I was pretty excited to have the chance to check out the check out the Mountainsmith Lumbar-Recycled TLS Day pack. One thing folks who know me will tell you is that I am a big fan of packs and have a lot on hand at any given time. My wife think I’m crazy because I keep getting different packs, but I know for a fact that having the right pack for the right situation is always a big plus.
The first thing that really caught my attention was the fact that this pack is made of 100% recycled water and other beverage bottles. That in itself really intrigued me and made me want to learn more about this pack. Think about all the plastic bottles that humans produce and use on a daily basis, and here’s a company actually using some of them to build their packs and other equipment. This actually takes “going green” to a whole new level. Don’t let the idea that a bag being build out recycled material might not be up for a challenge in the field, this pack is tough and full of features
The outer shell is forged out of Duramax Ripstop Nylon (210D to be exact) with the lining also being Nylon Ripstop as well. Whether I was trekking through the woods, tossing the loaded pack into my truck, or taking it to different job sites, it held up just find and during that time, took moderate abuse that a lot of other packs would have shown some marks and scuffs. Rain seemed to bead well and not set into the material. I managed to take the pack into the woods for a few overnight and when I managed to get it dirty, it cleaned up well with a few swipes of a damp cloth. Thus far, I’m impressed with the material all around.
As you can see from the pictures, I got the black and cobalt colored bag. It should be noted that Mountainsmith sells this bag in a wide variety of colors, around eight in all.
Looking at the exterior features, you see a pack with a lot to offer. The adjustable shoulder strap is completely removable and features a three inch wide pad with a non-skid strip underneath. This has been great because when I have the bag loaded down and I’m on the move at work, it stays up on my shoulder without having to attach the waist belt (more on that soon). On both sides of the outer shell you will find a low profile water bottle pocket that easily holds my standard Nalgene bottles, as well as the slightly smaller Camelbak bottle that I carry from time to time. The elastic top-opening keeps your bottle close to the whole pack and makes it easy to access while on the go.
One of the main highlights on this bag is the Delta Compression System. This is a series of compression straps that are placed in areas that do a great job of shifting the weight of the pack around the lumbar area. I found that having the ability to distribute the weight evenly really make it more enjoyable when wearing the pack for a long period of time. After a three hour hike with the fully loaded TLS Day, my lower back was still in good shape and
The waist belt is another nice feature that comes with the pack. The foam padding around the belt and especially one the back of the pack is very breathable and comfortable. The above mentioned Delta Compression System works side by side with the waist belt to give you the best fit possible. The buckle on this day pack is huge and easy to work with and you also get two webbed pockets on the outside of the belt that works great for smaller thing you want to keep close at hand like keys, sunglasses, ect. The wait belt itself is made of a nice thick material that is strong and will easily last the test of time. If you happen to have a bit of a belly on you, the best has plenty of room for adjustments, so just about everyone will find a good fit with this pack.
This pack comes with two zippered compartments, a main area and an outside pocket. The main compartment has a volume of 854 cu in. (lots of room for a daily carry pack). The lining inside of both compartments is a bright yellow color. This is meant to help promote higher visibility in low lighting. On one of my overnights in the woods, I found this feature to be helpful when getting out my spices and other smaller things during dinner prep. Inside of the main compartment, you will find a medium size zipper pouch for storing some smaller items close to the top that you may want to get to without digging to the bottom of the pack. If you pack minimal, you will find that this bag will carry everything you need for a night in the woods. As for me, the times I used it while camping I also had one of my backpacks loaded with gear, so the Day TLS became my food, water and complete kitchen carrier. When I’m taking it to the office, I love to use the internal padded pocket for my netbook and iPad. It’s very easy to load this pack up with equipment and makes a PERFECT daily carry bag. Even though I work in an office setting, with this pack and what I keep in it, I can survive long enough if put in a bug-out situation while away from my main gear, until I can get home and reassess the situation.
The outside zippered pocket is big enough for my medium sizes first aid kit and a few smaller books. It also has a sewn in hook for your keys, if you’re into that sort of thing. I’ve never been one to hang my keys on a hook type of system within my bags because I can’t stand the noise of the keys flopping around and always prefer stealth….and I just like to keep things quiet.
Some other notable features you get with this pack is 3M reflective highlights, which greatly adds to you visibility at night, large, heavy-duty zippers and easy-to-pull zipper straps. The straps are also yellow, making them easy to see in adverse conditions too. To top everything off, you get a manufactures lifetime warranty on materials. Pretty hard to go wrong with that deal!
So I’m using this pack now for daily carry to the office and light carry duty when on the trail, or for more packing room when going out for a long period of time. I’ve been very pleased with all of the features and would whole-heartily recommend this pack to anyone looking for an excellent lumbar-friendly pack that is priced decently and will give you tons of functionality. You can find the Mountainsmith TLS R Backpack at several fine outlets for about $64.95 on up. Thanks for reading and a special thanks to Mountainsmith for allowing us to take a closer look at this pack!
:Extra Note: I am highly interested in the Mountainsmith Strapelettes that you can buy for this pack and turn it into more of a backpack style bag when the load is even heavier than normal *nudge wink – Mountainsmith..*
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