The last time I went shopping for an all-purpose backpack, I was overwhelmed at both the sheer number of options available to me and the high price tags attached to these bags. A gazillion zippers and snaps and straps were sewn into most of them, an exceedingly large number of pockets decorated the packs both inside and out. I also felt as if no matter which bag I chose, I’d be forced into making a fashion statement every time I wore it – the colors and design elements on the majority of the bags looked more at home in an adventure gear advertisement, not on my back.
Where was a sturdy, well designed, and simple bag for a guy like me? Where was the option for the family guy, who might be packing groceries, or kid gear, or a laptop in his bag, but who also loves getting out to the backcountry and doesn’t want to spend an arm and a leg getting fitted out with a specialized climbing bag?
The answer, to my mind, is the Klettersack, by Colorado’s Topo Designs. A klettersack is a ‘climbing bag’, but a climbing bag in its simplest iteration: One big main cargo area to stuff your gear into, and a small zippered pocket to keep small or important items separated from the mass of gear in the main area.
The Topo Klettersack is made from 1000d Cordura on the outside and lined with coated pack cloth on the inside, and has a drawstring closure for the main compartment. It also features military spec hardware and leather lash tabs (for attaching more gear, such as a blinky light for bike rides), along with heavy duty straps reinforced with seatbelt webbing.
The slim profile looks great – like a classic (small) mountain bag – and to make it even better, the price is just $139 bucks.
The toughest decision I’ll have to make about this bag is what color to buy.