Back in August I wrote a review of the Newport Backpack from Keen. At the time, I wrote about how I was impressed with the build quality of the pack, which had quickly replaced the commuter pack that I had been using for years, and while it continues to impress me months later, it is still a far better for schlepping around town than hitting the trail. I said as much in that review, giving the bag kudos for versatility, but having a few nits to pick with its trail performance.
Fortunately, the designers over at Keen haven’t been resting on their laurels, and their newly released Newport DP pack is a far better option for hitting the trail. The new pack shares its older siblings build quality and commitment to the environment. The DP is tough and rugged, with a quality feel across the entire product. The pack is constructed from high quality materials with reinforced seams and heavy duty zippers and belt clips.
Also like the the regular Newport pack, there is plenty of storage options, including a hydration bladder sleeve with enough capacity for a three liter bladder. The main compartment on the DP has a great, large capacity, mesh pocket built in, and a secondary compartment offers multiple sub-pockets for keeping your gear organized and within easy reach. A handy clip keeps your keys safe and sound and both compartments are wide and deep, ensuring that you have plenty of room to carry everything you’ll need for a day out on the trail.
Another new addition to the pack that helps to define it as more of trail pack is the increased padding along the back. While the original Newport had some padding, which aided in making it a comfortable commuter pack, the DP takes it up a notch with ample cushioning on the back panel. In fact, it has some of the thickest, most comfortable padding I’ve found on any daypack, which made it a joy to use all day on the trail. The lightweight, yet sturdy, breathable mesh shoulder straps only add to the level of comfort.
As if all of that wasn’t enough, there are a couple of other nice features that help set the Newport DP out from the crowd. For instance, there is a built-in rain cover in the bottom of the pack. If you happen to get caught in a downpour, simply unzip the cover and pull it up and over the pack, keeping it, and all of the contents inside dry. The DP also has a removable hip belt, which is a nice option for those who don’t like having something restrictive around their waist while hiking. I personally prefer a hip belt to help keep a pack from moving around too much, as I move, but it is a nice option to have none the less.
After using the original Newport pack almost daily since August, I can already tell that I am in love with the DP as well. It’s high quality construction and thoughtful design elements make it a no brainer as a recommendation for anyone looking for a new daypack. Throw in ample storage and a comfortable fit, and you have a pack that will fit your needs for years to come. And at $90 it won’t break your bank either.
*Disclaimer*: This pack was provided to me by Keen for review purposes.
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