Gear Review: Patagonia Nine Trails 15L Pack

With a 15-liter volume and a design that’s well suited to long hours on the trail, Patagonia’s Nine Trails pack is an ideal hiking or running companion. And I should know — over 10 days, I did my best to beat it up.

I'm an avid hiker, and Phoenix’s Piestewa Peak is one of my go-to trails, even in the dead of summer, so that was my first stop when I received the pack in the mail. I inserted my 3-liter hydration bladder and made a few slight adjustments to fit the pack to my frame. Immediately, I noticed how much I enjoyed not having a belt around my waist — this pack secures at the chest. Quite comfortably.

After an hour of hiking, I found that the pack hadn’t rubbed or pulled or otherwise tweaked my back or shoulders. And — this is the best part — it hadn’t soaked through with sweat in temperatures that had topped 109 degrees. I had the feeling that this pack might quickly replace my old standby.

In the days that followed, I took the Nine Trails pack on a few more jaunts up Piestewa Peak, as well as on some longer hikes: a 6-miler, an 8-miler, a 10-miler and a 9-miler. Of those, the most notable was a hike up Humphreys Peak, which, at 12,633 feet, is the highest point in Arizona.

During the daylong adventure, I found that the pack endured well, putting up with frequent stops to grab snacks, as well as the occasional exhausted jettison from my shoulders. In fact, each time I put the pack back on, it was cool, light and comfortable. That’s probably due, in large part, to its material — high-tenacity nylon ripstop with a durable water-repellent finish. That sounds fancy, but it really just means that the pack can handle light rain, sweat and a dusting of snow like a champ.

And, really, it seems to be able to handle a lot. The folding top-loading compartment holds extra layers, hydration systems and other gear well, while the side pocket is good for keys. It’s a little small for an iPhone 6, but the top pocket picks up the slack there. In all, Patagonia’s Nine Trails pack is an example of a daypack done right.

— Kelly Vaughn

Details:

Item Number: 49510
Weight: 10.8 ounces
Hydration Compatible? Yes
Sizes: Small/Medium or Large/Extra Large
Colors: Underwater Blue or Feather Grey
Price: $79

For more information about the Nine Trails pack, visit www.patagonia.com.

Kelly Vaughn hikes Piestewa Peak with the Patagonia Nine Trails pack. | Todd Renfrow Patagonia Nine Trails Pack | Courtesy of Patagonia Patagonia Nine Trails Pack | Courtesy of Patagonia Kelly Vaughn and Nala hike the Barbershop Trail with the Patagonia Nine Trails pack. | Todd Renfrow

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