I don’t know how it happened, but I have too many backpacks and not enough backpacks all at once. I have a DaKine that’s alright for a quick hike to hold some snacks, the dogs’ bowl, and a healthy supply of water. I have a small Herschel that’s just fine for running to the coffee shop with my laptop and a couple books. I have a Poler that’s a rugged, every-day sort of beast, but it doesn’t hold THAT much, there’s no sternum/hip straps, and the thick canvas is pretty heavy. My Canon camera backpack just doesn’t hold everything anymore. While each are OK for holding a few things, none of them seem to be able to hold a weekend’s worth of adventure supplies. When Cotopaxi offered to let me try out their 55L backpacking backpack, the Taboche, I eagerly accepted. What’s one more backpack? The answer? EVERYTHING.
With the recent snow in California’s mountains, I felt it was a good chance to see what the Taboche could do. In went:
My 15″ laptop & charger
A pair of jeans
Two pairs of socks
A pair of underwear
A pair of base layers (one top, one bottom)
A pair of gloves
Two books (Harry Potter and The Cursed Child and Salt, if you were interested)
Power bank/phone charger
Polaroid camera and a few packs of film
Toiletries (Flonase (WHICH IS THE JAM), deodorant, toothbrush, cologne, etc)
Gozer’s exceptionally adorable camp bandana
Turbo’s exceptionally warm quilted parka
And I still had room. IT STILL HAD ROOM.
It had room for my tripod.
It had room for my Canon & two zoom lenses. Though, in the interest of gear protection, I traveled with out of the pack.
Two camera batteries & a charger
My camera remote
And it had room for my water bottle in a sweet side pocket.
Poor Cal probably didn’t realize how much stuff I jammed into the backpack, but with the adjustable frame, sternum straps, hip straps, and compression straps galore, she said the weight wasn’t a problem at all. What a champ.
Now, I admit, while up in wonderful town of Big Bear, CA, I wouldn’t be roughing it by any means. We have regular access to a cabin owned by Cal’s parents; the aptly named Tranquility Base. As such, I didn’t try to go through and load the Taboche up with Jet Boils and TP and food and all the other necessities of backpacking, but I can tell you, based on the superfluous amount of crap I brought up, the Taboche is up to the task. AND, it’s sooooo pretty.
While it may not be quite the everyday renaissance (wo)man I am still looking for, it sure as heck is an amazing pack for weekends away from home (especially if you’re sleeping under the stars). If you’re looking for a mid-sized backpacking pack, I highly recommend giving the Taboche a try.