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A place to share systematic reviews of bushwalking equipment, services and idea.

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This is a place to share fair and systematic reviews of gear. Share the good, bad and ugly as well as including how you tested it and reviewed the gear. This is not the place to carry on about a bit of gear that failed, sometimes good gear has a lemon - this is more about systematic reviews. Although this can be a way to help gear manufactures with feedback, this is not the place to hassle them or ask for money back.

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[tag]Brand, product, RRP in AUD. The tags have two parts the type of gear and type of testing/review. eg
[Sleeping bag | Unboxing] Kmart Summit Hooded $29
[Stove | Field test]Jetboil, flash $150

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[Daypacks] Ultralight packable daypacks (zippers & <150g)

Fri 15 Dec, 2017 2:49 am

Keithy reviews Lightweight Packable Daypacks with zippered closures <150g

Following my earlier review of the roll top style packable daypacks I have (viewtopic.php?f=63&t=26889), these are the zippered packable daypacks I have that are under 150g.

Again, I will start with the Sea to Summit ultrasil daypack - which is the first of these types of packs I ever bought.

Sea to Summit Ultra-Sil Day Pack
A1SeatoSummitUltrasilDaypack.JPG
Sea to Summit Ultrasil Daypack

This was my first bag of this type. At the time there were no comparable bags around 70g and tiny when folded but having such a good carrying capacity. It as extremely pocketable and easy to carry in pants or jacket pocket (more so than the rolltop "S2S Dry daypack"). While I had reservations on the weight it could handle, it proved capable carrying heavy loads around 10kgs - although I wouldn't really recommend this for long carries as the straps cut in to your shoulders. It is splash proof, but the zips and seams are not waterproof.

My original one is about 5 years old now, and lasted some 4 years before I punctured a small hole in the fabric. Mine had been used as a light daypack when hiking, as a carry on airline pack when my main pack was in the cargo hold and a shopping/grocery bag when traveling.

The newest iteration appears to have some minor improvements. They now quote the weight at 72g and have reinforced stitching at the strap to stop bunching and webbing daisy-chain on front for a bike light. I think there is still some room to improve this design by incorporating part mesh shoulder straps for more comfortable carry.

Karrimor xlite 20 packable rucksack
A2KarrimorFoldableBackpack.JPG
Karrimor xlite 20 Foldable Backpack

Karrimor is a UK brand and I bought this at a SportDirect store in Hungary last year. Close to the Sea to Summit Ultrasil daypack in size and weight, however the carry pouch is separate and not attached to the bag. The material is ripstop and seems tougher than the ultrasil, but does not have a waterproof coating, and the quality of construction is inferior. The stitching and finish on mine is all over the shop, with many loose threads on the interior. I considered it an OK bag, but for the same price, I would opt for the Sea to Summit Ultrasil Day Pack.

Hasky Ultralight 20L
A3Hasky backpack.jpg
Hasky 20L packable backpack

This bag appears to be an almost identical copy of the Sea to Summit daypack. I picked it up at a non-descript sports shop in Singapore. I can't find any other details about the manufacturer. It was SGD$25, so at the time around $22. It uses a sil nylon ripstop fabric, and is virtually identical to the S2S bag, albeit marginally lighter. I can't fault the contruction, and the zippers were actually nicer than on my S2S pack. I was hesitant to put this on the list as I'm not sure you can get it anywhere anymore.

Naturehike 18L Folding backpack
  • Weight 114g
  • Style zip
  • External pockets Yes two side and one zip
  • Capacity 18L
  • Packed Size 12 x 7cm
  • Open Size 42cm x 23cm x 17cm
A4Naturehike 18L packable.jpg
Naturehike 18L packable backpack
A4Naturehike 18L packable.jpg (53.97 KiB) Viewed 21759 times

I've been checking out some of the Naturehike gear recently, having picked up a Naturehike tent early this year after reading reviews on Bushwalk and been happy with their kit. I couldn't find this on the Naturehike website, but it is available from the usual Chinese online stores for around $20 or less. Naturehike have a few other styles of packable backpacks but they are >150g - a 22L pack at about 190g and a 15L pack at about 250g.

This Naturehike 18L folding backpack is a bit of a standout for me. The construction quality is very good, from the use of good quality, water resistant ripstop fabric, to the zippers - see the closeups of the waterproof zippers (on the main opening, and the front zip pocket), and the mesh straps and stretch mesh pockets. It does weigh around 45g more than the Sea to Summit (and other packs above) and it is marginally smaller with a lower carrying capacity of 18L. The bag however does include what I consider improvements - the mesh shoulder straps make for more comfortable carry, the two external side mesh pockets are handy for bottles/stash, and the external zip pocket (with waterproof zipper) is also handy. When packed, it is larger than the other packs, but it is about the same size as the Sea to Summit 22L Dry rolltop daypack. The stuff bag is attached to the inside of the backpack via a nylon strap sewn to the inside of the backpack. I reckon this bag is a winner, but if size and weight are the issue, the original S2S ultralight daypack is still hard to beat.
A4NaturehikeCloseup.JPG
Closeup of the Naturehike material and waterproof zips (top), and mesh shoulder strap and stretchy mesh side pockets


Some comparison pics
Size when packed
A6ZipperedSizeComparisonClosed.jpg
L-R Sea to Summit / Karrimor / Hasky / Naturehike

Size when opened
A6ZipperedSizeComparisonsOpen.JPG
L-R Sea to Summit / Karrimor / Hasky / Naturehike


Finally I will give a quick mention to some others I looked at but did not buy.

Quechua Ultra Compact 10L
Saw this when I bought the rolltop 20L version. It was remarkably small and cheap, but the construction was a bit lacking, and to me the 10L was a bit small and ultimately for the lack of quality and the small carrying capacity it didn't make the list.

Osprey Ultralight stuff pack
This one is the usual Osprey quality, but the pack folds into a small squarish pouch rather than a can shaped roll. It has mesh shoulder straps, and a single mesh external pocket. Slightly smaller capacity, it was at the upper end of the price range of all the bags I've looked at, but comes with Osprey's awesome warranty. I would call this similar to the Naturehike bag as a compromise between comfort and features over weight/carrying capacity. A good pack, but I did not buy one.

Lifeventure Ultralite Packable
Saw this one in the UK, but didn't pick it up as the advertised carrying capacity was a lot lower and weight double the Sea to Summit daypack.

A5AlsoRans.JPG
L-R Quechua Ultracompact 10 / Osprey Ultralight Stuff Pack / Lifeventure Ultralight Packable

Re: [Daypacks] Ultralight packable daypacks (zippers & <150g

Mon 18 Dec, 2017 7:09 pm

This is another picture of comparing the Naturehike 18L backpack to the Sea to Summit pack when both bags filled.

It is clearer here than in the pictures above the difference in size between the two:

NaturehikeSeatoSummitComparison (Medium).JPG
Naturehike 18L (left) Sea to Summit (right)

Re: [Daypacks] Ultralight packable daypacks (zippers & <150g

Sat 13 Jan, 2018 8:26 pm

I have had ans S2S Ultra Sil for several years now and an very pleased with it. Like you keithy, I have used it as airline carry on, for shopping and as an impromptu day pack when overseas. I would like to see a couple of small pockets incorporated though. I would take a small weight penalty to save rooting around for wallet, keys etc. Note : I don't use this as a bushwalking day pack as a general rule (although I have done sometimes) as I don't think it is really suited to a tough day in the Australian bush.

Re: [Daypacks] Ultralight packable daypacks (zippers & <150g

Sat 21 Nov, 2020 1:42 am

Ok, since I updated the rolltop ultralight bag review thread viewtopic.php?f=63&t=26889, I will also update this thread as well with two bags I have also tried out.

The Osprey Ultralight Stuff Pack 18L
ultralightstuffpack_side_poppyorange.jpg
Osprey Ultralight Stuffpack
ultralightstuffpack_side_poppyorange.jpg (55.96 KiB) Viewed 10768 times

  • Weight: 90g
  • Capacity 18L
  • Packed Size didn't measure
  • Open Size 42cm x 22cm x 19cm

A mate who came down to Patagonia with me earlier in the year brought the Osprey Ultralight Stuff pack. I believe this to be a good contender against the Sea to Summit Ultrasil Daypack. The carrying capacity is smaller, 18L vs 20L, and the Osprey is slightly heavier at about 90g, but the advantages for me were:

  • Better carry straps (mesh and thicker)
  • One Side stretchy pocket
  • Inner small organisational pocket.

If the packs were both about the same cost, the next time I would go for the Osprey Ultralight Stuff pack, despite the smaller capacity, it makes up for it with the side pocket and the more comfortable straps.

To me, the Osprey Ultralight Stuff Pack was a lighter version of the Naturehike 18L. If your budget didn't stretch to the Osprey, and you could live with the 118g of the Naturehike 18L, it too would give the Sea to Summit a run for its money.

Naturehike NH17A017-B 25L Folding Backpack
NH25L Front back.JPG

  • Weight: 170g measured 172g
  • Capacity 25L
  • Packed Size 8cm x 18cm
  • Open Size 48cm x 26cm x 19cm
I saw this during my hunt for the Peregrine 25L backpack.
This is a larger version of the Naturehike 18L pack I reviewed above. I wasn't going to include it since it was over 150g.
NH25 Size Comparison folded.jpg
L-R NH25 / NH 18 / Greenhermit 20L / S2S Dry Daypack / S2S Daypack / Can
NH25 Size Comparison folded.jpg (123 KiB) Viewed 10768 times

NH25L Size Comparison.jpg
L-R S2S Daypack / NH25L / S2S Dry Daypack
NH25L Size Comparison.jpg (151.58 KiB) Viewed 10768 times

I wanted to like this one, but I'm still on the fence about it. Firstly, while it is claimed to have a 25L capacity, it is smaller than the Sea to Summit Dry backpack (22L). It has nice zips like the smaller 18L. It is bigger than the 18L, but I reckon it's around the 20L mark.
NH25L external pockets.JPG

The addition of front pouch pocket and the two side pocket is a good thing, but let down by the execution. Firstly the fabric on the pouch is not stretchy, being the same ripstop as the bag itself. It's a bit small for a jacket, but if you stuff a top down the front, it pushes into the bag, and eats into the bag's internal capacity. Would have preferred maybe a bungee cord system here, or a front pouch made of strechy mesh.

The side pockets look like a good idea, but again, let down by the material. The pockets are only half stretchy mesh. The remaining fabric is the same as the bag and not stretchy. The same as the front pouch, things you put in the side pouches tend to push back into the bag. It would have been better to have more stretchy mesh on the pockets imho.

Re: [Daypacks] Ultralight packable daypacks (zippers & <150g

Sat 21 Nov, 2020 5:41 am

Thanks for the update Keithy.

Re: [Daypacks] Ultralight packable daypacks (zippers & <150g

Sun 06 Dec, 2020 8:56 am

Thanks for the bump. I've been using old STS ultra-sil pack for years now and just bought a new one recently to have a spare. The shoulder straps now have some in built 'webbing'(?) to help them keep their shape and there is now a small strap at the bottom on the front that you can attach a light to if riding. Nice little tweaks to what was always a very convenient pack. There might be other changes I've missed but just thought I'd point those out.

My only criticism is that on the two that I've owned, both had zips come off due to stitching at the end of the zip failing / coming loose. Easy enough to fix / pre-emptively reinforce to avoid that. Had one replaced under warranty for that reason too with no worries.
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