Micro-Backpack Folds Up, Fits in Pocket

Weighing in at just 3 ounces — but touted to be able to carry more than 30 pounds — the just-announced PackBack from Trek Light Gear is a featherweight of a day pack with hidden strength.

Like the company’s hammocks and other bag products, the PackBack is made of a parachute nylon that’s strong and resistant to mildew and rot. It stuffs into a pouch about the size of a wallet and easily slips into the pocket of your blue jeans.

Pack on the back (left) and in its own attached tiny stuff sack

When unpacked, the stuff sack hangs inside the pack and doubles as a container for valuables such as a cell phone or keys.

Make no mistake, this is a no-frills backpack. It is broken into a main interior compartment and a second smaller compartment that is accessible from outside just behind the wearer’s back.

Like similar models we’ve reviewed over the years (see “Micro Waterproof Pack”), the PackBack is noteworthy mainly for its packability. This is a nice product to have “just in case” during travel or a bike trip, as examples, if you suddenly need capacity to carry a few items on your back.

Pack loaded up

There is no panel or “support” in the pack, making it uncomfortable if loaded wrong. The shoulder straps are a thin material but just wide enough to spread out the load up to the aforementioned 30 pounds, though that’s a lug.

Unveiled at the Teva Mountain Games earlier this month, the pack created a buzz and promptly sold out at Treklightgear.com. It got my attention on the streets at the Games in Vail Village because of its minimalist design and simple functionality.

For now, the PackBack, which retails at $26.95, is not available. Check back later this summer, if you’re looking for a tiny backpack that stores away literally in a pocket when not in use.

—Contributing writer Sean McCoy is based in Denver.

30-pound weight is about max you want to carry

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Stephen Regenold is Founder and Editor-In-Chief of GearJunkie, which he launched as a nationally-syndicated newspaper column in 2002. As a journalist and writer, Regenold has covered the outdoors industry for nearly two decades, including as a correspondent for the New York Times. A father of four small kids, Regenold and his wife live in Minneapolis.