Patagonia Slope Runner 18L Pack
Overall, The Patagonia Slope Runner 18L Pack is a badass minimalist but meticulously built adventure pack.
Long days in the mountains or on the trails call for a lot of gear, water, and nutrition. Even if you are the ultimate minimalist ultralight-everything person, you are still going to need the basics.
And when planning for long runs, climbs, or fastpack trips, it’s really important to carefully consider everything that you will need. I often consider what the essentials that I need are. What do I need if things go wrong? Do I need extra water? Food? Helmet? Technical climbing gear?
These questions have a big influence on the pack I pick to use. Go too small, and things get hard to organize and uncomfortable, go too big, and things bounce around like crazy. For me, the Patagonia Slope Runner 18L has been the answer to all these tough questions. Over the past few months, I have tested the Slope Runner 18L on many long trail runs and hikes and have been super impressed!
One Large Main Pocket- The main pocket is accessible from a large top opening that can be cinched down tight to close. This pocket is very large and has plenty of room for extra food, water, layers, medical kit, and other essentials. Recently I used it for a long day of trail running on the Appalachian Trail.
It was late fall and cold. I could store a light puffy jacket, rain shell, medical kit, spare socks, gloves, beanie, headlamp, and extra food, and I still had plenty of space.
This pack would be awesome for summer fastpacking overnight trips. For all you habitual organizers, don’t let the single pocket scare you away. I have found it easier to find things in this pack over similar-sized packs with four pockets. The one pocket ensures that there is only one place to look when you’re trying to find something in a hurry.
Rides High and Does not Bounce- Many packs claim not to bounce around much; while this is true in some instances, it usually involves a heavy and complicated sinching system. This is not the case with the Slope Runner. I have found it to consistently ride high and be bounce-free without having to excessively tighten all the straps.
The coolest feature here is the load lifter straps that can be tightened to keep things in place when loaded down. The dual sternum straps are fully adjustable and are very easy to tighten. I have not had any slipping or shifting in the buckles, and they are very comfortable. The removable back panel adds structure to the pack and can be removed to save weight.
Easy Access Front Pockets- There are 4 front chest pockets that are excellent for holding quick access items. The pack comes with two 500ml soft flasks that fit easy in the front pocket. The flask sits high enough that you can drink from them without having to take them out. This keeps things simple and you moving faster! I have also found the pockets really useful for carrying phones, headlamps, and nutrition items.
Accessory Rigging Systems- There are two rigging systems that can be used to hold a variety of items. The rear ones easily hold an ice axe, while the front does a nice job of holding folded trekking poles.
Read Drew Thayer’s review on this pack as well – https://engearment.com/backpacks/patagonia-slope-runner-exploration-pack/
Andrew is a trail runner, climber, paddler, snowboarder, marketer, and most importantly a dog dad. Andrew grew up in suburban Philadelphia and now lives on Maryland’s Eastern Shore.
While he lives pretty far from the mountains, he puts a heavy focus on preparing for them and inspiring others to do the same. He first fell in love with the mountains on family trips to the White Mountains and the Adirondacks. He spent the majority of his early life competitively running and leisurely paddling, however after college he began focusing on learning to climb, snowboard, and backpack.
Over the past ten years since then, he has been fortunate enough to gain some amazing experiences exploring North America. Some of the most memorable thus far are alpine climbing in the Sierra, trail running in Alberta, learning to splitboard in NH, countless days hiking in the Catskills, or a plethora of mellow days paddling the Chesapeake Bay with friends.
When he can’t be in the mountains Andrew is often running or hiking with his favorite training partners, his two rescue dogs Calvin and Enzo. Andrew is also a self-proclaimed gear junkie and confessed that his gear loft is the most organized place in his home.