Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In

Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In

Brands

Backpacks

Gear Review: REI Traverse 30 Backpack

Looking for a pack that's both wallet- and eco-friendly? You can't go wrong with the Traverse, from our 2009 Gear Guide.


Eco Deal

If you rarely carry more than the 10 Essentials, get the Traverse. It’s primo for small loads, plus it’s an eco-friendly bargain made from 100-percent-recycled polyester. (Each pack keeps two dozen 16-ounce plastic bottles out of landfills.) This zippered top-loader is an organizer’s dream: You get a huge hipbelt pocket, four zippered pockets on the packbag, and two side pouches. And the extra-long zipper extends down to the pack’s midsection, allowing easy access to the main compartment.

None

A plastic framesheet and panels of egg-crate-style foam provide enough rigidity and back protection for loads up to 20 pounds. “The super-cush, padded shoulder straps kept it comfortable all day,” said one tester. And as long as we didn’t overload it, the Traverse proved balanced and stable, even during tricky log crossings and scrambles in Montana’s Gallatin National Forest.

Downsides: That long zipper, opened all the way, can let gear spill out. And capacity is low for the weight; it’s not a daypack that handles overnights easily.

  • Capacity 1,831 cu. in.
  • Sizes 2 gender-specific; 16″-19″ torsos
  • Weight 2 lbs. 13 oz.
  • Price $80
  • Info rei.com

When you buy something using the retail links in our stories, we may earn a small commission. We do not accept money for editorial gear reviews. Read more about our policy.