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REI Traverse 85

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

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

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

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Price Historic Range: $68.93-$289.00
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