Gear Closet: STNGR Nakho 25 Daypack Review

A few days back I reviewed the STNGR Vadon 38 backpack, finding it to be a remarkably durable and well designed bag with lots of features and a really great price. But the company makes several other packs as well, including a really nice daypack called the STNGR Nakho 25 Daypack, which follows the same formula as its big brother the Vadon by offering everything a hiker could need, in a package that is well thought out and extremely affordable.

If you read my review of the Vadon 38, you probably know that I dinged that pack for being a bit on the heavy side. I noted that it was great for backpacking and travel, but ultra lighters would probably want something a bit different. I’m happy to say that I don’t have to make the same disclaimer on the Nakho, which at 2.1 pounds (.95 kg) isn’t the lightest daypack on the market, but also isn’t overly heavy either. In fact, in hand it feels just right, offering a great balance of weight and durability.

Speaking of which, the Nakho 25 is made from similar materials as the Vadon, which makes it just as bulletproof as the larger pack. That bodes well for this bag remaining a staple in your hiking arsenal for years to come. The fabrics and components the make up this pack are all very high quality, feeling great to the touch and inspiring confidence that they can stand up to plenty of punishment. That said, as with the Vadon, the Nakho also comes with a lifetime warranty, ensuring that the bag will be repaired or replaced should anything happen to it.

The feature-set for the Nakho is long and impressive. It his hydration-ready, though you will have to provide your own reservoir, and it comes with a detachable rain cover. It also includes a wide array of pockets, including one that is fleece lined to protect sunglass lenses or smartphone screens from scratches. The large main compartment offers 25 liters of capacity, while the array of additional pockets provided a nice level of organization. The dual, stretch water bottle pockets on either side are a nice touch too, as is the ample-sized front mesh pocket that is great for stuffing wet gear, an extra pair of shoes, or other cargo.

Probably my favorite feature of this pack is it’s excellent back panel. More and more daypacks are offering comfortable, well-padded back panels these days, but most of them aren’t including any kind of suspension. The prevailing thought is that a suspension just adds unnecessary weight and cost for a pack that is probably only going to be used for a few hours at a time. But, when designed properly, those suspensions can really help increase the comfort level, particularly when carrying a larger load or hiking for longer distances. That’s exactly what the X-suspension on the Nakho provides, helping to reduce fatigue on those long days on the trail. It also has the added benefit of helping to keep air flowing between the pack and the hiker’s back, which makes it cooler to wear on a warm day.

I gave the Vadon high marks for being a versatile pack that you could use on short backpacking trips or long adventure travel vacations. My feeling on the Nakho is that it isn’t quite as versatile, but was instead purpose-built for day hiking. This pack probably isn’t one that you’ll grab for your daily commutes to the office or for use as a carry-on at the airport. Don’t get me wrong, it could probably fulfill those roles just fine, but it lacks a few features that most of us look for in those kinds of bags. That includes things like a dedicated laptop or tablet pocket for instance or more organizational compartments. That said, for a simple, straightforward hiking backpack, it does the job very well, with everything you need for a both short and long day hikes.

As with the Vadon, the Nakho is priced extremely well for everything that it delivers. At $79, this pack is a great bargain. Considering everything that STNGR has managed to deliver for that price, a hiker can pocket the extra cash they would have spent on a more expensive bag or apply it to other gear, like a great pair of boots. In doing so, you won’t compromise on comfort and capacity in any way, and your feet will be happier too.

The Vadon 38 and Nakho 25 are my first experience with the STNGR brand and I have to say that I’m very impressed. These bags certainly aren’t as nice as something you would get from a high-end Osprey or North Face backpack for instance, but they definitely hold their own in terms of features. At the price points that they are offered at, I haven’t found anything that can truly compete against them, and that says a lot about their overall quality.

Find out more about the Nakho 25 on the STNGR website.

Kraig Becker