I love a good outdoor adventure like the next person, unless the next person likes to go so far off the grid that they can be dangerously far from any sort of Wi-Fi or cell signal. For those rugged, intrepid types who literally think about “getting lost,” Jack Wolfskin creates Kingston 30 Pack Recco. This is a sporty, well-crafted bag with some great, potentially life-saving features. Partly for the allure of its lava red color (much like the deep orange in real life) and partly for the thrill of it, I sent Jack Wolfskin to give me a try. And now that I have it, it’s my new go-to bag for day trips, relatively sneaky and as on-the-grid as they can be.
lots of pockets and straps
Of course, the whole reason you’re bringing a backpack is to carry luggage. So it’s good to have a purposeful place for it. I love this bag’s three elastic outer mesh pockets because they’re great for hiding (and still seeing) water bottles and other items you want to keep at the ready. But it’s nice that it also has adjustable straps on the sides to cinch those items while you’re on the move.
The small zippered compartment at the top of the bag is great for masks, sunglasses, keys, purses and other small items. The lower zippered compartment could potentially hold an extra set of shoes. And inside the main compartment, there’s a fitted pocket in the back to hold the hydration system’s bladder—for which it’s also equipped with a tube duct and fastener. Other storage-minded fasteners include a lashing strap for trekking poles and a side compression strap. Everything serves a function, without pocket overkill.
Better than the fact that you can easily store up to 30 liters of gear in this day bag, what makes it great is that it’s really comfortable, no matter how full or how long you spend Planning a walking tour. Much of this is due to how it sits on your body, thanks to a rigid yet flexible back piece on the inside and center ventilated foam padding on the outside. Also, a nice touch I didn’t notice before is that the main shoulder straps can be adjusted not only at the bottom but at the top as well. By tightening the straps of both sets to my liking, I was able to make the bag conform to my body. For heavy loads, it was also nice to have sternum and waist straps to help take some of the pressure off my back.
One of the best features of this bag is that it integrates a Reko chip. Although this helpful technology has been in the woods for decades, I hadn’t heard of it. But it’s essentially a small, passive reflector that can be inserted into ski boots, jackets, bags, and more. The reflector has no battery, only a diode and antenna. Its only job is to be pinged by a companion handheld detector device (used by professional search-and-rescue teams) that sends a directional radar signal. over the past few years, this simple two-part system has proven invaluable in finding otherwise undetectable needles (fearless adventurers) in very large haystacks (outside).
what is hidden
Another nice touch that falls into the protection category is the whistle with built in sternum strap buckle. Conveniently, a zip in the bottom compartment lets you access the stuff at the bottom of the pack so you don’t have to dig through your stuff all the way from above. If you encounter inclement weather during your adventure, you can deploy the integrated protective yellow rain guard that’s built into a hidden zippered compartment at the bottom of the bag. And one last feature you might otherwise miss is the larger, larger shoulder straps on the outside: This bag sports two smaller straps with hooks that stash into smaller pockets when not in use, But on this day the bags are made to be attached in front of you while wearing them. Jack Wolfskin’s Big kalari bag on your back.
Should you buy Jack Wolfskin Kingston 30 Pack Recco?
If you really think you’ll never go so far off the grid as the Recco feature requires, you can pick up Regular Kingston 30 Pack, which only comes in black. there is also one 22-litre version, which can be fine for short day trips. But I’m a big fan of the versatility of the Kingston 30 Pack Recco, noting that it specializes in far-flung adventures as an everyday bag to throw over my shoulders.
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