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Gear Review: Mountain Hardwear Scrambler™ RT 40 OutDry® Backpack

It’s not very often you find a backpack that has all the bells & whistles, is comfortable to wear and is doesn’t break the bank. Meet the Mountain Hardwear Scrambler™ RT 40 OutDry® Backpack, if you could have a best friend that’s a backpack, this would be it! Available at LiveOutThere.com and at MountainHardwear.com, for $180CDN, this pack gets you the most bang for your buck. Make sure to pick up a LiveOutThere.com lifetime membership to take advantage of additional savings like 10% off all products all the time, free shipping, free returns and no annual fee.

Let’s start with the features that make this pack amazing, bear with me, there are a lot.

  • It’s intelligent design of using Outdry® waterproof design with a double roll top and bottom seal not only keep water out (which I put to the test on a 2 hour bike in the rain) but gives convenient access to your goods.
  • The pack has enough pockets to keep things organized but without making it overly strappy and heavy with zippers. I particularly am in love with the hip belt pockets, perfect for holding snacks for easy access while hiking (self diagnosed snack addict here!).
  • The exterior storage pocket on the front of the pack is perfect for storing rain gear or a shovel and probe when you’re ski touring.
  • Sleeve for your hydration pack.
  • This pack is ultra comfortable thanks to it’s HardWave back suspension system; it’s a mesh structure that conforms to your back offering superior comfort through weight distribution and ventilation.
  • The hip belt and shoulder straps are also padded, making it comfortable to wear on long treks.
  • Loops to clip on gear like ice axes or trekking poles.

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When I say this pack is comfortable, I mean it. So far I’ve tested it skiing, hiking and scrambling, mountain biking, and I’ve experimented with how much I could fit in it if I were to use it for a short multiday hike or bike-packing trip. All have checked out. At 40L it is more than enough room for day hikes, its not too large to wear on your bike and doesn’t feel awkward. It comfortably fits all the required gear for ski touring (I’m a stickler for this, because the last thing I want is to be monkeying with my pack trying to get out my probe and shovel in an avalanche situation).

I was planning on using the pack for a one night bike-packing (think backpacking but on a mountain bike) trip but unfortunately the trip was cancelled due to a bad turn in weather. But before the trip was cancelled I had my pack loaded and I am excited to say I was able to fit the following: sleeping bag in a compression sack, Thermorest, small stove, fuel, a small pot, a pack of noodles and oatmeal, first aid kit and long underwear. If the trip were to go ahead, we would have split up the tent, me strapping the poles to the outside. So although tight, it would work for a hut camping trip or a one night backpacking trip.

So, if you’re like most people stuck living in reality with a budget that doesn’t allow a different pack for every activity, I highly recommend the Mountain Hardwear Scrambler™ RT 40 OutDry® Backpack. Not to mention it comes in some cute colors too!

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