With a desire to stay comfortable & somewhat connected, we purchased a bit of new gear for our long 2018 road trip. Our goal was to invest in quality products that we can use for years to come, although it’s worth noting that we didn’t blow the budget on high-end gear. We didn’t receive any of this stuff for free, nor are we getting paid to promote the product reviewed below. These are our objective opinions on our purchases, not true technical reviews. Of course, we would be open to objectively reviewing any gear that is sent our way in the future *wink wink*.
I always carry too much stuff up a mountain: Film cameras (2 minimum), phone, lip balm, snacks, water, Kleenex , ziploc bags, small notepad, pen, extra film….
Obviously I am not a minimalist packer, so I like lots of pockets and bells and whistles that one typically finds on a rigid backed technical pack. Robert prefers a more unconstructed daypack. Come to think of it, our distinct preference for packs could be a metaphor for our personalities. Here are our daypack picks and impressions:
Not being a “pink” girl, who knows what prompted me to select a magenta backpack? But I do quite like it and the color would easily spotted from a distance should I (God forbid) be in need of rescue one day. Image below courtesy of Osprey.com.
Pros of the Osprey Tempest 9 (liter) women’s technical pack:
- designed to fit a woman’s body: adjustable size to fit ones torso length, furthermore comes in 2 sizes for shorter or longer women’s frame
- lots of assorted pockets including two on the waist straps for easy access to one’s phone or small camera & snacks. I have pulled my iPhone 6s in and out of this pocket literally thousands of times and although the mesh has some wear, it’s still in pretty good shape
- hydration compartment (in addition to 2 water bottle pockets) for my platypus when I need the extra H2O for long or hot hikes
- breathable back panel for ventilation
- hip belt & sternum strap keep the pack in place when biking, scrambling, or fast-packing
- front panel bungee is great for rain jacket storage
- excellent fasteners for bike helmet and trekking poles. I primarily use trekking poles for downhill hiking, so I really love being able to stow them away on the uphill
- lightweight (1.24 lbs)
- quality construction and built to last; extra little parts were sent with the pack, plus Osprey also has a fantastic warranty in case you do find experience any issues
After 2 1/2 years of use, I do not really have any cons to note, other than perhaps I should have bought the XS/SM size instead of the S/M size because (although I’m 5’5″) I am short waisted. But that’s on me, not Osprey. The men’s version of this pack is the Talon 11. Sorry dudes, the Talon doesn’t come in magenta.
Our first discovery of Cotopaxi was at the awesome Taos Mountain Outfitters, which was where Robert purchased his Cotopaxi 18L Luzon Del Día Daypack in August. We appreciate the company’s ethos, and were delighted when we later happened upon Cotopaxi’s office and flagship store while walking around downtown Salt Lake City (such nice people that work there!).
Pros of the Cotopaxi 18L Luzon Del Día Daypack:
- eco-friendly: made from repurposed, remnant fabrics
- stylish & unique! colorful Del Día packs are all one-of-a-kind, each an individual design by the sewer
- super light (.66 lbs) & easily stuffable inside a larger bag, whether empty or full
- the ultralight mesh straps are incredibly comfortable (moreso than my Osprey), even with a good bit of weight in the pack
- top drawstring closure provides quick and easy access
- single exterior zippered pocket for the little stuff so it doesn’t sink to the bottom of the interior compartment (keys, snacks, phone, etc)
- hydration pocket
- so roomy!
Some reviewers have noted that their internal waterproofing has started to flake off after a relatively small amount of use, but Robert’s pack hasn’t had this issue after months of regular use. The only other drawback I see to this pack is that there is not external water bottle pocket, but being a minimalist pack, that’s to be expected.
Both of our packs are rugged and well-constructed from quality parts. Although I love my Osprey pack, we both like Robert’s Cotopaxi daypack just a wee bit better than mine. However, my Osprey pack will likely outlive his Cotopaxi pack, is more versatile, and does have all of the cool extras to keep me happily organized on the trail.
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