Top 4 Backpacks For The Gear Savvy Student

Get Ready for School With One of ACK’s Top 4 Backpacks

The best gear not only performs well on the trail or on the water but also meshes with your everyday life. For students getting ready for back to school, a perfect example of this would be your backpack. Investing in pack that performs well on the trail and on the way to your classroom is a great way to kill two birds with one stone and save money while you’re at it! Check it out as we go through the Top 4 Backpacks for the Gear Savvy Student this fall.

Top 4 Backpacks - Thule Sling Pack
Thule Sling Pack

Thule Crossover Sling Pack

The Thule Sling Pack is an old favorite for students looking to keep things simple. Made with water resistant, durable fabrics and sturdy aluminum hardware, it’s ready to take anything you can throw at it. Plus, with it’s sleek, low profile design & ventilated back, it’s perfect for cyclists and light trail running. The one drawback this pack suffers from is its lack of space compared to other day packs, however it makes up with it’s interior compartments geared toward keeping you organized. It even has a protective sleeve for your laptop. Of the four packs, the Thule Sling is the least built for being on trails and more set up for urban use.

Top 4 Backpacks - Columbia Drifter II Backpack
Columbia Drifter II Backpack

Columbia Drifter II Backpack

Next on our list is the Drifter which comes from a brand we all know and love very much here at ACK. The Drifter comes packed with all the features you need for serious day tripping  and features Columbia’s Backdraft ventilated back panel and their Omni-Shield water-shedding exterior. It is equipped with a removable hip belt for heavy loads, extra strong straps & a rugged exterior making this pack perfect for short weekend trips on the trail as well. During the school week,  it has plenty of internal organizer pockets, a padded 15″ laptop sleeve & an electronics pocket.

Top 4 Backpacks - The North Face Recon Backpack
The North Face Recon Backpack

North Face Recon Backpack

Well organized &  well designed, the Recon is a 29-liter day pack favorite that functions great outdoors or on campus. While it’s on the pricier side, it is jam packed with features like a stow-able waist belt, iPhone compatible pocket and a padded laptop sleeve that doubles as a pocket for your hydration bladder. It even includes a cleverly placed hose port. One downside to this pack would be it’s lack of ventilation making it a much better fit for lighter adventures around town or commuting to the classroom. If you are looking for a durable & organized pack for urban adventures – this is one for you.

Mountain Hardwear Lander Backpack

Last but not least, the Lander pack is more ready for the trail than the classroom, but it can certainly handle both. It is constructed with tough, durable 210D HexRip and 420D nylon panels to ensure a long life on the trail or off. What’s nice about the Lander is how much thought was put into the design to keeping the wearer comfortable. It has a fully padded back panel, shoulder straps and weighs less that most similar day packs. Like the Recon, the Lander is equipped with a multi-use laptop/hydration bladder sleeve as well as plenty of internal organizers for gear & school supplies.

Top 4 Backpacks - Mountain Hardwear Lander Backpack
Mountain Hardwear Lander Backpack


Outdoor Summer Fun, Fun, Fun!

School’s out, summer is here, let’s all get out and play.

Whether you’ve got kids, grand kids, nieces, nephews…or not, you can’t deny that summer is a season of fun in the sun and if you don’t already have plans, why don’t ya just get up and go — outside that is! As a reader of this blog, you are already familiar with how enjoyable any outdoor adventure experience can be so c’mon now, don’t be selfish, share it with your friends and family. Theme parks, cruise ships and beach resorts are great but this summer, dodge the crowds and consider taking your family and friends with you to an outdoor destination adventure they’ll never forget. Need some ideas? As always, we’ve got a few…

Go Kayak/Canoe Camping
It’s affordable, exposes everyone to a part of any river or lake they may have never seen and provides an opportunity for the younger ones (and unfortunately some adults) to learn what it means to work together as a team. Make it enjoyable with hearty meals, plenty of pit stops and gear for a good night’s rest. A little too warm? That’s the joy of kayak camping, you’re right on the water, go swim!

Go Primitive
Sure amenities are nice when camping but with proper planning and the right gear, you can easily have just as an enjoyable experience in the backwoods. Imagine a campsite that offers nothing but the true sounds of nature, a night sky that is black as ink and a true feeling of disconnect from all the hustle and bustle. Of course, you’ll more than likely have to backpack to the campsite so it’s always a good idea to eliminate unnecessary items (ahem…handheld video games).

Make a Day of It Every Other Week
Afraid a 5-day outdoor adventure is more than they can handle? Go play for the day! Start early, load up some kayaks and head down to the lake. Paddle, explore then plan a picnic along the shoreline. Bring some water toys for the kids and some hammocks for the adults. Use this time to swim, play and relax and if time allows, enjoy the sunset. Of course, if you paddle at night, always take great care and outfit your kayaks/canoes with proper lighting.

Urban Destinations
Long distance travel plans not in the budget? Explore the city from a different perspective by paddling local waterways and just like our previous suggestion, picnic along the banks. If access to water is not anywhere near your city, make it a point to visit every city park by summer’s end.

So these are just few a suggestions and chances are you have just as many. If you do, be sure to share them with us, we want to now what you’ve got up your sleeve. Regardless of what you do this summer, we hope that outdoor adventure is a part of your travel plans. Sure, we’d love to sell you more outdoor gear but the reality is, we are all outdoor enthusiasts ourselves and there is a good possibility that if one us hasn’t already, we will probably put a check mark next to one of our recommendations.

Have fun out there!

Roland @ACK