Customer Reviews: Chacabuco Pack 32L
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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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on April 14, 2012
Let me start by saying that I am a backpack fanatic. I spend hours a week looking at backpacks.... Osprey, Camelbak, Maxpedition, Mountain Hardware. I own more than I'd like to admit.

I've been looking for the perfect urban EDC bag for sometime, & then I came across this pack. I love this pack! It has all the right features... organization, pockets, space, durability, looks etc. The one thing I do not like about this pack are the straps. I wish Patagonia would have made them a little more thicker & more comfortable. It was almost a deal breaker for me until I figured out how to break these in.

I would do this the day you receive the pack to get the straps to be comfortable: Fill the bag with anything until it's a little heavier that it would be when you normally carry it around. Buy a wooden suit hanger (any Target or Wal Mart). Hang the pack on the hanger, making sure that the shoulder straps bend where your shoulders would be. Tie the pack down so that it will not slip out of place or slide on the hanger. Let it hang there for a day or two and then it will be ready to go. Makes a world of difference.

With the straps broken in, this is hands down my favorite pack to wear around the city. It can go anywhere from an outdoor festival to a nice restaurant. Perfect!
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on March 3, 2014
I'm a grad student and got the Patagonia Chacabuco to replace my 11 year old-North Face Recon bag. After 1 week, I found both bags have the same amount of carrying capacity, and I am very happy with it as a replacement! I agree with other reviews online that this bag is excellent for students, and can be used for everyday commuting, traveling, or for outdoor activities. I got the black version and really like the look of it. It rains a lot here in Seattle, and so I know the bag is definitely waterproof.

Tight, uncomfortable straps have been the major complaint of all online reviews I've seen. I cannot comment to this end because it is winter now and I wear a heavy coat every day. So far, I have not felt any discomfort whatsoever from carrying the backpack. We'll see what it's like come Spring/Summer!

However, the bag does have two minor flaws which have been stated in other online reviews I saw while researching the Chacabuco, and that I have now found to be 100% true upon purchasing it:

1) The drink pockets on the side are subpar compared to my old North Face Recon bag. The side pockets are loose and cannot be tightened, so slimmer water/coffee thermoses definitely slide out. Mine does so I just have to be aware of it more.

2) My old North Face Recon had a big front mesh pocket that you could stuff a whole jacket/fleece/jeans/etc in there. The Chacabuco's front straps would not be able to do that at all and, in my opinion, are kind of useless.

Also, the zippers are indeed very small compared to my old North Face Recon. This is not a flaw as they work perfectly fine, I just thought I'd mention it because I saw someone else online say they were annoyed by how small the zippers are, and initally I was too. Now that I'm used to them though it doesn't bother me at all.

Overall, I love the Patagonia brand and definitely recommend this bag for any and all uses. It is made out of great material, looks really cool, and I know it will last me for another 11 years or more!
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on November 11, 2013
I really like the quality of this pack and the features. It's been well over a year now, and everything still works well. I use it to carry my laptop and take it everywhere. I especially like going through airports with it and appreciate the chest strap and the low profile hip strap. This was my first Patagonia purchase and I would gladly recommend this pack for day use and casual travel.
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on February 12, 2016
The Patagonia Chacabuco 32L Backpack is the ideal bag for a college student who spends time outdoors and is in need of a versatile backpack they can use in multiple situations. Its sturdy design and convenient compartments make it a great bag around campus, as well as a functional pack for the casual outdoorsman. This review will evaluate the Patagonia Chacabuco backpack based on its durability and functionality.

The durability of a backpack is an all-important feature for students who use the pack daily for classes and on the weekend for outdoor adventures. The Patagonia Chacabuco bag has a durable and sturdy design; its multi-layer polyester outer shell keeps the bag from ripping even when packed full. The bag has maintained its form and strength, whether it’s filled with multiple textbooks or soaking wet camping gear. Even after owning the bag for a year of daily class and multi-day camping trips in the Cascade mountain range, the bag is just as strong as the day I bought it. While this persistent durability will cost you more than other similar bags, a worry-free lifetime guarantee gives you piece of mind about the price point of your purchase. This durability is essential for outdoorsy students looking for a backpack they can rely on trekking to class or through the mountains.

The Chacabuco bag has a functional design that makes it a worthy backpack for a day of hiking or studying. As a college student, I’ve relied on the backpack to haul my gear around campus during blustery weather conditions of the Midwest. The dedicated laptop pocket is cushioned with a waterproof layer that gives you peace of mind carrying your most expensive device out in the rain. This pocket is also large enough to store wet clothes during a hike and will keep it separate from the rest of the pack. Another essential practical feature of the backpack is the bungee cord along the front as can be seen in the pictures below. It allows you to easily lace a pair of shoes to the front that you don’t want in your backpack, whether they’re sweaty from a gym session or a day of hiking. The various functional features of the bag make it a must-have multi purpose backpack.

The Patagonia Chacabuco 32L backpack fits the mold for adventurous college students looking for a durable and functional bag they can rely on. The sturdy design makes it a great purchase that you will accompany you daily, both while you’re weathering a storm during a camping trip or weathering a storm of exams during finals week.
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on August 12, 2012
This is a great overnight/lite weekend backpack. I love everything about it.
The one thing that was missing was ....the whistle. This is a high quality must own bag.

Update: Having used this backpack for 6mos or so...I love it even more!!!
Super fit and finish, strong and can take a beating. I have had several other brands like the Swiss kind...NO COMPARISON.
I am so impressed I will purchace other Patigonia products in the future.
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on May 29, 2013
I looked at reviews here and elsewhere for months before I finally replaced a 12 year old EMS bag. Bought the North Face Surge 2. Decent pack but very "stiff" is the only way I can put it. I needed something:

Big enough to take 2 lunches, a change of clothes, a sweater, laptop, cords, kindle and other odds and ends with me to work nearly every day on my 60 mile commute via train bus and subway.

Nice looking enough for the office but rugged and versatile enough to be a hiking day-pack stuffed with everything an over-packer like me can think of.

Comfortable and well balanced to minimize back stress while commuting/hiking.

That protects a laptop very well.

With a waist buckle to shift a lot of the weight to my hips. I know many hate these/think they look dorky. To each their own but it makes a world of difference on the back. I think you can take them off if you want. Me though, I love the waist belt and had a hard time finding a good pack with one.

Check check check and check. Love this bag. Only had it a month so can't speak to longevity but it seems durable, but without the stiffness of some other bags.

It doesn't have the easy airport pocket feature that many bags advertise, but personally I didn't want that as I rarely ever fly and found the extra pocket feature just added bulk and is useless when I'm not travelling with a laptop - like on the weekend hiking. The laptop IS very well protected though in the dedicated internal sleeve. Well cushioned on all edges and sides and the bottom of the laptop sleeve is cushioned and "elevated" a bit off the base of the main bag compartment so if you put the bag down hard you're fine. And I dig that when not toting the laptop, the compartment just smooshes flat to allow me to cram more stuff in.

Some people have complained about he straps digging into shoulders or something. Everybody's body is shaped differently but I had zero problems (5-9 guy, average build) and I wear it for hours at a time often overstuffed, and I find the straps very comfortable and the back cushioning is nice as well.

I could see a frequent airport traveller maybe wanting a pack with that easy open sleeve feature but it's not like sliding the laptop out of the sleeve within the main compartment is particularly hard or time consuming.

In sum, highly recommended from someone hard to please with backpacks.

Oh, P.S. you can find this cheaper and in different colors elsewhere online.
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on April 5, 2014
This backpack is very beautiful and light. However, it is not ergonomic, specially since its back side is not hard. If you have back problems, I do not suggest this backpack.
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on February 23, 2013
Love how it travels from car to bus to subway, doesn't tip over if
I set it down and is a good width.
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on January 31, 2013
I needed a certain size. I needed durability. I won with this purchase. Best item I've ever bought, hands down.
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on September 23, 2014
Great pack for carry-on with space for laptop. Doubles as a great day pack for walking about city or campus.
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