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Five Perfect Trail Packs

Trail essentials

More and more everyday Canadian runners are exploring the trails. A pack is a must-have if you’re heading off into the woods.

Arc’teryx Chilcotin 12Arc’teryx Chilcotin 12

$150 One of the famed Canadian outdoor brand’s “essentials,” this versatile hydration pack features a big 2 L bladder and ample cavity space for a jacket and other items. The Wingman pockets are great for snacks, but it would be exciting if a future version also employed strap pockets. The myriad of storage options on this pack more than overcompensate. A solid commuter pack or full-day exploration tool.

MEC Mountain Fountain 5MEC Mountain Fountain 5

$60 This small, form-fitting pack has a 2 L bladder, allowing for a full day of hydration. There’s a decent amount of space inside and the zig-zag bungee cord on the outside allows you to quickly stuff and carry a jacket. Even though this is a very low-profile pack, the waist strap is a nice touch to keep it snug against your body as you run.

Patagonia Nine Trails 15 LPatagonia Nine Trails 15 L

$95 Smartly designed small day pack. Employs a clever zip and clip closing system to keep items snug and dry. A separate key and card pocket at the top of the main opening is a thoughtful touch. Big enough to fit basic safety gear, a dry top and a mid-run meal, or a single pair of shoes. Very breathable straps and back.

Osprey Rev 6Osprey Rev 6

$130 This hydration pack has all the bells and whistles. The 1.5 L bladder is ideal for midrange excursions and the rest of the Rev 6 is designed to accommodate that sort of adventure. The secondary cavity is big enough to stuff a jacket and other items. The two front strap pockets are highly functional. One even has a waterproof chamber for a smartphone.

Nathan VaporAirNathan VaporAir

$65 For such a small imprint on the back, the VaporAir allows you to carry up to 2 L of fluid. Our testers found it to rest very comfortably and breathe exceptionally  well during a hot day on the trail. The bladder is a bit cumbersome to refill, but with such a large storage capacity for such a small pack, it’s not bound to be a major issue for even the most competitive ultraunner.