Looking for an affordable pack to take from the trail to the airport? Outdoor Products Gama 40L pack is great at that! The Gama 40L pack is different from packs I’ve tried in this category before. There are many brands out there and only a small selection of them are available at your local outfitters. Outdoor Products enters in the affordable category and I would not have stumbled upon this pack except that Outdoor Products found us at the Outdoor Retailers Show a few weeks ago and asked us to try the Gama 40 L.

The first thing I noticed was the shape. It is squat and wide for a 40 L pack, more like the shape of a 15-20L daypack, making it seem smaller than it is. When empty, it feels like a day pack and I enjoyed using it as such. But this made me wonder if it would actually hold everything I needed for an overnight. I pack heavy for a single overnight. But everything fit pretty well.

This pack is an organized camper’s dream! The beauty is in the arrangement of the pockets. I wrestle with where to put my standard two 1-liter bottles in my day-trip pack. Usually I end up stringing a strap through the top of each bottle and tucking them into shallow mesh pockets.  They dangle on the outside of my pack, just above my hips. The Gama fixes this problem by tucking the pockets in deeper toward the small of the back, making the center of gravity much more pleasant. They have added additional pockets on the outside of the bottle pockets. Pockets, pockets!!

There are eight distinct pouches, 6 of which are zippered, the 2 bottle carriers are open. There are fourteen pockets in all, including the water reservoir space and the tiny pockets in a larger front pouch. These would be perfect for toothbrush/paste, med kit, keys or other small items that tend to float around in bigger pack pockets. And if pockets aren’t enough, they have cleverly looped all the ends of the straps so you can bind and clip to your heart’s desire.

 

It’s small enough to take on day trips and large enough to take on a light overnight. Then I took it out traveling – not backpacking. It quickly replaced my overnight carry-on for short flights. It’s designed to be perfect for short weekend travel as well as short weekend backpack trips. Double duty, I love that; but that’s not all. It would also be a great college student pack. The back is nicely supported and offers enough room for all those lovely giant course books. The small pockets would convert to pencil and mp3 holders.

My nit picks are small but notable: There is no pouch on the front of the hip belt. Something to hold an energy bar or phone or keys would be a great addition. There are a ton of straps and clips but no daisy chains or loops. I’d be hard pressed to get an ice axe or trekking poles to ride on this pack since there are no designated loops for those things.  But there are clips that loops could be installed into, if  you are determined to do something like that.

Pros

-Tons of pockets for organizing

-Designed to be versatile – from weekends on the trail to overnights at the in-laws

-Great use of space for the size

-Affordable

Cons

-No daisy chains or ice axe loops

-No hip belt pocket

Summary

Overall it’s a great pack for the money. Well designed, versatile and allows first time backpackers an easy entry point when looking for a smaller pack.
Click Here to Purchase the Outdoor Products Gama Backpack

Tech Specs:

Manufacturer: Outdoor Products

Date available: Available now

Manufacturer’s Website: Outdoor Products

MSRP: US$49.95

Dimensions: 22.5in H x 13in W x 8in D / 2,390 cu in

Size/Model tested: Gama 40 liter backpack

Colors Available: Army green or Burnt orange (my descriptions, not theirs)

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