First Impressions

I’ve purchased my share of gear from REI. Everything from skis and boots for the kids, apparel of all types, shoes, luggage, you name it. But I have typically steered clear of the REI branded items. No real reason why, just passed up the company’s stuff for the name brands. That all changed recently when I was in the market for a new daypack. As usual, I shopped around and ultimately chose the REI Traverse 30.

Out of the box, the Traverse 30 presents solid, somewhat minimalist construction. It’s a low profile design that I like quite a bit.


Even though this pack has a low-profile design, it packs a lot into the available space. It boasts 30 liters of capacity, two pockets on the top of the pack and two additional vertical pockets on the back panel. There are stretch mesh water bottle pockets on each side, and another pocket on the hip belt. There are cinch straps for tying down hiking poles or other items you want to carry on the pack’s exterior and a set of compression straps to keep everything compact. Inside the main compartment is a sleeve for the removable frame sheet and a hydration bladder. Also inside you’ll find a reference to the 10 Essentials for Survival as a nice reminder as you load up for a hike.


The REI Traverse 30 has a myriad of adjustments and can be dialed to fit just about anyone from what I can tell. The shoulder straps have a nice amount of padding and typical adjustments. There are load lifters to help tailor the ride. There’s a sternum strap (which has a built-in whistle) and hip belt. The back is an egg crate made out of recycled material to help ventilate and pad the load.

Final Verdict

I’m impressed with the Traverse 30. It’s rugged without being too heavy. There’s plenty of storage for a day on the trail; boo coo pockets that’ll swallow first aid kits, headlamps and the like; and more than enough adjustments. It’s a little pricey at nearly $80, but if you can find it on sale, buy it. This is now my go-to daypack.

Available only at REI.

First Impressions:
[Rating:5/5] Features:
[Rating:5/5] Fit:
[Rating:5/5] Final Verdict:

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