Sean is a picky backpack tester, like really picky. He was searching for a day pack that was around 30 liters, had a nice amount of features – such as multiple pockets, side water sleeves, hip pockets, adjustability – and a good back panel that allowed for structure and breathability. So he found himself with the Boreas Muir Woods 30. It has been reviewed by others but he needed to get his hands (and back) into it and see if it was Engearment-worthy.
Uses included, hiking, biking, commuting, farmers markets and just carrying stuff around (being a busy uncle). The backpack has a hydration compatible sleeve – though a MacBook would not fit and even if it did, it would not offer much in the way of protection. So, it gets a knock for that, though it is not really their fault and they do not advertise it as a laptop backpack. (ed. note – Sorry, Boreas)
It has one main compartment that opens up clamshell style for full access to the innards. Above that, there is a top compartment with a mesh, zippered pocket inside. Good for keeping shades, gloves, beanie, food and first aid kit. There is another small zippered pocket on the very top. Good for keys, shades or very small items. There are multiple lash points on the backpack, as well as 2 compression straps per side, so you can compress things down when not fully loaded. There are 2 generous hip pockets with very easy to use zippers (covered in nice rubber). In fact, all the zippers are very nice and open and close effortlessly, even with gloves on. The 2 water bottle pockets have a nice stretch to them, but unfortunately do not accommodate big bottles – i.e. no 40 ounce Hydroflask – our primary drinking device. Nor would a typical Nalgene fit. Bummer.
The best part of the backpack, aside from the striking aesthetics, is the generous amount of cushioned foam in the shoulder straps and especially in the back panel (Z Foam). The 2nd best part of the backpack is the fit. It carries a typical days worth of hiking gear effortlessly. It was not an ideal commuter backpack as it has no laptop or iPad sleeve nor is it waterproof. There are review out there stating that they use this backpack for backcountry skiing, but I would not say this is ideal. There are much better options out there for that. This is a great day hiking backpack that looks as good as it functions for most users.
Check out our video review for more info:
Specs – 30 liter
Torso – 18-20”
Weight 2lbs 3 ounces (980 grams)
MSRP – $139