L.L. Bean Day Trekker 25 with Boa
$100, 2 lbs. 2 oz. (M/L)
Sizes: S/M (1,422 c.i./23L) and M/L (1,620 c.i./27L)
Tradition meets modern technology in Bean’s Trekker 25 with Boa compression. On dayhikes from Idaho’s City of Rocks National Reserve to the Needles District of Utah’s Canyonlands National Park, the Trekker 25 gave me plenty of space for extra clothing and food for my kids and me, carried quite comfortably with up to 15 pounds, and offered the kind of organization that makes an obsessive-compulsion person like me feel all warm and fuzzy. But the deal closer is the pack’s two Boa compression systems, with internal wires that are cranked tight and released with an external knob (think: ski and snowboard boots), that snug undersized loads against your back so well that the pack never shifts, even when scrambling rugged, off-trail terrain.
The Boa system on each side of the pack not only compress it quickly and efficiently, they eliminate the need for external compression straps that can get in the way when you’re trying to get inside. That compression system and the pack’s spacious main compartment and multitude of pockets and features make it highly versatile for everything from an all-day tromp in the mountains to bike commuting, a hut-to-hut trek, and air travel. The top pocket is one of the biggest you’ll find in a daypack—you could stuff a jacket in there, although the ample front shove-it pocket is the best spot for that. The zippered, bellows front pocket on the face of the shove-it pocket has plenty of space for hat, gloves, snacks, and small items. Stretchy side pockets each hold a liter bottle.
The internal, plastic framesheet provides support for loads up to 15 pounds or more, while perforated air mesh in the hipbelt, shoulder straps, and the three foam back pads kept me cool and comfortable on spring desert hikes. While not the lightest daypack out there, the Trekker 25 falls right around the middle of the field for weight, and it’s light for the amount of cargo space and the comfort it delivers. And you can expect it to last many years, with a body made from 210-denier ripstop nylon and the bottom from 600-denier Kodra nylon.
Like any daypack with a real hipbelt, the Trekker 25 should have hipbelt pockets. But that’s my only complaint about this pack. In designing the Trekker 25, Bean didn’t throw out the baby with the bath water—they kept what’s good about traditional daypacks and introduced smart technology to make it better, and then offered it at a good price.
BUY IT NOW You can support my work on this blog by clicking this link to buy a men’s or women’s L.L. Bean Day Trekker 25 with Boa daypack at llbean.com.
NOTE: I’ve been testing gear for Backpacker Magazine for 20 years. At The Big Outside, I review only what I consider the best outdoor gear and apparel. See all of my reviews by clicking on the Gear Reviews category at left or in the main menu.