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Boreas Gear Testing Team: Erawan 70 Adventure Travel Pack Review

Friday, October 11th, 2013

Introducing Round 3 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. Dan Hutchinson of Eugene, Oregon, took his pack to South Africa to install solar panels, kayaking on the Salmon River, and all over Northern California. He just returned from the field with excellent feedback about his new Boreas Erawan 70.

boreas-erawan-70-review

The Boreas Erawan 70 proved to be the bag I was missing in my expansive selection of packs. Without knowing it, this was the pack I needed all along to fill the gap between a backpack and suitcase. The careful design and diversity of this pack will make it any adventure traveler’s go-to for long trips away from home.

TMS: How do you like the way the pack sits on your back?

Dan: The pack sits on your back comfortably when it’s fully loaded. I found with a partially loaded pack the back panel collapsed. When the large compartment was partially loaded and the top pocket was full the top would sag, making it someone awkward on your back. The adjustable shoulder straps and four cinch straps helped correct this minor annoyance.

Are there any changes you would make to the belt buckle?boreas-erawan-backpack

The Erawan 70 doesn’t have a belt buckle. Although a belt buckle or hip belt might be nice in the rare situation you would be traveling long distances with the pack on your back, the stowable shoulder straps are sufficient for short commutes and in a pinch the hidden daisy chain could be used to secure a piece of webbing for a hip belt.

What activities do you feel this pack is best suited for?

With enough room for several weeks worth of clothes or gear, the Erawan 70 is best suited for traveling from transportation hubs to hotels/hostels. The well designed main pocket opens similar to a suitcase and makes viewing and selecting items easy, and the wet/dry pocket is ideal for dirty clothes as the main pocket empties.

Is there a similar pack you have been lusting after?

There is not a similar pack that I have been lusting over, but more a particular style of pack. I currently own a medium sized North Face Base Camp Duffel (72L), which at a glance would appear to be in the same class as the Erawan, but at a closer look this model stands alone. The Erawan pack is capable of filling a void in any adventure travelers’ needs for an all-around travel pack. Weighing 2lb 4oz the Erawan 70 is a whole pound and four ounces lighter than the Base Camp, with roughly the same amount of storage space, which is a nice quality during long hauls between terminals. The Boreas Erawan also features divided pockets in varying sizes which make organized packing easy, and with carefully placed stowable shoulder straps the main pocket is easy to access at all times. This can’t be said of North Face’s Base Camp Duffel, as you are always battling the shoulder straps when getting in and out of the bag.

boreas-waterproof-backpackWhat did you like most about the pack?

One of my favorite parts about the pack is its sleek streamlined body that makes it ideal for traveling in airports. The stowable shoulder straps pack away nicely when checking your bag and the cinch straps on the sides secure a partially full load. The Boreas Erawan would also make a great carry-on. The two interior pockets provide quick access to toiletries while the top and outermost pockets give easy access to essential items. The side handles make getting on and off planes between flights convenient and are designed to stay close to the pack so they won’t get snagged when removing the pack from the overhead compartment. Another nice touch are the subtle handles on either end of the pack, making a one-hand-grab easy without bending over when the pack is upright. And when it’s time to hustle to the next plane, bus, shuttle, train or travel hub, the hidden shoulder straps hook up in seconds and can be adjusted for several body types.

What did you like least about the pack?

My only complaint is the fact that the top pocket often takes two hands to open or close. The problem is not that the pocket fabric snags in the zipper but that the shape of the pocket and lack of rigid material surrounding the pocket make it difficult to function with one hand. This is hardly a deal-breaker considering all the other benefits of the Erawan.

Overall thoughts on the backpack?

This pack has been my go-to this summer while traveling to South Africa, the Salmon River, and all over northern California. I was able to pack two week’s worth of clothes in the Erawan and still have room to bring home souvenirs. There are no fancy bells and whistles on this pack, but through my travels I never felt that the pack was lacking any features. The pack’s lightweight, durable materials are sure to withstand the tests of time serving the avid traveler time and time again. I would absolutely recommend this pack to a friend

boreas-backpack-review


Thanks for the feedback, Dan Hutchinson! Enjoy your new gear :)

Click here to read Round 1 of the 2013 TMS/Boreas Gear Pack Testing Team gear reviews

Click here to read Round 2 of the 2013 TMS/Boreas Gear Pack Testing Team gear reviews

Introducing The 2013 TMS / Boreas Gear Pack Tester Team!

Friday, June 14th, 2013

Summer has arrived and the second annual Boreas backpack adventure testing has begun! Tahoe Mountain Sports and Boreas Gear have partnered up to review the new Boreas travel packs, and we solicited gear testers all over the country to find the best-suited adventure travelers we could. It was tough picking – after all, we have a tremendous following of avid adventurers – but after two weeks of hunting we’ve narrowed it down to three candidates we believe will test their packs the best. Over the next few months our test team will be responsible for providing ‘real-world’  feedback on their chosen packs. In exchange for their help they’ll get to keep their packs for future adventures. Boreas Gear believes, “The best gear is neither complicated nor expensive yet as versatile as the person using it.” TMS believes we’ve found three versatile individuals to confirm these qualities in said ‘best gear’.

Introducing the 2013 TMS / Boreas Gear Pack Tester Team:

 

Dan Hutchinson Boreas

Dan Hutchinson - Erawan 70
As an avid traveler, mountain biker, hiker, boater, volunteer and student I have a demand for quality backpacks in my everyday adventures. I’m a stickler for functionality and versatility. This summer alone I will be traveling to South Africa to install solar panels at a local community college for my internship, hitting the main stretch of the Salmon River in Idaho and living out of a backpack/bag for the remaining months of summer while playing in and out of the Sacramento and Lake Tahoe area, including a couple of side trips to Downieville’s legendary single track.

 

Danielle Horton Boreas

 

 

 

Danielle Horton – Erawan 50
I’ll be traveling Australia’s east coast for four weeks then heading over to Fiji’s Yasawa Islands for an additional week of adventures. I would be taking the pack with me as I go hiking and rappelling in the Blue Mountains and snorkeling on the Great Barrier Reef. I think this trip will be the perfect opportunity to test the pack’s light weight, durability and versatility as I take it on planes, trains, buses and boats.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Alex Von der Mehden Boreas

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Alex Von Der Mehden – Sapa Trek
I am an Eagle Scout in Troop 707 and we go on at least two trips per month in every kind of condition. Being that it is the summer, we have many more. When I am not on these trips I will be at home on my own adventures: free-ride mountain biking, kayaking on the Russian River, fishing, hiking, and having a blast, all with that pack on my back. I would be honored to put this pack through the paces of a summer of an Eagle Scout.

Throughout the summer these courageous testers will be embarking on grand adventures with their adventure travel packs, giving them the ultimate “real world” challenge. Will these Boreas backpacks hold up against the vigor of our gear testing team? Regardless of the outcome, this test will only help to improve the outdoor adventure industry.  Stay tuned as the summer progresses and the testers return from their travels with feedback about their new backpacks.

 

 

Boreas Sapa Trek
Boreas Sapa Trek
MSRP: $219.95
Boreas Erawan 50
Boreas Erawan 50
MSRP: $149.95
Boreas Erawan 70
Boreas Erawan 70
MSRP: $159.95
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