I recently purchased a new day pack for those fast and longer day hikes. Research was focused on the following features / requirements:

  • Size = 25-30 liters (with most capacity in main compartment)
  • Material = DCF or Ultra
  • Thru-hike enabling (my style – 20+ miles w/ few short stops)
  • Small cottage craftsperson with environmental ethics
  • Hiker designer

The search took several weeks while reading reviews and exploring different options. I discovered the Yar Gear 28L Mountain Drifter (Link). It met every requirement and was decently priced. Garage Grown Gear introduced me to Yar Gear, so i sent GGG a message asking if they could secure the 28l Ultra Drifter. GGG quickly responded with a ‘sorry, but no; only Yar Gear itself sells this pack’. So i ordered from Yar.Gear

The pack arrived within a week (it is now sold out on their website), and I was pleasantly surprised. Well made, light and exactly what i wanted. After almost 200 miles with the pack, I have gear-kit set up ready to refine w/ more miles.

The pack has a good back elastic / stretch pocket for my water filtration and sitting pad (and other quick / light things like a sun hat). The side pockets are small but will hold 1 l water bottle and have straps to constrict the top to prevent fall outs. There are not belt pockets, but the shoulder strap pockets are even better for fast day hiking imho (i use for phone and food). The top is a roll down with plenty of capacity – most of the capacity is the main compartment.

My gear set is pod-based, so here is what the inside holds

2 plastic water bottles 400ml each in the side pockets. Orange pod = rain gear; yellow pod = extra socks / fleece; white Ultra pod =(middle) emergency kit; and white Ultra pod (right) = puff jacket, hat, gloves and emergency socks. Ultra fabric pods are water proof, and I am using different sizes from UltraliteSacks (GGG Link). The orange and yellow bags are just nylon from REI.

Inside those pods, it looks like this:

Summary: I just love this pack. Yar.Gear is worth checking out. Probably the most comfortable, functional day pack I have ever worn. I keep the weight with food and water below 20 pounds and have yet to be disappointed. The last 5 day hikes have all been done w/ this pack for a total of 90+ miles (Spencer Butte, Willamette Pass sobo, Hardesty Mt, Pamelia Lake sobo, and Pamelia Lake to Jefferson Park. I highly recommend putting a Yar.Gear pack on your gear list for review.

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