“What a weird back panel” is the first thought that popped into my head when I saw the redesigned Mountainsmith Wraith 25 Daypack. Mountainsmith redesigned the Wraith for 2012 and I had the chance to test it out and review it this summer.
Mountainsmith Wraith 25 Daypack Features
- Panel loading daypack with Breezeway™ Suspension system
- Diamond mesh air-flow foam shoulder straps with DWR anti-sweat finish
- Side compression straps with SR Buckle adjustment
- Removable 1 inch waistbelt
- Deep side panel mesh pockets fit fit SIGG™ and Nalgene® style water bottles
- Tool & dual trekking pole mount loops
- Front pocket internal organization panel
- Internal hydration sleeve and exit port accommodates up to 3L bladders (not included)
- Recommended Load – up to 25lbs (+/- 5 lbs)
- Volume: 1403 cu in
- Weight: 2lbs 6oz
- Fit Range: 16 – 21″
- Price: $99.95
Mountainsmith Wraith 25 Daypack Review
The first thing you’ll notice about the Mountainsmith Wraith 25 Daypack is the Breezeway™ Suspension system. The pack curves away from your back creating a “BreezeWay” with a padded, mesh back panel. It looks gimmicky but it actually works fairly well. It does increase airflow which is really nice. You’ll really notice the difference if it’s a breezy day. You’ll still get sweaty back but it won’t be as intense and you get a nice cooling effect from your sweat.
The downfall of the curved back panel is it all but renders the hydration sleeve useless. I was unable to get my 3L reservoir in the sleeve. First I tried with it full and it definitely wasn’t happening. I tried half and then empty. When it was empty I could get it fully into the sleeve, however, I would have to pull it partway out to fill it. Then I couldn’t get it back in. The sleeve is also so tight that I couldn’t get it to fill to the full 3L.
The shoulder straps are a light mesh. The goal here, again, is increased airflow. I didn’t notice that much of a difference but if I had one of the mesh shoulder straps and a different strap to compare at the same time I’m sure the difference would be more pronounced. I will say, though, that the shoulder straps are comfortable.
The Wraith is fairly voluminous for a daypack. For some reason it seemed larger then 25L. It gobbled everything I needed for a day hike with room to spare. Depending on how light you go it could be stretched into an ultralight overnight. It features one large, zippered compartment that contains a hydration sleeve that will fit up to a 3 liter reservoir (reservoir not included). If you have bulkier items you will have to fully unzip and unbuckle the side compression straps to get them in around the curving back panel. This is a little bit of a pain but not bad overall.
A small zippered pocket on the outside has a few organizer details for your small stuff and a key fob. I’ve learned to not underestimate the key fob. I have an innate fear of losing my keys out in the wilderness. Not having a key fob is almost a deal breaker for me. It’s odd but I was unnaturally excited when I saw the key fob on the Wraith.
A number of smaller features make the Wraith extremely versatile as a daypack. It features ice tool and dual trekking pole loops, the waist belt is easily removable, mesh side pockets are good for bottles, wet or extra clothing, and two daisy loops for lashing on gear. The tool/pole loops are small, easy to use, and don’t get in the way. The bottom loops are static so make note if the grips on your poles are wide. To get my in it was a bit of a squeeze.
The overall fit of a pack seems a little small. I don’t have a long torso but unless I really loosen the shoulder straps the waist belt always ends up too high. I think have it dialed in now but still seems a little small.
- Relatively lightweight
- Good feature set
- Curved back panel makes it nearly impossible to get a hydration reservoir in
- Fit seems a little small
- Takes more time to get the fit just right
Want an extremely versatile, comfortable daypack? Get the Mountainsmith Wraith 25 Daypack.