Tag Archives: daypack reviews

Gear Review: Patagonia Black Hole Daypack

September 9, 2013  |  In Gear Reviews   |   Tagged , , ,   |   4 Comments
Patagonia Black Hole

Patagonia Black Hole

Daypack
Patagonia Black Hole
$149, 2 lbs. 4 oz.
35L/2,136 c.i.
One size
patagonia.com

If I decide to become a big-city bike messenger when I grow up, this will be the pack I carry. But that’s just a statement about its indestructibility; however, it’s way more versatile than that. I used it for everything from a carry-on when flying and an around-town pack when biking errands, to hauling quickdraws and personal climbing gear for sport climbing at Idaho’s Castle Rocks State Park, and on a five-pitch route on Steinfeld’s Dome in the City of Rocks National Reserve. I could toss it onto rocks and the pack showed not a scratch. Continue reading →

Gear Review: Black Diamond Sonar Daypack

August 2, 2013  |  In Gear Reviews   |   Tagged , , , , , ,   |   Leave a comment
Black Diamond Sonar

Black Diamond Sonar

Daypack
Black Diamond Sonar
$140, 2 lbs. 1 oz. (S/M)
Sizes: S/M (24L/1,464 c.i.), M/L (26L/1,587 c.i.)
blackdiamondequipment.com

What causes your body to get tired and achy on a dayhike? Well, aside from the obvious factors—how far you walk, the terrain’s ruggedness, and your pack’s weight (we’ll leave your physical condition aside for now)—don’t overlook the importance of how your pack fits and behaves on your back. When we walk, our bodies move a lot, arms, hips, and torso included. On several dayhikes, including a climb up Mt. St. Helens (10 miles, 4,500 feet), starting out with about 20 pounds (including food, water, and clothes for my family), and a 28-mile, 8,000-vertical-foot loop through Idaho’s White Clouds Mountains in just over 10 hours, I found the Sonar’s fit and suspension noticeably reduced the level of fatigue and soreness I felt at the end of each day. Continue reading →

Gear Review: Osprey Manta 28 Daypack

June 20, 2013  |  In Gear Reviews   |   Tagged , , , ,   |   Leave a comment
Osprey Manta 28

Osprey Manta 28

Daypack
Osprey Manta 28
$140, 2 lbs. 4 oz. (S/M, 2 lbs. 15 oz. including the Osprey Hydraulics 3L/100 oz. reservoir that comes with the pack)
Sizes: S/M (26L/1,587 c.i.), M/L (28L/1,709 c.i.)
ospreypacks.com

For multi-hour dayhikes, when you need to carry a fair bit of extra clothing, food, and water, I like a pack with at least 20 liters of capacity, good organization, easy access, and that carries a load efficiently. It’s just a bonus if your back stays cool, too. With those two sentences, I’ve just summed up the Manta 28. Continue reading →

Gear Review Update: Ribz Front Pack

June 12, 2013  |  In Gear Reviews   |   Tagged , , , ,   |   8 Comments
Ribz Front Pack

Ribz Front Pack

Pack
Ribz Front Pack
$60, 12.5 oz. (small)
Sizes: Small (fits waists 26-36 inches), regular (fits waists 32-46 inches)
ribzwear.com

The Ribz Front Pack won me over when I first started hiking with it more than a year ago because it keeps my DSLR, a second lens, and assorted smaller items in a readily accessible place: right in front of me. So it has replaced a bulky camera chest pack I had worn for years because it’s comfortable and holds more while being less obtrusive. I’ve carried the Front Pack on virtually every backpacking trip since. Now the newly updated version sports subtle but laudable design changes that actually improve upon a piece of gear that I considered nearly perfect before. Continue reading →

Gear Review: Gregory Tempo 8L Hydration Pack

March 20, 2013  |  In Gear Reviews   |   Tagged , , , , , , ,   |   Leave a comment
Gregory Tempo 8

Gregory Tempo 8

Trail-Running Hydration Pack
Gregory Tempo 8L
$149, 1 lb. 2 oz. (M/L, including 2L Hydrapak bladder)
Sizes: S/M and M/L
gregorypacks.com

For trail runs of more than a couple of hours, I want a hydration pack that holds two liters of water, a jacket, hat, maybe light gloves, and enough energy food to get me through several hours—but that also glues itself to my back without jostling. After numerous runs on Boise Foothills trails and a rugged 14-miler in California’s Tahoe National Forest, on steep paths constantly dropping into and climbing out of tributary canyons of the American River, I decided the Tempo 8L may be the best trail-running hydration pack I’ve found. Continue reading →

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