Mountainsmith Approach 45 hiking backpack anvil grey main

Reviews (2)

Best Pack I've Owned (.)
by David on 9/10/2016
The approach is just a great spacious pack. It's not the lightest pack out there. However, the way it distributes the weight made me literally forget I was wearing a pack at times. Pockets are spacious and fit my gear perfectly. I like that it's carry on size for air travel. Because of the heavier weight construction I anticipate that this will be the pack I carry for the next 20+ years. (I bought this several months ago and wanted to wait to write a review).
Look no further!
by Derd on 8/22/2016
After 2 weeks of research I accidently bumped into Mountainsmith's products and boy am I glad I did!

The approach 45 does most things right, but most importantly, the overall feel of this product is unparalleled compared to it's competition (read Osprey, Rei, Kelty). The material feels much more rugged, the zippers are more substantial and the mesh on the back and the straps screams quality all over!

I guess the main use of this bag would be as a travel bag, but it makes for an, if you are not too serious about hiking, excellent hike pack. The fact that you can't hide the straps doesn't bother me at all - I would much rather have a more versatile pack than a dedicated travel pack. The size of it is more than sufficient for a "warm weather travel" including an extra pair of shoes, regular towels and a coat!

This pack has many pros, so not to waste your time I'll just say I highly recommend it and will rather focus on the cons:
1. The main compartment has no separate compartments or mesh except the one sleeve you can use for hydration packs or a 15" laptop (but it is not padded). A zippered mesh sleeve on the inner side of the cover would be welcome.
2. The mesh side pockets for water are not angled for easy access and could have been a bit larger (you can't fit a shoe in there). You can fit a large water bottle, but it is a bit inconvenient to reach and pull out... If you don't hike a lot you should take this very lightly.
3. The large mesh pocket on the front is also smaller than I would like. I managed to fit a large windcheater jacket in there but I would not carry it there if I was planning to keep taking it in and out - it barely fit and the mesh was so stretched that is took away space on the inside of the bag.
4. There is nothing on the very bottom of the pack. I would have liked to see some straps there so I can hook up a tent or a winter coat.
5. There is no small pocket on the top of the pack for a wallet or glasses.
6. The hip belt has a pocket only on one side which can't accommodate a phone with a screen that is larger than 4.8".

Summary - after a lot of research I can pretty confidently say that, even with all the cons, this is easily the best carry-on travel pack you can buy atm - from a first look you can tell this pack was built with passion!
If you are looking for a true hiking pack I would still look at their other products - this pack will get the job done for a let's say 3 day hike, but it won't be as convenient as a dedicated hiking pack.

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Approach 45

Extremely versatile panel loader for minimalist weekends in the backcountry, gear intensive dayhikes or extended travel to far off lands.

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$129.95
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