Hiking Gear Travel

REI Trail 40 Hiking Daypack In-Depth Review

In This Information
  • Why the REI Trail 40?
  • The Different Daypack Choices
  • What Makes the REI Trail 40 Nice
  • What Kinds of Hikes Can You Use It On?
  • Function Walkthrough
  • REI Trail 40 Video

The REI Trail 40 is my go-to backpack for day hikes and weekend overnights. Discovering the suitable daypack was robust; there have been a whole lot of choices to take a look at. In the long run, the REI Trail 40’s many positives outweighed a couple of minor downsides. The REI Trail 40 is as mild as packs half its measurement, has loads of room to retailer gear and is properly thought out with tons of sensible options for anybody hitting the path. Oh, and it really works nice as a carry-on bag for journey too. Right here’s why I really like the REI Trail 40 after months of testing.

Notice: REI up to date this pack (Sep 2018) – at present testing the brand new model. You possibly can see which pack that I’m utilizing now on my gear web page.

Why The REI Trail 40?

Rei Trail 40 and Cris HazzardRight here’s the REI Trail 40 out within the wild. It has all the things I want for an ideal climbing backpack.

I went on the hunt for a brand new daypack after my previous goto pack, the Camelback Fourteener 24, acquired discontinued. My standards for an ideal daypack is:

  • It could possibly carry all of the gear I would wish for any day hike, whether or not a brief jaunt or a 20 mile+ hike in harsh circumstances like Cactus to Clouds.
  • It will possibly maintain a 3L hydration bladder and at the least two extra 1.5L water bottles (like those you possibly can decide up at any fuel station) for a complete of 6L of water storage.
  • It’s mild and cozy.
  • It has outdoors pockets for straightforward entry to snacks, a GPS, and so forth.

The REI Trail 40 is the perfect daypack I’ve ever owned. – REI Reviewer

Different Daypacks That I Examined

Rei Trail 40 1The daypack decisions may be overwhelming. I examined a bunch so that you simply don’t should.

Listed here are the opposite packs that I examined and the way they examine to the REI Trail 40.

  • Camelbak Fourteener – I had the previous model of this pack and liked it. The brand new model is somewhat beefier and has double hip belts. It wasn’t as snug as the primary model for me, and it has solely half the capability of the REI Trail 40.
  • Camelbak MULE – This was an amazing climbing daypack years in the past, however they’ve shrunk the carrying capability to cater to mountain biking, so it’s not a very good choice anymore.
  • Osprey Stratos 24 – This was considered one of my first daypacks once I acquired into climbing and the brand new mannequin is superb. It’s snug and properly thought out. The draw back was the dimensions. Despite the fact that the revealed capability is 24L, I had hassle getting the whole lot for an extended day hike in right here. And it didn’t have as many outdoors pockets as I often like. For those who’re doing shorter hikes, this can be a good choice.
  • Osprey Talon 22 – One other good choice from Osprey, however had comparable issues to the Stratos. There wasn’t sufficient room for an extended hike. I additionally had a tough time accessing a number of the pockets. On the REI Trail 40 I can attain into a great portion of the pockets with the pack on, with the Talon, I needed to take away the pack to entry the hip belt pockets. The Talon is an honest light-duty pack for brief hikes.
  • Osprey Stratos 36 – The closest I got here to the REI Trail 40 was the Osprey Talon 36, the Stratos 36 was a strong pack. I selected the REI pack over this one as a result of the exterior pockets labored higher for me, particularly the mesh pocket that permit me put moist gear in it (extra on that later). It was additionally just a bit too small for in a single day journeys.

I’ve used the REI Trail 40 on in depth journeys. Although it is just a 40L I can pack sufficient on the within and out of doors pouches to final me 5 days on path. Very sturdy for the lengthy haul, extraordinarily snug. I’ve used numerous packs within the army and from different manufacturers, these are the perfect. – REI Reviewer

REI Gear Is Getting Higher and Higher

Rei Trail 40 3REI merchandise are getting higher and higher. Take these beefy zippers for instance. REI made them a bit outsized so as to yank and tug the hell out of them they usually carry on working.

REI gear has been round for some time, however it wasn’t all the time that nice (and relying on what you have been taking a look at). Nevertheless, in the previous few years, REI has been dramatically enhancing its product line. They advanced the normal product improvement course of to incorporate individuals who use the merchandise. REI recruited their 12,000 staff and hundreds of REI members to assist them determine what to make and the right way to make it, working with them to see how they used the gear, what was good, and what might be higher.

REI merchandise have such nice options. They mix all the most effective from different manufacturers and nonetheless handle to incorporate extra of their very own design! – REI Reviewer

And the outcomes have been wonderful. I’ve been testing different gear like sleeping luggage, tents, clothes, and bigger packs, and the REI choices have typically been prime contenders, if not the perfect. They usually’re usually inexpensive than different choices (however not essentially cheap). For instance, the REI Trail 40 is about 60-70% of the price of the Osprey Stratos 36.

The REI Trail 40 Is a Roomy Pack

Most daypacks have between 20-35 liters of capability. The REI Trail 40 has 40 liters and weights as a lot as a 20-liter pack. So there’s loads of room. What this implies for my on a regular basis hikes is that I by no means should get intelligent about becoming gear within the pack, by no means need to jam gear in, and don’t need to clip a bunch of drugs on the surface once I do an extended (or winter) hike. There’s all the time sufficient room for no matter I wanted.

Rei Trail 40 5You’ll be able to match a ton of drugs into the pack. All of this gear (winter bag, tent, sleeping pad) matches INSIDE the REI Trail 40.

And in contrast to another packs that didn’t have a number of pockets, there’s a good mixture of inside and out of doors pockets on the Trail 40. Typically, I find yourself organizing my gear like this:

  • Additional layers and emergency gear in the primary pack compartment
  • Snacks and kit that I entry a number of occasions on a hike in one of many outer pockets
  • Additional water bottles within the aspect pockets (they will maintain 1.5L bottles)
  • Moist or smelly gear within the outer mesh pocket

When you’ve got minimal gear the pack could be fairly empty, with the heavy stuff accumulating on the underside of the pack. There’s a faculty of thought that you must distribute your heavier gear alongside the again or on the highest of the pack. What I do is pack my heavier gear in stuff-sack and put it within the bungee twine alongside the again of the again. I additionally put some heavier gear within the prime inside pocket. This helps stability the pack out.

Rei Trail 40 4There are not any inner compression straps, however a bungee alongside the backbone lets you distribute gear alongside the size of the pack.

I additionally use a special pack for actually brief or straightforward hikes. For those who’re going out for a 2-miler within the native park, this pack might be overkill. In that case, I simply used my Flash 22 pack, which is minimal and small.

I just lately bought the REI Trail 40 from REI in Anchorage AK. After finishing a in the future 23 mile hike on Crow Move Trail, I understand that it could actually’t get any higher than this. I had 32lbs value of drugs and water and don’t have something dangerous to say concerning the match. It felt simply nearly as good as 30lbs can with out inflicting any uncommon discomfort. The complete zipper proved to be handy once I wanted to get issues out of the underside of the bag and it’s straightforward to regulate the load by tightening and loosening the varied factors of adjustment. The mountaineering pole inserts and straps labored flawlessly and got here in useful all through the day. Packing and organizing this bag was a breeze due to the complete zipper and the fee is unbelievably cheaper than different main model names. In case your in search of an ideal day pack that’s sturdy and gained’t value you an arm & a leg then look no additional. I might advocate this to anybody doing day hikes or mild pack tenting journeys. – REI Reviewer

The REI Trail 40 For Backpacking

Rei Trail 40 6You’ll be able to carry all your gear internally for an in a single day backpack should you pack proper. This shot has all of the gear that you simply see in an earlier picture inside it.

I discussed that this was a daypack evaluation, and I primarily do day hikes with this pack. However the Trail 40 large enough to do in a single day journeys as properly. It’s not big, however you possibly can match a tent, sleeping pad, sleeping bag, and cooking gear inside or inside and out of doors of the pack. The candy spot for this pack was a weekend backpacking journey. I had sufficient room to suit every part I wanted. I are likely to pack on the sunshine aspect, so in the event you carry a ton of stuff with you, you may need to get a much bigger pack for in a single day journeys.

This pack is unimaginable! I’m thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail and I wanted a brand new pack about midway via my journey. I acquired this pack as a result of it was precisely the dimensions I wanted for my summer time gear setup, and it appeared prefer it was a nicely thought out design. I couldn’t be happier! This pack has already made it 600 miles and nonetheless feels as snug as ever. Whoever considered the design with the absolutely opening most important pocket and the mind hooked up to the primary physique of the pack is sensible. I actually can’t consider something dangerous to say about this pack. I undoubtedly advocate this pack for each day hikes and something longer. It’s good for my thru-hike! – REI Reviewer

Rei Trail 40 Packed FrontRight here’s what the pack appears like full. I’ve a 2 individual tent, winter bag, sleeping pad, meals, garments, and different emergency gear all contained in the pack.Rei Trail 40 Packed RightRight here’s a view of the complete pack from the aspect.Rei Trail 40 Packed LeftRight here’s a view from the opposite aspect.Rei Trail 40 8The straps and padding are beefy sufficient to hold an honest load. 35lbs is about as excessive as you’d need to go.

Oh, And It Works As a Carry-On Bag Too

Rei Trail 40 24There’s a pocket on the again of the inside that matches as much as a 15″ laptop computer properly. I additionally use this pocket for soiled laundry and trash on backpacking journeys.

The REI Trail 40 can also be an incredible journey pack. It’s sized to be an accepted carryon pack, and there’s a sleeve (not padded) that matches a laptop computer as much as 15 inches. It matches sufficient garments and kit for every week of journey, and I used it on a number of (non-hiking) journeys. I’ve additionally used it as a carry-on for mountaineering journeys that I wanted to fly to. I simply pack the Trail 40, deliver it on the aircraft, after which hit the path with it once I get there. For those who do this, simply keep in mind to take away any blades or goodies that gained’t cross by means of safety.In case you hike and journey, utilizing the Trail 40 saves you from having to get two totally different packs.

I exploit this pack in all places I’m going. I take it with me when if I’m on a day hike or only a day round city. – REI Reviewer

When you’re solely in search of a pack to journey with, you may be higher served by a travel-specific pack just like the Osprey Farpoint 40.

REI Trail 40 Video

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REI Trail 40 Function Walkthrough

Straps and Match

General, the REI Trail 40 looks like a much bigger pack, however a lot lighter. The padding on the hip belt and shoulder straps is beefy and cozy. Once I first began utilizing the pack, I assumed it could be overkill, however after sporting it for some time, it’s been nice, particularly when it’s actually loaded with gear.

It weighs 2 lbs 14oz, which is roughly the identical (if not lighter) than a lot of the daypacks which might be half its measurement. It’s mild, and this helps to make it snug It has a 3mm spring-steel perimeter body to provide the pack construction and rigidity.

Rei Trail 40 28The padding on the straps is beefy. The again of the pack has two giant padding sections with an open channel down the again that lets your again breath.Rei Trail 40 9Equally, the hip pad belts are nicely padded.Rei Trail 40 25In contrast to another packs, you tighten the hip belt by pulling the straps inward, which is intuitive and straightforward.Rei Trail 40 10The sternum strap may be adjusted by pulling on the strap. It may additionally transfer up and down on the shoulder straps to a place that’s most snug for you.Rei Trail 40 11The shoulder straps have two adjustment factors. Right here’s the underside one, which tightens by pulling.Rei Trail 40 14After which you possibly can modify the strap from the highest too. With the ability to regulate the highest and backside enables you to customise the place the pack sits in your again and adapt to your particular body.

Been utilizing the REI Trail 40 as my crag bag for two years now. This beefy pack has been overloaded and thrown within the filth, however its nonetheless preventing. I often have over 30lbs of climbing gear within the pack. I’ve by no means had points with consolation or match, regardless of how lengthy the strategy. – REI Reviewer

Pockets and Storage

The primary compartment is fairly large and large enough for all the things from a day hike to a multi-day hike. I’ve discovered that 30 lbs is about as excessive as I’m going with gear in right here earlier than it feels prefer it’s beginning to pressure (and will get uncomfortable). REI lists the utmost gear weight at 35 lbs.

Rei Trail 40 12Right here’s the huge major compartment. The zipper opens on three sides, making it straightforward to pack, particularly should you use stuff sacks or cubes.Rei Trail 40 15There are four outsized zippers that permit you to get within the pack a number of alternative ways.Rei Trail 40 26When you do have the hooks over the zipper (in order that it opens from the highest), it’s also possible to entry the underside by unzipping the opposite 2 (of four) zippers.Rei Trail 40 36Right here’s a element of hooking the trekking pole clasp over the zipper, permitting you to only open the highest. For those who don’t hook it over the zipper, you possibly can pull the zipper down all the best way and open it up like within the first picture, which had all three sides absolutely open.Rei Trail 40 26When you do have the hooks over the zipper (in order that it opens from the highest), you can too entry the underside by unzipping the opposite 2 (of four) zippers.

Gear will acquire on the backside of your again, and there are not any compression straps inside, however it does have a bungee twine the place you possibly can jam your heavier gear in.

Rei Trail 40 13The bungee twine expands and has an adjustment push on the top, permitting you to stuff and maintain no matter gear you want alongside the backbone of the pack.Rei Trail 40 22There’s additionally an inside mesh pocket on the prime of your pack, on the flap. It’s one other good solution to put heavier gadgets towards the highest should you’re making an attempt to distribute the load evenly.Rei Trail 40 19There’s a aspect mesh pocket on the inside. It’s useful for small gadgets like a first-aid package. It additionally holds tent stakes properly.Rei Trail 40 38On the other aspect of that mesh pocket is a reverse pocket. That is nice for stuffing tent poles in and maintaining them upright. Once I pack my tent, I often take it out of the tent bag and pack the elements individually because it packs higher.

As I discussed earlier, there’s a ton of out of doors storage on this pack. The important thing to packing it’s preserving the belongings you want useful in these outer pockets.

I really like the outer stretch mesh to shortly get to rain or windproof gadgets, the aspect pocket to entry your valuables, and the four alternative ways you possibly can open the pack and shortly get to something. – REI Reviewer

Rei Trail 40 16The best aspect pocket is mesh–you possibly can put moist gear in there. It additionally matches a 1.5L fuel station water bottle or Nalgene bottle.Rei Trail 40 34The opposite aspect has two staggered pockets, each of which match massive water bottles. These pockets are additionally useful for snacks or additional layers.Rei Trail 40 17There’s an enormous zippered mesh pocket on the again of the pack that’s nice for moist or damp gear.Rei Trail 40 37There’s additionally an extended exterior pocket on the aspect.Rei Trail 40 Top PocketLastly, there’s an enormous pocket on prime for gear you need to maintain useful. I hold my headlamp, a blade, my keys, and so on up right here.

This pack will grow to be a cult basic. This bag is simply good. For a purchasing journey within the metropolis or mountaineering up a peak. It seems to be nice and has all of the options you want and nothing that you simply don’t. It’s very snug to put on with heavy masses and when it’s empty it’s nonetheless snug, some packs float round annoyingly once they don’t have a lot weight in them however this bag stays put. The zip system is genius and makes the pack a pleasure to make use of; no extra unpacking the bag to get to stuff on the underside. It has simply sufficient pockets to be helpful and never so many who you must maintain loosing stuff in them. – REI Reviewer

Hip Belt

Rei Trail 40 Hip BeltThe hip belt tightens by pulling it inwards, which is a brilliant and sensible. Some packs require you to tug backward, away from the pack, to tighten, which didn’t work so properly.

The hip belts on the REI Trail 40 really feel like a much bigger pack. This may be nice for help, however often, I don’t have a lot gear in a daypack that I actually need the help of a hip belt. So I had combined emotions right here. In case you don’t need to use the hip belt, you possibly can’t take it off (or tie it off beneath). So it’s a must to use the hip belt. I did get used to all the time utilizing it, and it’s fantastic.

I like the large hip belt pockets which are openable when you have the pack on. You’d be stunned at what number of packs I attempted that had the hip belt too far again to open whenever you had it on. I additionally actually appreciated the best way the belt tightens, which is by pulling outward, not inward. This movement was a lot simpler and gave me a cosy match. And keep in mind, don’t make your belt too tight, you may get dangerous chafe of your hips.

Rei Trail 40 39There are pockets on the hip belt too. One aspect has a mesh pocket.Rei Trail 40 35The opposite hip belt pocket pouch is sealed. Each are accessible when you have got the pack on and are nice for a telephone, instruments, or snacks.

Hydration Pack

The one bone I’ve to select with this pack is the hydration pocket. The opening for the highest is tight, and when your pack is full and you’re placing 3L of water in, it may be robust to get the bladder in. I did work out find out how to make it simpler, however it took me some time. Simply raise up (or reverse) the shoulder straps and push again towards the pack body and again panel, which can open the hole up sufficient for the bladder. You may need to squeeze it in a bit, however it works. When you get the underside of the bladder in, simply shake the pack and let the load of the water convey it down. There’s a hook on the prime to carry the bladder in place. One the bladder is in, there are clips on the chest strap to maintain the tube shut.

Rei Trail 40 31The hydration bladder pocket is on the again, and the pocket that the bladder sits in is separate from the remainder of the inside of the pack. You simply pull the pocket open, slide the bladder in, after which hook the highest onto the blue hook to carry it in place.

The excellent news is that it matches any 3L bladder. I’ve used it with a Camelbak 3L and a Platypus 3L with none challenge. It’s actually about which bladder you favor (or which you’ve gotten laying round). I’ll say that the Platypus 3L could be very straightforward to fill, open, and shut. You don’t should line up the threads completely such as you do a Camelbak. The Playtpus additionally matches on the hook properly.

Rei Trail 40 Hydration TubeThe correct shoulder strap has the usual hydration tube clip.

Exterior Attachments

I’m not massive on having a whole lot of gear strapped and hooked onto the surface of my pack, however you definitely have the chance to connect gear on the REI Trail 40.

Rei Trail 40 21The again flap has webbing hooks that you would be able to lash gear onto or clip carabiners onto.Rei Trail 40 32There are two expandable straps on the underside to connect a tent, sleeping pad, or sleeping bag.Rei Trail 40 Top Bottom StrapsRight here’s one other view of the underside straps with the trekking poles hooked up.Rei Trail 40 20There are additionally two straps on the highest that you could modify for a sleeping pad, tent, and so forth.Rei Trail 40 33The highest straps even have clip-on hooks so you’ll be able to simply open and shut them.Rei Trail 40 27The shoulder straps have webbing that you could clip a GPS or different gear onto.Rei Trail 40 29There’s additionally an space on the sternum strap the place you’ll be able to clip gear onto.Rei Trail 4 Trekking PolesThe clips that shut the zipper off up prime (that I confirmed earlier) are additionally the trekking pole prime clips. You simply wrap it across the pole and hook it in to safe the trekking pole.Rei Trail 40 18The underside of the trekking pole goes into these little eyelets. They’re made out of metallic, as are the opposite clips on the pack.

Rain Cowl

Rei Trail 40 23There’s a rain cowl stuffed into the underside pocket. The rain cowl just isn’t hooked up to the pack, so you need to use the pocket for one thing else if you wish to.Rei Trail 40 Top Rain CoverRight here’s what a full pack with the rain cowl on seems to be like. When the pack is full, the trekking poles gained’t match beneath the duvet, however when the pack is much less full, you possibly can wrangle it over the poles.


Not a lot to say right here apart from the truth that it’s sturdy and I haven’t had any put on issues. It’s made out of 210-denier nylon and has high-quality YKK zippers. I haven’t pampered it and it will get thrown round fairly a bit. It’s doing nice after 6 months of normal use.

Is the REI Trail 40 Value It?

Do you have to get the REI Trail 40? Sure. Until you solely do actually brief hikes, this pack will serve you nicely. It’s large enough for all ranges of day hikes, whether or not 5 miles, 20 miles, summer time, or winter. You should use it for weekend overnights. Some individuals even use it for prolonged through-hikes. Each function is nicely thought out and has clearly been tweaked and honed by real-world REI testers. It’s super-light and out there in quite a lot of colours, a number of sizes, and customized variations for men and women. And it’s inexpensive than the options. It’s arduous to discover a draw back on the REI Trail 40. I’ve been utilizing it for months and it’s nice. Give it a attempt, I feel you’ll adore it.

Will get higher the extra I exploit it. – REI Reviewer

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I’m Cris Hazzard, and I need to provide help to benefit from the outside. I’m sharing my information, guides, and the gear I personally use as a way to exit, have enjoyable, and be protected.

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