Columbia Mobex Backpack

Designed with the sport of adventure racing and other “fast and light” pursuits in mind, Columbia’s Mobex is a unique backpack series with a tent-like exoskeleton. Its name comes from the pack’s primary focus: mobility and flexibility. The exoskeleton, formed with small crisscrossing nylon poles, props the pack open for quick access to gear stashed inside.

It has a clamshell opening, a large main compartment, inside pockets, a water bottle holder on the hip belt, a hip-belt zipper pocket, and a hydration sleeve. The pack is touted to have everything needed for fast pursuits — trail running, mountain biking, and paddling included (the three primary sports in adventure racing).

Columbia Mobex pack

The pack has lightweight, breathable shoulder straps to help cut weight and increase airflow. It comes in a men’s and women’s design and three sizes, from “sprint,” to regular to XL (the cubic-inch capacities are about 800, 1,450 and 1,900 respectively). The pack, which weighs about 2 pounds in the regular size, will be available in January for between $85 and $120, depending on size.

—Ryan Dionne

Stephen Regenold

Stephen Regenold is Founder 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 two decades, including as a correspondent for the New York Times. A father of five, Regenold and his wife live in Minneapolis.