Tag Archives: daypack reviews
Gregory Miwok 24
$119, 1 lb. 10 oz.
One size 24L/1,464 c.i.
What do I look for in a daypack? I want it to have the capacity for all-day hikes with my family or really long dayhikes when I’m carrying extra food and clothing, be compact and hug my body for short hikes, have easy access without being over-engineered, and function well as a bike-commuting or airport carry-on pack. And I want it to remain lightweight. After carrying the Miwok 24 with up to 15 pounds inside it on a pair of very long dayhikes—a 13.5-hour, mostly off-trail, roughly 18-mile tour through Idaho’s Sawtooth Mountains, and a 19-mile, several-thousand-foot, seven-summit traverse of the Wildcat-Carter-Moriah Range in New Hampshire’s White Mountains—plus a seven-mile dayhike in Arches National Park and while biking around town and on a cross-country flight, I decided this streamlined daypack could be the only one I need. Continue reading →
Patagonia Black Hole
$149, 2 lbs. 4 oz.
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 →
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.)
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 →
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.)
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 →
Ribz Front Pack
$60, 12.5 oz. (small)
Sizes: Small (fits waists 26-36 inches), regular (fits waists 32-46 inches)
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 →