The North Face makes some quality gear, as you may know, and the Base Camp Hot Shot daypack is no exception. Built of the same material (840D Jr. Ballistics nylon) as the Base Camp duffel bag that North Face makes, this daypack is built to handle whatever you toss at it. The material is waterproof and tear resistant to keep your goodies safe and dry. The zippers are water resistant as well making sure that water stays out.
On the outside of the pack, you have a comfortable back panel that rests against your back. There are two raised panels that rest on either side of your spine to promote airflow and increase comfort. The shoulder straps are ergonomically shaped and are very comfortable. There are two straps that clip to make sure that pack stays close to you: one on your chest and one around your waist. The chest strap has a molded in whistle to the clip in case you need to get someones attention. On either side of the pack, there are mesh water bottle holders that are easily accessible while wearing the pack. I like tossing smaller items like my keys in these pockets and the pull-to-close bungee cords make sure my keys stay put. There are adjustable nylon straps on either side of the pack that you can use to compress your load while wearing to keep it closer to your back. There is a daisy chain on the front of the pack that you can use to attach other items to that won’t fit in the pack.
There are two main separated compartments that carry all of your gear. The larger compartment has space for a laptop up to 15″. This space doubles as a hydration pack area and directly above it is a flap that allows you to stick your water nozzle out and secure it to the shoulder straps. I find this feature handy and use it to run one of my earbuds through so that I can listen to something during my commute. The total volume in this pack is 1830 cubic inches which allows me to stuff the following inside:
- Large Nalgene water bottle
- Insulated lunch bag
- My work clothes (undershirt, dress shirt, pants, a belt and, if needed, a sweater)
- My light rain jacket
It is only a really tight fit when I try to include a sweater with the above items. I’ve been amazed at how much will actually fit into this larger compartment.
The secondary compartment is where all of the organizing can happen. There is quite a bit of space in this compartment as well and will store items like your keys, wallet, cellphone, pens…you get the idea. There is a large storage area with a Velcro closure, a zippered closure with a clip on a lanyard for key safekeeping and then your miscellaneous smaller pockets for your other items. And in front of all of that, more space.
The Pack in Use
I’ve been using this backpack as my primary pack for about 5 months and have really loved it. It is comfortable, lightweight (2 pounds, 9 ounces) and best of all, waterproof. Its waterproofness is what drew me to it initially. I was looking for something that would keep all of my stuff dry on my commute and this pack has delivered in some heavy rains. I have come home before and literally been soaked and my stuff was dry inside with the exception of a shirt that I had that was pressed up against the zipper and soaked in some water. When I bought the pack, the salesman told me that it wasn’t submergible, so things are going to get slightly wet if there is a downpour.
I’ve scraped the pack with a piece of not so smooth metal (on accident of course) and the material held up. You can see where the scratch is, but it is really just a blush on the surface.
All in all this is a great pack and will stand up to some serious use and abuse. If you are looking for something a bit sturdier than what you have, try to get your hands on one of these.
Capacity: 1830 cubic inches / 30 liters
Pack dimensions: 20.5″ x 13″ x 8″ / 52 cm x 33 cm x 20 cm
Pack weight: 2 lbs 9 oz / 1160 g
Pack material: Phthalate-free TPE laminate, 840D Jr. ballistics nylon
For more information, check out The North Face.