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REI Traverse 85

rated 4.5 of 5 stars
photo: REI Traverse 85 expedition pack (70l+)


Price Historic Range: $68.93-$289.00


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

Beyond the actual pack, I’m reporting on a fabulous experience trying on packs at REI Store. With so many options and a family with different body types I’ve had two great experiences trying on and playing with packs in the store.


  • Lots of room
  • Easy to get at zippers


  • The hip belt system was not as comfortable as the Deuter. Always have struggled on longer expeditions keeping hip belt snug and not sliding down with heavy loads. So. This for me was the deal breaker.

I ended up with the Deuter. But, close second was the REI pack. I loved the zipper setup. Looked like I could get into pack even with gear and snowshoes lashed to pack. If my hips where bigger I would have grabbed this pack. 



Source: tried it in the store


What Deuter model did you end up with instead, Todd?

2 years ago

Functional. Comfortable. REI stepping up their mid-high end packs.


  • Adjustable fit
  • Lots of space
  • Decent hip belt


  • Internal hydration pouch

Fit: I'm right in between the M and L size, so it was suggested that I go with the L. After playing with a few settings, the pack fits like a glove and load is secure to my back with little shifting.

Comfort: Great ventilation. Shoulder and hip straps are very comfortable and mold well to my body.

Capacity: I originally picked up the Traverse 70, but hiking with kids, I needed some added space for more gear. 85 seem perfect for the father of hikers.

Organization & Accessibility: Plenty of space, zippers, and enough external pouches for easy access to most parts of the pack.

Ride: The back has compression straps that pull the load up and in, compressing the pack to secure it to my back and provide stability 

Features: Love the external loops so I can strap more gear to the pack.

Construction & Durability: Seems to be well made as it compares to other packs I've owned in the past, but only been on a couple of hikes with it so far.

Conditions: Fully loaded pack on two day hikes for testing: 6, 9 miles each.

Source: bought it new


Welcome to Trailspace, Eric! Thanks for sharing your Traverse review with us. I hope you'll keep us posted on how it continues to work out on your hikes with your kids.

5 years ago

I have the large which REI specs show as a 90 L. Not a bad pack. My only complaint is that I think the pack should be a little shorter and wider as the opening at the top seems kind of small for stuffing gear into the pack. As everything on the pack is blue with dark zipper pulls, I replaced them or added neon green/yellow pulls to make the zippers easier to find.

5 years ago

Thanks for the comments, Gunner. Perhaps you'll want to review your own Traverse pack too.

5 years ago
Craig Houdeshell

There is no zippered sleeping bag compartment, correct? Thanks for responding.

4 years ago

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