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  • Writer's pictureCliff Jacobson

REVIEW: Exped Torrent Pack

Sometimes a product comes along that's done “just right”. The new Exped 30/40/50 series Torrent dry packs are one of them. The number (30, 40, 50) indicates the volume in liters. The 30 liter model I received for review is ideal for day trips or go-light over-nights. At first look, this pack appear to be just another dry bag with shoulder straps and hip belts. But look deeper and you’ll discover that serious thought has been put into the design and construction.

Heading the list is the heavyweight, super-tough, waterproof 840D Oxford Nylon fabric. Drag this pack across the rocks, toss it into your canoe, again and again. It’s tough and built to stay that way for a very long time.

Anatomically curved shoulder straps, ventilated padded hip and back pads and a hip belt make for a very comfortable carry. Did I say that I hate hip-belts for canoeing? No matter; this one is easily removable.

The waterproof closure follows the industry standard: close and roll down the top opening then secure the roll with the two Fastex clips. For added security a nylon strap runs over the sealed roll. Interestingly, it secures to a webbing loop with a clever metal clip, not the usual plastic Fastex buckle. The clip is compact, neat-looking and fail-proof. Need to attach something to the outside of your pack? No worries, there are 18, yes, eighteen(!) reinforced nylon loops—six on each side of the pack and six along the center. Exped even provides two carabineers, so you’re set to go. The biners are slotted at one end so they stay put on the loops. How thoughtful!

Now here’s the really cool part: Say you’re slogging down a trail, double-packing, when suddenly your Torrent pack takes a fall—like 50 feet into a rocky ravine. It lands “closure down” on a rock and one of the Fastex buckles, which seals the mouth, breaks. What to do? With a conventional dry bag you might be out-of-luck, but the Torrent provides an easy out: just mount the two carabineers on opposing top loops on the sides of the pack, then roll down the opening and clip the undamaged plastic D-rings to the biners. If the D-rings are damaged, clip into the loops. Admittedly, this is an unlikely scenario, but “stuff happens” on mean backcountry trips, so this is pretty cool!

Features: There’s a netted interior pocket and a snap (presumably for keys), and a nylon haul strap on the yoke. Nitpicks? Just one: A second haul strap on the bottom would speed loading/unloading in solo canoes where packs are often laid flat and secured under thwarts.

Bottom line: Great pack! Simple but proven design; tough enough for serious trips; absolutely waterproof and designed to stay that way through the rough and tumble of many mean trips. I really like this pack!

Cliff Jacobson

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