Planning an epic adventure with an even mix of hiking and sightseeing is as important as picking the right backpack. Too big, and you’ll have too much extra weight. Too small, and you’ll never fit anything in. Pick the wrong material, and when it rains, your stuff will be soaked. There are so many options out there, though, so choosing one can get very confusing.
I spent a good hour picking out my first pack, and that was also after hours of online research, consulting friends who’ve done backpacking, and comparing all of the packs on display at the store.
After negotiating hard and shopping around, I finally settled on the Boreas Sapa Trek from Tripologie, an organized adventure travel pack for people who want to travel without the burden of conventional luggage.
User-Friendly – The Boreas Sapa Trek is very user-friendly, making it an excellent beginner weekender-style backpack. However, it is also appropriate for someone more serious who requires a lot from their gear.
Painless Loading Process – The pod-like shape of this backpack looks very similar to most medium backpacking multi-day packs. Thanks to the shape and tri-zip opening, the pack offers a painless loading process, thus allowing easy access to any item in your bag without disturbing the rest.
Perforated EVA Foam Backpanel – This helps keep you cool and funnels air across the pack’s main contact points – a seemingly small detail that definitely increases comfort.
Padded Hip Belt Pockets – One important thing I learned when choosing a backpack was that most of the weight you will be carrying around will be pushing down on your hips, so you’ll want a padded belt to make the weight more comfortable.
Interior Side Pocket – The upside is that you don’t ever have to worry about the backpack being wider than it feels. With interior pockets on the side, this pack offers nice organisation at the same time.
Long-Term Comfort – The long-term comfort of the Sapa Trek can be attributed to an extensive EVA panel completely covering your back from the internal contents and overall load.
A few more:
Safety Whistle – Yup, that’s a pea-less plastic whistle – ultra-light and very shrill. You can use this for emergencies: when you’re lost, when someone else is lost, or if you’re hurt and need help, etc.
Rain Cover – Not only does this cover act as a transit case, but it can also be used as a waterproof rain cover in poor weather conditions. It also serves as an extra layer of protection and security.
Hydration – Nearly all newer daypacks and backpacks are designed with an interior sleeve that can hold a reservoir (and a portal for the sip tube). Simply add a reservoir to it and make sure the reservoir can fit into the sleeve in your pack.
Diagonal Compression Straps – These help cringe down the load and bring the load closer to your core muscles to keep thing compact and balance. Most people also use them to attach trekking gear like a GPS, a walkie-talkie, water or snack bottles, or even a map case.
Solid Mesh Pockets – These are great for holding a variety of things that you may want access to while on-the-go. The design on the side mesh pockets allows you to get water (or in my case, a battery camera charger and USB port) in and out on the go.
Gear Loops – It’s nice to have gear loops for items you need handy. They make it more convenient to access frequently needed items.
This pack doesn’t miss much. It is really nice for both outdoor adventures and more casual travel use but could be super tough if you are going to be tossing it (or other people tossing it) into baggage compartments of buses, or tied to a camel (metaphorically speaking), or crammed into overhead storage.
Picking the right option is vital, especially when that option is going to be sitting on your back with all of your possessions in it for the next several weeks, months or years.
Having said that, the Boreas Sapa Trek (Monterey Grey) from Tripologie is an excellent pack that works really well for traveling, hiking, and even skiing and climbing. Because it is so versatile and does nearly everything well, I can’t wait to bring this on multiple weekend excursions in the local mountains, as well as on beach camping trips. Trust me: this bag is worth throwing over your shoulder.
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