View Full Version : UL packable Day Packs: EMS, NF Flyweight Rucksack, Patagonia LW Travel Pack?

07-18-2011, 16:04
Need help trying to choose between several makes of UL day pack, each sub-14 ounces, each approximately 25 liters. Two intended uses: one for the trail ( as a day pack, sometimes for day hikes, sometimes carried in a larger bag and broken out for summits or climbs ) and also for lightweight international travel, where I would stow it in my airline carry-on bag, then break it out for day trips around a foreign city: sightseeing, museums, fetching groceries, etc.
I'm not near any REI's etc so this choosing is all being done online...and not great photos online for some of these.

Currently trying to choose between:

EMS Packable Pack 9 oz, about 25 liters Lightest of all, generous side mesh pockets, wish it had a front pocket
North Face Flyweight Rucksack 13 oz, 25 liters I like the large front pocket, side pockets look a little too tight for my 1 liter Platypus
Patagonia Lightweight Travel Pack 12-13 oz, 25 liters No front pocket, can't tell the size of the side pockets, a little pricier than the others.
REI Stuff Travel Pack 10 oz, 22 Liter 10% less capacity than the others, no front pocket, can't tell whether the mesh side pockets would take a 1L Platy

I'm open to other suggestions too that maybe I haven't seen. The key thing is the ability to pack it up and stick it in a cargo pocket, or my larger travel bag, until I'm ready to use it. And sure I already have several great UL packs in the 50-65 liter range, but their size is overkill for day tripping. I'd love to hear from people who own and use any of these packs above. I'm leaning toward the North Face and the EMS so far.

07-19-2011, 00:29
I use an OR Peak Bagger dry bag/compression sack. http://www.campmor.com/outdoor/gear/Product___91075 It carries well though there is no hip belt, stores my sleeping bag and clothes in my pack and is waterproof so when used alone there is no need for a pack rain cover. I have the rei travel pack and think it does not carry well but is ok for shopping, etc.

The North Face bag looks interesting but kind of pricey.

For a light weight option I have a Sea to Summit day pack that works pretty well for under 3 oz. http://www.rei.com/product/799600/sea-to-summit-ultra-sil-packable-day-pack

The rei flash is a nice small pack as well. And Lowe, I think, used to make a small Summit Sack that was very nice. I have a MH Scrambler that makes a nice travel pack with the frame sheet removed. I used to think I could get my gear down to the size of a small day pack-so I have a few. I couldn't do it, but I'm set for travel options now!

07-19-2011, 01:57
an option, but probably more expensive than you want...


07-19-2011, 11:31
I've been using the sea to summit. Or just empty my regular pack, tighten the compression straps, and call it good.

07-22-2011, 11:24
My buddy and I have the ems one. It's pretty great. Big. I like the side pockets. The lid/packable pocket is a little odd and the straps are way long but I've been pleased with it for the $21 I paid. I stuck a piece of foam into the hydration sleeve to give it a bit of shape.

07-22-2011, 13:15
My buddy and I have the ems one. It's pretty great. Big. I like the side pockets. The lid/packable pocket is a little odd and the straps are way long but I've been pleased with it for the $21 I paid. I stuck a piece of foam into the hydration sleeve to give it a bit of shape.

Good tip, thanks. I'm putting a black slider on the loooooong straps as a retainer and good to go. Great little pack.

07-22-2011, 13:59
I just picked up the EMS bag. Great bag: huge mesh pockets swallow a 1L Platy easily & room to spare. Good divider, 9 oz total on my scale. Straps carry well but aren't bulky & compresses small. Really happy with it, would now recommend it to anybody.

Ordered the REI stuff pack also, hasn't arrived yet. Will compare the two & post here.

07-23-2011, 13:12
Gossamer Gear's RikSak is another option - 2.2 oz, and a bit more comfortable (as well as lighter wieght!) that the Sea-to-Summit pack.


08-05-2011, 17:50
Well, I got the EMS bag, the REI bag, and the North Face bag. I like the EMS bag best for the large mesh pockets and overall feel. Carries a little better for me (they all carry fine but I like the EMS best). REI bag has some design mistakes--mesh pockets located too high on the body (raises center of gravity, tends to fall over when full, contents spill out of pockets when it's not full). A well sewn pack, just not how I'd design it. North Face is a mixed bag; the outer pockets are the selling point but they are sewn flat and tight, no stretch and no elastic, so they can't hold much; more ornamental than useful; YMMV. NF could be a great pack but needs to be resized to just be 10-15% bigger and pockets need to be cut a little more generously; in real life it holds less than the EMS bag although stated volume is supposed to be the same. Wish the back main pocket held more and was mesh rather than solid fabric.
I'm returning the NF bag, which was the most expensive of the three. May keep the REI only because I got it on sale. Definitely the EMS is the keeper and my new go-to day bag, and a deal at $30.
Thanks for all the suggestions and input everybody, this is a great forum.

Rocket Jones
08-05-2011, 21:39
I gotta agree with your assessment of the EMS bag. I just got one myself this week (based on this thread) and I'm very happy with it. Downright tiny when packed up in its pocket and big enough to be useful when opened up.