Mars Bags 'The Trek' Backpack Review
In the Fall of 2018, my dad and I were in the process of planning an upcoming trip on the Bowron Lakes Canoe Circuit. I was in need of a small backpack to hold the items I'd need throughout the day: food, clothing, etc. I wanted something waterproof, but also durable. This is typically a very rainy trip and our gear would spend most of the time riding around in the bottom of our canoe - a place that is perpetually wet, sandy, and dirty.
I began searching for a backpack that would fit my needs. My wife suggested I check out a company called Mars Bags, which was founded by one of her high school classmates. Mars Bags is a small outdoor gear company specializing in waterproof gear such as backpacks and dry bags. Their philosophy is that people should be able to enjoy even the most hardcore outdoor activities without having to worry about their electronics or other valuables being ruined by the elements. Furthermore, they contribute a portion of their proceeds to help provide access to clean drinking water to people around the world.
One of the backpacks made by Mars bags is called The Trek. It's a 25L waterproof day-hiking backpack, featuring a roll-top closure, a small pocket on the front with a waterproof zipper, and two elastic water bottle pockets on the sides. On top of that, it's made out of a 70d fabric for added durability. This pack would be perfect for the Bowron Lakes, as well as the numerous rainy day hikes I do throughout the year here in the Seattle area.
It did, indeed, perform admirably on the Bowron Lakes. It carried all of my jackets, food, water, a camp chair, and a bunch of other miscellaneous items I needed on our 5 day excursion. It kept everything totally dry, and after a quick rinse at the end of the trip, it looked good as new. This pack spent 5 days rolling around in the bottom of a canoe, being thrown in the canoe, thrown out of the canoe, and carried on my back and it managed to not just protect everything in the pack, but look good doing so!
The Trek seems to be very well built, the stitching is clean and neat. The shoulder straps and hip belt are comfortable and highly adjustable, and the padded back panels provides plenty of comfort, even when the pack is fully loaded. The fabric has a nice look and a very durable feel to it. Nothing feels odd or out of place, and there are nice little touches all over the pack, such as the small reflective pull tabs on the water bottle pockets. I have no doubt this pack will last a long time, even when exposed to the harshest of elements.
The Trek has become my go-to pack for when I want total peace of mind when it comes to protecting my gear. When I'm preparing for a day hike, I can load up The Trek and know for certain that everything inside will remain protected and dry.