By Outdoor Prolink content creator and resident dirtbag Sara Aranda. Sara likes to climb, trail run, travel, test gear and write all about it. She currently lives in Yosemite.
This pack from the Mountainsmith Roots Collection is a great size (30L) for day-hiking, time at the crag, or whatever it is that you’re doing around town. It’s ‘a modern twist on a 90’s climbing bag’ as their website puts it, and is made with the classic and durable Cordura Fabric that MountainSmith utilizes for many of their products.
Some design highlights include the laptop sleeve, a detachable dopp kit for travelers (I actually kind of use it like a purse!), side compression straps, and D-ring attachment points for added versatility. I’ve commuted around town on my bike with it, I’ve taken it to the crag, and even did an easy free-solo climb to gain access to some local swimming holes.
Sunnyside Bench (5.5) is an easy classic here in Yosemite Valley, mostly because it leads you to Middle Earth, an area that becomes popular once the waterfall dries up. Tucked away and very serene, these pools are a great place to hang out and take in the view of the Valley.
I wore the Wizard on my latest venture up there because I wanted to see how it’d fare with the mild chimney action and bush-whacking involved. The pack worked wonderfully. It felt light and the straps are padded for comfort. After scraping it here and there and going through bushes, no nicks or abrasions appeared and it still looks brand new.
With 30L, it holds a pretty good amount of gear and personal items. I recently made a long drive to Southern California to visit my storage unit and I used this pack as my “weekend” bag. It even has a cool side handle. All the clips, zippers, and straps are of great quality and I’m not too worried about accidentally stepping on a clip and breaking it.
The waist belt is removable and has a great range for fit. The shoulder straps themselves don’t adjust in the shoulder area, which make it a little less customizable for smaller-framed people. It fits my husband perfectly and it’s pretty much there for me as well.
- Durable Cordura Fabric.
- Perfect amount of space and organization for the day or for traveling with.
- Comfortable to wear and hike with (will get a little hot for strenuous hiking, so keep it casual).
- Many attachment points to clip or tie things to.
- Access to the main compartment is tapered, which limits visibility when trying to dig around for something. It also makes it harder to get larger items in and out as the mouth is smaller than the bottom of the pack.
- The drawstring mechanism to synch down the main compartment isn’t as user-friendly as I was expecting. There’s no button to press to release and works by pulling on the plastic piece instead. It also requires two hands to undo.
The Wizard is very versatile and is great for both outdoor and urban environments. I like that I can use it for work purposes, like carrying a laptop and notepads, and also for casual outdoor outings. But the main reason I like it is because I can trust that the pack will last a long time, and I plan to use it on my honeymoon trip to Costa Rica next month! And while there is no outer water bottle pocket, it does have the ability to carry a bladder inside and has a hole for the hydration hose. So overall, it’s a great pack for many purposes and it looks really great too, with a slight vintage touch. I chose the barley color, but it also comes in black. It is well made and backed by the MountainSmith lifetime warranty – definitely recommend this pack!