As you all know, I’m going to Alaska this August. When I’m there I’m going to obviously spending most of my time outdoors, in fact make that all of my time outdoors. My old scout troop that I’m going with is camping the entire time. The killer of course is that when I aged out I still had some of the same gear that I had when I had aged IN to the troop. 8 years of use is amazing, however I needed quite a few upgrades. Needless to say I got quite a few upgrades this past Christmas, and since it’s finally high time to be doing all of my outdoor-related activities I can finally test out my toys.
With that in mind, expect quite a few outdoor/camping gear related reviews in the near future! The first is my 8 Liter Coleman Revel.
So far I have done one 5 mile hike and quite a few short walks with Loki using this pack. Now obviously it’s a small day pack with a hydration component attached to it so it’s not going to be able to hold more than a day trip’s amount of gear. If you’re looking for something to pack your gear in for an entire camp out I suggest you look at my backpack guide instead.
I’m not going to give you any sort of numerical score or whatnot with this review. I’m just going to simply chunk my review into categories and give you a list of what I like or dislike about the pack (and whether or not I think it’s worth buying) at the end of the post. Let’s begin!
The pack itself has 2 adjustable straps to secure the pack onto you; one at the chest and the other near the stomach. They’re just standard nylon backpack straps and are completely unnoticeable after a couple of minutes of activity.
Aside from that you have your standard arm straps which are padded on the side that faces the user. These also are adjustable to fit the user’s height perfectly. One size fits all basically, which is rather convenient.
The same padding is used on the entire back side of the pack which once again is extremely comfortable. There are holes throughout the padding to provide for air circulation throughout the pack so not to overheat the user. Seriously you can tell the difference with the padding, hell I almost forget I have a pack on when I’m on walks with Loki and I am not carrying a noticeable amount of weight (less than 5 lbs).
Cleaning the bladder takes a few minutes and a bit of time letting the pack sit outside. Here are the instructions from the official site that I use to clean mine. It’s quick, simple, and most importantly, cheap!
As this is a tiny day pack it is EXTREMELY easy to store. I keep the bag in my room and it takes up practically no space. It packs down extremely thin (3-4in thickness at most) when there is no water in the bladder/items in the bag. You can even hang it on a hook due to the handle on the top of the bag.
I’ve already figured out that I can attach it to my normal camping backpack if I wanted to. Hell I can fit it INSIDE of the bag, it’s like bagception!
The bladder holds 2 Liters of liquid . This is approximately 3 bottles of water, but obviously it’s not limited to only water. Personally though I question your sanity if you’re putting anything else in the pack, but hey it’s your choice. Regardless, this is a fair amount of water for any hike as I probably go through about 2 bottles of water on a decent 5 mile hike.
In all seriousness though, you’re probably questioning why you’d ever need two packs for a camping trip. At face value it’s sort of a weird concept, however these two packs serve completely different purposes. First you have your main backpack, this holds all your camping gear. The Revel is for small day trips/hikes around wherever you decide to go for the day. This allows you to bring any gear you’d need in addition to about 3 bottles of water without having to lug that giant pack around.
The only confusing part I found about the bag was that it’s called an 8 liter bag and only has a 2 liter bladder. This means that in total it can hold 8 liters of anything. If you have the bladder full with 2 liters of liquid, then you can carry 6 liters of equipment. Basically you just have to be conscious with what you need to bring and what you CAN bring.
Quite obvious a hiking pack with a hydration system attached to it is extremely useful. Now take that idea and compact it into something that is maybe a foot and a half long and a foot wide and you have yourself a bag with extreme mobility.
The bag holds 2 liters of liquid which is generally enough for a hike or short day trip. Plus you’ll most likely be able to refill it sometime during your excursion anyways. It fits about 3 bottles of water worth of water, which is a rather large amount of space saved. Most importantly, it allows one to have free use of their hands while hiking and still be able to drink.
There are 3 separate compartments to store things in. One in the very front which is extremely small which allows for storage of very small items such as knives, your wallet, small amounts of rope, etc. The middle compartment is the largest portion of the bag allowing you to throw pretty much anything you desire in there. It’s only approximately 3in wide when expanded to its fullest so keep that in mind. Lastly is the last pouch which holds the bladder. This expands or contracts with the size of the bladder, so the more water in the bladder the smaller the compartment.
NOTE: The more water you carry, the less room you have to store your gear.
Pros: Holds a decent amount of water, plenty of storage for day hikes, easy to clean, easy to store, extremely comfortable to wear.
Cons: The name does give way for some confusion as one assumes at first it’s 8 liters of water
I strongly recommend the Coleman Revel 8L as it was actually extremely difficult to find anything I disliked about the pack! As I said the pack was a gift, but I did look online and found that it was $28.99 at Target which for a day pack like this is actually not a bad price at all! If you’re someone who goes on even a decent amount of hikes, I’m sure this pack will be an excellent piece of equipment for you as it allows a more compact way to store water and completely frees up your hands during your excursions.
’til next time!