Mountainsmith Tour Lumbar Pack

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Manufacturer Description

For hiking, skiing, urban touring or school, our lumbar packs are designed to stash all of the bare essentials you can’t imagine leaving home without. Made from our 100% recycled PET. Same performance, comfort and durability you’ve come to trust, but saving the planet one bag at a time.

Features

  • Fabric
    • Body – 450d PET (100% Recycled)
    • Liner – 210d RipStop
  • Reflective highlights
  • Key clip
  • Zippered front panel pocket
  • Bright yellow lining promotes visibility
  • Interior zippered hanging pocket
  • Zippered main compartment
  • 2 compression straps
  • Elastic rigging
  • 2 water bottle pockets that accommodate 32 oz water bottles
  • Delta Compression System load adjustment
  • Tuck-away waist belt
  • Back panel airline ticket pocket
  • Air mesh foam back panel
  • Removable shoulder strap with a sliding pad
  • Strapette compatible (sold separately)
  • Available in 7 colors
  • Dimensions – 25 cm tall x 29.25 cm wide x 12.75 cm deep (10 in x 11.5 in x 5 in)
  • Volume – 8 liters (488 cu. in.)
  • Weight – 590 g (21 oz)
  • Retail – $70

YMMV Review

Mountainsmith gave me the opportunity to do a review of their Tour Lumbar Pack. I was initially skeptical of a lumbar pack this large and requested to get the Strapettes as well as I figured the pack would not carry well without them. I must say that now that I have been testing the pack for a couple months, I have noticed more of them around and for good reason… it carries surprisingly well.

Padded Mesh Panel

Design ★★★★☆

The Mountainsmith Tour Lumbar Pack is made out of recycled materials. According to Mountainsmith, the Tour Lumbar Pack takes 4 plastic bottles to make. It is amazing what can be made out of these bottles. The main fabric is a 450 denier PET fabric. It is super durable and, just like plastic bottles, will last forever. The inner fabric is a 210 denier RipStop fabric. The lumbar pack has an air foam mesh back panel that also creates a pocket that can be used for an airline ticket among other things. This pad has space behind it that can be used to tuck away the hip belts if they are not needed. The hip belt has light mesh padding and is really wide so it distributes weight to the hips well. On the outside of the hip belt, there are loops to connect the Strapettes. Strapettes are an extra you can purchase ($25) to help carry the pack. They are basically shoulder straps for the pack.

The pack has two mesh water bottle holders with an adjustable top. There is one on each side of the pack and they are large enough to carry up to 1 liter (32 oz) water bottles. On the outside of the pack, there is a bungee to attach items on the go. The bottom of the pack has two straps. These straps can be used to hold items to the bottom of the pack or cinch down the load. There are two main pockets. The lining of both pockets is yellow, making it easier to see what is inside. The main pocket also contains a small zippered pocket. The smaller main pocket has a key hook inside to ensure your key does not get lost. That would definitely ruin a trip. Attached to the hip belt are two straps that help adjust the load. Both the lower and upper straps pull the load closer to your back. The upper strap also compresses the load as well. The pack has several extra attachment points to clip other items to the pack and comes with a padded shoulder strap. There is definitely a lot going on in such a little pack.

Looking Inside the Pocket

Fit ★★★½☆

The Mountainsmith Tour Lumbar Pack fits surprisingly well. I mentioned above that I wanted to test this with the Strapettes as I initially figured that the pack would not carry heavier loads well. This was not the case. The pack fit well around the waist and the multiple straps tightened and compressed the load. With a little adjustment of the straps, the load can be secured and the pack does not bounce or sway. I actually felt like the pack carried a bit better without the Strapettes because the Strapettes pulled the hip belt up off the hips slightly for me. A buddy of mine borrowed the pack as he did not like the one he had been using. He liked this pack a lot more than his but felt like one side of the Strapettes kept coming loose although I did not have this issue. I think with some further adjustment the Strapettes would be a nice extra. The Tour Lumbar Pack carried so well I did not really need them.

Performance ★★★½☆

The Tour Lumbar Pack carries a load well and the compression straps work. When the load is compressed, it is a bit harder to get items in and out of the pack. The water bottle holders work well and adjust easily. I liked the fact that I was able to get bottles in and out easily while wearing the pack. The pocket structure holds a surprisingly large amount of stuff. I only used the bungee cord once. It worked okay when I could I just put the items into the pack. I really appreciated the yellow inner fabric as it made it easy to see my stuff inside. It worked just as it is supposed to. I have not had any issues of wear and tear. With burly 450d fabric I do not expect to. This pack should last a long time, just like the plastic water bottles that were saved from the landfill. My only other complaint is that there are a lot of straps and webbing on the pack. At first this can be confusing but over time I learned what each one was for.

Hip Stabilizer Straps

Overall ★★★½☆

The Mountainsmith Tour Lumbar Pack was a pleasant surprise. I feel like it would be a great option for cross country skiing this winter. We just need a little snow now. I have been using it mainly for day hiking and think it is ideally made for that. Since I got the pack to test, I have noticed them on several other people. Even the Forest Ranger who turned me around on the Timberline Trail had one of these packs on. Turns out I was just late to the game on trying one myself. If you are looking for a decent sized pack for day adventures, especially one that carries well and keeps weight off your shoulders, take a look at the Tour Lumbar Pack. Even better yet, the pack utilizes 100% recycled materials and only costs $70. Not too shabby. As always, your mileage may vary.

Bottom of the Pack

Pros

  • Carries weight well without shoulder straps
  • Yellow inside fabric makes things easy to find inside
  • 100% Recycled materials
  • Compression straps work well
  • Very durable fabric

Cons

  • Strapettes pull the weight off the hips slightly
  • My buddy had the left strap loosen up on him, I did not

Adventures

About the Author

I am an avid runner, cyclist, swimmer, hiker, climber, skier and many other activities that would make this list too long. I started Your Mileage May Vary Reviews in Early 2011 to combine two of my passions: sports and gear.

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