack from your attic? No! Inexpensive old school external frame that fits multiple people? Yes! Outdoor Products Firefly is a good entry-level backpack, as I found on various trips around Jefferson National Forest, in Virginia.

READERS COMMENTS

Page 1

Thanks for highlighting an external backpack! My husband and I have always used external frame backpacks (for decades). We've given the internals a chance but still prefer the externals. We find the externals a lot more comfortable, your back doesn't get so sweaty, the use of space is so much more efficient and they are lighter weight.
I'm glad there are still wonderful externals on the market - - and being used!
— Holly

I have the Outdoor Products Dragonfly backpack, the smaller cousin to the Firefly. It has performed flawlessly for over a decade. From backpacking the Superior Hiking Trail, to backpack climbing trips in the rockies, and climbing the Washington volcanoes,the pack has been versatile and free from failure. The size is a bit smaller, but that works well with a lightweight approach, and I have often considered purchasing the Firefly as a larger option.
— Allan Schroden

I have an old (at least 8 years now) Outdoor Products Pack and use it constantly. It's my "always ready to go" pack, packed for any weekend activity. I've used the pack on Colorado backpacking and Philmont Treks and one point missing in newer packs are the pockets. They are great for organizing all of the little things you need to find (sometimes at 4 in the morning).
My son used one last year while a Ranger at Philmont. He figured he was on the trail for a total of 66 days and it held up well. He wants a new one for next year.
I still have my ulterlite gear, but for general use, these packs are great.
GGStart
— GGStart

When I first got interested in overnight backpacking 4 years ago, I looked online at Campmoor and this Firefly was what I ordered as it was only $50 and I thought the external would be cooler. it turned out to be a great fit for me. Only after 6 hours on the trail do my hips start aching or getting numb where I have to adjust the pack to get more weight on the shoulder straps. I've walked with it on all the Alabama 120 mile Pinhoti Trail plus 4, one week long sections of the AT and a few trips out west. I finally bought a ULA Catalyst for my last section of the AT and it should be a good, lighter replacement although I had to pay $260 for it. I still say the Firefly is easier on my shoulders than the new ULA though ! The side pockets on the Firefly are positioned perfectly to get water bottle, maps or snacks in and out, while it's hard to get anything out of the side pocket of the Catalyst and I can not put anything back in without taking the pack off. I did break the hip belt buckle once on the Firefly, so I always carry a spare buckle now.
— Edwin in Alabama


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