Sometimes we get to test and provide feedback on the gear we shoot. That was the case this summer on a project for REI that showcased a new line of hydration packs from CamelBak. We spent some quality time with the new men’s Franconia LR 24 and Women’s Sundowner LR 22 in the mountains near our home in Southcentral Alaska. Here are a couple thought’s we had about the packs. You can read a full review of the Franconia and Sundowner at REI.
“Pulling CamelBak’s new hydration daypack out of the box, my first impression was ‘wow, this thing is hefty’. The Franconia LR 24 is a daypack and a hydration pack, but it’s the Cadillac of those categories. It’s full of features found on most big backpacking rigs such as load lifters on the shoulder straps, a generous hip belt with expandable pockets and compression straps to bring the load closer into your back. All of this points to the ability to carry a good sized load and with over 20-iters (1,250 cu in) of capacity, that’s a real option.”
“Overall I found the Sundowner to be better than most daypacks on the market today. It’s a useful size at 22-liters; not too big and not too small. Heck we’ve done overnighters with 25-liter packs and a minimalist kit. The construction appears well done and it should stand up to years of use. The Sundowner is also a versatile option for those that want a ‘do it all’ day pack. Even though it will excel on trail hikes or scrambling to the top of craggy peaks, this pack also performs well on a mountain bike ride.”