Lots of reviews from Irene this week! I sent her a huge care package of material and she is firing away with her reviews. I had received a shipment from Detours of bike bags and backpacks and sent her one of them for her bike adventures on the Kenai Peninsula. I tried on the pack before I sent it, and my short torsoed 5’5″ self found that this pack was too long for me. So here’s what Irene has to say! ~HG

Whatever is a bike pack? I am learning as I go. This daypack is non-gender specific. I have been using it for Rollerblading and short hikes. I love the fit; it is comfortable to wear for a number of hours with out hardly notice, nor a sweaty back. The AIRMAX tensioned mesh ventilated back is my favorite feature on this pack, and yes, it really does work. It’s like a breathable cushion between your back and the pack that has an air space 2” from the waist belt to the top of the shoulder straps. I do think this helps with the lack of sweating and wet back I’ve been lacking while out with this cool pack.

It has a 100 oz water reservoir compartment [but no bladder included, which starts to get annoying, IMO. I’d like to see more packs come with the bladders they’re designed for. ~HG], mesh top opening sleeve, mesh side pockets for water bottles, gloves, handkerchief, etc…front deep zippered compartment with an organizer in it, main zippered compartment, Integral helmet holder, removable rain fly, small zippered pocket with a clip, 1”x2” reflector tabs on back and sides, a ½” nylon strip down the middle of the mesh panel to attach things like helmets to, chest strap, padded shoulder straps and waist belt. 20” long, 12” wide, and 8” deep. The materials, zippers, webbing, and clips appear to be of quality and are put together well. I like the loops attached to the zippers, this makes zipping open or closed easy, especially when fingers are cold. Weighs 32 ounces. What does this pack not have? I’ll get to that, but first let me talk up this pack because I do like it a lot and it so totally meets my expectations and most needs/desires in a day pack when I am alone with out kids in tow.

I use a water bladder so I like the reservoir pocket, but I couldn’t get my drinking nozzle sucker end through the hole marked H2O without cutting the rubberized covering off. I could simply pull the sucker off the hose and slip the hose through it, but that’s just another hassle I don’t need each time I put the bladder in or remove it.

The mesh open top sleeve on the outside of the pack is a nice feature for that extra layer you either need to put on, or take off quickly and not have to full with zippered compartments. I like the nylon strip that runs down the middle of the mesh with 5 loops to tie my bike helmet onto. This pack does have the Integral helmet holder; however the strips are easier and quicker for me.

Right behind the mesh open top sleeve is a small zippered compartment 6” wide x 5” deep with a clip. This is my next favorite thing on this pack. I use mine first and foremost to clip my vehicle keys to it, hold Chap Stick, small candies. After having lost not one, but two sets of vehicle keys this winter, I am now key paranoid. How the Hell does a responsible adult loose two sets of vehicle keys (mind you, they were to two different rigs)? Neglect I tell ya, total neglect. The first set were from my work rig. I put them in my fleece coat pocket, left the zipper open, and then fell into an ice crevasse that swallowed my whole right ski and leg up to my crotch, sending my keys into an icy grave in the nether regions of a glacier. I never did find those keys even after going back with a metal detector. The next set of keys was to my personal rig. I put them in the front pocket of my hoodie knowing I did not need my daypack as I was only going on an hour ski, the keys will stay put in this pocket just fine, won’t they? [Uh…I know you’re a new gear tester, but jeez. Rookie mistake, woman. ~HG] After standing by the side of the Seward Highway hitch hiking home because I couldn’t find my keys in the ice I decided something needed to change with me and my neglect over not keeping vehicle keys safe. Therefore, now that I am key paranoid, I really, really love this pack with its little pocket and the clip to safely hold my car keys.

The two side mesh pockets are deep and wide, allowing for a wide array of items to stash and have readily available. I use them for gloves, handkerchief, headband, and snack. They are adequate in size and easy to reach without having to stop and remove the pack and I do not have to worry about things falling out of these pockets, way useful. While rollerblading I like to fly and not be bothered with stopping, probably because I have not figured out how to stop.

The first front zippered compartment is deep, running the length of the pack, and has a small organizer panel for small items you don’t want to get lost in the depths of the pack. The main zippered compartment is larger and has enough room to hold a fleece jacket, shirt, rain pants and jacket, extra socks, and lunch. Last, as appropriately so, is the rain cover. It fits in a small Velcro closure pouch on the bottom of the pack so you always have it handy in its own space. I do a lot of rollerblading on Exit Glacier Road out of Seward where the rain tends to be present a lot I appreciate the rain cover designed specifically for this pack.

I have to be grateful to this pack for saving my ass, elbows, hands, and thighs from major asphalt burn and blood. I was trying to go as fast as possible down a hill because my friend Mark, who was riding a bike, was clocking me, 12, 14, 16, m.p.h. My pole slipped, and I began to fall, slow motion, please no, please no, do not let this happen. I fell on my right side, cushioned by my Detour pack, resulting in skinning up one arm, minor right side thigh burn, and abrasion on my new friend Detour. As I sat stunned on the road, I quickly clasped my hands together and said “thank you God”. Little did I know it should have been “thank you Detour pack” for cushioning my fall and bearing the brunt of the crash.

So now that you have the details of this pack, let me tell ya what simple pleasure is missing: Small zip compartments on the hip belt to hold a Leatherman, Luna bar, lip gloss; you get the picture. And, this pack is rather blasé, come in blue, red, green, and black, whoopee. I could use a little more pizazz for looks, but, I think it would be rather difficult to find everything you want in a day pack, this one has most of what I want, so there be it! Happy Trails.