Pros: rugged construction, comfortable fit, plenty of storage, EMS stands behind its products
Cons: A side or front pocket would have been nice
If you are looking for a solid and dependable larger sized daypack, EMS 2800 just might be the backpack for you.
At its most basic, the 2800 is a frameless rugsack type daypack that has a padded back panel to provide some cushioning between the back and your back.
At 6 foot 2, I dont tend to think of myself as overly tall, but I have noticed that some daypacks (and backpacks for that matter) tend to ride strangely or uncomfortably on my back because they seem made to fit someone around 5 foot 9 or so. I havent had that problem with the 2800 and I have been carrying it since I purchased it back in my college years. The pack fits comfortably on my shoulders and the waist strap rides on my waist, where is should be (not up around my upper stomach like on some packs).
The 2800 fits close to the body because it lacks an internal or external frame. Therefore it is excellent for activities where you dont want your pack flapping around on your back, such as cross-country skiing or climbing. When you have got the 2800 on, you have free arm movement and because the pack is held close to you, there is not much change in your center of gravity, so it is difficult for the pack to cause you to lose your balance. The shoulder straps are padded like the back of the pack, but the waist strap is an unpadded. In general the amount of weight you would carry in the pack would not require a padded waist strap. Empty the 2800 only weighs in at about 2 pounds so the pack is not adding much to the weight of the equipment or clothing that you are carrying.
Fully stuffed, the 2800 can carry 2800 cubic inches of stuff. This means in the real world that in the summertime, this pack can almost be used as a lightweight overnight backpack if you are a light packer. The sleeping bag can either be compressed inside or strapped to the outside along with a tent. There is exterior webbing on the pack that allows you to strap things on the outside and because the top of the pack flips back and forth, you can strap items in underneath the top when you have it locked down. There are also side straps to compress the pack that can be used to strap gear on the sides of the pack. In the wintertime, youll easily be able to carry jackets, extra gloves, hats, etc without any problems because of the amount of space available in the 2800.
The 2800 is constructed on rip-stop fabric that is able to withstand heavy outdoor use. Ive had my back now for several years, including having used it two years as a forest ranger. That meant almost constant daily use of the pack for those two summers and otherwise when I wasnt a ranger, the pack was still getting fairly heavy use. The only time I ever had a tear in the pack was when I checked it at an airport after a geology field trip to Utah and I had several rocks in the pack. The rocks wore away at the material through the baggage handling process. However, I took it to EMS and they repaired the fabric free of charge. They sent it out to their manufacturer, who patched the holes with the same color material and then shipped it to me free of charge. I couldnt have been happier. Since then, none of the repaired areas, or any other areas have ripped or torn.
Hikers looking for a comfortable and light daypack that can store a lot of gear should check out EMS 2800. It offers both a lightweight daypack with plenty of storage and ruggedly constructed pack that can stand up to even the most active users needs.
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