Ahead of the Pack

THE BEAST28 IS A BAG FULL OF TRICKS, AND AN UP­GRADE FROM THE BACK­PACKS OF YES­TER­YEAR.

Power & Motor Yacht - - GEAR -

When it comes to back­packs, Jans­port will al­ways hold a fond place in my heart. The de rigueur of the grade school hall­ways of my youth, Jans­port back­packs were rugged in a hand-me-down kind of way, with straps frayed or tied in some places, and largely over­stuffed with text­books.

But some­thing funny hap­pened when I grew up: so did back­packs. Un­like its midriffre­sid­ing cousin the fanny pack, back­packs never went out of style. They’re too prac­ti­cal; and though still util­i­tar­ian by de­sign, in the years since my grade-school so­journs, this ac­ces­sory has flour­ished in both style and sub­stance. Case in point: Mata­dor, the mak­ers of pack­able travel gear, have de­vel­oped the Beast28 ($90) for boaters and cruis­ing ad­ven­tur­ers alike.

On a re­cent as­sign­ment in the South Pa­cific, I took the Beast28 along for a field test. As a jour­nal­ist, I’m usu­ally at odds try­ing to fit ev­ery­thing into a small carry-on case—a nearcon­stant predica­ment of the trade. But the Beast28 earns its name. Made of a wa­ter­proof ny­lon ma­te­rial, the 28-liter pack is ul­tra­light with two ad­justable straps at the ster­num and hip that are com­fort­able when se­cured.

The coolest fea­ture of all, how­ever, might be its com­pres­sion case for travel. Want to use it to pick up pro­vi­sions or for ex­plor­ing on lo­ca­tion when you fi­nally get to where you’re go­ing? The Beast28 can be con­densed to the size of a foot­ball, a neat lit­tle char­ac­ter­is­tic that boaters look­ing to save space on board will love.

When I slung it on my back I felt a twang of nos­tal­gia wash over me. Like the rest of the con­tents of the back­pack, those feel­ings were stowed, but cer­tainly well within reach.

The Beast28 can be con­densed for easy stowage.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.