After searching seriously and casually for over a year, I think I found the next-to-perfect daypack for the office and a day in the backcountry. There are a number of daypacks that are capable of doing the double duty of the lifestyle of suburban mountaineers; remember, I made this site for people that work 50 weeks a year just to hike and climb the other two. The Mountian Hardwear Enterprise daypack does the job.
These days, work does not tend to require a briefcase like we did before the age of computers and smartphones. We tend to carry pad holders and folders in compact folios, but we still commute and get around with either a messenger bag (which is great for cycling but can be brutal on your spine from long walks) or a backpack. In the past, my trail daypack and bag for work have been two separate things, until now.
The North Face, Patagonia, L.L. Bean, Jansport and a lot of other companies manufacture daypacks with both pencil dividers and laptop sleeves (essential for the office, class and the coffee house) that can be taken on the trail. However, not all of them were built for extreme durability and include a convenient hole for a hydration-system and an ice axe loop. I got it all with the MHW Enterprise. It’s 1,850 cubic inches large and is stylishly designed to boot! In fact, it fits my large monitor laptop with ease, which I write these posts.
On the downside, people reviewing the daypack have observed that while it’s size could be considered by some to be big enough for a overnight, it’s straps (particular the waist strap) is not strong enough for a 40-plus pound load. However, I carried quite a load over the weekend and felt the waist strap (simple webbing) could be unformfortable with a greater weight. Generally, I try to keep my loads around 17 pounds and limit it to about 25 if possible, and it works wonderfully well. The only improvement I would make is to add and elastic draw string closure for the water bottle sleeves on either side. I’ve carelessly bent over twice already sending shooting my Klean Kanteen like a torpedo for the floor. (Good thing that bottle is so durable!)
Well, I’m almost ready for my commute to the office now. I’ll replace the map, first aid kit, and compass from the weekend’s excursion with my padfolio and binder for work. Happy Monday, everyone!
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