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Get in Gear: Mountainsmith Earth-Friendly Lumbar Pack

I'm a huge fan of lumbar packs because they're so comfy on your lower back. Since they sit on your hips rather than your shoulders, you won't have to worry about getting a sweaty back while you're hiking, running, or biking with them. Plus they're big enough to hold a day's worth of gear, and the gentle pressure on your tail bone feels incredibly supportive.

Mountainsmith makes great lumbar packs, like the Dart, but a few of their models are now being made with recycled materials. Each of their lumbar packs is made using between 12 and 13 plastic bottles.

This is the Tour Lumbar Pack and it's the perfect size for a day hike or other outing. It can hold two 32 oz water bottles on the outside for easy access. There's a main zippered compartment that can hold big stuff like binoculars, a camera, or a long sleeve shirt. There's also a front zippered pocket for smaller stuff like snacks or your cell phone. See the yellow bungee cord on the front? It can be used to hold an extra layer like a rain jacket, fleece, or long-sleeve shirt.

Want to hear more about it and see how much it costs? Then

You can clip the cushioned straps around your waist, but it also has a removable padded shoulder strap you can use in case your load is a bit heavier. I also love the compression straps that you can cinch tightly to keep everything in your pack secure. I use this pack every time I go for a hike.

Everything about it is comfortable and convenient, and now that it's made with recycled materials, you can feel good about supporting a company that's helping to keep our world beautiful. You can order it for $69.95 in Cobalt (shown), Heritage Red, or Black.

kscincotta kscincotta 10 years
I've been using this pack in my training for the Breast Cancer 3-Day and it's perfect! I can take lots of water and sports drink with me, plus snacks, sunblock, extra socks... I love it! I never thought to use it as a camera bag after I'm done with the 3-Day, but that's a great idea.
Fitness Fitness 10 years
I LOVE mine too!
Arielrb38 Arielrb38 10 years
I have this bag and I LOVE it. I use it as a camera bag, big enough for my SLR and an extra lens (or flash). The netting in the front doesn't actually work so well for a jacket, but it is perfect for my gorillapod. It was perfect when I was in Rwanda, hiking through the very damp forest to see gorillas... a very different hiking experience from my native Rocky Mountains, the lumbar pack allowed me to use my hands to keep from sliding down the muddy, and steep trails. Plus it is water resistant, which was a major advantage. I researched quite a bit before I got it... and if the price tag is a little too steep, do like I did and wait for the annual REI member dividend and 20% off sale (if you're a co-op member).
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