User Review: REI Mars 80
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: applied a 20% discount to full price - $172 with tax in Texas
An REI homerun! Perfect performance/price ratio. REI always comes through. Love their R&D folks and great products (like this!) and support.
- great weight distribution and adjusments
- fits a wide range of torso lengths perfectly
- larger and heavier than pricier brands
- no lumbar ventilation
- the elastic side pockets could be made of a better material
I am a father, so i frequently carry more than my own full load. i often backpack with my 11-year-old daughter, and i don't want to ruin her experience (or love of backpacking!) by making her carry more than a fifth of her body weight. this is why i have a pack this large.
I have used this pack in yosemite (30 miles per trip of backpacking <35 lbs. because i also carried daughters' food and other items), zion (30 miles per trip of backpacking <25 lbs.), and all over texas (including 25+ miles in guadalupe mountains and 45+ pounds due to having to carry water).
I love this pack. for summer backpacking it is a bit large for one person and anything less than three nights, but i think it nevertheless compresses well and carries both heavy and light loads perfectly. Another REI homerun!