Patagonia Lightweight Travel Pack Review
The Patagonia Lightweight Travel Pack is a must have for anyone that likes to travel light. As the name suggests, the Lightweight Travel Pack is truly light and weighs a mere 11.4 ounces. Despite its lightweight status, this daypack is thoughtfully designed with nylon rip-stop fabric and features a silicone finish and polyurethane coating to add to its’ durability. The Travel Pack can haul a full days worth of gear when needed or it can be tucked away into its’ own zippered compartment when not in use. Once in the zippered compartment, the Lightweight Travel Pack measures 8”x6”x2” (length, width, depth). This tiny package can get stowed in your main pack or luggage without taking up much space or adding weight, yet be ready for action in under 15 seconds.
The Lightweight Travel Pack features a large main compartment with a cinch draw-cord to help keep your gear secure inside. There is also a small zippered pocket located at the top of the main compartment; this pocket was great to stash smaller items, such as your camera, sunscreen, etc and the pocket features a carabiner too. This pocket doubles as your stash compartment when inverted. The lid of the pack also supplies a decent amount of storage space and could accommodate my lighter items on our recent European trip; hats, gloves, and my lightweight rain shell for easy access. My only complaint with the lid is that if the pack is not fully loaded, the lid—despite being cinched down all the way with the clip supplied to the main body of the pack, would flop from side to side while walking or running. Not a huge deal, but when sprinting through an airport for a connection I did keep checking to ensure that the pack had not burst open. The pack also features two mesh compartments for your water bottle, or in my case coffee mug. The pockets are deeper then they appear, as they continue well below the mesh opening. You are probably wondering, how comfortable is the pack? One would think that Patagonia must have had to skimp on something to keep the weight less than a pound. This was not the case during my experience with the pack when used everyday for 2 weeks straight. The Lightweight Travel Pack features a small foam back panel, breathable shoulder straps, and webbing sternum and waist belt straps. The shoulder straps don’t have a lot of padding, but I didn’t feel like I needed it as the loads I typically carried were around 20 lbs. The sternum strap is a nice touch, but the execution was less than stellar as I lost part of the sternum strap in the Paris airport; the strap itself can be adjusted up and down along the pack straps but they can also be taken on an off thanks to a large cut out in the plastic that attaches to the pack. Somehow I loosened this attachment and no longer have it on my pack and now I will have to do some of my own fixes to the pack.
When the pack is not full, the lid is sloppy as discussed above, but the pack also lacks any stays or “bones” to keep it stretched out. When the pack is filled with a few items they settle at the bottom and the top of the bag kind of buckles down to the lower because it lacks structure. When this occurs, watch your water bottles in the outside panels as the buckling of the bag can push up on the bottles. The folding on itself is not uncomfortable or all that bothersome in my book, but some photos of me with the pack make it look like it would be. As for durability, the pack looks good as new despite some heavy wear and tear and we have not experienced any tears or punctures to the fabric.
Overall, Patagonia’s Lightweight Travel Pack was an excellent addition to my travel go to’s as it can be used for a ski day in the Alps, a day on the trails, or to carry lunch, snacks, or camera equipment while site seeing. The pack is available in 3 colors, Paintbrush Red, Black, and Larimar Blue. The pack retails for $79. Patagonia also makes a messenger, tote, and sling styled bags, composed of the same materials if you are looking for something that is not in the form of a daypack. For more information on the Lightweight Travel Pack and other Patagonia products, visit www.patagonia.com.