Published on August 8th, 2013 | by Pat0
OR Summer 2013 Gear Guide, Pt. 1: Backpacks
Earlier this month, we at Trekalong were lucky enough to tag along with Wilderness Press and Menasha Ridge Press, as they exhibited at this year’s Outdoor Retailer Summer Market — the biggest, baddest trade show in the outdoor industry. Thousands of vendors flooded Salt Lake City to strut their stuff to everyone who’s anyone in the outdoor community.
Most exciting about wandering the aisles of OR, though, is all the new gear to discover and test. Here’s the first in a series of posts dedicated to showing you, dear reader, which products we found to be most exciting.
Let’s start with BACKPACKS. The themes this year seemed to be simplify. This might feel like an odd or obvious theme for backpack design, but what vendors seem to be moving toward is more attention to minimizing the kinds of packs you might need to take on one trip (or at least make a daypack easily stored in a larger duffle) without sacrificing function. Take a look at how they’re doing it:
Eagle Creek’s 2-in-1 Ultra-Light Convertible Day Traveler
If you’ve ever found yourself caught in a daydream about backpacking across Europe, this is the bag dream-you should be carrying. It’s no surprise this beauty won the award winner for this year’s Gear Institute Best New Gear: Outdoor Retailer in the backpack category. Eagle Creek has never been a stranger to innovating new ways to maximize storage capacity, but this bag takes things to a new level by pumping a seemingly straightforward day backpack into a full-on duffle. The bag’s bottom compartment expands, upping the 27-liter capacity by another 5 liters of storage volume. Lockable zippers, compression straps, and external lashings provide everything one would expect from a durable pack. Oh… it also compresses down, stuffed into an internal security pocket, just a bit larger than a softball. $375 – coming soon.
Lowe Alpine Alpamayo 70:90
Also making an appearance on Gear Institute’s Best of OR list, this might look like a standard back-paneled big pack, which is why you really have to put it on to know the difference. While wearing the pack, you can adjust the fit and positioning of the back panel simple using two chords, one hanging by each side of your torso. Pull one chord and shrug your shoulders, and the panel lengthens. Pull the other chord, and it shortens. So. Freakin’. Simple. So smooth, in fact, that this might be the first paneled pack that doesn’t require you to stop moving for adjustment. Groundbreaking stuff. Lowe Alpine will have this concept available in a few sizes. ~$340
Mountainsmith Scream 25
Super lightweight, this top-loader has multi-function written all over it, light and fast-packable enough for a day hike or a weekend trip out of town but also durable enough to take along a summit excursion. Also collapsible, it would fit easily into a larger pack, as well. Dual trekking pole mounts, breathable shoulder straps, and bottle compatible side pockets provide a perfect secondary ruck to escape from basecamp and explore those peaks in comfort! $69.95
Arc’teryx Quiver Day Pack
Meant for day-trips with mild backcountry exposure, you won’t find a more reliable pack than the Arc’teryx Quiver. Fully equipped with Arc’teryx’s trademarked WaterTight technology, this pack is built particularly well for wetter conditions on the trail or off, and also comes equipped for a 1L hydration bladder (bladder not included). Quiver’s alpine clips establish the pack as made for multi-function, allowing several attachments fixed simultaneously. $119