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My family spends a lot of time outside hiking, biking, camping and just communing with nature. I think it is so important to get kids outside and connected to nature. My son just crossed over from Cub Scouts to Boy Scouts last week and while this may not sound monumental, it is going to be a big change for him. Up until now, his camping trips with the Scouts were FAMILY trips. Mom and dad packed and brought all the gear, set up the tent, made the meals, and basically, made sure he survived the weekend. Well, no more of THAT! As a Boy Scout, he is now responsible for packing and carrying his own gear, making his own meals, pitching his own tent and if he forgets to bring something he will suffer without it!
For those of you who have done any amount of hiking/camping, you know how hard it is to haul your gear into the woods. Pack too much and it is too heavy to carry….pack too little and you either freeze to death or spend the weekend hungry! In an effort to prepare him for his first trip we did a trial run this weekend. He had to pack up his new GoLite backpack(shown at right) that I received to review with everything he would need for a 2 day trip into the woods. I have tried several of the GoLite products in the past and have always been very happy with the quality.
Here is some information about GoLite from their website:
We led the fast and light revolution and refined how people experience nature by thinking differently. Not just about weight, but about how outdoor gear is designed and built.Today, we develop simple, beautiful, high performance gear that’s light on the planet.By their very nature, our products have a smaller impact on the environment because they utilize fewer materials. But that alone is not enough. We continuously search for opportunities throughout our products’ life cycles and in our company operations to minimize our environmental footprint and protect our planet, without compromising performance.
GoLite values sustainabilty and builds these packs to hold up to a lot of use. They have an amazing Im Not Trash takeback program which gives your used or unwanted gear a new life. You can read more about sustainability at Golite HERE.
So, my opinion of the Quest backpack that we received? This pack is roomy without being overly large. It is lightweight (weighing only 3 pounds and 1 ounce) and has a lot of great features. Here are a few features you will find on this pac (from the manufacturer website):
1. Size-specific anatomically molded hip-belt with zippered stretch pockets
2. meshes on back panel and shoulder harness promote rapid drying
3. S-contoured back panel mimics shape of the spine
4. Sculpted lid with body-side zipper access detaches to shed 94 grams
5. Two side stretch pockets hold 1L bottles + trekking poles
6. Side compression straps convert to front attachment system for sleeping pads, etc.
7. Twin ice axe loops and handle straps
8. Internal stretch woven hydration sleeve with righty and lefty hydration tube ports
9. Adjustable sternum strap with whistle
We loved the roomy side pockets that stretched to hole our 1 liter water bottles. They were easily accessible on the trail and he did not have to remove the pack to get to his water.
Another great feature was the waist belt that has zippered pockets. He stashed a granola bar in there which he ate while we hiked and put his jacknife in there as well, which made it easy to find. Since it is small, it tends to get lost easily and I loved that this little pocket kept it secure.
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We decided that for his first trial hike, we would pack up our weekend full of gear (most of it, anyhow) and hike around Stone Mountain. It is the largest piece of exposed granite in the world and only about 20 minutes from my house. The beginning of our treck was actually up the rock itself and then we headed into the woods along some of the side trails.
One thing I noticed while we were in the woods was that this pack doesn’t sit all that much higher than his head. This is a really great feature if you are ducking under trees. Trying to maneuver through low hanging branches gets annoying if your pack keeps getting caught up on trees.
Our hike was about an hour long, of which 45 minutes we were actively moving and the other 15 were rests. It was sunny and in the 70’s and we were hot. I noticed that while he was obviously sweating, his back wasn’t soaked with sweat. I am assuming that this is due to the mesh backing that makes it more breathable.
(I have to say a big thanks to Drew’s scout leader who is heading up the trail behind him! Our scouting experience would not have been anywhere near as much fun without our great leaders!)
Another great thing about this pack is that is fits securely. We did some steep climbing and Drew’s gear stayed in place with very little shifting. There are straps at the top to draw the pack towards your head further and the chest strap and waist strap are both adjustable to keep the shoulder straps snug and the weight situated on your hips. I asked him several times how it felt and he said it was heavy but not uncomfortable.
Final opinion: This pack is truly amazing and I would like to say a huge thank you to GoLite for allowing me to review it.
If you are a fan of the outdoors, check out GoLite…they offer everything the outdoor enthusiast could ever want and their products are not only sturdy and functional but they will reduce your ecological footprint on the trails!
If you would like to learn more about GoLite, you can follow them on Twitter.
If you would like to purchase GoLite products, you can check out their online store or check them out on Amazon
Diane is a professional blogger and nationally certified pharmacy technician at Good Pill Pharmacy. She earned her BS in Microbiology at the University of New Hampshire and has worked in cancer research, academics, and biotechnology. Concern over the growing incidence of human disease and the birth of her children led her to begin living a more natural life. She quickly realized that the information she was learning along the way could be beneficial to many others and started blogging and freelance writing to share this knowledge with others. Learn more about her HERE.