Interested in taking on The Narrows at Zion National Park? The Klymit Splash 25 may be your pack.
Dubbed an “ultimate water adventure pack,” the Klymit Splash 25 is the lovechild of a waterproof dry bag and a daypack.
With its lightweight, air-powered frame, the $90 pack weighs a mere 21 ounces, can carry up to a 30-pound load comfortably, and rolls up to the size of a 2-liter bottle. The pack is currently on Kickstarter, with only 13 days to go. We put it to the test on a recent weekend trip.
Dry Bag Performance
First off, the bag really is 100% waterproof. We left it out in the rain for 5 hours and dunked it underwater for minutes at a time, with no hint of moisture inside. For any water-based adventure, the Splash 25 is gold. Toss it in your canoe or pack raft, strap it to your paddleboard, or grab onto it and let it float you down a stream.
Yes, you read that right. Because of the Air Frame Technology, the bag floats regardless of how much weight is in the pack. No chance of losing your valuables in the middle of a lake. And, in the off-chance you find yourself needing a quick getaway down a stream, the Splash 25 can float you to safety.
‘Air Frame’ Daypack Testing
The Air Frame is a unique design. With a few pumps of a bulb on the right shoulder strap, chambers along the back inflate to create a somewhat rigid structure, providing customizable padding and support.
Despite the inflatable support, hauling 35 pounds of gear wasn’t all daisies. The shoulder straps don’t inflate, which meant that added weight in the bag led to uncomfortable pressure on my shoulders, even when the chest and waist straps were buckled. No bueno.
I’d say realistically this pack is comfortable for carrying up to about 25 pounds.
While most dry bags have a tendency to conform to your back and prevent any ventilation, the Air Frame in the Splash 25 provided some much needed airflow. Having completed a brisk 2-hour hike in 50-degree weather, my back stayed sweat-free.
The daisy chain on the front of the pack provides ample clip points. There are no side pockets for bottles, sandals, or tent poles.
The adjustable top straps make it easy to secure items to the top of the bag, like a jacket or climbing rope. All of the straps are adjustable and sturdy, yet not bulky.
Who’s It For?
On the Kickstarter page (and below), there’s an image of a woman canyoneering, rappelling down a wet rock wall. That, to me, is one ideal use of this pack.
Though it can be used strictly as either a daypack or a dry bag, the Splash 25 may be most useful for climbing, walking, scrambling, and swimming inside water-filled canyons.
Besides canyoneering, those who frequently embark on water-based adventures may find the pack suitable for their pursuits. With the waterproofing ability of a dry bag that can be carried as a daypack, the Splash 25 could come in handy on paddling adventures with the occasional portage or day hike.
Not A Daypack Replacement
Overall, I’d be hesitant to buy the pack with the hope of it replacing a current daypack. Daypacks have more organization, are more comfortable, and can fend off a deluge with the addition of a decent pack liner or cover.
The Splash 25 is available on Kickstarter for $90. Act now and spread the word if you’re interested, as the campaign has just 13 days left.
Klymit Splash 25 Specs
- Torso Size: 16″ – 23″
- Dimensions: 20″ – 27″ x 9″ x 11.5″
- Weight: 21 ounces
- Volume: 1525 in
- Capacity: Up to 35 pounds
- 210 denier nylon; 420 denier nylon bottom
- Air Frame Technology