Patagonia announced a new line up of hiking backpacks that promised to be comfortable, lightweight and functional. Enter the Nine Trails Collection
I first laid eyes on the Nine Trails backpack collection at Winter Outdoor Retailer 2018. What immediately caught my attention was how minimal yet comfortable the backpacks were. Patagonia sent over a 28-liter pack to test outside in the Colorado mountains. It saw a lot of use over the last month! Read on to find out the inss and outs of the new backpacks.
Lightweight and streamlined
The Nine Trails line up is not a super technical set of backpacks. There are not a lot of extras or gizmos, just the right amount of basic needs. The 28-liter I tested weighs in a little over 2lbs. Usually, lightweight backpacks lack something in the comfort and functionality departments. Not so with the Nine Trails. The keep the weight down by reducing the zipper size, not having tons of pockets or other unnecessary components.
Comfort for miles
Patagonia did not skimp on the comfort. The Nine Trails pack features one of the most comfortable back panels and shoulder straps that I have ever tested. The back panel is 3 layered to improve breathability and strength. The hip belt is soft and moldable. I found that the pack distributed weight very well.
210D Cordura fabric with a PU coating and DWR water-resistant coating keeps the backpack protected. Even though this is a lightweight pack, it can handle being tossed around and used in bad weather. When not being used in the field, the pack lived in my truck, getting tossed around, crushed and liquids spilled on it. Not a problem with this pack. I forgot it outside my tent one night, during a storm. The rain beaded up nicely and the pack handled it with ease. I would not recommend that, as this is not truly a waterproof backpack, but it can handle weather well.
There are just enough pockets to keep things organized. The main pocket is sizeable and opens with a thoughtful, asymmetrical U shaped zipper. This allows access to the deepest parts of the backpack with ease. There is a small zippered pocket at the top and a hydration bladder sleeve as well. Other than that, there is one small pocket on the mid tip of the backpack. Just the right size for sunglasses, snacks, and a camera. Hip belt pockets are mid-sized and can hold a small camera and other items. Each side gets stretchy accessories pockets that easily hold water bottles and rolled up rain jacket. On the very back is a large stretchy kangaroo style pocket that swallows up flip-flops or other gear. Good place for wet items or quickly jamming something on the go.
Several sizes and models
I tested the Men’s 28-liter size L/XL. This fit my 6’1″ 205lb frame well. There are smaller sizes as well – 20-liter and 14-liter as well as a bigger version for bigger missions – 36-liter. Of course, they offer several Women’s sizes as well – 26L and 18L.
The Nine Trails is a very useful backpack lineup. It is lightweight and carries weight with comfort. The no-frills approach to the line up is appreciated. The only complaint I came up with was the zippers are pretty dang small. Easy fix – just attache some pull tabs. Other than that, the Nine Trails 28L has been my go-to hiking pack this spring and summer. MSRP $159
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