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MEC Brio 40

rated 3.0 of 5 stars

The Brio 40 has been discontinued. If you're looking for something new, check out the best overnight packs for 2023.

photo: MEC Brio 40 overnight pack (35-49l)
Version reviewed: circa 1999

I'm on the large side of "average male build", and this pack seems like a youth pack to me... which I suppose is not a failing, but it makes the pack unusable to someone of my stature. The volume and harness size seem ideally suited to either youth or petite women, who would probably find this pack very versatile and useful for small trips without a lot of gear.


  • Durability
  • Multiple lashing points on exterior of pack


  • Small harness
  • Strictly top-loading


Fit: It doesn't say so in the product description, or anywhere on the pack itself, but I would recommend this pack to children/youth or petite women. The size of the harness is just too small to be used by your average 6ft tall adult man.

Comfort: The straps and belts are very adjustable. The shoulder straps are padded, and there is lots of padding around the hip belt. The shoulder straps are fixed-position at the top, the strap length is adjustable at the bottom (as usual), and there is an additional tension adjustment strap at the top to help transfer the load off the shoulders.

Capacity: It is a 40L (~2500 cu-in) pack. It would be useful for carrying clothing and a little bit of gear. Probably best for a 1-2 night backwoods camping trip or if you're backpacking abroad and staying in hotels/hostels.

Organization & Accessibility: Not many options for internal organization. There is 1 main compartment and 3 smaller compartments (1 on rear, 2 in lid). I would have preferred a side/bottom access to the main compartment, but that's not a deal-breaker for a pack of this size. There are multiple tethering points on the exterior, so you could conceivably gain capacity and compartmentalization by strapping additional gear/bags to the outside of the pack.

Compression: There are cinch-straps on the sides of the pack to compress the contents and keep the load from shifting around and becoming unbalanced.

Features: There is a removable internal frame held in a tightly-fitted pocket. It is a stiff plastic sheet with two aluminum struts.

Construction & Durability: I can't fault MEC at all when it comes to durability. I feel like this bag will outlive a lot of my other gear. Quality construction for sure!!


Source: bought it used
Price Paid: $30 CAD

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