Name: Fuzzy Monkey (David)
Date of Review: March, 2012
Photo Album – Eddie Bauer Internal Frame Backpack
BACKGROUND: I’ve successfully thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail and Pacific Crest Trail. I also have numerous other backpacking trips under my belt. The weather conditions I’ve dealt with range from the desert heat to higher elevations in the mountains. I’ve dealt with thunderstorms, hail, extreme winds and most weather conditions in-between. This Eddie Bauer Backpack is my largest pack and also my workhorse when it comes to backpacks. It is also the reason I wrote this review.
DISCLAIMER: Whenever I talk about my hikes people always end up asking me what type of gear I took with me. This review is to answer those questions and to further expand how it worked for me. I’ve owned this pack for many years and still use it for shorter trips and heavier loads. This pack was manufactured by American Recreation Products Inc. It was licensed under the Eddie Bauer brand.
Manufacturer: American Recreation Products Inc.
Product Information: American Recreation Product’s Inc. internal frame backpack plus Eddie Bauer Signature Features. The word “carry” is printed in bold on the tag, I’m unsure if this is the actual model name but I’ve included a picture.
Year: 2005 or older
Size: One Size Fits All
DESCRIPTION: This is a large internal backpack. This particular pack has a ton of features. Here is what is listed on the label when I purchased the pack. The pack measures 34 x 16 x 8. The capacity stated on the tag list it as 5500 cubic inches. The pack is made of Hexstop 420D nylon packcloth and 1000D texturized nylon. Stretch-cord compression system, Extendable top pocket unzips to be used as a waist pack, Daisy Chain, Built-in rain cover, Adjustable shoulder suspension with cobra-cut shoulder straps and adjustable sternum strap, Hydration compatible, Zip-out inside divider, Two mesh side bottle pockets
REVIEW: I wore this pack for my 2005 Earthwatch Volunteer Expedition on Isle Royal. Since the pack can easily carry large loads I also used this pack for my 2011 West Coast Trail Hike. Because the pack is so versatile I lent it to my cousin for our 2009 Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore hike. Were were able to adjust the pack to his torso length. It continues to be my go to pack if I need to carry large heavy loads. Since it is getting up in age, I try to only use it for training these days. I also use the pack for short overnighters and test runs. Because of the large internal capacity of the pack I can just stuff my gear inside without bothering to fold thing and pack appropriately. On shorter trips I can just treat it like a duff bag and trow gear in it and go. If I had to bring a smaller pack for some of my shorter trips I would need to be conscious of how I pack and stow each item of gear.
I’m really trying to think of the first time I carried this pack. The first noticeable trip was my Earthwatch Expedition trip. The nature of this trip was such that you ended the trip heavier than when you started the project. What I mean is that part of the volunteer work involved collecting moose bone. Once we find the bone we carried it back to the Ranger Station. This often meant caring lots of heavy bone for miles at at time. Our final trip back from the filed I remember carrying a loaded pack in addition to several large moose skulls strapped to the back of my pack. Because this Eddie Bauer pack was designed for large loads it performed extremely well. I was really amazed how well the pack worked in this situation. None of the straps broke even with the additional weight. Of course we had the pack loaded beyond any normal capacity.
Another noteworthy trip was a backpacking/hiking trip to Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. I offered this pack to my cousin. Since the pack is so adjustable we were able to fit the pack to his torso size. We all carried more food and gear since the goal of this trip was to relax and enjoy the outdoors. I don’t remember doing any big miles during this trip. The pack performed well for my cousin who is a less experience backpacker. Because of the big cushy pads it is also a comfortable pack for a novice hiker. It feels more comfortable and holds the weight extremely well.
In 2011 my good friend Joe and I hiked the West Coast Trail on Vancouver Island. I choose to bring this pack because I was bringing heavier, bulky gear. Since this pack offers a lot of internal room I wanted a way to keep everything inside of the pack. After doing research on the WCT, I learned that it can become really wet. My experience has taught me that once gear gets wet it also swells and becomes heavier and more bulky. With this knowledge I choose to bring this pack so that I could accommodate the potentially wet heavier gear on this hike. I was not disappointed and the pack performed extremely well for this hike. I have also become very comfortable with this pack so I’m also prepared for how it will perform in various situations.
I still use this pack for overnighters such as a recent night on the Ice Age Trail. I also use the pack for test runs when I’m breaking in new shoes or testing other gear. Its a great second pack to lend out to friends and family because it is so adjustable and loaded with features.
CONCLUSION: As you can tell from the photos, I’ve loaded this pack up beyond any normal hiking conditions. The pack has performed extremely well and I’m completely happy with this pack. I still use this pack as my training pack. I also lend it out to friends and family because of its versatility.
Fuzzy Monkey Likes:
- Carries Heavy loads easily
- Tons of features
- Fully adjustable
Fuzzy Monkey Dislikes:
- Heavy pack for short hikes
- Top is difficult to get on and off
Fuzzy Monkey Approved: YES