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Gossamer Gear Vagabond Packable

photo: Gossamer Gear Vagabond Packable daypack (under 35l)

Specs

Price MSRP: $69.00
Reviewers Paid: $59.00
Weight 11.2 oz / 317 g
Capacity 23L
Recommended Max Carry 15 lbs
Fabric 70D Robic Nylon

Reviews

1 review
5-star:   1
4-star:   0
3-star:   0
2-star:   0
1-star:   0

Excellent ultralight and packable 23-liter backpack for EDC, travel, and day hiking.

Pros

  • Lightweight (11.2oz)
  • 70D Robic fabric
  • Comfortable shoulder straps
  • Pocket arrangement
  • Top loading with tote style handles
  • Self-stowing

Cons

  • No back panel padding
  • Single side compression strap
  • No hydration hose port

I have owned the Gossamer Gear Type II Summit Pack and the original Vagabond backpack and was happy to see this new update on the Vagabond. There are now three versions of the Vagabond packs in production with the Packable version being the lightest and lowest priced. I do a lot of "onebag" style travel and this version stows easily in my larger carry on pack or can be used as a "personal" carry on flight bag.  

This pack is made of 70D Robic nylon fabric and stretch mesh pockets. It is rated at 23 liters overall capacity and weighs 11.2 ounces on my digital postal scale. It is robust enough for everyday carry and wilderness day hiking. 

The published dimensions are 18" tall x 10.75" wide and 5.75" deep which calculates to 1112 cubic inches or a bit over 18 liters for the main body. For comparison an REI Flash 22 is spec'd at 18 x 10 x 8 inches. It feels larger than an 18 liter and the proportions allow it to ride comfortably. As noted below, all the pockets add more capacity. I think it is just right for a day pack with room for essentials, extra layer and rain jacket, snacks, water, phone and photo gear. 

The shoulder straps are lightly padded 3D mesh and up to 3 inches wide. So many small packs have made too many compromises on the shoulder straps to save weight and they collapse and pinch with anything more than 10 pounds or so. Gossamer Gear knows how to make comfortable yet ultralight shoulder straps and I'm impressed with the straps on this pack. With the packable design there is no back panel padding. The manufacturer rates it at 15 pounds maximum and I agree.

The design is a top loading style with a single crosswise zipper in the top like a tote bag and the tote theme continues with two webbing top handles. It loads easily and the design allows slipping this under an airplane seat with nothing escaping from the main compartment. The zipper can be left open to carry larger items. 

The pockets are major feature of this pack: on the sides, front panel, inside bladder sleeve and shoulder straps for a total of 7 pockets in an 11-ounce pack! The shoulder strap pockets can hold an iPhone 8 with case and room to spare. 

There is a single compression style strap on the upper left. I assume this is for retaining tall items like trekking poles or fishing pole. 

There are many small details that reflect Gossamer Gear's legacy of designing ultralight wilderness backpacks: adjustable sternum strap, hose management straps, front panel daisy chains, hydration bladder hang loop, hip belt mounts and reflective accents. A waist belt with pockets is available separately.

Features:

  • Rated 23 liter total volume
  • Self-stowing packable design
  • 11.2 ounce scale weight
  • 70D Robic nylon fabric
  • Stretch mesh water bottle pockets
  • Stretch mesh front panel pocket
  • Zippered front panel pocket (self stowing)
  • Stretch mesh shoulder strap pockets
  • Top loading zippered tote style design
  • Webbing tote handles
  • Wide lightly padded shoulder straps
  • Adjustable sternum strap with whistle buckle
  • Internal hydration sleeve with hang loop
  • Single compression/retention strap at top/left
  • Waist belt mounts for accessory waist belt with pockets
  • Dual daisy chains on front panel
  • Reflective tab at bottom front
  • 18” tall x 10.75" wide and 5.75" deep

Experience

International travel, wilderness backpacking, fishing, snowshoeing, cross-county skiing, cycling, photography.

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $59

Alicia MacLeay TRAILSPACE STAFF

Nice review of this pack, dwambaugh! I'd love to see some pictures of it in your review too, if you're willing to share some.


5 months ago
nuitsblanches

Thanks for the comprehensive review, looks like a nice pack to stash away. A couple questions, if you don’t mind:


5 months ago
nuitsblanches

Oops... —> You note there’s a sleeve for the hydration bag, but No hydration hose port? How do you route the tube, then? —> And how small is it when folded? Thanks.


5 months ago
dwambaugh

The packed dimensions are 7” x 7.5” x 2.5”. But I’ve never though much of actually using the self stowing pocket feature on any packable bag for travel. If just creates another lump to manage in my main travel bag. I think just stowing it flat or perhaps folded once is more efficient and faster to pack or deploy. It is better for the fabrics and hardware too.



As to the hydration sleeve and the lack of a hose port, the only option is to run the hose out the top zipper which wouldn’t be difficult. For that matter, I don’t care for bladders and prefer bottles in the side pockets. That’s one reason I chose this pack. I don’t want a leaking water container in the bag with my electronics and insulation layers. I find bladders difficult to fill and load in the field as well. Bladders and urban/airline travel aren’t a good match either.



Compare to the Mystery Ranch In and Out which has one side pocket that is ill suited to anything more than a slim water bottle. There are hose ports in that pack that exit on the edges of the shoulder straps.


5 months ago
nuitsblanches

Thanks for the reply, and the details - definitely quite packable. Good point about a potentially leaky pouch - I guess i've been lucky that i've never had that happen (yet. :-)


5 months ago

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