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MEC Brio 50

rated 4.5 of 5 stars

The Brio 50 has been discontinued. If you're looking for something new, check out the best weekend packs for 2023.

A very comfortable, extremely high quality pack from Canada's Mountain Equipment Co-op. The MEC Brio 50 is the largest of its Brio line of weekend and day packs.

The suspension system is fixed, but the Brio 50 comes in 3 different sizes to accommodate different heights. The straps and back pad are well padded and have a comfortable curve. The hipbelt is simple yet effective and the sternum strap has a slight elastic stretch that makes deep chest breathing easier.

The large 50 l main pocket has a two stage spindrift collar and a full floating lid that increases capacity to almost 70 l. This compartment has a full length #10 zipper that allows access to the bottom of the pack. The bottom is sleek, and the curved corners of the pack look cool, and don't hurt the performance. The bellowed front pocket is great for a shell or fleece, and has webbing ladders and a crisscross shockcord up the front.

The pack is very comfortable and streamlined, but works best as a weekend-week long pack. I wouldn't take this bag up Everest, but for my light backpacking and hiking trips this pack works great, and was a super price.

My only complaints (wishes):

  • more air-flow through the back
  • an external wand pocket for tent poles or Therm-a-rest
  • an internal divider maybe?

All in all, an excellent pack for the money. Perfect for the beginning backpacker, the light packer, and the trekker on a budget.

Design: internal frame
Size: 50 litres
Number of Pockets: 1 big, 1 bellowed front, 2 top lid pockets
Max. Load Carried: approx. 30kg ?
Height of Owner: 6 foot 2
Price Paid: $109 (cdn)

Version reviewed: long

I am absolutely satisfied with my MEC Brio 50 (long) which I got me this year. It performed great on a 10-day glacier course / tour in the Alpes (16 Kg) and on a 3-week hike in Jotunheimen/Hurrungane (15 Kg)—absolutely no cons to this pack.

Ordering the pack from the internet (never had seen it in real life before) I was critical whether a) the pack might survive airport transport and b) the back might be "too sweaty"—both turned out to be no problem at all.

5 stars for function, 5 stars for design (and it even has "coop" being sticked on it), 5 stars for the price. only extra item you need is a raincover.

Thomas, Berlin/Germany

Design: top-loading plus side-zip
Size: 50 liters
Number of Pockets: 5
Max. Load Carried: 17 Kg
Height of Owner: 190 cm
Price Paid: 109 CAD

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