This review first posted at FionaOutdoors
I am writing this review from the eighth different lodging I have slept in over the past seven weeks (not counting overnight flights). I have been living out of this pack while traveling from Europe to China to the USA. Whether plane travel, trains, metro, or taxis, this pack has withstood the beating.
If you are planning a weekend trip or a longer journey, and you want to travel light, I would recommend you consider this pack.
• CAPACITY: 2440 cu in | 40 L
• DIMENSIONS: 14 x 21 x 8.25 in | 35.5 x 53 x 21 cm
• WEIGHT: 2 lbs 9 oz | 1.17 kg
• Retail Price: Amazon has them for £86.25
Pros: What’s good about the Wayfinder 40L?
The Wayfinder has an incredible amount of space if you pack wisely. I used the Eagle Creek Pack-It Original Starter set to organize the necessary layers to make the seven week (and counting) trip including snowy hikes to afternoons on the beach. These packing cubes are great to keep everything in its place, move clothing to shelving while not traveling, and keep everything tight.
The pack has three main compartments. The principle compartment has plenty of room to hold clothing, an extra pair of footwear, or other kit. There is then a laptop compartment with padding and an additional tablet sleeve. This sits against your back as you wear it. I have been traveling with a tablet and keyboard, but left the laptop at home. For me this was just right, but even if you have a larger laptop, this pocket will accommodate it. The third compartment is smaller and is meant to stash damp or dirty kit, and features a drain duct for breathability.
While the three main compartments make it pretty easy to organize your kit, each compartment features additional pockets. The principle compartment has zippered mesh pockets, organizer pockets, and a key fob. This is great if you need to have a variety of cords, pens, and smaller items. On the exterior of the pack, between the laptop compartment and the wearer’s back, there is also a hidden pocket for passports, phone, etc. I found this particularly helpful when constantly pulling out boarding passes and identification. Not having to open up any major compartment kept the line moving. There is also a fleece-lined front pocket for sunglasses which was nice, although if you are going to be tossing your pack around a lot you will probably want to make sure you have a case for them.
An added bonus was the zippable water bootle pockets on each side. It easily held my water bottle and I could completely seal it up so as not to drag the bite valve along all the handrails and escalators. I used the other bottle holder to hold things I needed to get at quickly like medication, buff, and a plastic puke bag for one of our kids who gets motion sickness. That came in handy…
The straps were durable and easy to adjust. There was a sternum strap to keep it snug on me, and the extra whistle, in case you have an overwhelming urge to direct traffic…or call out a pickpocket. The stowable hip belt was a nice option if you are carrying a heavier load, or walking for an extended period of time. I tucked mine away for much of my travels since the additional buckles got in the way during quick trips in and out of trains and taxis. The hand strap is also reinforced and withstood a lot of abuse, hanging the full pack on bathroom stall hooks and other assorted locations.
Eagle Creek attempts to use sustainable fabrics and recycled materials and I was very pleased with the quality. The waterproof base of the pack is great and kept me from worrying about anything seeping up into my clothes or electronics.
The Wayfinder has great zippers and some additional touches to make everything I was packing a bit safer. There were a variety of toggle locks so I could keep the zipper closed without needing an extra lock. This was nice so as not to draw attention to any valuables, but also to eliminate extra hassle. The toggles won’t stop a thief, but they are meant to slow pickpockets down, which is essential while on the metro. The laptop compartment also had a waterproof zipper to make sure no moisture was leaking through while walking in the rain.
Cons: What’s not so good about the Wayfinder 40L?
The one small frustration that I had with this pack is the placement of the inner mesh pockets for cords, pens, etc. When the pack was fully loaded, it was a hassle to open up the main compartment to dig out a USB cord. If they moved these pockets to another compartment I may be frustrated as well, but perhaps just including a few small ones in the computer compartment might be a better move.
Not a con but definitely a consideration, if you are planning on doing some major backpacking, this isn’t enough pack for you. Also, if you want a good pack or satchel for an afternoon of remote work, this is too much pack for you.
This is an excellent pack for regular travel, whether 3 days or 3 weeks. If you plan on touring, vacationing, or just traveling for work, the Wayfinder 40L is a great option.
I have recommended it to friends and family, and look forward to finding new places with it on my back.