A few weeks ago we received the Ortlieb Gear-Pack in yellow and red colors for free from Ortlieb for testing as they might be a good fit for our packrafting trips.
The Gear-Packs are available in 32L and 40L which means that they are more suitable for day trips rather than multi-day trips. If the Gear-Packs would be available in 80L or more then they would probably be the perfect backpacks for packrafting trips lasting multiple days.
The Ortlieb Gear-Pack has been designed – as the name already suggests – to take your gear with you on the trip. As the Gear-Pack is waterproof its probably a great solution for all kind of watersport activities but I could also see it as a backpack for hiking or biking.
So what would I take with me in such a backpack? Probably anything that I would take on a normal hiking day-trip – meaning no tent or sleeping bag. For a packrafting day trip, I would probably pack in clothes, camera gear, a water bottle which can be stored outside in the mesh-outer pocket or even paddles which can be attached with compression straps on the Gear-Pack.
It would be also possible to attach for example the tent or anything extra on the outside and there are lots of possibilities to do multiple configurations. It would be also possible to attach the backpack to a packraft using those attachment points on the Gear-Pack.
The backpack seems to be very durable. I also have Ortliebs rear bike pannier and they are super durable too. Here you can find for example some pictures from my 250 km Turku Archipelago bicycle trip or from the Archipelago National Park Trail. Moreover, I also had the Gear-Pack with me on our trip in Japan (see below).
Ortlieb says that the Gear Pack combines the portability of a backpack with the durability of a packsack. It also offers a height-adjustable and removable carriage system and is made of fast-drying material. There are also ventilation slits on the shoulder carriers and hip fins.
Carrying the backpack feel quite comfortable and the Gear-Pack itself does not feel heavy with its 1200 grams even so it is not the lightest backpack. However, if you are interested in having a durable product then the additional weight should not be a problem.
The Gear-Pack is easy to carry – either on your back or with your hands. The Gear-Pack has multiple attachment points and mesh-outer pockets to attach additional gear to the outside and the carriage system is removable. There is also a whistle on the Gear-Pack.
On my way to the European Packrafting Meetup in Slovenia, I had the Ortlieb Gear-Pack and the BigZip 140L with me. The Gear-Pack comes with me into the cabin of the plane. The Ortlieb Gear-Pack is currently also my companion bag of the Ortlieb Big-Zip 140l when I travel by plane.