Sunday, August 14, 2011


Muir Woods 20-Image courtesy of Boreas Gear
Outdoor Retailer, SLC

W0rds/Images Judith Ecochard

Though we got the press release for this new San Fran. based backpack company-probably via the OR press list...we somehow missed them at the recent tradeshow-even though we hauled our stuff around all day in their terrific Muir Woods 20 ($99.99) that fit us perfectly-no small feat since we are of a slim female build.

One reason for the excellent fit---the shoulder straps are a tad narrower in width than our other daypacks---that manage to slide annoyingly---in fact,  slide off unless fully clipped up---a pain on a subway when we have to remove packs off our we rarely snap in the waist buckles.

The company itself was formed by a group of industry vets from companies like The North Face and Eastern Mountain Sports---who clearly so how ridiculous it is to have a pack embellished with all the techy gizmos that weigh a hauler down---when we don't need any.

The whole outdoor industry mantra of lighter, faster, minimal---works brilliantly here...with one central compartment, accessed with two way zips with rubber toggles for easy grip (about around 70% of it accessed by zippers)...

===and once inside---at the top of the compartment has a nifty hidden mesh pocket for car keys, smartphones....

The compartment itself is big enough for a hydration bladder too---with a simple stretchy sleeve to hold it in place---and an ability to put the drinking hose either on a left or right shoulder.

Airy ventilating back and straps-

NICE. For urban types--we think this compartment works great for iPads, E-readers...

Plus an easy access upper compartment ...

-with a fully huge mesh zipped pocket-thank-you, thank-you for stuff we need multiple times in an outing, like sunscreen, lipstick, tissues, energy bars---rather roomy and for once, when we open the compartment it all doesn't fall out---no need for a quick balancing act if in motion when accessing it.
zipped close upper compartment-roomy enough for personal items needed for quick access

And the upper compartment easily smashes down to a flat surface surface ---securely-if you don't need it.

Why it's so comfortable has a lot to do with the ventilated tops of shoulder straps (we guess here), back (def. here-we ran a mountain hike with this in 90 plus degrees), and under sides of the shoulder straps ---with mesh... over a perforated foam-in the back--- shaped-z shape. We actually managed to fold it in half (it's frameless)-and jam into our suitcase...for the 7 hour jaunt to SLC---and presto---the Boreas pack bounced back into place. We don't recommend doing this---but we were at the limit of on board bag allowance and didn't want to check anything.'s obvious how compressive/reactive the foam is-and spring-y.

And as for the running a hike-short on time---we had no choice if we wanted to make a flight back---and again the great fit was notable----the waist straps---are wide enough and adjustable in a snap- when on the move.
Buckles are idiot-proof

And the pack held up perfectly---amazing since we are tough on backpacks. Made of 210D Nylon Ripstop with UTS silicone coating---so it has a nice feel to it---not stiff and crunchy...yet waterproof. The bottom is heavier 420D.

Plus: a very unobtrusive hook for carabiner attached gizmos...if one needs it.

But all incredibly weightless--- practically. We have heard the Boreas Backpacks will be available in the Fall 2011---so soon...with various sizes.

We were very impressed and hope we get to keep we think this is a smart, comfy way to haul around stuff for a day hike, or day trippin' around a city.


Five other packs too...from the press release...

40- and 55-liter ultralight backpacking packs.
Lost Coasts
30-, 45- and 60-liter comfort backpacking packs.
Muir Woods 30
30-liter, large technical daypacks designed for cragging and general outdoor use.
Muir Woods 20
20-liter, do-anything daypacks good-looking enough for use in town.
a 15-liter: small, body-hugging multi-sport packs.
MSRP: Ranges from $89.88 for the 15-liter Repack----to $199.99 for the Lost Coast 60-liter