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review klymit 18 backpack

In a recent post I write about 1-day and 2-day load out. The 18L pack I was testing with was from Klymit. The pack is available from Amazon and at a pretty good price, however, there are some things you need to know.

First, there is only one pocket on the back; and it's a small pocket. I managed to fit a few essential items. Spoon, 4 packets of GU, micro towel, compass and whistle. When on the trail there should be room for my keys(no hook) and wallet.

Therefore the first deficiency is the lack of side mesh pockets for carrying water. To be fair the back is hydration bag capable but my position is that hydration bags are a risk. Next, the presenter suggests that the pack can hold 20lbs of gear. That might be possible based on the materials, straps, and construction; however at 9.4lbs the pack was just barely comfortable. And so the next issue is that in the demo the stash rode high on the shoulders, however, most professionals recommend low on the hips without bouncing. Lastly, the narrator indicated that the pad could be removed and used as a seating pad or pillow. I imagine that is true, however, as I was fiddling with the air-frame it seems that I would have to dump the contents of the pack in order restore the air-frame. There is no mention of weight capacity and since it is essentially an air mattress there is no mention of a ground sheet which would be a good idea if you have to dump the contents.

And a few last minute nits:

  • there is a draw string at the top but the pack does not have a hood. While it might be water resistant the gathered material still leaves room for rain
  • the air-frame is cool on my back
  • the chest straps are pesky and there is no whistle.
  • I bought the black but I think I would have preferred the yellow. There is something to be said for being able to see inside the pack even though it's small enough to limit the number of items. Black absorbs heat and is less visible
  • I decided to leave out my Thermarest sitting pad and and add a footprint. I have considered using my Thermarest instead of the mattress.
  • I had to change my loading strategy. Instead of least used first I went with heaviest first.

It's not a bad pack I just don't like it enough to buy the yellow.


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