Posts Tagged daypacks
When you’re biking or hiking and don’t need a huge pack along with you, the choices can get a little less technical. Even if you’re lightening the load, hikers and cyclists still care about hydration and pack structure. The Osprey Raven pack is ideal for women looking for a smaller-scale way to haul things around.
The Raven is offered in three sizes: 6, 10 and 14 liters. I’ve got the 14, mainly because I was worried about getting something smaller and then later realizing that I needed more space. But I still haven’t gone on an outing when I’ve filled the entire thing, so perhaps the 10 would have been, as Goldilocks said, “just right.”
Why is it women’s pack? The torso sizing, waist belt and shoulder straps are all sized specifically for a woman’s frame. Other features include a lower compression strap for better load stabilization, an ErgoPull hipbelt (that is easy to adjust) and direct access hydration sleeve that makes it easy to slide your water supply in and out (Osprey 3-liter reservoir included).
Additionally, the main compartment is wide—useful for getting to everything you’ve packed. Organizational dividers let you keep from having to look frantically for that one thing you need, which always seems to fall to the bottom. Zippered hip belt pockets, stretch mesh side pockets and a slash pocket allow you to pack the most-used items within easy reach while you’re riding or hiking.
The 10- and 14-liter versions include a roll-up tool pouch that stores in a lower zip compartment. On the front of the pack: a blinker light attachment and a way to quickly secure your helmet when it’s not on your head.
I’ve used the Raven pack for quick bike rides to the gym, longer rides in the mountains and day hiking trips. With plenty of outdoor activities planned for the summer, I’m planning to bring it along on a number of my travels, as well.
The 10-liter Osprey Raven Pack lists for $119 at REI and comes in clover green or iris purple. It’s also available on backcountry.com and Amazon for about the same price. The other two sizes of the pack are also available.
Even if you don’t listen to all the scaremongering TV news and your relatives’ warnings about all the dangers “out there” in other countries, some precautions can help you hold onto your belongings. Pacsafe is the leader in making bags that are super-tough to steal things from and this Venturesafe G2 one is a great all-around travel daypack.
This 25-liter pack will hold most of what you’re going to need for the day: camera, jacket, water bottle, notebook—and old-school guidebook and new-school tablet. Heck, it’ll hold a 15-inch Macbook if you want (though there’s not much padding). Plus the chargers of course. The RFID-Safe pocket that Pacsafe is getting into all its new products will shield your passport info and those chip-based credit cards that are finally showing up on U.S. shores.
The magic with any bag from this company though is all the built-in features that keep prying fingers away from that nice camera, phone, or iPad you’re carrying around. This daypack weighs one pound, nine ounces, but it has the eXomesh wire skeleton built in that make the bag nearly impossible to do a slash-and-grab on. Thieves also can’t just slash the strap and run or hop a motorbike with your bag in hand: there’s stainless steel wire going through the straps that will stop a knife dead. And they can’t unhook those straps either without doing a little twist move on the security hooks.
Speaking of security hooks, there are a couple hidden away that you can hook your keys to, plus the zippers can lock in two ways: a TSA lock through the small holes or a little cable lock through the larger ones.
Naturally the fabric itself is tough, water resistant, and will wipe clean. The straps come with a limited waist strap and a sternum strap if your load gets heavy. The pack is hydration equipped, with a flap for the tube to go through at the top.
Last, you get a turtle-shell style padded back that will let some air move between your back and the daypack. I would have liked a few more pouches and pockets on the inside of the small flap, but maybe I’ve just gotten spoiled by the bigger ones I’ve used like the Deuter Giga Office.
Nobody can top Pacsafe when it comes to discouraging theft, however, so this Venturesafe 25L G2 daypack is worth the $130 list if you’re planning on routinely walking around Rome, Barcelona, or Saigon with a grand or more of electronics slung over your shoulder.
Cushioning both your laptop and your back, this Deuter Giga Office laptop backpack hauls a lot for those who have to work on the road, while also being well-designed and comfortable.
I’ve been using the same laptop backpack for years now, trying others along the way but always coming back to the same one for long trips. After traveling around Colombia for a week with this Deuter Giga Office daypack, however, I’m ready to give it a promotion to full time.
This bag has everything you need in a portable office: a padded laptop compartment, a divided compartment for papers or magazines, and two for all your cords and gadgets. All of these are in proportion and sensibly designed. They have the pockets, slots, and zippered parts you’d expect for keeping small things separated and there are two pockets on the side that will fit a 20-ounce water bottle.
This is a durable bag made of quality materials though and built to hold up for a long time. The Giga Office also has flaps that go over the good zippers, so if you get caught in the rain the weakest points won’t let water in easily. It’s not the lightest around at two pounds, ten ounces, but it feels like it’ll never let you down on an important trip and it does hold 30 liters of stuff.
Carrying that much is probably the reason you’d be using a backpack anyway, besides the incognito reason, so it’s important that it be made for comfort as well. This Deuter one has very well-padded shoulder straps and contoured sections on the back with more padding but a design that allows for air flow—their mesh “Airstripes” system. If you need some more support, there’s a sternum strap and a hip strap too.
When you don’t need all that room, you’re not stuck with a thick back. Adjustable straps on the side allow you to compress the whole thing for a flatter profile.
It’s hard to enjoy your travels when you’re constantly worried about thieves stealing your stuff. While there are a handful of tried and true practices, it’s always good to add to them when new, secure travel gear is available. The Pacsafe Slingsafe 200 GII Bag combines a handful of anti-theft features for a great city-slash-adventure bag to bring along on nearly any trip.
The cross-body bag combines high-tensile stainless steel wire in the lining (to deter slashing), a slash-proof strap that can be anchored to a secure feature, a locking strap hook, RFID-blocking pocket and a zipper that locks down. All together, these features make crimes of convenience a lot harder.
The zippered main compartment has a padded iPad (or other tablet) sleeve, an electronics pocket and an RFID-blocking pocket—blocking identity scanners from retrieving your personal information found in the RFID chip in your ID and credit cards. A zippered front pocket in included for those items you need to get to quickly.
While your mind is on safety, an ideal wallet to toss into the Slingsafe bag is the Pacsafe RFID-blocking Zippered Compact Organiser. It’s got enough compartments to hold your credit cards, IDs (including passport), cash and tickets. Secure it all by zipping it shut and using the adjustable neck cord to keep everything close, or consider it a wallet to include in your bag.
The RFID-blocking material in the Slingsafe pocket is the same in the Compact Organiser. So, while you’re out on the streets in whatever destination you choose to visit, you can spend more time sightseeing and less time thinking about someone taking your things.
The Pacsafe Slingsafe 200 GII Bag lists for $80 on the Pacsafe website. It’s priced the same at Zappos. The Pacsafe RFID-blocking Zippered Compact Organiser lists for $40 on the Pacsafe site. It’s priced at $34.99 on Amazon. See a selection of Pacsafe products at Magellan’s
Big backpacks are optimal for hauling a lot of gear around, but completely useless when you want to go out for a day hike, run, or biking excursion. For a great, pared-down pack complete with a hydration bladder bonus, check out the Hydrapak Tamarack Pack.
The pack has 7 liters of gear storage space—enough to fit your phone, necessary clothing items and a few food items. A friend and I have a “sandwich rating” for smaller packs, which amounts to the number of sandwiches (and of what size) you can fit in the pack once you’ve placed your other gear and water inside. For me, this pack has a three-medium-sandwich rating. That’s larger than a puny PB&J (which are tasty, nonetheless), but smaller than a hero.
Sandwiches aside, the pack weighs 1.1 pounds before you get everything in there. There are ample pockets—from smaller front- and top-zip pockets that will fit smaller items like keys and phones to the larger main compartment and front stash pocket for the rest of your gear.
On top of all that, there’s a dedicated zippered reservoir pocket in the back panel, which fits a full 3-liter bladder. The bladder itself has a slide-open top that makes it easy to fill but also seals tightly. Best of all, it’s PVC free. The hydration sleeve has 360 degrees of insulation, allowing your water to keep its temperature longer (even protecting it from body heat) than with many other packs.
There’s ample padding for your back, as well as padding on the shoulder straps. The waist belt is removable, in case it gets in your way. Even loaded up with gear and water, the pack is comfortable for hours on the trail. I’ve used it out hiking and biking on the California coast, and it’s my go-to bike pack at home.