Rated 5 out of 5 by GreyOwl An Excellent Pack Basket and Built To Be Used
I have used many kinds of packs in almost 65 years trekking in the wilds. The traditional pack basket I think is one of the best packs to use, especially for a wide range of items. Soft packs work OK for some items but are terrible for others. The pack basket though does handle almost any kind of load. The LL Bean basket is quite remarkable as it is made with maple and not ash. It is heavier as a consequence but it is very rugged. In the old days the technology to shape maple into such long thin strips did not exist. Ash was pounded by hand and worked well. You will want to treat your basket with something that resists water yet keeps it pliable. Luckily this is not an absolute requirement. I am going to use one of the tongue oils. Marine varnish would give you a very lasting finish but it does make it creak more and that may not be to your liking if you are carrying it a lot in the field. This design and workmanship on the LL Bean Basket is excellent. The Regular is not particularly large and you may want the Jumbo. The liner is really very well done! All in all this is a very versatile outdoor tool and looks really nice! I prefer pack baskets for carrying gear I want protected like cameras and important stuff. They also make great packs for carrying firewood. I have baskets that are still in use after 50 years afield. This one I am sure will also be in use for years and will go to one of my grandsons.
May 29, 2013
Rated 4 out of 5 by BQuest Good with minor reservations
Background, I grew up using this style of pack in Northern Indiana and Michigan. Used them in all seasons and weather for a variety of purposes including interpretive history for museum work.
The regular pack is solid and a versatile size. I use mine regularly both walking and on a bicycle. It does the job and other than being a rare style on the West coast its adequate, especially for the price. Though, as I'll mention, some things you might do to improve it will drive up the initial price.
It comes unfinished. This leaves it liable to get dirty and be difficult to clean. It also leaves the oack vulnerable to rain and water from travel by boat. Getting these packs wet isnt the end of the world but it can warp them. I used a spray can of marine grade varnish to finish mine, about $15 and a couple hours of time to add years to the useful life of the pack.
The other weak point is the harness. The straps are durable and the buckle is solid but the same rivets are used on the basket itself as the nylon straps, not adequate. A much better harness can be made from climbing grade straps oe leather. More durable and allows for the addition of wider shoulder straps. This is a much needed upgrade that can range from $30-$40 for climbing harness materials or upwards of $60 to $100 for leather if you dont do the work yourself. This is something that ought to be done early in the life of the pack.
You might also want to tack leather or rubber on the bottom of the pack. Another $10 or so.
So, putting another $50-$100 into the pack will greatly improve its utility and extend its life. There are other improvements that can be made but even with the ones stated you quickly approach prices for custom packs and modernized versions from other companies.
Final thoughts are that as shipped its an exceptional value, looks nice and is usable for limited and light duty but if you want to put it to more regular and rigorous use, it needs very real upgrading or you'll be replacing it in a hurry.
May 22, 2013
Rated 5 out of 5 by barkcanoe Best technology
THe old ways are sometimes best, and this basket stands the test of time. I have had it so long that I decided to replace the straps after so many years....put thicker, wider leather....then last summer, we planned a backpack trip in the Sierras ...our group was a pack short, then I remembered the pack basket. I carried all the hard, angled gear, and more.....when we made it to the top of the pass. Some guys commented on our "old gear", and how we walked passed them on the trail, even though they had the latest tech available....they said we were "studs" ...ha ha...because the woven wood does really not weigh that much...its been great for picnics too...cause those wine bottles otherwise dig into your back.
April 1, 2013
Rated 5 out of 5 by NDMB Sturdy, comfortable straps, good color
I bought this item for my 15 year old son. He loves the basket as it holds all of his ice fishing items and doesn't tip over from the weight of the gear. Very sturdy basket weave and comfortable straps for the back of the ski-coo. Purchase it...you won't be disappointed!
February 27, 2013
Rated 5 out of 5 by linl Birthday Gift
I purchased one for my husband for his birthday and he liked it so much that we ordered another one. Excellent quality and workmanship.
January 23, 2013
Rated 5 out of 5 by hebertb Must have for ice fishing!
I bought all three sizes because I was unsure about which would be best for me, I ended up keeping the large because it was just the right size for my ice fishing traps and gear. The straps are easily adjustable, the craftsmanship of the basket is world class. You won't be disappointed in making this purchase.
January 17, 2013
Rated 5 out of 5 by MichiganBrooktrout Handy Ash Pack Basket
We were delighted to see this item in your catelog again. We purchased the regular size pack basket and look forward to many years of packing our gear in this beautiful ash pack basket.
The last pack basket we purchased from LL Bean was used for over 15 years to carry our hunting or fishing gear when we hiked into the wood or stream. Now it's used to hold kindling!
June 7, 2012
Rated 5 out of 5 by fishingguru exceptional durability
I have used this pack basket for the last ten or eleven years, mostly for ice fishing. If you intend to use it for ice fishing you really need to purchase the liner that goes with it because together they are the ultimate ice fishing tool. I literally wouldn't go on any fishing trip without it! The straps have never frayed, even after all these years of use and abuse. The wood is still intact and appears almost as new as the day I brought it home. The waterproof liner closes tight to keep all your things in and mother nature out! The only fault I can find with it is that the rivets have rusted, slightly. But after all these years, I'm not complaining, and neither will you!!
December 7, 2011
Rated 5 out of 5 by IDontHike it's perfect
I don't hike, but this basket was perfect for my needs. In my area, we recycle our newspapers and junk mail in grocery paper bags taken out to the curb. I don't have a good storage place to put these out of sight in the house until they're ready to go out on recycling day. I got very tired of seeing these paper bags filled with newspapers and junk mail in my kitchen. Wastebaskets were too small and hampers were too large. The "regular" size of this basket is the perfect size to hold a grocery paper bag, hiding it. There is also a very nice handle so that I can easily carry the basket when it's recycling day, then remove the bag to put it at the curb for pickup. I can't tell you how many bags have ripped under the weight of the newspapers and junk mail!
August 31, 2011
Rated 5 out of 5 by BuysAmericanMade 5 stars
Great American craftsmenship at its best !!!!
January 26, 2011