product review: REI co-op traverse 65 backpack.

EDIT6 When deciding to make the important decision of purchasing a backpack, there are a few factors that I carefully considered first...

  1. Do I like the way it feels -- first and foremost. If it doesn't FEEL good, you'll know it.
  2. Frame type -- I personally prefer the internal frames because of comfort. They just feel better, no big steel poles poking around and I can get a closer fit to my body this way.
  3. Pockets and storage space -- I want multiple places to put things. Easy access zippers for my camera and chap-stick are key.

So with all these things in mind, we headed to REI in search of THE PACK. I tried on a few different ones and had a sales associate assist which was very helpful. She measured my size and we went from there. Stuffing packs with sand weight right and left, I probably tried on 5.

It's almost like a girl trying on her wedding dress (or so I've heard), you just kind of "know" when it's the "one". And I did, I just knew. It felt right, had multiple pockets, and the top even comes off and becomes a day-pack. And that was it: $239 later I had found my pack.

The REI Co-op Traverse 65.


That same weekend we hit the trails and went camping. I carried so much in the pack I'm not even sure how it all fit in there. About 2 miles in, I was thankful I got it. The weight rests completely on my hips and conforms to my body. It's like I just weigh 50 pounds more, and yes it's still heavy.


One of my favorite aspects of the pack is how the zipper in the body unzips at the middle. I can easily unzip it and pull out exactly what I need i.e. my camera. If packed correctly, you can position all of your things as you need them and this little feature provides an ease of access.


On this particular trip I had placed my sleeping bag at the bottom because I had packed so much food it wouldn't fit anywhere else...I'm learning. The point is, the options are endless and the versatility of this pack is what really drew me to getting it. My boyfriend has the male version and he feels the same way.

The hip-belt is adjustable and has two zippered pouches that fit my chap-stick perfectly. :) Two long zippered pouches on the front are also very convenient for quick access. There are places for your hiking poles, a rain cover, and so much more.


Upon returning from our first adventure with this pack, I still felt 100% solid on my decision in buying it. I was only sore from the hiking, not from the pain of rubbing straps against my shoulders and back. The pack held up to it's name and price.

Peep it here: