Minimalist Ultralight Daypack Dyneema
- Product Review (submitted on June 14, 2013):
I had sold my previous cuben fiber daypack and searched for several weeks until settling on the Minimalist. I’ve tried daypacks from seemingly every company, both mainstream and cottage, and I’ve finally discovered what I consider the right blend of light and tough with the 140 dyneema.
I’ve been preparing the last year for a thru-hike on the AT, and my dayhikes often exceed 20 miles over rugged terrain in the redwood forests in the Santa Cruz Mts. I’ve also incorporated more bouldering, scrambling, and off-trail shenanigans in my hikes, and the Minimalist has nary a scratch to show for my efforts. However, I do take fanatical care of my gear. I mean, I use an old toothbrush to clean my trail runners after every hike so dirt doesn’t break down the glue prematurely. That being said, I don’t baby my gear on trail. It gets used, not abused. I like that when I’m scrambling up an exposed granite slab, I don’t have to worry my pack will tear in two.
I customized a couple of things to better suit my needs. I removed the included foam pad and replaced it with a thicker Ridgerest pad. The pack is even more comfortable after making the switch. It conforms to my body to the point I forget I’m wearing it. I removed the included sternum strap and replaced it with a thinner one I had from an old REI daypack. I didn’t need the whistle, since I already carry a Storm whistle. Even with the thicker pad, my Minimalist weighs 9.79 ounces, which is actually below the listed weight on the website (once you include the pad).
My only gripe is a personal preference, not a design flaw. I carry either 1 or 2 one-liter Smart bottles on my trips and place them in the large rear mesh pocket. It’s very awkward to reach all the way around to the mesh pocket and grab a bottle when I’m moving. Not a big deal, I’ve adjusted my on-trail drinking habits accordingly.
The internal stash pocket is great for small items like keys or a compass.
To me, the highest compliment you can pay a backpack, whether it’s a daypack, weekend pack, or long-distance pack, is that it’s comfortable enough and does its job well enough, that you forget you are wearing it at all. This pack falls into that category.
The Minimalist is the most comfortable daypack I’ve ever used. A great price for a great product. Happy trails!