As you can read in My first year with an Aarn bodypack, I’m a big fan of front/back balanced carrying systems for backpacking. A few months ago I discovered online an relatively new entry in this category, the Sportback from Symbiot Design: a 3.3 liters technical daypack, with several pockets, including a couple hidden ones, and an hydration pouch, which is worn like a vest.
Looking at the specs on its home page, I started thinking about using the Sportback for overnight, ultralight backpacking hikes in warm weather.
I mean, the back seems padded enough to carry much more weight that would fit in the Sportback! Therefore, I immediately contacted Symbiot to know a bit more about it and, possibly, to get more pictures. There already is a Sportback picture gallery online but I was interested in more details of the inside of the front and main pockets, and of the adjustment points. Besides, this Sportback review talks about seven pockets, but it isn’t clear where they all are.
Jon Gross of Symbiot kindly answered my questions and provided the extra pictures that you see on this page. They don’t show all the extra details I’d have liked to see, they do give lots of extra information if you want to evaluate this backpack online, before purchasing it This, for example, shows the Cordura and neoprene fabric used on the shoulders of the Sportback.
Strider: The biggest pocket has some internal compartments too. Besides, the front pockets will host without problems small knives, compasses, compact digital cameras or electronic gear will fit here.However, I must confess that the first thing I’d like to see is bigger front pockets. It would be even better to have detachable front pockets, that is a system that one can outfit according to need.[![
Jon: Unfortunately, we don’t have detachable pockets at this time.
Strider: That is something that may be overcome by the fact the front buckles are strong enough to carry some extra, third party belt pockett. Personally, however, my main interest in something like the Sportback is not for “running” activities or bycicle, but as a day pack for wilderness hikes. This is really where most of these questions come from. To work that way, however, total volume should be at least 10 liters (about 650⁄700 cuin). Would it be possible to build such a version? Now that’s something I’d like to try!
Jon: I use the Sportback for hiking the most myself. The volume size right now is perfect for a day hike. It’s not intended to be an over night bag but it’s got enough room for food/water and a few other items for the day.
Strider: What about waterproofness? there is no waterproof compartment, is there? (not necessarily a problem, just to know)
Jon: It’s water resistant up to a certain level. It’s cordura.
Strider: Oh, I forgot:what about rock climbing? Has anybody already used the sportback for this?
Jon: Not that I know of but I feel it would be perfect for that. You would have complete freedom with your arms!
Strider: Thanks Jon for this extra information about the Sportback. For completeness, here are some other reviews of this product: