A Pack for any excursion
My wife and I took a trip to Iceland this past fall. It was my first trip outside of the US and we decided that we had wanted to go tropical. We had looked at Costa Rica, but after some research we had decided that we would go to some place more beautiful. We planned the trip without tour guides or trip advisors. Everything we planned was done by either word of mouth or blog reviews. We had determined we would be there for 8 days and be doing a lot of hiking and driving. We needed some practical gear to get our stuff safely and easily around the country and we finally settled on the Mission Critical Rolltop Backpack.
While we were gathering our equipment, we were not sure what to expect. Weather can change dramatically in very short periods of time. Temperature that time of year averaged around 2-3 degrees Celcius and the conditions are usually foggy and rainy depending on the part of the country you are in. We needed something that was large enough to handle our gear but small enough to be carry on items on the plane.
The Rolltop Backpack by Mission Critical was exactly what we were looking for. I knew from previous experience that the products they make are high quality so I had no problem checking out the new line of bags. These are not diaper bags, but rather regular backpacks.
Designed for the wilderness
Mission Critical created this backpack with the idea of hiking through the bush. The packs are lightweight and feature a hex pattern to prevent tearing. There is an outside pocket for your small items that you may need quick access to. Our passports, keys and wallets fit perfectly here.
The Rolltop has two rigid pieces to allow for the fabric to roll tightly into place and fastens with buckles to keep dirt, debris, and water out. The inside has an extra zippered pocket, and a bladder pouch so you can add your own hydration system.
Weight is always critical when hiking, and these packs weigh in at a mere 18 oz. Mission Critical boasts a lifetime warranty, so feel comfortable taking it wherever you go.
We decided to really put these bags to the test. We visited beaches, glaciers, and mountains in various weather patterns and in each location we brought our rolltop packs with us. They are not waterproof, however during a heavy rain and wind storm during a 5 mile hike across the black sand beaches to the plane wreckage at the beaches of Sólheimasandur we did use the pack to protect my wife’s camera equipment.
We were soaked to the bone and frozen when we finished our voyage, but the camera was kept dry inside of the bag. The bag itself was wet on the outside and some other items in the bag did get wet, so it is in no way waterproof, but the nylon was enough to protect our precious equipment from ruin.
8 Days of hiking through Iceland
We traveled south to Vik and around to the eastern side of the country where there were few tourists and enjoyed a few days out there on a private farm where we could hike and see vast waterfalls that few other travelers get to see. After a few days we traveled back across the country and visited the Fjadrargljufur Canyon.
The terrain here is steep and smooth with sudden drops and overlooks into the river below. A lot of the area has been heavily changed for torism, but it is still an amazing sight to see. The canyon is not far off of the ring road and just east of Vik. It provided a great opportunity to shoot some beautiful portraits of our bags and really show off how well they look.
Overall, our trip was incredible and would have been incomplete with such extrodinary gear. This lineup is not the same style as the rest of their equipment. lacking that tactical look/design, however, it is quite functional, light and suited for any multi-day hike or excursion you would want to take.
So my only complaint about the bag was the rolltop… Interesting right? I had never used one before so it took some adjustments. I had to plan how to pack it and anticipate what I may need. If I made a mistake, it would end up with me digging from the top down to reach my items. On the plane this was the most difficult because of the tight spaces aboard the aircraft and how much we had stuffed in the bags.
We were able to stuff 8 days worth of heavy clothing in two of these bags, and a small suitcase that was utilized as overhead bin luggage.
One Last thing
If you have never been to iceland, it is a must see. Movies and TV shows like game of thrones are filmed there and the beauty is unmatched. Our gear was specifically chosen for our expedition and held up well in all circumstances. Mission Critical has made yet another awesome product that I am honored to own.