Walmart hiking backpacks

Discussion in 'Gear Deals' started by Crusher0032, Jun 30, 2018.

  1. Crusher0032

    Crusher0032 Appalachian Arthfael Supporter

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    I know a lot of folks aren't the biggest fans of WalMart, but they are selling some of their Ozark Trails and other house brand hiking packs for cheap. I know these aren't Gregory or Osprey packs, and quality of features will reflect that, but I notice a lot of threads asking about cheap gear that will at least get someone out, such as a friend, spouse or child, and a couple of these packs are rated pretty high.

    The one I've linked below has good reviews, and looked pretty nice in store. For $25 it's hard to go wrong for a 40 L pack just to see if someone will actually enjoy hiking.
    https://www.walmart.com/ip/Ozark-Trail-Hiking-Backpack-Eagle-40L-Capacity-Blue/46271777

    Haven't handled this one, but it looks nice also for a larger capacity pack:
    https://www.walmart.com/ip/Outdoor-...66001f5-70a89041-51b3a05f68fe0356&athena=true

    Thought maybe a few scoutmasters or similar folks might find this useful. I didn't realize Walmart carried bigger packs until I was looking at them in store yesterday. They carry a lifetime warranty also, if something should happen, I think you have to keep your receipt to take advantage of that so find out for sure. Hope this is useful to someone!

    Edit: spell corrected
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2018
  2. Alex Blain-Laider

    Alex Blain-Laider Tracker

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    One time long ago in a land far off I had an ol' Eureka! frameless pack of 'lore. Boy, it went everywhere with me during that time, and it was absolutely fantastic. The build and design was near perfect, but after many years of abuse of the bag and myself we both just started to become unraveled a bit. Put any and all pre-concieved notions to the side and get to it already..

    ..then again, maybe you should put value on what it is you'll be using, and purchase/build something that will fit the intended task.. then again this is coming from me, a fella with more backpacks than backs. ;o)
     
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  3. Paul Foreman

    Paul Foreman Bushmaster

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    i have a compact, tactical-looking camo pack from walmart that is VERY comfortable with 15-pound load and hasn't failed a lick in 5 years or so of mostly non-hunting and hunting use. the strap yoke and straps are extremely comfortable. zippers and clips remain in perfect condition. cost maybe $20?
     
  4. xrayit

    xrayit Supporter Supporter

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    For the price paid these are good backpacks, my son has used one for years with no issues.
     
  5. Seeker

    Seeker Woods Bum Supporter Bushclass I

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    My daughter has one of them, I think; very similar to the 2nd link you have posted. It's worked very well for many trips. It's not light, but for canoeing and the short backpacking trips we do, it's fine. When she gets a job, she can buy what she wants.
     
  6. arleigh

    arleigh Guide

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    On most occasions I look very seriously at the strength of the sewing through out, especially in the shoulder straps . In some cases I take the time to reinforce the sewing and add some nylon webbing to the work just for insurance.
    I tend to push the limits of my equipment including the bag and I've seen enough failure in my life time not to take any thing for granted especially if my life depends on it.
    Even though a company may boast water proof , it doesn't hurt to add some .
    depending on the terrain and the possibility of crossing water I use zip lock bags or better for much of the stuff inside that way If the bag ends up in the drink it might float . That in the fact that if perchance something like a tooth paste tube burst, every thing is not coated with it .
     
  7. gohammergo

    gohammergo I like sharp things.... Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    There's nothing wrong with Walmart gear. I have a feeling that Walmart has outfitted more people than may be willing to admit it. :)

    One of the best and most used tents I ever had came from Walmart.
     
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  8. Primordial

    Primordial MOA #40 Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    True Dat! I use cheap gear and Wal-Mart stuff all the time....and I do just fine in the woods! BTW...did you see Wal-Mart now has a light weight Silnylon Tarp for $25?! I can't remember the dimensions but it's made for hammock camping. Comes in a gray color.
     
  9. MrFixIt

    MrFixIt Old Jarhead Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    I have a couple of packs from WalMart. One of them has been used for quite a while and it has held up very well.
    @gohammergo and @Primordial , I’m in the same boat. I do not spend a lot of money on gear and a lot that I have has come from there.
     
  10. Bushcraft-kelso

    Bushcraft-kelso Am are Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I Bushclass II

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    I use Wal-Mart gear very often, almost daily.. if not so in one way or another. OT gear is good stuff. My camp axe is OT and works like a boss!
     
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  11. hlydon

    hlydon Scout

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    I didn’t find the $25 tarp with a quick internet search. Add a link if you can. Thanks.

    I saw a 5X7 for $10.
    https://www.walmart.com/ip/Outdoor-Products-Backpacker-s-Tarp-Blue/36547567
     
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  12. hlydon

    hlydon Scout

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  13. riverrunner

    riverrunner Scout

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    You'll be fine. Had one I hauled around in college and never let me down. That pack was used every day and the zippers were exercised hourly.
     
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  14. Primordial

    Primordial MOA #40 Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    I found it in the store. I can't remember the name but I'll see what it is the next time I stop in there. It's not that small blue one though. ( I use the blue one as stepping tarp under my hammock though)
     
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  15. NattyBo

    NattyBo Supporter Supporter

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    Just let an A.T. thru hiker stay in my yard the other night. He was using a Walmart backpack and raving about it. Said he was getting some comments from the gearheads but it really didn't bother him cause it was only from the people he was passing.
     
  16. sons of scotland

    sons of scotland Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    i like some of wal marts gear, packs/stoves ect... but one time i bought a 3 seasons tent (allegedly) lol...ozark trails tent over ten years ago for bowhunt backpacking trip and i wanted a super light tent and wal mart had one so i bought it, my old tent has seen its better days. well got a hard rain that night and needless to say i woke up in a pool of water. thats the last time i ever bought a cheap tent. some cheap gear you can use and get by with, like packs. but for me, tents is not one of them.
     
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  17. Young Blacksmith

    Young Blacksmith Supporter Supporter

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    Cheap tarp - Ozark Trail Sun Wall - 9.5 x 7 tarp for about $15. I have no problem with using Walmart equipment. It's my only choice to pick stuff up and handle it before buying. No outdoor stores around here, only the internet for specialty retailers.
     
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  18. Leshy_apprentice

    Leshy_apprentice Scout

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    Nothing against Ozark Trail and other Walmart gear, it has its place with some applications. It's cheap and readily available and depending on ones needs and budget it can sometimes be a good fit. That said, other of their items are so poor that I wouldn't take them for free...although I might give them as a gift to my worst enemies, haha!

    I was cruising WM the other day and happened to pick the their hiking backpacks out of curiosity. They looked nice from a distance but when I put hands on them they just felt...flimsy and light duty. That might be ok for some people at that price point if they are not for heavy trail use. I.e. if you are car camping and you want a day pack lightly packed with a few snacks, a raincoat, first aid kit, and other small odds and ends just for when you're out hiking before returning to base camp. I wouldn't trust it as my trail pack carrying shelter, sleeping bag, pack axe, heavier tools, and a full trip's gear load. The packs I handled at WM just didn't feel like they were constructed sturdy enough in terms of fabric weight/thickness, stitching quality, etc. I haven't tested any of their packs...it's just my assessment based on experience. Another thing, particularly for the larger volume packs with internal frames, the frame was just extremely limp. It was like a noodle. I can't see that making any real difference for support, it was like a joke. For the typical trip one would choose a 65 liter pack for, with the gear one would have packed, the pack just doesn't feel up to the task, especially the frame support system which was noodle limp. I can't see that pack riding well at all when loaded out (even if it is reasonably loaded, not overloaded) and you'd likely be extremely uncomfortable after a few miles considering the non-existant support system.
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2018
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  19. Boggs

    Boggs Tracker

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    Leshy.....

    You’re over looking that for $25/25L -$59/65L no one expects it to perform at levels that a $200-$300 pack would...
    Your mindset is on more expensive packs with your comparison...judge the pack against others in its price range
     
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  20. Leshy_apprentice

    Leshy_apprentice Scout

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    @Boggs that's not what I'm saying. I have plenty of cheaper gear, sources like mil-surp and yes, even some Ozark Trail.

    I understand balancing expectations based on price and source.

    What I said about the Ozark Trails backpacking packs is that they are flimsy. Inexpensive, sure, but flimsy. I don't trust the material and construction I saw to hold together under any load. Sure, you can buy that 65 liter Ozark trail pack for cheap...but I believe the seams would bust out on you or some other failure halfway out into the woods making it a waste. I also believe in modding very basic (often cheap) gear to improve it to my own tastes...but these Ozark trail packs didn't feel like a solid foundation to build on, so I wouldn't bother investing time/effort to mod it to make it better because the fatal flaws are inherent in the basic manufaturing in this case...like building a tank on a bicycle frame if you get me... It doesn't seem worth it to me considering the weak quality of the pack itself...more or less flushing money away on poor gear.

    If you read my post, I said some Ozark trail gear can hold its own as an inexpensive but reliable piece of gear. The backpack pack I'm talking about doesn't appear to be one of the quality items. It appears to me (based on my handling only and experience with a wide range of other packs, good and bad) to be in the category of cheap but poor quality gear that Ozark trail also puts out in volume.

    Funnily enough one of my favorite pairs of hiking boots were a full grain leather Ozark trail model that lasted me 5 years and even then only failed because I had to use them in place of work boots for half a field season of wilderness archaeology kicking shovels in rocky soil all day. That was pushing the boots beyond their design...my fault, but I had no other boots in the woods at that point so I did what I had to. I replaced those Ozark trail boots with a new pair of the exact same model which failed immediately in light hiking duty--leather was thinner than the original pair and tore, failed by separating at the welts, AND the sole tread wore off at an amazingly fast rate. This is one of the Walmarts tactics I've heard...have a quality product produced inexpensively through a contract manufacturer at first to generate good reviews...and then gradually cut corners on quality to keep the product on the shelf at the same cheap price, hoping it goes unnoticed. Essentially tricking people who buy it later based on reviews of the earlier version which was made better while the actual manufacturing specifications and materials gradually decline over time. Once the negative reviews start to catch up and accumulate Walmart discontinues that product model and starts the cycle over again with a new slightly different model made well in its first gen to reset revews starting with positive only to cut corners over time all over again. They might make a smaller profit on the first gen line, but their profit margin increases more and more over time as they skimp on material and quality specifications so it works out in the end for their bottom line. Maybe some of the people who Ozark trail packs that lasted have the good first gen model, but I'm just saying the current pack model I handled at Walmart seemed VERY weak.

    Anyway, I hear what you're saying about comparing apples and oranges, but that isn't the case. I wouldn't expect an Ozark trail pack to be of the same durable quality of LL Bean or other high end makers. I WOULD expect a backpack sold as such to function, i.e. hold and transport a reasonable load without failing. What I'm saying is that I wouldn't expect this Walmart pack to last one full trip of medium backpacking use. So why bother paying $60 for the pack if it is going to break right away? You could get much better packs for a little more, or even less for sturdy rucksacks if you go mil-surp. I don't even see the Walmart pack as a good base foundation to modify up and make better...it just seems like a cheap but poor quality in my judgement and I wouldn't spend even the cheap price to test it to find out for sure.

    Feel free to buy one and put it through it's paces and give a report. Like I said, I haven't actually used one, just handled them, and based on my pretty extensive experiences with backpacks in the past all I can say is these packs subjectively feel like junk and I would not trust it beyond getting my stuff from the car trunk to the picnic table at a car campground complex. Taking this ozark trail pack as your backpack bushwhacking in the backcountry? I don't see it lasting a few days of actual backcountry use...which is a shame for anyone relying on it to get their gear out and (equally importantly) back, 10 miles out in the bush.

    So it depends what your intended use is...but if you only need a light duty pack in the first place there are much better ways to go than this, some even cheaper because they don't have extra design costs built in "pretending" to be a realistically useful large volume backpacking pack that it isn't in reality. And if your primary limit for a backpacking pack is a cheap budget...there are much better quality packs available at similar cost or less--my preference is mil-surp but there are others.

    Just my assessment. If the packs are working for people with reasonable use and they are happy, good for them. I'm just saying that after handling the packs I don't trust them because my subjective feel of them is they seem very poorly manufactured in material and construction.
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2018
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