Exped Skyline 25L Backpack Review
Typically you will find me on multiple day backpacking trips, but I also love doing some quick overnighters just to satisfy my adventure itch. I have been needing a bag that is tactful enough to hold up through all the elements as well as versatile enough to be usable for all different types of adventures. I found the Exped Skyline 25L to be perfect for my longer day hikes and one-nighters.
Recently I lived in Washington (the state) where I worked with a search and rescue unit in some of the most intense weather conditions and remote areas in the country. Preparing for being exposed for long periods of time in the natural elements has been one of the biggest challenges for me, especially since I moved to WA from the beautiful sunny California where the only element is sunny and 75 degrees. Finding gear that can hold up to snow, sleet, rain, wind, heat, and mud, as well as sun, is essential.
I brought the Exped Skyline 25 liter bag along with me on a couple different adventures to really see what it is made of. From hiking into remote hot springs in the Sierra basin to exploring hidden beach caverns, to search and rescue missions… this bag has definitely won me over, and Ill tell you why I love it!
Exped is a company that was developed by two Swiss outdoor enthusiasts who wanted to improve the quality and functionality of products on the market. The attention to detail in the product is outstanding. Everything from aerodynamic design to the environmental impact of the products used.
The Skyline 25L bag features a Switchback Suspension System with two options for carrying: full contact and air space. One helps for ergonomic close fit and the other allows a nice ventilation in the back area. This comes in handy when you have heavy materials or a full weighted pack in general. The fit is also fully adjustable in shoulders and hip belt, which are all heavily padded and super comfortable. Overall fit/comfort rating would be absolutely 100% thumbs up.
The bag also features a ton of pocket space and small compartments for extra organization. The main compartment has a nice big zipper to be able to reach inside easily; which is so great because I hate it when I have to take out all my stuff just to get to something on the bottom! The hip belt has two nice large pockets on for phone, sunglasses, chapstick, or whatever else for easy access. The belt pockets are also waterproof material, so if you forget your phone is in there when you need to wade across a stream don’t worry! (I speak from experience) The pack also comes with a separate space for water bladder and convenient hose clip on the chest strap so you can drink as you walk!
I also love all the attachment points on this. They have deep side pockets for external access to keep a camera tripod or water bottles, trekking pole attachments, and attachments for a headlamp. Additionally, my favorite part… Drum roll… The zippers GLOW IN THE DARK! I don’t know if I ever realized how handy this is until I woke up in the middle of the night and needed something out of my bag. I had someone in the tent with me though and I didn’t want to wake them up with my bright headlamp. Just as I was wondering how I was going to find my bag, I immediately saw my glowing zippers and was ecstatic. What a genius addition to a bag!
Of course, we cannot forget about the durability and construction. First off, the whole bag is waterproof and also comes with a rain cover. Which helps in all environments and also protects your gear inside more. The material is Ripstop nylon so its really durable and lightweight, too. Its nice in sand as well that it allows the sand to brush right off easily. Overall the pack weighs in at 38oz, which—for a 25L with as much padding as this one—is really good.
Its beautiful streamline design is trendy as well as ergonomic with airflow and weight distribution for easier hiking in windy environments, or when you’re near cliff edges. The bag I have is the blue/neon but it also comes in grey and black, which also have really cool bright accent colors on the zippers and interiors. It really makes for a great Instagram photo!
So, given the test in all the environments, the Skyline held up great in all of them. Wind, sleet, snow, sand, mud, and rain. Honestly, the product actually exceeded my expectations. I had not heard much of this brand before and before I got it I presumed it would be lower quality, but seemed to match my needs on paper. When it came in the mail it actually blew me away, this bag has exactly all I need in a 25L pack. All my gear for a good day hike fit perfectly.
The Final Word
So, in conclusion, this bag is perfect for a quick day hike or a long overnight trek. Its durability can hold up to all the elements and withstand some good wear. The glow-in-the-dark zippers are uniquely useful and extra rain cover is a huge plus. I also love the wide opening top compartment and interior pocket spaces. The wide waterproof hip pockets can save the day. The only upgrade I would make to this pack is taped seams and zippers for extra rain protection, but I guess that’s when the rain cover comes in handy!
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Casey Bollinger is a Wilderness First Responder who volunteers with Washington Search and Rescue Unit, Washington Trails Association Back Country Response Team, and leads backpacking trips throughout the country. She also works as a Youth Development Mentor coaching rugby, surfing, and snowboarding to inner-city kids. Caseys main partner in crime is an Army Ranger who trains Navy Seals, and often they practice their photography skills in the wilderness as they pave new trails together.