Think about how you travel around town most. Lugging a laptop and water bottle to work, hitting the grocery store for a small haul, carrying climbing shoes and change of clothes to the gym—none of these trips require a 40+ liter rucksack originally designed for hauling mountaineering gear. So why enlist the latter to do the former? It’s overkill.
We suggest, instead, you pick a super lightweight, modestly-sized pack that can carry the essentials and still look good whether full or half empty. Take the Timbuk2 Rift Tote-Pack, for example.
In recent months we’ve highlighted both the North St. Davis pack (a great foul weather EDC) and the Kletterwerks Drei Zip (better suited for day hikes and weekends away), but it’s the Rift that’s been our go-to EDC around town bag of late. The slender design can be carried like tote or worn as a backpack, though it’s definitely more comfortable worn than held.
At 16 liters in capacity, the Rift can carry more than you might think, be it a full camera kit or spare layer, lunch and water bottle for a day hike (both of which we’ve tested). The magnetic chest strap was helpful when cycling and hiking with larger loads, and easily removed when around town travel called for carrying the bare minimum.
The interior features a laptop sleeve to keep your MacBook secure, and a single exterior pocket with keychain loop for easy access to essentials. Two elastic mesh sleeves on the sides nicely secure either a water bottle or U-Lock. Plus a hidden loop on the back panel is ideal for securing a bike light. And it’s machine washable, so feel free to cover it in climbing chalk or mud.
In short, the small pack is just the right tool for daily commuting and other, less life and death trips around town and the trail. And the sleek design is attractive when worn by both men and women. Nice.