Designed specifically for day hiking, Skyline 15 and 25 are uniquely comfortable packs due to their innovative Switchback™ suspension system, which allows the pack to be worn close to the body on more demanding terrain or fully ventilated when it’s warm on the trail. Switching between the two modes is quick and easy. Skyline offers many options for organizing gear, with two main compartment zippers and internal and external pockets.
Switchback solves a challenging problem that some pack designs create. To increase ventilation for the wearers back, the popular design solution has been to arc the pack body away from the spine and place a mesh panel against the back. The logic here is that this encourages the evaporation of sweat that otherwise accumulates in clothing layers. While it works to some degree, the mesh holds the wearers shirt against the body and limits air flow, trapping sweat. With Switchback, only a narrow panel of mesh comes in contact with the wearer and the arcing of the pack isn’t a permanent feature. To go from a close-contact panel to a fully ventilated one simply requires a tensioning of the Velcro-secured SwitchBand that runs down the center of the pack. When this is tightened and secured, spring steel frame stays and a polyethylene framesheet are curved and held in place, setting the pack off the wearers back. This provides superior ventilation and when more challenging terrain is encountered, the arc of the pack can be minimized by releasing the tension on the SwitchBand, bringing the load closer to the wearers center of gravity. It works beautifully and the results are dramatic.
Shoulder straps, hip belt and back panel are lined with airy mesh for comfort and quick drying. Load lifter straps at the top of the shoulder straps are attached to the internal frame, stabilizing the load when necessary. An adjustable sternum strap maintains shoulder strap comfort. Each hip belt wing has a large zippered pocket to organize on-the-trail snacks, camera, phone, etc.
The main compartment is accessible through a wide opening over-the-top zipper as well as a U-shaped zipper on the outer panel. Low down on each side are open pouches with compression straps, which easily hold water bottles, trekking poles extra clothing, etc. Two more side compression straps, one on each side, control the upper part of the pack from swaying with heavier loads. There is a zipper-accessible stash pocket on the outer zippered panel and several more mesh pockets on the interior, including two in the bottom corners to keep water bottles or an umbrella in place. Skyline is equipped with two elastic cords on the outer panel, allowing an ice axe or trekking poles to be carried there.
Skyline 15 is a compact size, just right for day hikes. Skyline 25 is sized for longer days, more gear intensive outings or multi-day, hut-to-hut trips such as the Tour du Mont Blanc.