I’m out in the bush a lot this fall, taking my dual-credit students out on day hikes to teach them how to identify leaves, twigs, minerals, herptiles and scat. Thanks to Covid, more course credits are needed, and class sizes have doubled (I have 90 students in total). I’ve been keeping myself sane by keeping them in the woods more than the classroom.
To treat myself, I got a new day pack to store my supplies: Mountain Hardwear’s 25-litre JMT™ Day Pack. It also comes in a 35-litre size, which could be used as a daypack or a lightweight overnight backpack. But I went with the smaller size.
What a perfect pack. It’s got plenty of storage but little bulk and is very lightweight (two pounds 4.6 ounces / 1,038 grams). It’s made of durable, 100 per cent recycled 210D Ripstop Nylon. There’s also a bunch of add-ons: front and back grab handles, side compression straps and side mesh pockets, front stretch mesh pocket (that can be folded away if wanted), an attachment loop for my trekking pole and a clamshell-style zippered top opening with zippered pocket (the top opens outward). Inside, there are two hydration ports to support a water bladder, as well as a sleeve to hold the bladder.
Most importantly, the pack is darn comfortable. The mesh back panel gives unaltered support and plenty of ventilation. The hip belt (with mesh pockets) fit snug without rubbing, the chest strap is easily adjusted, and the spring steel internal frame flexes with your body movement.
The JMT Pack comes in a men’s and women’s version. You can adjust the size of the pack by opening the Velcro back upper portion and sliding the shoulder harness component up or down.
A bonus that I noticed a week into using the pack is that the shoulder straps and hip belt can be stored behind the back panel, giving it a completely bare back if you’re wanting to use the pack as a duffel.
I own a few other daypacks, all which are simple designs that are uncomfortable to carry. The Mountain Hardwear JMT far excels all the others in comfort, durability and being lightweight.