This post is not my normal diary of a hike, but rather a gear review of my new overnight hiking pack, the Eastern Mountain Sports brand (EMS) Trail 35.
I loaded it up with about 20 lbs of gear and then set out to do a 6 mile test walk with it around our local Beaver Lake park. It was an early hot and humid day for the Summer (technically still Spring), so that gave me a chance to evaluate the new trampoline style back surface for airflow and comfort.
Here are the specs from the EMS site (www.ems.com):
As one can see, it's full-featured pack for the money and I was in love with it after mile 1 clear through to mile 6. I'm eager to get out with it for some AT sections this fall!
The pack has a ton of room inside the main compartment, several outside pockets, and a ton of loops and straps for extra accessories and tying down gear. I found the hip belt pocket on the right side to be a perfect fit for my point and shoot camera.
The trampoline-style back surface is superb and I did not have any issues with my back sweating. The comfort of the back surface and the hip belt is top notch.
There are only 2 points that may fall short of perfect for some. First, there is no side access to the main compartment as with other larger packs, so if you need something at the bottom you'll need to dig from the top. Second, there is no rain hood on the top, which a lot of hikers use to strap down a sleeping pad or even their tent. The EMS Trail 35 instead offers a set of bungee loops and a single tie-down strap and buckle.
I'm confident this pack will fit my needs regardless of those two points, and overall I'm very pleased with the fit and performance.
Here are a few more shots from the Beaver Lake trails.
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