Mountainsmith outdoor products are designed in Golden, Colorado which is only a couple of miles from where I grew up. I love that this review hits so close to home. For this product review, I tested the Tour lumbar pack.
What is a lumbar pack? It is Mountainsmith's quintessential waist pack that pioneered this product category almost 35 years ago. Don't call it a fanny pack or a bum bag. It is far from that. Instead, this pack has made me rethink what it means to travel light in the mountains. Read on to find out more about this great piece of gear that should be in every outdoor enthusiast's gear quiver.
Mountainsmith Tour Lumbar Pack
Colors: Heritage Black, Otter Brown, Deep Blue, Lichen, and Asphalt Grey
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (5/5) Comfort & Fit
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (5/5) Versatility
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (5/5) Durability
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (5/5) Value
Overall Rating: 5.0
Overall, it was a great experience using the Mountainsmith Tour Lumbar pack for hiking. Keep reading to find out what I carried in it and how it performed in each of the rating categories.
First impressions out of the box were solid. What I mean is that the pack felt well designed and it wasn't as heavy as it looked. Every inch of this pack was well thought through when it was built and the materials used were top-notch. I could tell right away that I was in for a treat.
As Mountainsmith would say, the Tour pack is "Forged For Life" meaning that it is built to last just like all of their other products. Their commitment to durability is impressive and it is visible in both the materials and craftsmanship used in this pack.
The fabric used in the production of this pack is Cordura® HP. When compared to other popular materials like nylon or poly, it excels in both abrasion resistance and anti-tear strength. It is also water resistant. The material is firm, yet very comfortable when the pack is worn.
The waist belt is well padded, soft, and flexible for a great fit. It has a high level of comfort and includes a small zipper pocket on the right side which is great for a compass, a mobile phone or a small satellite communicator.
Using the included shoulder belt, a consumer can add additional stability by throwing it over one shoulder and cinching it down. This belt also adds an additional level of comfort while on the trail. Throw it over one shoulder with the waist belt tucked in and it doubles as a carry bag for around town.
The Tour pack is extremely versatile. On one of my hikes, I was able to carry water, portable stove, fuel, base layer, fire starter, compass, mobile phone, and a puffy jacket. I had additional room for other small items in the main compartment, inner sanctum™, and in the front zipper pocket.
My favorite feature of this pack is the ability to shrink down and tighten up the load with the bottom panel compression straps. They can also double as a spot to carry an alpine bivy.
Mountainsmith left nothing out of this pack. It includes easy to use pull tabs on the zippers, an internal clip for keys, front panel bungee system, and two large handle straps on the top for easy hand carrying. They literally thought of everything with the features of this pack. Oh, and I almost forgot. The interior yellow fabric makes it easy to see things inside the pack, especially at dusk and dawn when the light is flat. This and the features listed below are a fantastic feature set for such a small pack!
The only feature that I felt was unnecessary was the pass through headphones port. With technology these days, it seems like the majority of people now have bluetooth headphones so this would not be needed in most cases.
An added bonus for this pack would be to include a small, packable rain cover. That would make me more comfortable tossing in my DSLR camera or an extra lens.
It's not obvious at first, but the outer bungee cord is perfect for stuffing a jacket onto the outside of the pack so that it doesn't take up precious internal pocket space. Simply scrunch up a jacket, place it under the bungee cord and cinch it down.
Here's a quick list of features on the Tour lumbar pack direct from the Mountainsmith website:
- Backpanel stash pocket ideal for securing passport, boarding pass, etc.
- Patented Delta Compression System load adjustment
- Side reinforcement bottle pockets (Fit up to 32oz)
- Inner Sanctum™ interior zippered compartment for small valuables
- Front panel bungee attachment system
- Zippered front panel pocket with key clip
- Bottom panel compression straps
- Bright yellow lining promotes interior visibility
- Strapette compatible (sold separately)
- Headphone port
- Bar tack reinforcements
- YKK® Zippers
- 3M™ Reflective Cord
- 610d Cordura® HP
- 210d Nylon Embossed Liner
- 11.5" x 10" x 5" / 29 x 25 x 13 (L x H x D)
- Waistbelt Width: 1.5"
- Waistbelt Circumference: 28" - 48"
- 550 cubic inches / 9 L
- Up to 12 lbs
- 1lb 9 oz / 0.73 kg
Pros & Cons:
- Affordable price
- Great design
- Comfortable fit
- Lots of functional features
- No rain cover included
Mountainsmith Tour Lumbar Pack. A classic pack that can be taken on trail, travel, and everyday adventures. It is durable, reliable, comfortable, and carries the perfect amount of gear to support all of your favorite activities.
Order this great pack here.
➳ Outdoor Prolink provided equipment and associated materials for this review.
All photos are a courtesy of LaGuardia Adventure Photography. That's me!