Friday, February 11, 2011

Golite Odyssey Backpack review

  I am already planning for my trip to Rochester NY in May to run Mind The Ducks 12 hour race and I think I have found the perfect tool to carry all of my stuff.   The people at Golite were very cool to send me the  Golite Odyssey backpack to review.  As with all of my experiences with Golite I have nothing negative to say about this pack and as some of you know I am not afraid to post about what I don't like about a product.       I have big plans for this trip and I want to travel as lightly and efficiently as possible.   I also travel to events for nuun and look forward to being able to use this pack on those trips as well.

  For the Mind the Ducks trip I have certain things to consider. First I will be taking a train and have a 6 hour layover in Chicago.  This to me will be awesome!  I have never been to Chicago and I have just the right amount of time to do some exploring!  I want to be able to take my stuff with me but not feel limited by it in what I can do.  A second consideration is that I will be very tired on the return trip and not want to be burdened by an ill fitting load to carry.  I want easy access to my stuff and a comfortable fit.  I will also be relying on public transportation and rides from friends so I won't have a car to store stuff in.  It will all go with me.

   Here are some points that will give you a little bit better of an ideas as to what I want generally in a pack like this.   I want to be able to carry everything with me at once and yes I am one of "those people" that would rather carry it myself AND I hate to make multiple trips. I will carry things in my teeth before I will go back for a second trip if I can get away with it!!   I like having my hands free if possible and this is evident in the fact that I used baby carriers daily for packing around my babies up until they didn't want to be carried anymore.
  
  I chose the womens size large based on the easy measuring instructions on the website and chose the Cornflower and Sapphire for the color.    This pack fits true to the measurement guide on the website and the color is gorgeous!  
The Odyssey pack is 3 lbs 1oz and has six different pockets not including the pouch to accommodate a hydration bladder. It has a 4758" cubed volume capacity.

This pack is full of pockets.  I love that I can separate and organize my gear and not sift through a big pile like I was doing before using a duffel bag. 
There are zippered pockets on either side of the waist belt for quick access as well as mesh  pockets for bottles on either side of the pack.  There is a pocket on the top area or lid , two on the front, and the main large main storage area.  

      These are the main features of the Odyssey.
  • Anatomically molded hip-belt with zippered pockets
  • S-Contoured back panel with frame sheet and 2 aluminum stays mimic shape of the spine and are customizable for a dialed in fit.
  • Quick drying mesh back panel & shoulder harness
  • Sculpted lid with body-side zippered access detaches to shed 92 grams
  • Internal hydration sleeve with righty and lefty tube ports.
  • Comfortable carrying capacity of 50 lbs.
  • Top compression strap and load lifters control and transfer weight effectively.
  • Adjustable sternum strap with whistle
  
 When I first opened the package it was hard to believe that this pack was 3 lbs.  It felt like much less.  Its also hard to believe that such a lite pack can carry such a large load but it can and comfortably.   
  
Everyone was quite jealous of my new pack and the boys had to try it on.  Afterwards they wore their backpacks around with all their favorite stuff stored inside to be like mommy!  I got  brownie points from the spawn for being so cool with this pack so thanks Golite for that too!!! 

This backpack is brilliant in that it has room for a lot of gear and yet flexibility to cinch it down to reduce the size when you don't have as much to carry.  It has a 50lb carrying capacity and yet can easily convert between a day pack and a load bearing machine using the Compaktor straps.  With these straps you can cut the volume by 30-50%.  I am thinking that it could be used as a carry-on for plane travel as well as trail hiking, camping, that illustrious backpack trip across Europe that I will someday go on, ect....

  Yes it's pretty and it's comfortable.  This pack goes with my style and it matches my eyes.  All that aside its amazing to open a package from Golite and be shocked every time as how lite their gear actually is.  They use less material and the material they use is recycled and yet the gear is still tough and durable.

  They use Teir 1 Recycled Materials.  According to Golite Teir 1 Recycling is the best way of making technical materials from recyclable components since it results in performance on par with virgin, petroleum produced alternatives.
The process is straightforward in that they take used materials and break them down in a process called depolymaterization and then use them as the molecular building blocks for new, recycled fabrics and insulation.  This closed-loop process can be repeated indefinitely due to the high quality of the resulting fibers.
"We work hard to minimize environmental impacts throughout our company’s operations, but we can make the biggest positive difference for you, our company and the planet by taking a close look at the products we make. The materials we choose, the production methods we employ, the factories we select, and the degree to which we take responsibility for a product’s entire life-cycle, are all key avenues for responsible change." ~Golite~

Golite has a scoring system for their products called the Golite Index. The link takes you to their scoring system page and breaks down the ideas behind it and how the scoring is tallied. 
Their are many links on the left hand side that address Fair labor, Giving Back, Transparency, and I'm Not Trash which goes over what you can do with your Golite gear that may need repaired or passed on.


The GoLite Philosophy

• We believe there is no better gym than the great outdoors.
• We believe sweat equals clarity and raised heart rates can be better than therapy.
• We believe in runner’s high.
• We believe sore muscles feel good and shirt tans can be sexy.
• We believe in long runs before everyone else wakes up.
• We believe our gear should enhance our experience not be our experience.
• We believe everyday activities are worthy adventures.
• We believe in aerobic meditation.
• We believe memories are more important than souvenirs.
• We believe being in nature is key to happiness.
• We believe we are never too old to play outside.

  I have an ongoing desire to live minimally.  Being a barefoot runner extends to more areas of life then just my feet and I love to get the mutual benefits of trying out products and reviewing them for companies that share my own ideals.    This will be an ongoing review since I will be using this pack extensively this year however I believe I have highlighted the points that I found most interesting and useful.

When planning your adventures I can honestly say that a Golite Odyssey pack is worth serious consideration. Yes, I did receive this backpack for free to review yet keep in mind that we live minimally in what we choose to buy and try and make wise purchases. With that in mind this is an investment that I would find worth the money.  
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I provide Bradley Method childbirth education, doula, belly casting, placenta encapsulation, and post partum doula services.
I serve families in Kitsap County, Bainbridge Island, Poulsbo, Bremerton, Silverdale, Kingston, Port Townsend, Bremerton, Port Orchard, and the greater Seattle area. email me atangiebeehotz@gmail.com with any questions you might have