This backpack has an interesting design which immediately caught my eye when I first saw it. The material sticking out of the front looked interesting and somewhat different from a standard day pack design.
On further investigation, I found that this feature on the front is a handy stuff pocket which would be ideal for stuffing a piece of kit into while on the move.
As that had piqued my interest, I thought a closer look at the various other features available in the Mountain Hardwear Fluid 26 backpack was required.
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The Fluid 26 backpack is a perfectly sized pack for a day out on the trail. At 26 / 28 Liters, it has adequate space to pack away all the necessary bits and pieces for a day hike.
Storage wise there are 3 compartments in the main bag area and externally the pack is equipped with a stretch side water bottle and stuff pockets which are very handy for stuffing a layer into while on the move. The pack also two zip pockets on it’s padded mesh waist belt for easy access so there’s plenty of storage room on the Fluid 26. Carry loops for an ice ax and trekking poles are also featured on the pack.
Stability wise, the Fluid 26 is supported using CoolWave suspension which utilizes air channels and a breathable mesh back panel with lumbar padding to keep the pack stable on your back while allowing room for ventilation. The backpanel also has a HardWave framesheet which keeps the back panel of your pack flat, the framesheet is strong but flexible. A nice additional feature to the stability features are side compression straps which enable you to adjust load stability on the move.
The pack comes with a built in hydration pocket with dual ports. The bladder is not included but if you’re looking for one check out the hydration pack buying guide.
As already mentioned, the waist belt is built using padded mesh for extra load comfort. The shoulder straps are also padded mesh and the Fluid 26 has an adjustable sternum strap to help you adjust it to a comfortable fit.
- Lightweight and comfortable with lot’s of adjustable fit options
- Ideal for multi-purpose use e.g. day hiking, short travel, biking, etc.
- Plenty of available storage including handy front stuff pockets
- Hydration sleeve with Dual Ports
- Some comments that the backpanel framesheet is not as strong as it could be, with a name like fluid though, this could be by design
- No rain cover included
Specs (at a glance):
- Pack material: 100 denier HT ripstop dobby nylon, 210 denier Hexnut ripstop nylon
- Frame type: Internal
- Hydration compatible: Yes
- Pack loading: Top
- Ice tool/trekking pole loops: Yes
- Recommended use: Backpacking Day or Overnight,Climbing,Daypack
- Volume liters: 26
- Dimensions: 20x10x7-1/2″
- Pack capacity: 1585 cu.in. (26 Liters)
- Weight: 1 lb. 13 oz.
- Fits torsos: 16-19″
- Dimensions: 22x10x7-1/2″
- Pack capacity: 1700 cu.in. (27 Liters)
- Weight: 2 lb.
- Fits torsos: 18-1/2-22″
- Pack volume: 25-34 L
Overall the Mountain Hardwear Fluid 26 pack ticks a lot of boxes for a good functional day pack. It has plenty of storage options, which I tend to look for in a day pack, and has decent ventilation for your back which I also think is a very important functional feature on a good day pack.
The front stuff pocket is a nice feature and I think that overall it has a pretty unique look. Finally, all of this comes in at a very reasonable price so if you’re looking for a day pack, you could definitely do a lot worse than this one.
You can check out more day packs here where I give some of my preferred recommendations.
Do you have the Mountain Hardwear Fluid 26 Backpack? How have you found it out? Let me know in the comments below.