- Buyer's Guide
In the short time I had to use it, The Shasta Weather Defense pack by Outdoor Products was impressive and left me thinking it’s a pretty cool bag. In short, highlights are that it’s incredibly affordable and brings a lot of function to your carry arsenal.
At 30 litres (1,212 cu in) the bag is a great addition to any wet weather adventure or water sports. I picture its best use to be canoe trips with portages or rafting or mostly any activity where your gear WILL get wet, possibly submerged. (Keen to know more about Water Resistant vs Waterproof? Click here)
The bag is simple, as it should be, and that is what keeps the price low. It offers a large, roll top sealed, main compartment that you can feel confident will protect the most moisture sensitive gear. Made with 420 Denier thermoplastic polyurethane coated fabric, a staple of the bag industry, the bag isn’t light but it’s a quality pack that’s reliable and durable.
The bag opens up from the top with ample fabric for four or more rolls. This extra space can be filled up with gear if needed or if the bag doesn’t need to be waterproof you can just leave it unrolled. Aside from the main compartment, a large vertical waterproof zipper runs up the front of the pack for your more frequently needed items. This pocket is small but would fit a rain jacket or some trail mix. Although I personally enjoy the roll top because it seems more reliable than zippers, it can become a hassle if you find yourself trying to get into the pack a lot.
The basic yet comfortable shoulder straps can be easily adjusted to fit various shapes and sizes of users. Although you will bottom out at the shoulder straps eventually, the bag does offer some flexibility on size. The top of the bag has one inch webbing and some other material to give it structure and makes putting gear inside much easier. Not sure what the secondary structure material is but it works! I like this feature and am often annoyed by the floppy nature of most roll top style bags but this bag actually stands up and remains open on it’s own.
The moulded back panel is soft yet provides support and protection. It is one large piece of foam that has been shaped to contour the back, removing excess material. It has extra raised pads at the common pressure points and some air vent space. Two large vertical strips of Velcro connect it to the main compartment and allow for its removal or customisation. The back panel also sandwiches the foam hip belt onto the pack, making for a very easy removal if desired.
The bag also has adjustable elastic cord trekking pole loops and a few reflective patches as well as a sternum strap
I took the pack on two hikes outside of Denver this fall, both time hoping for and prepared for rain. Unfortunately, it didn’t rain – not something usually said about hiking. I did get a chance to test out the waterproof fabric and zipper in a small creek and logged a respectfully challenging hike to the tree-line. I found the pack to be comfortable on both hikes and provided plenty of space for my clothing, food, and camera gear.
In conclusion, it is a nice, affordable, secure waterproof bag. I see the best use for the pack being canoe or raft trips. The type of activity that is more about the waterproof abilities of the pack instead of the carrying, but it wasn’t bad at that either.
This Drive By was a guest post from by Benjamin Landry. A man from The Northwoods, Ben enjoys canoeing, hiking, and biking. He also likes designing the products that make that stuff fun.