REI Trail 30
This is an extraordinarily comfortable day pack that can hold more than expected.
- Compression straps are very long, providing external storage
- Hip belt pockets on each side for phone, camera, Clif bar, etc
- Well-designed, pockets easy to access even at full capacity
- Included rain cover (Bonus!)
- Kind of pricey
- Specialized for day trip only
I really love this pack for a nice day trip where maybe you bring a hammock instead of a tent. It fits all the essentials (except sleeping bag) nicely with room to spare. I love the hip belt pockets and the extra long compression straps on the outside of the pack.
The straps allow you to tighten the pack down a good amount, giving it a much smaller mass and more comfort. It reminds me very much of the way my A.L.I.C.E. pack straps down, with room above and below the outside of the main pack to tighten down extra stuff. I mainly find myself storing tarps or my thicker jackets outside of the pack with this feature, and I love it.
There's also like a million loops running down the outside of the main compartment for strapping light stuff that you don't want to swing all around and bother you. While you could, with some creativity, strap larger items to these loops, I would not recommend it as you would want weight closer to your back/ hips. Having the pack at full capacity would certainly push these larger items way out away from your center mass.
There is plenty of space inside the main compartment and my favorite part about it is the large mesh pocket at the inside top flips down when you unzip the main compartment about a quarter of the way. This keeps the stuff at the bottom from having to be exposed / unpacked when you want to access your map or other small items from inside the backpack. It can be accessed so quickly and easily and I love this feature. There is also and adequate side pocket that holds quite a lot, seems very sturdy, and is also quickly accessible.
The one caveat about this product is that it is not the kind of day pack that can be filled with small items or clothes and stuffed into your 70l bag for an ascent or side trip. I strapped it to the outside of my bag when hiking Mount Washington because I planned to use the REI pack to hike the summit the next day, and the Hermit Lake shelters are not that far from the visitor center. It worked but it was akward and If you plan on this type of use for the pack I would recommend you find a smaller, less bulky pack.
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $99
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Historic Range: $74.93
Reviewers Paid: $99.00