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Mountain Laurel Designs Core 28

rated 4.5 of 5 stars
photo: Mountain Laurel Designs Core 28 daypack (under 35l)

A very simple, lightweight backpack for those fast and light adventures.


  • Very lightweight
  • Sturdy material
  • Carries nicely with a light load


  • Side mesh pockets would be a welcome addition

This is Ron's latest pack at Mountain Laurel Designs; it's offered in two sizes (22 and 28 liters), I'm reviewing the 28 liter one, although besides volume they appear to be identical.

The listed weight for the 28 liters is 8.8 oz (including the removable waistbelt and sternum strap), on my scale the weight is spot on; the material is a 210 d Dyneema X fabric, a very hardy fabric (same material that is used on my Exped Lightning), yet still light

The construction is typical MLD, overbuilt and flawless.

The pack is a simple, no frills rolltop design. I especially like the 2.5" fully padded shoulder straps. This is where a lot of really light packs shed weight. I much prefer comfy shoulder straps.

It has a daisy chain/shock cord setup on the front of the pack to secure a rain jacket or the like.

The waist belt is micro sized and simply there to stabilize the pack.

I added the optional water bottle holders which attach to the shoulder straps. Water is handy and very easy to retrieve and replace. They also carry nicely.

I also added two of the small accessory pockets I put on the belt to hold map/compass, snacks, sunscreen, etc

This pack is very comfy with a 10 lb load and probably up to 15 or so lbs.

I recently got to put the pack through its paces on a rugged, long two-day trip with about a 5-lb base weight (about 10 lbs with food/water) and found it extremely comfortable.

It could easily do duty as a day pack, carry-on, knock around town pack, or summit pack.

If you're looking for a pack to carry your lightweight kit, this one is a good one!

Here's the kit I used:

 a view of the water bottle holders and fully padded straps

 the advantages of going light!


Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $85

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Price MSRP: $85.00
Reviewers Paid: $85.00
Weight 8 oz / 225 g
Capacity 1700 cu in / 28 L
Product Details from Mountain Laurel Designs »

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