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Compact Lightweight Backpack You Can Literally Take Everywhere

Updated on January 23, 2016
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When I needed a backpack, I went with a Jansport, because they were what you bought back when I was a kid. I bought mine in 6th grade, and it has been through 12 years of lugging around heavy text books in school. It has lasted another 6 years since. If you ask me, that is one heck of a life for a backpack. So allow me to elaborate on what enticed me to switch brands.

Old School Jansport Backpack

My old trusted Jansport backpack started to show some wear. My best friend Tim has pointed out on numerous occasions that the right strap is over halfway detached.

I had been putting off getting another one for some time, but had to look at backpacks once his literally fell apart. We go hiking a lot, so this is an essential part of our lives. I figured that the extra weight now in mine would cause the already compromised strap to full give way. So we needed to replace his at the very least ASAP.

You Can Never Go Wrong With A Jansport

I originally planned to snag another Jansport backpack, because I had an amazing experience with mine. If it lasted 18 years with my abuse, it has to be a great backpack. I also love the fact that they come in such a variety of colors and combo colors. I was looking for purple, which is Tim’s favorite color.

A bright colored backpack makes it hard to lose. Plus it’s much easier to spot someone in the woods, especially me being so tiny. However, I noticed some other really enticing similar products when I was doing my backpack search.

You Can Never Go Wrong With A Jansport

The New Nylon Backpacks

I came across a few that are made of a really light nylon material that is water resistant and durable. This material is somewhat familiar, because of all the research I have been doing about light hiking gear. So i figured why not check these things out.

After looking through their individual specs and reviews, I decided that the New Outlander one was the better option for us. The reviews seemed pretty awesome, minus the people who are impossible to please or those who clearly don’t read before they buy something.

I just want sure about which size to get. I’m a pretty small person coming in at 5 foot and weighing in at a buck 35, so I didn’t want to be swimming in this thing as a daily use backpack. I figured since Tim is bigger than me, we will get the 33 Liter to see how it looks. I think the 33 Liter size is fine for either of us. I do believe the 20 Liter would have looked puny on Tim.

Collapsible With Storage Bag

Tim was pretty excited when it arrived, which made me more excited to get home from work and play with our new backpack. The purple is pretty true to the screen color, which is always reassuring. I was ready to compresses this backpack down and shove it into its attached inner bag. Luckily it is attached, or I would probably lose the thing in less than a day. Sure enough the backpack smashes down quite nice.

Imagine how convenient that is. You can basically have a backpack with you at all times just in case you need one.You could stash one in your car, or hide it in your suitcase. That makes it seem like you are bringing less crap. Also talk about easy to store when you aren’t using it.

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Lightweight With Tons of Storage

You can store a good bit of stuff in it too. We can fit all of our day trip hiking things in it, and then shove light jackets in if we get too warm. It’s convenient to have the water bottle holders on the sides. So that opens up some room inside for sweatshirts or whatever if you need it.

I have pretty much stolen the purple one from Tim, because I love it so much. My Jansport has to be feeling like a red headed step child. I freaking love how lightweight this backpack is. The company is saying that it’s half a pound. The less weight in equipment for hiking, the better, so score on multiple accounts.

Strong and Durable

It’s pretty strong and seems well made too. I carry 2 32 ounce water bottles with me every day to work in it. And we have shoved a bunch of stuff that adds up weight wise in it when we go hiking with no issues. I like that it has 3 separate compartments for easy access to different things. You have the main large compartment like a normal backpack, a medium one, and then a front smaller one. Pretty much just like my Jansport, but that doesn’t have the netted side pockets.

Durability seems to be pretty good. I’ve use it every day for months now with 4 pounds of water in it and some other odds and ends, and I haven’t seen any wear at all. So the rip and water resistant nylon meets as advertised. The shoulder straps are made of a mesh like material that is slightly compressible for comfort, which is nice.

Water Resistant

I will say that the backpack is not waterproof, but it is resistant as it claims. This is normal for the rip stop nylon. It’s not like regular cotton that absorbs water, but it will get wet if it gets soaked.

I had one of my water bottles open in it the one day and drenched the insides. I just pulled everything out and dumped out the water, because it pooled in the bottom. haha. I let it sit out to dry for a few hours and it was good as new.


New Is Sometimes Better

Tim has been giving me all sorts of flack for commandeering “his” backpack, so I bought another one in blue. I also got one for my brother and his girlfriend for Christmas. These backpacks are cheap useful gifts for almost everyone. I use mine every day with absolutely no complaints at all.

I am going to try to sew my Jansport strap so I have it as a backup, but the Outlander backpack is my first choice because it is light, water resistant, and can be compressed down for easy storage.


Are there any other backpacks that you would recommend?

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