Though personal, I think it can be said this pack…
Though personal, I think it can be said this pack has poor fit. Even if tightened down it will bounce. Does not carry the weight well.
- Nice capacity
- Seems well made
- Mesh on back side
- Poor fit
- Poor compression
- No front bottles
This is a nice enough pack. Pretty solidly constructed, OK capacity for bigger unsupported runs, or smaller fast packing ventures. But where it counts most this pack fails to deliver — it is uncomfortable when loaded with any amount of weight that matches its volume.
The fit seems nice enough, until you load it up with a bit more than just your wind shell or emergency puffy. Add in enough water and food, and some other gear and you notice the pack just creates hot spots that irritate your shoulders or back.
A running pack like this should feel heavy when you load it up, but then disappear once you have it on your back. A pack like the Montane Dragon 20 does this very well. The Ultimate Direction Adventure Vest, though smaller, does this well too. The Trail 20 doesn't.
It doesn't feel like you are carrying more than you are, but it isn't actually 'out of your way' either. It is not like with some great packs, or other items, where your pack or load just disappears, when you forget about it. I kept on fiddling, moving a strap to the left, back to the right, tightening etc.
The back has nice mesh panels that keep your back from overheating too much, and that add a layer of padding between you and the things inside your pack.
The pack perhaps could have an all right fit if you just hike, but if you hike fast or start running, it introduces bounce. You can try to minimise it by tightening up the shoulder straps, but then it becomes uncomfortable and will introduce hot spots on your shoulders or upper back.
Ease of Use/Organisation:
The Trail 20 has nice side pockets, that I could reach and put a 500ml bottle in each. It also has pretty nice hip belt pocket, one with a zipper, one with an elastic opening only. This pocket is ideal for a small towel you might want to use frequently, or you could use it as your trash pocket. Inside the pack is a separate compartment for a bladder, and a mesh pocket for a wallet or other small items.
The Salomon Trail 20 is a nicely organised and well enough constructed pack. It just fails to deliver where it is most important — the fit and ride. If it was a normal day pack this might not matter so much, but I can't help but feel that people looking for a pack like this want something that fits really well when they are moving. I think they would be better off spending a bit more on some of the more advanced running packs or vests, or just stick with a cheaper light day pack.