Mountainsmith Day TLS Pack Review

Posted in Gear Reviews, Hiking, Outdoor Gear by Eric Miller - 05.22.2013

I’ve been a Mountainsmith Day Pack user for the past 10 years.  I’m a fan.  I used mine throughout college for books, dayhikes, as a travel pack, and myriad of other uses.  So you can imagine how excited I was was Mountainsmith sent me the updated Mountainsmith Day TLS Pack to test and review.

Mountainsmith Day TLS Pack Features & Specs

  • Lumbar Control Point Pad
  • Delta Compression System Waistbelt Adjustment
  • Side Mesh Pockets On Waistbelt
  • Bottom Compression Straps
  • iPad Compatbile Main Compartment Carry (Day and Tour)
  • Diamond airmesh foam with
  • DWR anti-sweat finish
  • Low profile side bottle pockets
  • Removable shoulder strap
  • Padded sleeve for iPad / iPod / Netbook
  • Lumbar Control Point pad
  • Tuck-away waistbelt
  • Patented Delta Compression System
  • Inner Sanctum interior zippered compartment for small valuables
  • Strapette compatible (sold separate)
  • Dimension: (L x H x D): 13 x 12 x 8″
  • Weight: 1 lb 12 oz / .8 kg
  • Volume: 854 cubic inches / 14 liter
  • Capacity: Up to 15 lbs
  • 450d ReForge PET RipStop body fabric (100% Recycled)
  • 420d Duramax Nylon
  • 210d RipStop Liner
  • Price:  $84.95

Mountainsmith Day TLS Pack Review

The Mountainsmith Day TLS Pack isn’t your weird uncle’s fanny pack.  It doesn’t carry spare change, tokens for the bus, or Kleenex.  Glad we got that out the way.

One of the reasons why I like the Day so much is it gives you the capacity of a smaller daypack but it doesn’t give you the shoulder fatigue or the sweaty back like your typical backpack.  You can fully rely on the waistbelt to carry all of the weight if you’d like.

The waistbelt is cushy and comfortable.  It’s not bulky but it has the right amount of padding to help ease the weight but it still conforms to your hips for a solid fit.  The waistbelt does tuck way for the time when you don’t want it flapping around (like going through the airport).

The Day TLS features a two compartment design:  the large main compartment and the smaller front compartment.  Most of the capacity is in the main open compartment.  It does feature a small, zippered pouch to hold valuables or small items.  The inner is a bright yellow fabric to help with visibility.  It also features a padded sleeve big enough for an iPad or a netbook.  The front compartment is just one big, zippered pocket.  It does have my favorite tiny feature:  the key fob.  I have a weird paranoia about losing my keys in the backcountry so I’m always happy to see the key fob.

The exterior is surprisingly feature heavy for being such a small pack.  On the front you have a bungee for stashing your coat or other smallish soft items, bottom compression straps that could also fit smallish soft items, two water bottle pockets, dual carry handles, shoulder strap, two mesh pockets on the waist belt, and a hidden open pocket behind the backpanel.  

A quick note on the water bottle pockets:  they are big enough to fit a Nalgene, however, with the elastic tops one-handed entry with the pack strapped is a bit of a chore.

Mountainsmith also included some reflective accents for extra nighttime visibility on the bungee cord and the shoulder strap pad.  The strap pad is very comfy but I found when hiking that it would shift out of position with normal hiking motions.

Mountainsmith also gets extra points for using recycled materials in the Day.

One of my favorite features of Mountainsmith is durability.  They design packs that last.  My 10 year old Day is going as strong as it did on day 1.  I expect the Day TLS to do the same.

The Good

  • No sweaty back
  • Good feature set
  • Quality

The Bad

  • Lumbar (if you’re not into that sort of thing)
  • Shoulder strap pad shifts around
  • Water bottle pockets are hard to put bottles into with the pack strapped on

Bottom Line:

Break out of your backpack comfort zone with the Day TLS.  It’ll give you the versatility you need from a small daypack without the shoulder fatigue or sweaty back.

Buy Now: Pick up the Mountainsmith Day TLS Pack


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