- Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 11.5 x 28 inches ; 4.81 pounds
- Shipping Weight: 5.2 pounds
- Domestic Shipping: Item can be shipped within U.S.
- International Shipping: This item is not eligible for international shipping. Learn More
- ASIN: B009408XI8
- Item model number: 13-50100-63
- Average Customer Review: 19 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #782,024 in Sports & Outdoors (See Top 100 in Sports & Outdoors) Product Warranty: For warranty information about this product, please click here
Mountainsmith Apex 80 Backpack
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- This expedition pack is loaded with performance, organization and carrying comfort
- Features parallel Y-Frame adjustable suspension
- The front panel pocket fits Ten Essentials with zippered access to main compartment
- Separate sleeping bag compartment
- Side panel mesh pockets fits water bottles
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Our largest All Terrain expedition pack's loaded with performance, organization and carrying comfort for your next backcountry adventure. Feel the miles pass with ease.
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Anyhow, I was hesitant to order this size as I am a 6'6" 250 lbs guy who's clothes are bigger and more voluminous than many (the Apex 100 was my alternative option). Anyhow, upon first arrival I was immediately worried that it would be insufficiently large. The bag was very light for its size and just didn't seem roomy. I then took it too the linens closet and started adding a fluffy winter comforter that is queen sized... After the THIRD fluffy queen sized comforter was fully put into the bag my size worries were immediately dispelled. It fills up massively. I was on the fence between this bag and the black Apex 100 which can expand to 114 liters. After seeing how much the Apex 80 can hold I can confidently say that if you can fill it up completely for a trip... you're doing something wrong... (not to mention the fact that the Apex 80 and Apex 100 have the same weight limit of 75 lbs).
I love the 3 side entrance to the main "cavern". It has a water bladder slot inside as well which I found somewhat unclear in descriptions. The lid can be removed and worn like a satchel (not a backpack unfortunately, but I was extremely happy it could be removed as many bags don't have that feature; so I won't knock a star). It also has a handle at the top of the bag so you can one hand it for maneuvering when it isn't on your back. It also has straps at the bottom of the bag for a tent or a sleeping pad. It has hip-pockets on the belt, which is a pleasant surprise because I expressly recall reading a review where a reviewer said there were none. That said, they are just mesh and have no way to close them (as in no Velcro or zipping).
Now, upon first inspection, as someone who torments their college backpacks so much that they needed replacing at least once a semester (until I finally stumbled upon Swiss brand school backpacks (they rock!)), I had just a few concerns. I was worried the compression straps were too weak where they connected to the bag. It is difficult to describe, but they simply connect to the bag directly instead of a load distributing trapezoidal shape. Almost a little upset I immediately visited R.E.I. to see what other options I may have had. What I found was that literally every bag does that, so I immediately felt relieved and dismissed this worry.
As far as fit, it fits really well. I found that it is completely customizable. It felt terrible when I first put it on and I was a little concerned but I realized that literally everything could be moved or adjusted. So I dropped the straps (my height is in my legs, not my torso) and found out how to adjust the hip belt and adjusted the straps at the top of the shoulder straps and bam, fit like a glove. And I could immediately tell that carrying alot of weight wouldn't be a problem.
I was also worried that I wouldn't fit in the hip-belt, but there is plentyyy of room. I'm a size 38 but I'd say up to 50 isn't a problem, possibly even more.
All in all, it seems like a great bag. I'll update here on short term durability in September when I get back from my 3 month trip through Europe. And then in a few years again. I'm a brand for life kind-of person so if it doesn't last for years you'll hear about it and I'll jump off the Mountainsmith ship. And if it does last a few rough years, then Mountainsmith will have a customer for life.
A bit of instructions regarding adjustment would be nice. I'm a pretty big guy on the upper end of the size for this bag, it came set to the smallest possible setting, and without even so much as a little slip of paper dropped in making the adjustments so it didn't seem like I had a moderately sized angry mammal on my back trying to bash my brains in was less than simple since they've overhauled the system and it doesn't adjust like my old bag.
The sleeping bag compartment, while more than spacious enough to hold my SnugPak Antarctica, has just a little square of material between it and the main compartment. This does leave room to stuff some longer items down in there, but it also can lead to stuff settling and finding its way down into the bottom so it can be difficult to access. There is a mesh division between the back pocket and the main bag so stuff can be separated to avoid this, and there are always stuff sacks, but the gap is rather larger than I expected.
This is going to be my go-to winter bag. In summer with much lighter and smaller gear I use the Mountainsmith Approach. It made such a good impression that when I replaced my old winter pack I went looking for the same brand and this does not disappoint.