Camelbak – Trizip

Everybody knows Camelbak. From small hydration only packs through to day packs and even military packs, they have covered a lot of markets. You may not know that Camelbak actually produced a number of Mystery Ranch designs such as the famous NICE frame and Crew Cab for some time and also used some design elements and features for some of their own packs.

The TriZip draws its name from the style of opening. If you are familiar with Mystery Ranch, you will recognize the design and moniker immediately, as it was licensed from them. The pack also features a version of the venerable Futura Harness from Mystery Ranch.

Hydration Capacity: 100 oz (3 L)

Cargo Volume: 1891.6 cu in (31L)

Total Volume: 2075 cu in (34 L)

Includes the 100 oz (3 L) OMEGA® Water Beast™ Reservoir with HydroLink Exit Port

Pack Weight: 5.1 lbs (2.3 kg)

Materials: 500D Cordura® Fabric front panel, gusset, and shoulder harness top side > Air mesh on back panel and underside of shoulder harness > 210D Nylon lining > 7 series Aluminum > 5 mm Closed-Cell foam for insulated reservoir compartment

Pack Dimensions: 20 in x 13 in x 11.5 in (510 mm x 331 mm x 293 mm)

My intended use of the pack was as an EDC pack, given the comfort I expected from the Futura Harness and the apparent inclusion of organizational features for such duties. I was living in a large European city at the time, so getting around on the trams and through crowds was important. I also had some intel telling me the hydration compartment was large enough to hold my 13” MacBook Pro.

First Impressions

My first impressions of the pack were positive. I really thought that this is THE pack MR should have built as an EDC pack. It took many of the positive elements of packs such as the 3DAP but added urban EDC friendly features. My MBP did indeed fit (though just barely), it had pen slots and a built in bottle pocket, and the harness was as good as it should have been. I was pleased.

Camelbak Trizip Review Front Pic

The front of the Trizip sportsa loop field for patches, the upper and lower compression straps and 3 columns of PALS webbing on each side of the center zipper.

Camelbak Trizip Review Side Pic

Each side of the Trizip is the same externally, with a small PALS field above the side pocket and some on the face of the pocket itself. In the top corner is also a port for hydration tubes of wires from the main compartment. The upper compression strap passes through a ring and anchors near the back panel of the pack, while the lower strap anchors on the face of the pack.

Camelbak Trizip Review Top View

Atop of the Trizip is a basic lid pocket. I have a Maxpedition Micro organizer in mine here, but I can stuff a lightweight rain shell in there. It’s fairly spacious, and the bottom is lined with some sort of stretch material, so it can swallow a fair sized load.

Camelbak Trizip Review Hydration View

Behind the lid pocket is the sleeve for the hydration system. The opening is about 9”, the sleeve goes to the bottom of the pack, and there is a small webbing loop to hang gear from.

There are a total of 4 ports from the hydration pocket to allow routing of hoses. There is one high and one low on each side of the pack.

Camelbak Trizip Review Admin

The admin pocket is located on the wearer’s right side of the bag. It contains various pen slots, some simple flat pockets, a small mesh pocket and a key anchor point. There is quite a variety of sizing and shape, so they are versatile.

Camelbak Trizip Review Bottle Pocket

The bottle pocket is located on the wearers left side of the bag. It is large, open and lightly insulated/padded. It protrudes into the bag when loaded.

Camelbrak Trizip review open interior shot kifaru pullouts

On each side of the interior are small mesh pockets. I can fit a Kifaru Tombstone Organizer (6”x6”) in there, as well as various Maxpedition organizers.

On the rear panel is a larger sleeve pocket with elastic drawstring at the top, and two webbing straps across it to secure a load.

There are also 3 webbing loops on the back panel to further anchor or organize gear.

Camelbak Trizip Review Interior

This photo shows better the mesh pocket and one of the webbing gear loops. Here one can see also the port for routing wires or hoses.

Camelbak Trizip Review Bottom

The bottom of the pack features webbing for attaching pouches or strapping gear on and has a grommet for drainage.

Camelbak Trizip Review Suspension

The Futura Harness in all its glory. Everything here is what one would expect.

Camelbak Trizip Review Belt

The belt is a very basic unit that can be removed when desired.

Improvement points

At 34 liters, this pack is just too big for a daily driver in the city. I’d love to see a version of this scaled back to 20-25 liters.

While the pack includes the Futura Harness and belt, it does not have a frame or frame sheet, so the bottom half of the pack is not rigid. The pack is large enough to load fairly heavy and would benefit from some additional structure here.

The bottle pocket is great but protrudes into the bag when used. This means it cannot be used when the main compartment is completely loaded.

The pack uses non-standard 1” side release buckles and the webbing keepers are sewn into the straps. As a tinkerer, this makes it impossible to tinker with things without permanently altering the pack. For example, I would have liked the ability to at least roll up and pin back compression straps when I didn’t need them.

The belt is very basic and made from slippery packcloth. It could use upgrades of mesh and forward pulls.

The hydration pocket could be raised up off the bottom of the pack some. I realize this pack was designed well before carrying a device became the norm, but I like smart, versatile designs.

Wrap up

Lest that list of improvement points scare you away from the TriZip, let’s lay out what it has going for it here.

The belt is removable. This is great when the pack needs to be a bit lower profile.

The size is perfect or air travel for use as a carry on (in the overhead compartment). This is sort of the urban-friendly 3DAP or Komodo Dragon Mystery Ranch never built.

The TriZip design is great for accessing gear throughout the main compartment.

The Futura Harness is real. It is fantastic as making the load comfortable to carry. Believe the hype.

My 13” MacBook Pro fits in the hydration sleeve. A perfect place for it to ride.

The bottle pocket is insulated. A nice touch.

I really enjoyed having the admin pouch on the side instead of the middle rear. It seemed more naturally placed on a bag this size and did not add depth to the bag when loaded. Beyond that, the slots and pockets in there are practically sized and useful.

In conclusion, I sing the praises of this pack for travel or when one needs a large EDC bag. For me, it was just too big for regular EDC use, but it’s combination of smart organization, ease of access to all pockets and carry comfort under load make it an ideal candidate for The Perfect Pack.

 

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