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Mountainsmith Day TLS Waistpackis rated4.0out of5by4.
Rated5out of5byUXO GuyfromGreat pack!This thing is awesome, perfect size!
Date published: 2013-06-26
Rated5out of5byGRAfrom21 years as my daily companionI've stuffed this lumbar pack full to overflowing with everything from big, heavy hardbound library books, groceries, or all my gear on day hiking, biking, peak-bagging and X-C ski trips. Every time I'm forced to use a regular day pack I'm reminded of just how good this pack is, and how much cooler I stay by having my back exposed.
I had to replace the back pocket zipper about 10 years ago, and the main compartment two-way zipper recently failed so I'll need to replace that as well. Other than that, there are a couple of small wear holes at each top corner closest to my back which I may patch if I feel the need, and the bungie cord on the back has lost its spring. The seams all remain solid. Not bad for 21+ years of daily use.
My metabolism has two settings, off and maximum. So while I've X-C skied comfortably down to 18 deg. F. wearing only shorts, socks, boots, gaiters, fingerless bike gloves and a sun hat, as soon as I stop I have to put on multiple layers. I have managed to put in and strap on this pack the following at the same time: L/S sun shirt or light/medium wt. wicking shirt, fleece vest and/or fleece pullover or down/synthetic parka, fleece or shell side-zip pants, top shell, wool balaclava, fleece gloves or mitts, shell mitts and binoculars, spare glasses, sun glasses plus the 10 essentials. Owing to the external lash points being on the back on this original version, this sort of load with lots of garbage strapped on carries poorly, but the fact that it can even be done on a waist pack at all is amazing, especially without ripping a seam. I've never owned a pair of strapettes but with this kind of awkward 20+ lb. load they would help.
In fact, I've just bought a new version of this pack (haven't used it yet) to get the extra outside pockets and bottom load/compression straps for outdoor trips, but will keep using my old friend around town until one of us dies.
The new version with external water bottle pockets and load straps on the bottom instead of across the back, plus more padding and the ventilated hip belt and back pad, should carry heavier loads more securely and more comfortably. Comparing the new pack to the old one, the new one weighs 3.5 ounces more (both without the shoulder strap, which I've never used), presumably owing to the extra pockets and all the padding that wasn't present on the original. The old one used heavier material on the bottom and the back lash panel, ballistics cloth I believe, and the new one appears to just use a heavier duty pack cloth so I doubt it will stand up to the amount of abuse the old one did. But my trips nowadays tend to involve less scraping and abrasion than they once did and are less frequent, so this one will probably last me the rest of my life.
The old one used 1" nylon webbing on the load and Delta adjustment straps while the new one only uses 3/4". The wider straps were fairly easy to use when wearing fleece mittens plus shell mittens. I'll have to see if the smaller ones work as well; they felt too small to me. IIRR the new hand carry straps at the top are also 3/4 inch, and they have been rolled and sewn instead of leaving them flat. My initial impression is that I prefer the original flat straps, but will have to see if I get used to the new ones.
For those who use it, the new shoulder strap is attached with quick-release Fastex buckles, while the old one just used tabler buckles so the strap took more time to remove or install. Maybe that will encourage me to use it, but I doubt it.
The water bottle pockets on the new one are very desirable for freeing up capacity inside, although their black-colored fabric strikes me as undesirable if it's hot. I can always carry water inside and put other stuff in the pockets in such conditions. The small mesh stuff pockets in the waist belt don't fill me with confidence for any critical or expensive stuff like a camera, but I could see using them for some hard candies or the like.
The new bottom load/compression straps will really be an improvement over the original, which pretty much required you to strap everything awkwardly rolled up and vertically oriented on the back of the pack; the new straps appear to be much more secure and won't contribute to pulling the load away from your back.
Summing up, I've been very happy with this pack for over two decades; it isn't perfect, but it suited my needs far better than anything else on the market at the time. And even though I'm a gear geek I don't feel the need to constantly buy new stuff; if I've chosen wisely and bought high-quality gear it will meet my needs for a very long time. I haven't seen any other lumbar pack in the intervening years that struck me as better for my needs, so the only question was when would I break down and get a new one for the new, desirable features. The busted zipper and receiving a $100 gift card for getting an REI Visa made the decision an easy one, as it let me get the new pack free!
Date published: 2013-05-19
Rated1out of5byBill ThunderchildfromGood pack, not so great customer servicI've had this pack for several years and have generally liked it, although it is not the most comfortable, especially the strap. Recently the zipper blew out, and Mountainsmith wanted to charge me a fee to repair the zipper and a charge for return shipping. I've never had any other company charge for a zipper repair, North Face, etc. Plus it was a bit of a runaround from them (send a picture, talk to the manager,etc). A blown zipper isn't that complicated to understand. I don't mind paying return shipping, but not a repair charge. I'll buy from a different manufacturer in the future.
Date published: 2013-05-06
Rated5out of5byGear QueenfromLasts forever!I have owned my Mountain Smith Day Pack since 1998 and it still looks like new. Material has held up great, zippers all work well, and colors are still vibrant. The shoulder strap is thin and lacks sufficient padding, so I added a thicker, more padded aftermarket strap. Other than that the thing is great and totally bullet proof. I hardly ever write reviews but so rarely do products last so long these days that I just felt like I had to.
Date published: 2012-11-27
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