26/02/2010 at 4:58 am #107859
Before my Kokoda trek last June I researched long and hard for a suitable day pack.
Actually, that was after I'd jumped in and purchased a hydration day pack that was totally unsuitable. It wasn't until I discovered this forum that I realised just what I was going to need to carry myself … and the list is fairly extensive. Your day's food requirements plus snacks, cup, bowl and cutlery, first aid kit, sunblock and mozzie off, plenty of water, purification tablets, camera and associated batteries and sim cards, toilet paper, handwash or wipes, lightweight jacket or poncho, notebook/diary and pen, money to purchase fruit, drinks on the track and then a few women's specific bits and pieces. Obviously my first choice wasn't going to do the job, so I sold it on EBbay and began researching.
I ended up with a daypack designed especially for women. The Trinity Camelback. When I looked at other women on the track, wearing obviously uncomfortable and unsuitable packs, I was glad of my choice. To put it bluntly, boobs and most generic daypacks don't mesh comfortably…. especially for 8 or so hours a day. Women are also, more often than not, shorter in the torso than men …and they have a few extras they sometimes need to carry.
The Trinity camelback weighed in at less than 1.3kg, held 26 litres in cargo volume and had a 3 litre bladder for water, though I usually only carried about 2 litres max and used an extra 1 litre bottle to fill and purify my water. The pack had an outside pocket on each side suitable for carrying this extra water bottle… so that i didn't have to dig into my pack to reach it.
The shorter torso length and curved, fleece-lined harness straps kept me comfortable all day long. I loved the thick, secure waist belt that I could tighten to transfer some weight away from my neck and shoulders, so i didn't get sore at all. I typically have a bad back, but this pack was super comfortable. The front pocket organizer was terrific for women, with little sections to keeps things like sun block and lip balm etc from disappearing, and there were plenty of compression straps to pull it in tight.
I wear prescription glasses and always have either my normal ones or my sunglass version on. This pack has a fleece-lined glasses section right at the top, out of the way.. so that it was never an issue finding them, or any danger that they would be damaged by a fall. This glasses section could also be used for an ipod as it had a little hole for the earphone cord to come out.
We experienced quite a lot of rain on our trek, sometimes extremely heavy downpours. I had most things in my pack sealed in small waterproof bags just in case, but the pack remained dry inside always. I did carry a pack cover but found after its first use that it was clumsy and made it difficult to access the pack quickly, so I did away with using it.
I honestly cannot think of anything I didn't like about this pack. It was just so comfortable to wear. They sell for around $180-$200 mark, but I found my on sale at one of those large cmaping stores for half price. I see one on ebay at the moment, new with tags, for about $90 US including postage.
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