REI Passage 65
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $160
This backpack isn't just for kids! Better than most adult packs I've tried.
- super durable
- perfect fit
- sizeable compartments
- nice padding
- flimsy sleeping bag compartment
I'm not easy to fit with a pack. My broad shoulders mean that the straps on most women's packs cut into my neck, and the length of my torso is just a bit too short for men's small packs. When I told this to the trusty weekend warrior/REI employee that was trying to help me purchase what is now my 3rd pack in 2 years (I just couldn't get any of them to fit right or they'd end up falling apart too quickly), he told me he had just the thing if I'd keep an open mind and not be insulted by his suggestion of a "kid's" pack. I told him to bring it on and this adjustable youth pack just did the trick.
It really has everything you could want in a pack (if you're a tried and true ultralighter you will not like the weight though). The side pockets are nice a roomy, the top comes off for a day pack/waist pack that actually works really well and can hold a 2L bladder.
The sleeping bag compartment (and the divider between it and the rest of the bag) is a little less than top-of-the-line, but it does its job. The compression straps worked well and the front pocket is very useful (why have so many expensive adult packs done away with these?).
I've only taken it out twice, each for a 2-night, 3-day trip, but it was more than enough space and my back, shoulders, and hips were happier than they've ever been. And what with the price... skip those spendy trendy packs and go with a pack you'd never even consider because it is labeled "youth."
Where to Buy
Here's what other sites are saying:
The REI Passage 65 pack is perfect for Scouts and other kids ages 11 - 17 who love backpacking. It uses the same quality materials and design as adult packs for great comfort and performance. Adjustable harness fits 15 - 19 in. torsos and lets the pack grow with your young backpacker; highly visible increment markers make it quick and easy to dial in the fit. Contoured, padded shoulder straps, hipbelt and molded foam back panel with breathable mesh provide carrying comfort and great ventilation. Dual aluminum stays stabilize the load and shift pack weight to the hips. Precurved hipbelt comfortably wraps around the hips and can be extended to provide an additional 2 in. of circumference as your child grows. Hipbelt webbing tightens with an ergonomic forward pull for easy adjustment. Top-loading main compartment features side zip access, making it easy to retrieve deeply buried items. Adjustable sternum strap features a safety whistle built into the buckle. Organize your gear in top-loading main compartment, sleeping bag compartment, front essentials zip pocket and 2 pockets in the top lid pocket. Floating top lid extends to accommodate large loads; lid detaches and can be used as a lumbar pack for side trips and day hikes. Elastic cord crisscrosses the front of the pack and creates an ideal spot to stash a jacket or pack towel. Pack bottom features sleeping pad straps with quick-release buckles; 2 zippered mesh pockets on the hipbelt keep snacks and other small essentials close at hand. Water-repellent zippers help keep contents dry and eliminate the need for fabric zipper flaps. Hydration-ready design allows a reservoir's drink tube to be routed over either shoulder (hydration reservoir sold separately). Ice axe loops and dual daisy chains provide external attachment points for tools and other gear; dual side pockets hold water bottles or other compact items.