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Work-to-Gym Climbing Pack Vents the Funk From Your Junk: Review

Trango City Sender Review
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The Trango City Sender is a work-to-gym pack that eliminates one of the most frustrating things about climbing packs: the smell.

Most climbers today climb indoors, and the trend of pulling on plastic shows no signs of stopping. This massive group of psyched consumers has spawned climbing gym-specific shoes, apparel, and gear.

Trango City Sender climbing pack

Gym bags address the specific needs of the urban plastic-puller. There’s no need for the larger volume of most backpacks, and gym climbing often comes after a workday.

Trango released the City Sender Pack in late February for this specific audience. We’ve tested this gym and mobile warrior bag nonstop.

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One of the coolest functions is its shoe venting technology. The pack not only compartmentalizes your shoes away from your work essentials, but it also vents to the outside, eliminating the stuffy, smelly gym bag problem.

In short: The Trango City Sender is a durable 24L shoulder bag. It carries all the necessities of indoor climbing as well as transports work essentials like notebooks, a computer, and accessories. Beyond the climbing shoe pocket, the City Sender has additional climbing-specific compartments for your chalk and gear.

City Sender Design: Trango Targets Gym Climbers

The City Sender has a single strap that can be rigged as a shoulder sling on either side or as a messenger-style bag. Trango constructed the pack with durable-feeling Titan Wrap 1,000-denier, PVC-coated tarpaulin fabric. The pack is accessible via a closure flap at the top that is secured by magnetic Fidlocks. The City Sender also functions as a panel-loader, the front panel opening completely via a pair of welded, water-resistant zippers.

The pack’s interior reveals climbing-specific features. A dedicated zipped pocket keeps chalk contained, and a shoe pocket vents to the outside to promote drying. A daisy chain prevents belay devices from falling out, or to the bottom, of the pack.

Trango City Sender climbing pack

Features on the City Sender also cater to the digital nomad or student. The padded back panel has a computer sleeve (big enough for a 15-inch notebook) that’s accessible from both the outside and inside of the pack. The front of the pack has an organizer pocket with a reflective loop for a cycling blinker, while the top of the closure flap houses a fleece-lined electronics pocket. An expandable water bottle pocket lies on one side of the City Sender, and a small zipped pocket with a key clip resides on the carry strap. Finally, there are a pair of haul loops at the top of the pack.

The Trango City Sender has a verified weight of 2 pounds 2 ounces.

The City Sender in Use

I appreciated the climbing-specific features on the City Sender during a month of solid use, especially the chalk bag and shoe pockets. Those compartments kept chalk dust and gym shoe funk from infiltrating other items in the bag. I managed to stuff a chalk bucket into the chalk bag pocket; the shoe compartment is only big enough for a single pair of size 10 men’s shoes.

Climber wearing Trango City Sender climbing pack in gym

I found the City Sender easier to load from the top but accessed my goods at the gym through the front. The capacity was on the small side for me; a full work day plus a gym day filled the 24L pack to the brim, the non-expandable top closure flap barely engaging with the magnetic Fidlocks. Climbing gear, gym clothing, lunch, jacket, computer, electronic accessories, and mobile office goods maxed out the internal capacity; if a rope was required it was carried separately.

The external water bottle pocket expanded easily to secure a 1L insulated steel bottle, and the fleece-lined electronics pocket was big enough for an external drive and cord. The front organizer pocket held office supplies. And the computer sleeve barely fit my 15-inch notebook with hard case, the tight fit necessitating top-loading the padded sleeve from the interior of the pack.

I preferred to carry the City Sender on a single shoulder instead of messenger bag-style. Although I found it comfortable for short carries, I prefer a pair of backpack shoulder straps, especially when commuting by bicycle.

Trango City Sender Review

For those who travel light and prefer shoulder or messenger bags, the Trango City Sender is capable and convenient. With it, you can carry items necessary for both work and the climbing gym.

The dedicated chalk bag and shoe pockets keep powder and odor contained, and the tarpaulin fabric promises durability. The urban mobile worker will also appreciate the inconspicuous aesthetic.

Trango’s City Sender gym-climbing pack is $130 MSRP, comparable to other commuter backpacks. The climbing-specific details of this pack, though, clearly illustrate the urban gym-climbing trend. With features like a shoe venting pocket and enough space to carry your work gear, the City Sender is a pack we can get behind.

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