EVERGOODS Mountain Quick Draw 24L Review
EVERGOODS has been in the headlines a lot recently with the release of their CHZ22, but that’s not why I’m writing you. I’ve been toting the Mountain Quick Draw 24L all spring and summer and felt like it was about time to give the official word on this crossover sportster.
Like I said in the MPL review, EVERGOODS does an extremely good job of showing these packs off via their social and website, so I’m going to focus on my experience with the pack, how I’ve been wearing it and hopefully help you edge out a decision on whether or not the MQD is right for you.
The MQD is extremely utilitarian, appealing if you live an active, outdoor lifestyle. The convenience of the cam-action closure cannot be overstated. If you’re really into things that work and see beauty in simplicity, you’ll probably dig this bag.
I hardly ever use the side zipper access. My packing style, the ease of the quick draw mechanism, and the fact that it’s only 24 liters hardly gives me reason to go for the side zip – but it’s a nice addition all the same.
The 420d HT nylon has worn well, is water resistant enough that I’ve not had issues over two seasons, and hasn’t shown signs of slowing down yet.
I’m not nice to my things, but the MQD continues to thrive. I really would like to see this in some different colorways; I would have jumped on one in red for sure.
The silhouette of this bag is just about perfect. It’s a little smaller at the bottom and subtly increases in diameter through the top collar of the bag. It’s narrow, athletic and agile, and the shoulder straps are unnoticeable while I’m hiking – that’s about as high of praise shoulder straps can get.
I fed some cordage through the hydration port just to demonstrate that design feature. I clipped a whistle there just messing around – in real world situations, I’d wear the whistle on my person.
The layout of the pockets is spot on.
The small top pocket is just large enough and accessible while you’re wearing the pack.
The internal mesh envelope pocket is a bit narrow but big enough for cords, bars and maps.
I particularly dig the internal probe pockets; very discreet.
The stretch woven pocket on the face of the pack is exactly as it should be. Where else would you put a large stretch woven stuff pocket? Cleverly, the stretch woven material is doubled over on itself, so there are no seams or raw edges to pucker over use, and two full pieces of stretch woven give it a nice confident feel and clean appearance.
The contoured bottom panel is where things start to get complicated for me…
Not So Good
I had a really hard time getting the bag to fit me in a way that I wasn’t making compromises. This isn’t uncommon for a fixed yoke pack, but it can be a little prohibitive if you’re really getting after it.
I’m 6’1″ and float around 190 lbs. these days. The way the pack is patterned, the bottom panel and lumbar support are designed with specific, fixed curves. The contoured back paneling and the curved lumbar area with isolated hip wings just won’t line up to my body.
I laid a trekking pole alongside the back panel to illustrate just how much contour the back panel has to it.
I removed the frame sheet to get a little more play, but still, I’m definitely making compromises. I choose to wear mine up high to fit my upper back rather than lower to fit to my lumbar.
The heaviest loads I shouldered in the MQD were during grocery trips. On one occasion, I hauled about 35 pounds two miles. I never fatigued because of poor fit, but I gotta admit I’m super bummed I can’t get this dialed.
Another note related to fit is the overfill ability. I found that the bag tends to get top heavy if you aren’t careful. Because the max height of the bag is so much higher than the yoke (where the shoulder straps attach to the back panel) you can get quite a bit of weight above that line. Certainly not an issue around town, but on the trail and over uneven terrain, it would be noticeable.
For nearly all of my wear, I ditched the hip belt. If I were skiing or scrambling, I can see where the belt would be nice to have, but it’s really just there to keep the load secured. Even when hiking, though, I found it unnecessary. The bag’s just not big enough to merit one for my use.
I ditched the sternum strap, too. Both straps live in the interior mesh pocket for the most part – nice to know they’re there if I need them.
Alternatives to Consider
The alpine sack design has been around for a long time and there are a bunch of iterations out there. None that I’m aware of really crossover in the way EVERGOODS has so intentionally done but here are a few of the notable comparisons.
Patagonia Ascensionist 30: Arguably one of the best 30-liter, minimalist alpine packs around. The Ascensionist line gained popularity thanks in large part to its simplicity and closure mechanism.
Arc’teryx Alpha FL 30: While the Alpha FL 30 is way more technical, at its core, it has a very similar feature set when compared to the MQD. The FL lacks internal organization, but boasts some darn near alien textiles and a waterproof stash pocket.
It’s a darned good pack for what it is. EVERGOODS’ take on the simple alpine sack is unsurprisingly thoughtful and wonderfully efficient in its design. From the silhouette and shoulder straps to the fabric and the layout, everything is intuitive, minimal and convenient.
Sadly, it isn’t a perfect fit for my body type. Although, I’m not sure that will prevent me from reaching for it when outdoor ramblings are on the agenda. It’s small enough, and the loads are light enough, that it’s not a total deal breaker.