Note: Compass Outdoors provided a sample to us at no charge in order to review. All thoughts and opinions are our own.
I am a slave my day pack. I carry so much with me on hike – snacks, camera, extra layers. I’m afraid I’ll be left wanting something I don’t have while on the trail. So I pack that is ultralight can help compensate for that extra weight of what I carry. Our Chief Adventure Officer Annie reviewed the Compass Ultralight Day. Below are her thoughts.
I was actually hesitant to test the Compass Ultralight Daypack. It came basically as a zipped up pouch. “There’s a Daypack in there?”, I thought.
I unzipped the little pouch and began pulling out fabric with cinch cords attached. Once the fabric was fully freed of the pouch, I turned the pouch inside out and voila, I had a Daypack with a zippered pocket. Bonus!! There’s another zippered compartment on the front, something I wasn’t expecting given its simplicity. I also admired the cinch cords on each side of the pack which are used to tighten or loosen based on the amount of gear in the pack. There’s also additional cordage for strapping your trekking poles too and loops at the bottom for attaching even more gear.
Now that was pretty nifty!! I could definitely see the appeal for this pack when traveling and not wanting to lug an average pack along for quick day excursions on the trail. I was still skeptical about how it would fit, feel and serve me. I had become accustomed to larger backpacks, ones that had hip belts, a myriad of compartments, more padding on the shoulder straps, etc. The Compass Ultralight Daypack was pretty basic, hence the term Ultralight, I guessed.
Once I strapped the Compass Ultralight Daypack on and hit the trails, I was surprised. Ultralight it most certainly was and despite my reservations on its lack of a hip belt, padded shoulder straps, it performed quite well. I was thankful to have something much lighter to pack my gear.
Maybe I feel an unnecessary need to put something in all those little extra compartments I’m used to having with traditional packs.
Taking into consideration my hiking style, the Compass Ultralight Daypack is the perfect fit. I’m a day hiker, a few miles and a few hours exploring the outdoors is a typical trip for me and the Compass Ultralight Daypack holds all I need at 30L. There was plenty of room for my first aid kit, emergency supplies, extra layers and my favorite part….side pockets that will hold my large water bottle!! All of it, in fact almost completely to the top of my 1 liter Nalgene.
The adjusters on the shoulder straps I found really handy. Applying a little tension and lifting up, the straps slide easily through the adjusters making it a breeze to tweak the fit while wearing the pack. I also liked how the sternum strap placement could be adjusted simply by sliding it up and down a piece of fabric attached to the shoulder straps instead of having to pop it off and onto another slot like most traditional packs.
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The one downside I did find is that the material used to make the pack Ultralight, doesn’t make it waterproof, water-resistant yes but not proof. On a trip to the trailhead for a group hike one of the ladies water bottles leaked into the back of my SUV. The water soaked numerous things and managed to dampen a spot my Compass Ultralight Daypack with my extra fleece layer inside. Bummer on a cold January day, even on a short day hike. Thankfully the fleece wasn’t needed on our main hike and I never felt the dampness of the bottom of the pack against my back while hiking.
For around $35.00 you can definitely shove and strap enough gear to this pack to have what you need and whatever weight you feel, is your gear. The Compass Ultralight Daypack weighs in at just 13 ounces! I would definitely recommend this pack for those looking to simplify the complexity of backpacks for day hiking.