Versatility + Durability + Comfort

by Jack Schmidt

Versatility + Durability + Comfort

When Jack Schmidt combines his two passions - photography and the outdoors - he needs gear that can 'rough it' for days on end. Gear that works, is reliable and can handle the rigours of the backcountry insert and off-trail insert that he frequents. He put our X-Country 65L Hiking Pack to the test recently while hiking in North Queensland.

X-Country 65L Hiking Pack

Most of my hiking trips aren't your average day hike along a maintained trail. It's the spots that don't have thousands of photos online and are much harder to reach that I'm most inspired by. I'm willing to spend days hiking off-track, through dense bush and scrambling boulders to get to the top of a mountain or find a hidden waterfall. There's something about the hidden and rarely visited places that truly makes me feel alive. For my most recent overnight mountain hike, I chose to take the X-Country 65L Technical Hiking Pack. In short, this pack excels in the three main categories that are most important to me: durability, comfort and versatility.

X-Country 65L Technical Hiking Pack fully loaded and ready to go

The X-Country 65L Hiking Pack is engineered to optimise load support, gear accessibility and comfort. (Image courtesy of Jack Schmidt)

Field Test

These challenging hikes that I go on require gear that can handle the demanding needs of these adventures. Your pack is arguably the most important piece of gear in your kit, especially when it comes to multi-day hikes. Durability is a key feature for me. On most trips I'm hiking through dense, shrubby, spikey and rocky terrain in unpredictable conditions. I need a bag to handle these harsh environments and keep my contents inside protected. This is critical as a photographer when you're carrying expensive camera equipment. A 600D ripstop polyester outer and robust design delivers.

Jack Schmidt hiking with a X-Country 65L Technical Hiking Pack

The robust construction of the X-Country pack allows you to take to the trails with gusto. (Image courtesy of Jack Schmidt)

I think it goes without saying that you want your hiking pack to be comfortable. This pack definitely performs in this category. It has nice and thick padding to prevent any excess rubbing on contact points. I've had issues in the past with a lot of pain from packs rubbing on my collar bones and hip bones, but this pack caused me no issues with that. Contoured, adjustable padded mesh shoulder straps with load adjusters, the adjustable sternum strap and the pre-curved padded hip belt ensure comfort and support.

Then there are the features that make it versatile. It has plenty of smaller pockets on the outside of the pack which is fantastic for keeping smaller items separate and more accessible. On the front of the pack there are a good amount of gear loops to clip on or strap on extra gear to the outside. It's not too big for an overnight trip but also big enough to take on a multi-day trip. And lastly, the pack has a dedicated hydration bladder compartment. I'd recommend this pack to anyone looking for a durable multi-day hiking pack, with excellent versatility for various types of hiking and travelling.

Jack Schmidt climbing rocky terrain with a X-Country 65L Technical Hiking Pack

The adjustable bar harness system, padded shoulder straps and pre-curved hip belt combine for all-day comfort no matter where you find yourself scrambling. (Image courtesy of Jack Schmidt)

Photo Credits

All images supplied by Jack Schmidt




      Get VIP discounts, attend exclusive events and more