REVIEW: Lewis N Clark Waterproof Day Pack 40L
The Lewis N Clark Day Pack 40L packs a lot of features for a waterproof/dry bag, not so much as a hiking backpack. So far, it has held up very well. I found the pack very useful especially when going on tours that include land and water activities. I have not used it for hiking yet, so the bulk of my review focuses on the pack being used as a dry bag.
I have used the pack on the beach and on boats and it successfully kept our items dry, after enduring splashes and being partially submerged. I have not fully submerged the pack in water as it was not meant to be submerged. I placed a paper towel in the outside zippered pocket and poured water on it. The paper towel remained dry. Just make sure to push the zipper all the way to the inside of the blue lip.
I was pleasantly surprised how comfortable it was. I was able to carry about 15 pounds of load with not much discomfort for 5 miles. I have not tried it on a longer hike, but I think the pack will be comfortable enough for a day hike.
The shoulder straps and hip belt were well-padded with a little more than a half inch in padding. The padding of the shoulder straps went over the shoulders and extended all the way to the upper back, providing padding and comfort to the shoulder blades and upper back. The bottom of the day pack was also padded.
The main compartment was very roomy and fit my camera backpack (Lowepro Flipside 300); it fits my husband’s too, (Lowepro Photo Sport 200 AW). The compartment was not padded so we just put our whole camera bag in there.
I close the pack two different ways. When I do not need to access the contents in the main compartment often, I roll the top and buckle the top buckles to the buckles on the side of the pack. This keeps the contents snug and it lessens the bulkiness of the pack.
When I am in a rush or I often need to access the contents in the main compartment, I roll the top and just buckle the top buckles together just like a regular dry bag. It made the pack a little more bulky, but it was quick and easy to open and close the main compartment.
The pack had a roomy exterior zippered pocket measuring approximately 17″ in length and 9.5″ (bottom) to 11″ (top) in width. I put my smartphone + Watershot underwater housing, Ricoh Theta 360, Benro tripod/selfie-stick and some money and snacks in it for easy access. It was very roomy that I could also fit a bath-sized towel or a gorillapod or water bottle! Like the main compartment, it didn’t have padding. If I need padding, I add a hand towel to wrap the fragile items I put in there.
ADJUSTABLE TO USER’S HEIGHT
The day pack was large at 40L capacity, but the shoulder straps and hip belt were adjustable to fit me at 5’3″ and my husband at 5’10”. The description did indicate it is adjustable to fit humans with a height of 5’2″ to 6’5″. This feature was a nice surprise, as most backpacks (traditional or waterproof) do not have this feature.
Adjusting the shoulder straps was not very easy to do. But most likely you only have to adjust the bag once, so it may not be a big issue. The tag contains the instructions for adjusting the shoulder straps, but I found it a little confusing at first. To adjust, take the two buckles attached to the back padding connected to the shoulder straps and insert them to the buckles attached to the main compartment.
The hip belt was easy to adjust and it was removable. The hip belt went through a loop on the pack and secured to the loop with velcro inside.
The day pack had an adjustable sternum strap which helped me with stability of the pack. However, it didn’t have a self-tensioning elastic for more flexilibity. The strap was removable if you do not like or have no use for sternum straps. It was a little cumbersome to adjust the straps. Instead of sliding the straps like in most backpacks, you need to remove the straps first and re-attach to the right loops.
BOTTOM STRAPS: The item description didn’t mention this, but the pack had two straps at the bottom to hold extra big items like a beach towel/blanket, portable hammock, or those inflatable lounger bags.
STRAP LOOPS ON SHOULDER STRAPS: There were 5 strap loops on each shoulder strap where you attach the sternum straps. The strap loops that are not being used by the sternum straps can double as small attachment points. I clip my hand sanitizer and small pouch to these strap loops.
The day pack held up very well after two trips. My dog who had sharp claws had ran over and sat on it several times and the material is still intact. The buckles used to attach the shoulder strap/back padding to the pack itself were made of plastic. I am not sure how durable it is. I will update this review after several more uses.
The Lewis N Clark Day Pack 40L was priced reasonably at $149.99 MSRP. It is not cheap, but competitively priced against other popular dry backpacks. Some stores do offer it at a lower price.
Is it worth it? It all depends on what you need. It was worth it to my husband who carries a lot of camera gear to tours that include land and water activities. We do a lot of walking, too and the pack being comfortable is a big plus.
This review was cross-posted on Amazon.com. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.