When I was lucky enough to get a call from Howler Brothers asking if I’d like to test a new pack from their latest collaboration with the Colardo-based Topo Designs, I jumped at the opportunity. I’ve been a big fan of Howler Bros. products for awhile now, and I’d been hearing a lot of good things about Topo Designs. Here are my biggest takeaways from several days in the field and the office with this durable and versatile pack.
Durability and Size
These are usually the first two things I look for when selecting a good pack, and the Topo Designs X Howler Brothers Mountain Pack delivers on both counts. Large enough to hold a pair of waders, a fly rod and reel, and a few fly boxes, the pack also features a “water-resistant truck tarp base” which keeps its contents safe and dry no matter where you happen to set it down. It’s just as handy on the fly fishing stream as it is on a lengthy day hike, and they’re hand made in Colorado. #Merica
Unlike some of the major pack companies which tend to sacrifice style in the name of technical performance, Howler Bros. and Topo Designs sought to implement both form and function into the design of the Topo Designs X Howler Brothers Mountain Pack. Topo based the design for the pack on their tried and true Mountain Pack, already a popular item in its own right. Whether you’re pedaling your commuter bike to the office or summiting a southern Appalachian bald, you’ll look sharp while doing it.
This could be my favorite aspect of this pack because I don’t like having multiple items that essentially perform the same function. Less stuff equals more freedom right? I’ve already used this pack out on rivers during fly fishing excursions, hauled it around on hikes, and toted my laptop to the office and coffee shops almost daily.
In addition to all its other attributes, the Topo Designs X Howler Brothers Mountain Pack is light and sits comfortably on your back. When it comes to work, it blows the satchel I was previously using out of the water, and the sternum and waist straps make long treks make it the perfect companion on long, uphill treks.
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