Gear: How Many Packs Do I Need?

I was prepping my daypack last night for a possible weekend excursion, and I got to thinking about all the different packs I own.. I recently bought a new daypack as the one I was using was getting to be a bit too small. Currently, I have four backpacks, each with it’s own, distinct, purpose.

One of my packs I use on my everyday commutes. It’s a Burton Snowboard pack that is designed to be used on the slopes, but makes an excellent all purpose daypack. It has plenty of room inside, and allows me to comfortably carry my laptop, lunch, important documents, and my PSP from time to time. It also has clever little pockets for cell phone storage, a place to hold pens, and even an MP3 player, with a built in headphone port. It’s a great bag, comfortable to wear, and I’ve even taken it with me on a few trips outside of the country. It’s only down side is that it’s not a hydration pack, which makes it nice for urban adventures, but leaves it lacking a bit when heading out into the field.

My second pack, is a medium sized hydration pack that I picked up on the cheap . It serves it’s purpose very well, which is to accompany me on training runs, mountain bike rides, or on short, fast hikes. It’s got a decent amount of room inside, providing enough space to carry sunglasses, keys, a GPS, power bars, and 2 liters of water. It also has the all important MP3 player pocket and headphone port, which comes in very handy when hitting the trail for a run. It’s not the most comfortable pack I’ve had on, although it’s not awful either, but for the price, it’s been a good little companion.

Next comes my newest pack, which I’ve only had a few weeks. It’s a North Face Megamouth . I upgraded to this larger pack to provide more space for daytrips. It’s a very versatile pack, useful for trail runs and mountain biking as well as a day hike, or an adventure race. It comes equipped with a very nice, and large (3 liter) hydration bladder, and plenty of pockets for organizing your gear. I love it because it’s not only comfortable, but can carry a lot of stuff. I can fit lunch and trail snacks, my camera, GPS, sunglasses, and even a few extra layers of clothes, should they become necessary, all with room to spare. I’ve only had this pack out a few times so far, but I already know that it’s a nice addition to my collection.

Finally, I’ve got the Big Fellow. This is the pack I use for everything from extended weekends to whole weeks on the trail. It carries everything. And I mean everything, including my tent, sleeping bag, food, change of clothes, you name it. It’s cavernous inside, which is what you want when your on an extended trip. It’s also hydration ready, so you can slip a hydration bladder in, and you’re ready to go. It’s a comfortable, well designed back, allowing you to get to the gear you want, and need, at any time. Very nice pack.

So, there you have it. My current collection of packs. I’m sure I’ll probably add another sometime in the future, most likely replacing the small hydration pack, but for now, I’m pretty set. As a gear hound, I love to get new stuff, as I’m sure many of you do as well. As I add new gear to the collection, I’ll be sure to post my thoughts and mini-reviews here.