The Patagonia Nine Trails Pack 15L is multifunctional, durable, great fitting, and lightweight. We all know that hitting the road for travel often holds the promise of adventures, along urban streets, on mountain hikes or during trail outings. Sometimes those adventures at your destinations require their own pack that ends up inside your suitcase when you are in transit. Which is why the Patagonia Nine Trails is often a go-to pack for our team as it doesn’t require a second thought to bring it along.

Patagonia Nine Trails Pack back view with hose

From fast-and-light hikes to quick-moving trail runs or even bike escapes, the Patagonia Nine Trails Pack proves its worth at 10.8 ounces. Nylon ripstop is rugged as well as DWR treated for drizzle-shedding water resistance. It is indeed somewhat minimal, but not so much so that it doesn’t sit well on your shoulders and back. Nor does it neglect a few great features in its quest to stay lightweight, such as an inside security pocket, hydration sleeve, or a light foam back panel for shape.

Patagonia Nine Trails Pack ready to rumble

The best part is the no-jostle, no-bobble fit. Two adjustable horizontal straps run around your ribs from the pack body on your back to the front straps. While certainly not the first pack with this type of fit system, this one seems to work really well and not loosen once underway. There are also two adjustable straps on your chest between the two front straps.

The beauty here of the slim, unisex Patagonia Nine Trails Pack ($79) is that a woman can adjust it tighter at the sides to move the straps farther to the side to avoid extra – how shall we say it? – compression. A guy however can tighten the front straps more to bring the straps closer on the front of the chest. You choose your best fit (and your size since it comes in two). And it even snugged down well on my pretty thin upper body! No annoying bouncing, rubbing or sliding about! Yeah!

Patagonia Nine Trails Pack sidestraps

Features complement the Patagonia Nine Trails Pack

But wait, as they say, there’s more: This is a top-loader with a fold-over closure with a zipper pouch in the top for essentials, such as food or compass. At 15L, the pack’s main zippered body has pretty plentiful room – even enough for a super light-and-fast overnight or weekend if you are really a minimalist. Here’s another beaut though: It can cinch down close to your body even if all you have in it is your water reservoir and a few munchies. Still, if you need to haul more, there are four short daisy chains on the body.

We love pockets on front straps, and this one does have a roomy zip pocket on one and a small, flat, stretchy one with a flap-over top on the other. One problem surfaces here however: The small one with the flap is narrow at the top and wider at the bottom with a pretty tight opening, so slipping in even a couple of gels didn’t work so well. An MP3 player, maybe. A lip balm, no problem. But if you use the roomy one for your phone (and even that one may not fit some of today’s larger smartphones) then, hm, gels, where do you go? A little more give or a wider opening on the small pocket and even a third small flap pocket (Velcro closure?) would be a blessing. There is also a small whistle attached inside the small pocket; I hope I never have to use it.

Insides of the Patagonia Nine Trails Pack

The hydration sleeve could fit a 100-ounce reservoir if you really jam it in, but best are ones in the 40-60-ounce range, I think. The reservoir holder is also a bit narrow in its adaptability: it’s just a fabric loop. So if your reservoir of choice doesn’t have a hook on it, you need to jury-rig your own attachment – which we had to do with an itty-bitty ‘biner. And the small zip security pocket (a positive addition) is so high up under the reservoir sleeve that accessing it once your water sack is in is vewy, vewy difficult (negative).

All in all, we do like the Patagonia Nine Trails Pack since it is lightweight and rides so smoothly that you’ll forget you have it on. It will, for now, be a take-along adventure travel pack in our suitcase. With a few updates next round, we’ll LOVE it.

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Therese Iknoian

Traveler at HI Travel Tales
Little did her parents know that a short trip to Europe in high school would launch a lifetime love of travel, languages and cultures. Trained as a news journalist, Therese Iknoian spent a decade as a daily newspaper journalist before launching a freelance writing career specializing in outdoor, fitness and training. All the while trotting the globe, her focus finally turned to travel. Fluent in German, Therese runs a translation business (www.ThereseTranslates.com) working primarily with companies in the outdoor/sports/retail industry. Also a French speaker, she loves to learn a bit of the language wherever she goes -- gdje je kupaonica? Мне нужна помощь! -- often embarrassing herself in the quest for cross-cultural communication and the search for great travel discoveries.
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