Tag Archives: The North Face pack reviews
The North Face Chimera 18
$100, 18L/1,098 c.i., 1 lb. 1 oz.
One size each in men’s and women’s models
For many dayhikes, the best daypack is one that’s light, carries only what you need without superfluous capacity, and remains mostly unnoticeable on your back. I carried The North Face’s new and interesting Chimera 18 on several hikes, including a 21-mile, 10,500-vertical-foot, rim-to-rim dayhike across the Grand Canyon, and came away very impressed by its comfort with more weight than expected for a 17-ounce pack, plus its stability and surprising versatility for a range of hikers. Continue reading →
By Michael Lanza
Yosemite. The Grand Canyon. The Tetons. Glacier National Park. Idaho’s Sawtooth Mountains. New Zealand’s Fiordland National Park. The Wind River Range. The North Cascades. The Tour du Mont Blanc. New Hampshire’s White Mountains. The Canadian Rockies. Paria Canyon. These are just some of the numerous places where I’ve tested the backpacking gear you see reviewed at The Big Outside. I treat gear roughly in mountains and canyons that are notoriously hard on outdoor gear and apparel so that I can give you brutally honest and thorough, field-tested opinions that help you make the best gear choices for your adventures.
And that’s exactly how I came up with these select picks for today’s best backpacking gear. Continue reading →
By Michael Lanza
Backpacks come in many sizes and flavors for a reason: so do backpackers. Some of us need a pack for moderate loads, others for heavy loads, while still others want a pack designed for lightweight or ultralight backpacking. Some prefer a minimalist design, others a range of features and access. Everyone wants the best fit and comfort they can find, and almost everyone has a budget.
From the many backpacks intended primarily (if not exclusively) for backpacking that I’ve tested and reviewed at The Big Outside, I’ve selected for this article 10 top performers that stand out for reasons that make each appeal uniquely to a certain type of backpacker. (In addition, I point out below two excellent packs for kids of all ages.) I think one of them will be perfect for you—possibly even more than one if, like me, you prefer different packs for different kinds of trips. Continue reading →
By Michael Lanza
Choosing a daypack for hiking can seem simple—until you see the dozens of choices out there today, which range all over the map in terms of volume, weight, carrying capacity, features, and cost. Before buying, consider what you need a daypack for. How much stuff will you carry? That partly depends on where, when, and how far you hike. What kind of pack design suits your dayhiking style: low- or high-capacity? Lightweight and minimalist, or with an assortment of pockets and features? Built for hard abuse, or mostly for cruising good trails?
The seven daypacks in this freshly updated review stand out as the best available today—and this review describes the subtle differences between them to help you find the right pack for your dayhiking adventures.
Plus, right now, you’ll find some of them at sharply reduced sale prices.
The North Face Banchee 65
$239, 65L/3,967 c.i., 3 lbs. 12 oz. (L/XL)
Sizes: men’s S/M (fits torsos 16-19 inches) and L/XL (fits torsos 18-21 inches), women’s XS/S (fits torsos 14-17 inches) and M/L (fits torsos 16-19 inches)
On the second afternoon of a tough, three-day backpacking trip with my 10-year-old daughter in the Grand Canyon, I had to load up with 17 pounds of water for the final 24 hours of our trip—bumping my pack weight up over 50 pounds for the uphill grind to Horseshoe Mesa. I wondered how comfortably a sub-four-pound backpack could carry that load. But even with 50 pounds inside, the Banchee 65 floated on my back. Continue reading →