GearToons

Hiking gear reviews for hikers with short attention spans.

Marmot Kompressor Ultra backpack

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I’ve been using this for day hiking for years. Its very lightweight, weighing only 24 ounces ( or 614 grams).  It has a capacity of 22 liters, or 1350 cubic inches.

The waist belt is removable, and you can also adjust it for comfort. But you better swallow your pride, because it can really accentuate that gut, son. Up top, you’ve got an adjustable sternum strap, with a loop you can feed your hydration tube through. Also, the shoulder straps are easily adjustable.

These straps are  what Marmot calls ‘Airmesh’. They’re made of lightweight contoured foam and have lots of tiny holes, so they really breathe.

Technically this is a frameless pack, but the molded foam padding on the back is rigid, yet comfy, and really gives it some shape, so you don’t feel like you’re wearing a garbage bag on your back. But it doesnt allow much airflow, so your back is gonna sweat.

In the front, there’s a big mesh pocket perfect for storing your ‘quick grab’ items, like a map or water filter or a snack. There are water bottle pockets on each side, made of stretchy elastic. There are three points of compression on this pack, one on each side above the water bottle pockets. And the third is in front that also holds the top lid down.There are also two sets of loops to hold a pair of ice axes or trekking poles. The top set is adjustable. I use them to secure my trekking poles when I’m not using them. Inside, there’s a sleeve built in for your hydration bladder, and the backing for it is removable. And the main compartment has a lockable draw string closure up top.

The Ultra Kompressor is constructed of double nylon ripstop material, so its very durable. I haven’t had one rip or tear in two years of use.

The top lid holds a zippered compartment that I store things like an survival blanket, personal first aid kit and a headlamp.  Theres’ also a mesh pocket for with a snap lock hook inside to hold your keys and your sweet mooolah.

I was asked once how this packs down as a summit bag. I believe the intention of the question was to ask if this will pack into a larger bag easy, so you can pull it out and continue further from camp, carrying only a minimal load. The Ultra Kompressor is about as easy to roll up and pack as a large, thick strip of cardboard. It won’t crush down very easily, so you’re better off packing it flat. However, I was able to get this down into a small 10 Liter stuff sack, so it’ll get smaller, sure, if you really need it to.

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