Introducing Round 2 of the 2013 TMS/Boreas Gear Pack Testing Team gear reviews:
Earlier this year we teamed up with Boreas Gear to test their new line of Adventure Travel backpacks. Alex Von der Mehden of Eagle Scout troop 707 promised that if we gave him an adventure pack, he would put it through the wringer and return with feedback. He just returned from the field – freeride mountain biking, kayaking on the Russian River, hiking and fishing. Here’s what he has to say about his new Boreas Sapa Trek backpack:
When I received the Boreas Sapa Trek on my front porch and opened the box I lit up with excitement. My first impression of the pack was how sleek and stylish it looked. I then began examining it and found it was also extremely durable and ready for a tough summer. Before this pack I had a small day pack that barely fit the things that I needed. It was not very useful. When I started using the Sapa Trek as my main pack, life outdoors became so much easier. I had room to pack anything I wanted aplus more. I also like how simple the outside was, making it look clean and sleek, and how the inside had secret stashes to keep everything organized. Tahoe Mountain Sports allowed me to test the Boreas Sapa Trek backpack, and trust me, I put it to its limits in the heat, in crazy rain storms, and getting thrown around multiple Scout camps in different states.
TMS: How do you like the way the pack sits on your back?
Alex: The Sapa Trek sits wonderfully on my back. It was extremely comfortable wearing it all day as a day pack. The foam was extremely comfortable even when it was weighed down with 40 pounds of gear. The straps are also extremely comfortable and very adjustable for any body size and comfort zone.
Are there any changes you would make to the belt buckle?
No, the design is very unique and fits well. The straps make it very easy to tighten for just the right fit.
What activities do you feel this pack is best suited for?
The Sapa Trek is universal to almost any situation. I used the pack as both an adventure daypack and an overnight pack. At one Scout camp I carried harnesses, climbing shoes, and over 200 feet of climbing rope to our climbing destinations. At another camp I carried a wide variety of gear like bike tools, towels, hydration reservoir, first aid kits, extra clothes, etc.
Is there a similar pack you have been lusting after?
No, I have not been looking at other packs recently but there are features on backpacks that I always look for. This pack has many of them. A large front access zipper, a waterproof pocket, a waterproof outer coating and durability.
What did you like most about the pack?
My favorite feature on the Sapa Trek backpack was the front zipper. This feature makes it really easy to access the whole backpack with ease. Even with a full backpack bulging at the seams, I was able to unzip the front and grab some tie down rope from the bottom before zipping it back up with ease. I would definitely recommend, and maybe even make this a new standard, on all of my future backpack purchases.
What did you like least about the pack?
My only complaint would be about the internal plastic frame in the backpack. The frame made the backpack very comfortable and kept its shape, but what I would change on it is the very top of it. When I had my mountain biking full-face and XC helmets on, the pack rode up to far and would limit the movement of my head, so when I was freeriding I had minimal vision. I would suggest that Boreas Gear simply make a cut in the top of the frame that allows some extra movement.
Overall thoughts on the backpack?
Overall, the Sapa Trek is a great pack. It is versatile for any situation. The pack definitely had a lot of planning put into it, down to the smallest details. It incorporates functionality and simplicity into an all around great looking pack.
Carrying this pack with me throughout summer on all my adventures was an absolute privilege. The pack is extremely comfortable in all situations, it’s light weight, and very sleek and stylish. The Sapa Trek backpack will definitely be my go-to pack for future scouting adventures. It is a wonderful pack that I will be putting to great use in the future and I will definitely recommend it to anyone who is in the market to purchase a backpack.
Thanks for the feedback, Alex Von der Mehden! Enjoy your new gear :)