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

PostPosted: Sun 10 Dec, 2017 3:52 pm
by keithy
Keithy reviews Lightweight Packable Daypacks with rolltop closures <150g

I've owned a number of the Sea to Summit ultralight daypacks and since Suz's review here viewtopic.php?f=63&t=23237 I have bought a few of the S2S ultralight dry daypacks as well. I've owned the zippered version of the Sea to Summit ultrasil daypack for around 5 years and in over a year of using the roll top version, I have changed my mind and now favour the rolltop closure style over the slightly smaller zippered 20L Sea to Summit ultrasil daypack.

I've found these packs under 150g to be handy, for use as packable daypacks when bushwalking or when traveling. I've had a few of the square style pocket foldable bags before as well, and they usually weighed >250g, but I found I didn't carry them as often as I would with these smaller/lighter style packs. My S2S zippered version lasted a good 4 year of use and abuse before I had a small puncture in the fabric. There are sacrifices of course. The sll nylon straps can bunch up with weight in the packs and become uncomfortable for longer carries, and I do get a sweaty back from use in warm conditions.

In my travels over the past year or so, I have seen similar bags in various stores, mainly in Europe and bought a few to use and review.

I now have a collection of these style of bags, including the ones similar to the zippered S2S daypack which I will review at a later stage. This review will be of the ultralight packable day packs with roll top closures.

Firstly to the Sea to Summit Dry Daypack:

Sea to Summit Ultra-Sil Dry Day Pack
Sea to Summit Dry Daypack

Not much to say that hasn't been covered in Suz's review. When packed, it is about the height of a drink can, although slightly thinner than a can. Restuffing the bag into it's stuff sack can be challenging. I've had two of these now - one was pinched from the external pocket of my duffel bag while in storage at a hostel. My second one has now been in use for almost a year.

I will be mainly using this bag as a base comparison against the other bags.

Zayo 24L backpack (Matador Freerain24)

  • Style roll top closure & zip
  • External pockets Yes Two side and one zip
  • Weight Advertised 156g Actual 183.5g with case (the Matador Freerain is around 150g)
  • Capacity 24L
  • Packed Size 14cm x 9cm x 9cm
  • Open Size 46cm x 40cm x 16cm
  • Carry pouch separate (attached to the Freerain 24)
Zayo 24L / Matador Freerain 24L

I was contemplating not including this bag as it was much heavier than the Sea to Summit dry daypack when weighed (advertised at around 150g it turned out heavier in real life). It has thicker material, more comfortable straps, external pockets, an external zip pocket. Includes load lifter straps as well, but probably not required. Let down by the overly complicated fold down top which can be buckled down as well. The separate carry pouch is quite big, so restuffing this into the bag isn't difficult. When packed, due to the generous stuff sack, it can appear taller than a can of drink. I generally wouldn't recommend this bag over the others I've tried.

Also in the similar style is the Matador Freerain24. The difference between the Zayo which I have and the Matador appear to be the straps (solid on the Zayo and part mesh on the Matador). lseries92 mentions below that the Freerain24 is lighter than the Zayo, and appears to be made of thinner material than the cheaper Zayo bag.

One of the other packs I review later also has a similar design to this pack, but with what appears to be a lighter silnylon fabric ... ummit-pack. I will try to get one of these for later review.

Green Hermit Ultralight Dry Pack 20 Litre
Greenhermit Ultralight 20

Closeup of the material and shoulder straps / mesh side pockets

This is a nice pack that compares very well with the Sea to Summit pack. It uses a Cordura silnylon fabric and is very waterproof and airtight when sealed - for my pictures I used an inflated S2S ultrasil drybag and it wouldn't go in to the Green Hermit pack as it wouldn't let the air inside the pack out without squeezing my fingers between the inflated drybag and the inner walls of the backpack.

It has reinforced shoulder straps which have a fabric mesh on the underside, which makes for a more comfortable wear, and has two mesh stretch side pockets, and an integrated handle between the shoulder straps. It is slightly smaller in capacity in comparison to the S2S dry daypack. These additions come at a weight penalty of an additional 14g in comparison with the S2S dry daypack. I've only had this for a few weeks, but the shoulder straps are definitely more comfortable than just silnylon or PU, especially in warmer weather.

This manufacturer also has a larger 25L back which is lighter than the 20l pack but the straps appear to be similar to the S2S silnylon only, and excludes the external pockets. ... itre-p3039

This larger 25L version appears to be also sold as the Peregrine Ultralight Dry Summit bag. ... ummit-pack

Quechua Ultra Compact 20L

4quechua ultracompact 20L.JPG
Quechua Ultracompact 20L

This pack is also close to the Sea to Summit Dry Daypack although significantly cheaper, and made with inferior materials.

The bag is actually lighter than the S2S bag, and is marginally narrower than the S2S bag is hence the additional 2L less carrying capacity. The fabric used on this bag is inferior, being a PU material. The sealing strip at the top of this Quechua bag uses a fabric strip, which coupled with the PU material and poor seam sealing means an inferior air/water tightness performance compared with the strip and fabric on the S2S bag.

The stuff sack is sewn to the bag, but the position at the top at the sealing strip also contributes to its weakness for air/water tightness. Still, the Quechua has advantages, like the stuff sack being sown to the inner of the bag, and being cheaper than the S2S bag. I would not use this bag for its water resistant capabilities but it has proven a good travel companion being a worthy shopping bag where I'm not as worried about punching hole in the thin sil nylon of the S2S bag.

I picked mine up in Italy for around 8-10 Euros in Italy. I see the UK store has it for cheaper. And now that Decathlon has opened up in Aust, it might be a cheap alternative to the S2S bag for non-wet use.

Outdoor Research Dry Isolation Pack
5Outdoor research Foldable bag.jpg
Outdoor Research Dry Isolation Bag

I spotted this on Massdrop, but was too slow to get one earlier in the year. This appears to be a very close design copy of the Sea to Summit Dry Daypack, but the advertised capacity is lower. I will endeavour to get one and review later.

Side by Side Comparisons
L-R Sea to Summit / Greenhermit / Quechua

IMG_20171208_154520 (Medium).jpg
L-R Sea to Summit / Zayo

IMG_20171208_154440 (Medium).jpg
L-R Zayo / Quechua / Greenhermit / Sea to Summit

So that's it for the my review of ultra lightweight roll top closure packable daypacks. I will review the range of zippered ultralight packable daypacks that I have next.

Re: [Daypacks] Ultra lightweight packable daypacks (<150g)

PostPosted: Mon 11 Dec, 2017 8:26 am
by slparker
Thanks Keithy,
I have used the S2S pack for a while now. They are great for travelling as they triple-duty as a laundry and washing bag (you can do your daily wash/rinse in them as they are nearly waterproof) and, obviously, when used in a backpacking system they are another drybag until pressed for duty as a daypack when the camp is set-up.

i.e. the 120g is not 'extra' weight.

Re: [Daypacks] Ultra lightweight packable daypacks (<150g)

PostPosted: Wed 13 Dec, 2017 7:28 pm
by Neo
Nice reviews keithy. I'm starting to be a fan of OR, got a pair of long sleeve hooded tops for walking. Check out the OMM packs, all their stuff is made for runners!

Re: [Daypacks] Ultra lightweight packable daypacks (<150g)

PostPosted: Wed 13 Dec, 2017 9:40 pm
by lseries92
Hi Keithy - Thanks for the reviews. As an owner of a Matador FreeRain24 I thought I would chime in with some observations of potential differences to the Zayo. When I last weighed mine, it was 150g on the dot which is more in line with the 5.5oz they claim. As you say this is potentially because of the different, ventilated straps. In addition, the cover on the FreeRain24 is not separate - it is connected by a thin bit of material to the inner part of the bag so you do not lose it. Lastly, it may be that the roll-top closure is different as I find the Matador closure is pretty typical of most drybags and is straight forward to use. I have never used the load lifters on it and agree they are probably not required - they may be better off removing them to save a few grams.

Overall I am quite happy with mine. I bought it off Massdrop nearly 15 months ago and I have used it heavily since then. While it would be nice if it weighed a little less or packed a little smaller, the more robust construction, the zip compartment and the bottleholders are (for me) worth it as it has made it a more useful bag beyond just side-trips on multi-day hikes which helped justify the cost. In fact, I am on a business trip at the moment and I brought it along with me. I actually have the original S2S packable daypack (bought in 2010?) and while it is much lighter and smaller, I normally end up taking the FreeRain, especially if there is a chance of getting wet ...

Re: [Daypacks] Ultra lightweight packable daypacks (<150g)

PostPosted: Wed 13 Dec, 2017 11:09 pm
by keithy
lseries92 wrote:. As an owner of a Matador FreeRain24 I thought I would chime in with some observations of potential differences to the Zayo. When I last weighed mine, it was 150g

Brilliant. Thanks for your input. That's good to know. I also saw it on Massdrop but again was too late to join in the drop. I'd first saw the Matador pocket blanket that I thought might have some potential and I spotted the Freerain24. I had read a review on reddit and saw that pictures of the Matador bag appeared to use thinner silnylon cordura material than the Zayo. It looked a little "see through" compared with the Zayo material.

The Zayo from memory was quoted at around 150g and was cheaper at about $35. When I got it however, I weight it and it was heavier. The opening I will take a few more pics to show what I mean. It is a standard roll top, but the load lifter strap sections get in the way (to me) when trying to quickly open / close it. I would be keen to know if it is the same on the Matador.

I am a fan of the mesh side pockets. I've used the ones on the Green hermit bag. What are your thoughts on the front zippered pocket?

I will update the review above.

Neo wrote: I'm starting to be a fan of OR, got a pair of long sleeve hooded tops for walking. Check out the OMM packs,

I'm a fan of OR as well. Have some of their pants and their lightweight Helium II jacket. I had previously checked out OMM for their shoulder strap pouches. I think most of their packs were heavier though (still lighter than most though), designed more for ultramarathon runners rather than a super light packable daypack.

Re: [Daypacks] Ultra lightweight packable daypacks (<150g)

PostPosted: Thu 14 Dec, 2017 6:21 am
by lseries92
keithy wrote:I am a fan of the mesh side pockets. I've used the ones on the Green hermit bag. What are your thoughts on the front zippered pocket?

The zip is a good addition that makes the bag more functional when using the bag for general travel. As the zip goes all the way down the length of the compartment, if you open it all the way, everything normally spills out. They could have potentially (again) saved some weight and maybe only made it open 3/4 of the way ...?

As for the closure, I know what you mean about the load lifters sometimes getting in the way. This sometimes happened early on when I just started using the bag although I have not really noticed them getting in the way recently. It may be the way I have been packing it up into its bag after use (?).

Re: [Daypacks] Ultra lightweight packable daypacks (<150g)

PostPosted: Thu 14 Dec, 2017 12:05 pm
by GPSGuided
I considered Decathlon’s Quechua offering but was worried of its stitching at the top of the shoulder straps. This was examined at the opening of their local Tempe store. Maybe I should take another look.