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Camp Trails Traveler

rated 5.0 of 5 stars

Camp Trails is no longer in business, and the Traveler has been discontinued. If you're looking for something new, check out the best weekend packs for 2024.

This is a combination travel bag and back pack. Not ideal for backcountry hiking, but I've used it that way for short weekend hikes on designated trails. It works OK for that use except that it's very hot to carry, it's not outfitted for hydration bags, and beyond the pockets, it is really just one giant compartment.

This is probably the best pack for overseas travel I can imagine. It combines the best features of a suitcase with the best features of a backpack. And unlike top-loading internal frame packs, this one loads from the back, meaning that there is a zipper that can open all the way around the pack so you don't have to re-pack, to get one item out of the bag. It has a few technical features like side compression straps, and stays to attach more gear, which make it versatile, but there isn't alot of unecessary ice ax loops and junk to get caught on door frames, getting on and off trains, etc. It's got a low profile once the day pack is zipped off, so it'll slide into the overhead compartment on an airplane, or under a hostel bunk. I've seen alot of expensive technical packs looking really ratty after a week in London. But this pack stays clean and in one piece because it's simple and very tough.

Another reviewer was ripping on the quality of Camp Trails packs, but I have taken mine everywhere for seven years and it has stood up to the most viscous baggage handlers and plenty of rainy camping trips. The zippers, the fabric and the suspension are all still working great. The adjustable frame system is comfortable and zips away so that the airline baggage systems won't shred it. This is also a handy feature on ferries. I took a ferry out to Isle Royale last summer and all those technical internal frame backpacks got really tangled up down in the cargo hold, but mine was easy to handle and therefore less abused than the others. The deck hands were grateful for the zip down straps and hip pads.

It also has a zip off day pack (not the greatest, I often leave the day pack at home and bring a higher quality day pack as carry-on luggage) which ends up being handy as an extra compartment for souvenirs or dirty laundry.

This is also a very big bag. My rule is that if doesn't fit in here, I just don't need it. The inside is organized like a good suitcase, a couple of compression straps to hold your stuff in place and a wonderful rubberized pocket that runs the length of the pack for wet clothes--works great if you spill beer on yourself and don't want all your stuff to smell like a brewery until you can get to a laundry!

Did I mention it's quite waterproof too? It's kept my gear dry sitting on the ground in a gale, overnight in Ireland. Oh, and yet another use for this bag: light duty duluth pack for weekend canoe trips (since the straps zip down, its easy to get in and out of a canoe). I wouldn't use it on a kayak, but it's been just fine on inland lakes.

A great value for money I paid for it. Indestructable and indespensable.

Design: Internal Frame
Size: 3600 CU Inches
Number of Pockets: 3
Max. Load Carried: 50+ lbs
Height of Owner: 5'4"
Price Paid: under $100

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