User Review: Mountainsmith Approach 3.0
Design: Technical daypack.
Size: 2044 ci
Number of Pockets: lots
Max. Load Carried: 40-40
Height of Owner: 5' 9"
Price Paid: $85 includes S&H
Great day pack when you need to bring a lot of gear and need quick access to it. I bought this about a year ago and am often found exploring old paths, abandoned trails and bushwhacking.
I also have been spending a lot of time locating flagging and clearing damaged trails in New England. Various tasks require me to include lots of tools: various saws, loper, axe, dangles of marking tape, a lot of maps (for locating lost trails), various electronics, cameras for documenting damage, lots of water, rope, small tools including hammer, changes of work clothes, somewhat larger first aid kit than a typical day hiker, - you get the idea.
The pack is taken off and on a lot to access gear. I wanted a lot of pockets to prevent having things fall out and get lost when accessing gear.
It's large enough to put a small backpacker's rain cover on, which has come in handy since most days are work days of 8 hours or more.
It's very rugged and well-built. No need to spend 2x or 3x the price. Only thing I would change is to add front strap pockets or straps to tether trail marking and documenting tools. Nice hide-away pocket for my wallet and keys which I always fear losing. Side long pockets hold my 32 oz water bottles well.
Behind the long pockets are open vertical slots which would handy for long pole tools or even skis (I tried it once.) The pole velcros are well positioned to keep the poles tethered close without snagging on the trees or banging me. Lots of external loops.
On my "recreational hikes" into rugged areas, it has space plenty of rescue and overnight gear. The straps contract the size of the pack to minimize it on days when you don't need all that space.
Mine is Approach 3.0 model.
I'm still keeping my Jansport daypack for those short little jaunts that only require a sweater, first aid and lunch.