I see the fun in being an REI member. However, since I only entertain buying hiking-type equipment once every apocalypse, I won’t be joining. I did however go in to the local REI store today to try on some daypacks (smaller backpacks) and enjoy the frenzy of their annual member sale.
I was able to try on a model only slightly different from the closeout model that I wanted. The closeout model, the Deuter Futura Zero 30 Daypack (see pic) was no longer available in the store, but I found it online so all I wanted to try out the brand. (The closeout model was $50 less than this year’s replacement model, and the only difference being no rain shield (it is still water repellent) and no side-zip pockets, and a tiny bit smaller.)
I was really impressed by the way that the Deuter line of backpacks have a sort of “trampoline” mesh that touches your back, while the pack itself is kept an inch away from your back, allowing breeze to flow between you and the pack (see images at a review here). I am being quite literal — there is enough room for an insect to fly between without its wings hitting either side. That decided the selection, for me, because I know how unpleasant my mood gets when I sweat. (I’d also been considering the Mountain Hardware brand, also on closeout, but after seeing the difference in person the choice was clear.)
Nonetheless, I did hem and haw over whether I should spring for this year’s model instead of last years, since this years was available in a nice green. But ultimately, $50 for a color I won’t even be able to see when it is on my back made the decision easier. They change the colors and the pattern of the colors swaths every year, so there’s no point getting hung up about subtleties.
I have little doubt I will hardly ever use this. Unless I am invited on a hike, I really doubt it. Nonetheless I’ll take it on a few walks just to break it in, I suppose, same as my shoes.
It may be small enough to take as carry-on baggage on an airplane, but I suspect many airlines don’t allow backpacks as carry-on. Those that do, would allow this since it is small, but I’d probably use my suitcase instead since my suitcase has wheels!
By the way, my even-earlier plan, to buy a daypack with a mere 22 liters of room (versus 30 in the above selection) was dismissed a few days ago when I rolled up a few t-shirts and saw how much space even something so trivial takes. 22 liters of room would not be enough for anything. 30 liters of room would be enough, while still being not too heavy. Most bags are even larger, but I have a slim build and couldn’t carry much without tiring.