I like a good outdoor adventure as much as the next person, unless the next person likes to go so far off the grid that they could be perilously distant from any sort of Wi-Fi or cell signal. For those rugged, fearless types who sneer at the thought of literally “getting lost,” Jack Wolfskin makes the Kingston 30 Pack Recco. It’s a sporty, well-outfitted bag that has some great, potentially life-saving features. Partly drawn to its lava red color (more like dark orange in real life) and partly to the lure of adventure, I had Jack Wolfskin send me one to try out. And now that I have, it’s my new go-to bag for day trips, as relatively timid and on-the-grid as they may be.
Of course, the whole reason you’re bringing a backpack is to tote stuff. So it’s nice to have purposeful places for it all. I like this bag’s three elasticized outer mesh pockets because they’re great for stashing (and still seeing) water bottles and other items you want to keep at the ready. But it’s cool how the ones on the sides also feature adjustable straps to cinch those items in place when you’re on the move.
The small zippered compartment at the top of the bag is good for masks, sunglasses, keys, wallets and other small items. The lower zippered compartment could potentially house a spare set of shoes. And inside the main compartment, there’s a fitted pocket in the back to hold the bladder of a hydration system—for which it’s also fitted with a tube duct and fastener. Other storage-minded fasteners include lashing straps for trekking poles and side compression straps. Everything serves a function, without approaching pocket overkill.