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REI Co-op Traverse 60 Review

This is a comfortable and affordable backpacking pack, but it's on the heavier end of the weight spectrum
REI Co-op Traverse 60
Credit: REI Co-op
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Price:  $229 List | $160.29 at REI
Pros:  Comfortable with heavy loads, affordable, good pockets, easy to use, durable
Cons:  Heavier than most
Manufacturer:   REI Co-op
By Sam Schild ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  May 17, 2022
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68
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#11 of 15
  • Suspension and Comfort - 45% 7.0
  • Weight - 20% 6.0
  • Features and Ease of Use - 20% 7.0
  • Adjustability - 15% 7.0

Our Verdict

The REI Co-op Traverse 60 is a great backpack for beginners and experts alike who are looking for a durable pack that can handle a heavy load and don't care about pack weight. The shoulder straps and hip belt wrap around to the back panel of the pack in one continuous piece of material, making the pack feel like it is giving you a hug. It supports heavy loads comfortably and keeps the weight anchored securely to your back without chafing or rubbing. There are enough pockets on this pack to keep all your gear organized, but all those pockets contribute to a high overall pack weight.

Compare to Similar Products

 
REI Co-op Traverse 60
Awards  Editors' Choice Award Best Buy Award   
Price $229 List
$160.29 at REI
$215.96 at Backcountry
Compare at 3 sellers
$199 List
$199.00 at REI
$164.73 at REI
Compare at 2 sellers
$164.95 at Backcountry
Compare at 2 sellers
Overall Score Sort Icon
68
84
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77
67
Star Rating
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Pros Comfortable with heavy loads, affordable, good pockets, easy to use, durableLight-weight, comfortable with heavy loads, perfect pocket combinationLight-weight, comfortable, easily personalized, inexpensiveVery lightweight, good value, great featuresInexpensive, bottom access, included pack cover
Cons Heavier than mostTiny buckles hard to operate with gloveslacks durabillity, not made for heavy loadsPoor support under heavy loads, fixed torso and waist beltDifficult top lid access, minimal features, heavier than expected
Bottom Line This is a comfortable and affordable backpacking pack, but it's on the heavier end of the weight spectrumA lightweight load hauler that is both comfortable and full of featuresIt may not be a heavy load hauler, but for moderate loads, this pack is comfortable and has an amazing set of features, all at a great priceThis is a great borderline ultralight pack that performs well when used for lighter loadsAn entry-level pack at an entry-level price, but without any standout features
Rating Categories REI Co-op Traverse 60 Granite Gear Blaze 60 REI Co-op Flash 55 Gregory Optic 58L Osprey Rook 65
Suspension and Comfort (45%)
7.0
8.0
7.0
7.0
6.0
Weight (20%)
6.0
9.0
10.0
10.0
8.0
Features and Ease of Use (20%)
7.0
9.0
9.0
9.0
6.0
Adjustability (15%)
7.0
8.0
5.0
5.0
8.0
Specs REI Co-op Traverse 60 Granite Gear Blaze 60 REI Co-op Flash 55 Gregory Optic 58L Osprey Rook 65
Measured Weight 4.3 lbs 3.0 lbs 2.6 lbs 2.5 lbs 3.6 lbs
Volume 60 L 60 L 55 L 58 L 65 L
Access Top, bottom Top Top Top Top
Hydration Compatible Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Materials 300D recycled ripstop nylon 100D robic nylon w/ DWR coating Main body: 100D ripstop nylon
Bottom: 420D nylon
Main Body: 100d High Tenacity Nylon Bottom: 210D High Tenacity Nylon 600D nylon ripstop
Sleeping bag Compartment Yes No No No Yes

Our Analysis and Test Results

The REI Co-op Traverse 60 is a comfortable and durable pack for carrying heavy loads in the backcountry. It is a product for the outdoor enthusiast who loves a simple, not overengineered design in a backpacking pack.

Performance Comparison


REI Co-op Traverse 60 backpacks backpacking - at an overlook in arapaho national forest.
At an overlook in Arapaho National Forest.
Credit: Sam Schild

Suspension and Comfort


This is one of the most comfortable packs we tested. It has two external aluminum struts that transfer the weight of the pack to the hip belt. This frame design works well to load the weight onto your hips, but the real highlight here is the way the shoulder straps and hip belt integrate into the back panel.

The cushioned shoulder straps and hip belt wrap around the backside of this pack. So, the same material that keeps the straps comfortable also cushions your back. This creates an excellent overall fit and feels like the pack is wrapping its arms around you.

REI Co-op Traverse 60 backpacks backpacking - we loved the way the shoulder straps and hip belt wrap around onto...
We loved the way the shoulder straps and hip belt wrap around onto the backside of the pack.
Credit: Sam Schild

The torso length is adjustable on this pack. This ensures an ideal fit for the shoulder straps and hip belt can be obtained. Fitting it to your torso length is essential for making this back as comfortable as it is.

The Traverse 60 also comes with moveable compression straps so you can compress the pack where it needs to be in order to draw the load closer to your body. This keeps the pack from moving around and will help you maintain your balance.

REI Co-op Traverse 60 backpacks backpacking - the moveable compression straps are a good feature for variable loads.
The moveable compression straps are a good feature for variable loads.
Credit: Sam Schild

Weight


At 4.25 pounds, this is one of the heavier packs we tested. This isn't the ideal pack for any ultralight backpackers out there. If you're considering this pack, you might want to consider whether or not you need all the pockets and other features on this pack that make it weigh well over 4 pounds.

But, a heavy pack means it will likely be more durable. The 400-Denier recycled nylon material used in this pack will certainly be less prone to tearing than the 100-D material used on some of the lighter weight packs we tested.

REI Co-op Traverse 60 backpacks backpacking - we liked the thick durable material for rock scrambling and...
We liked the thick durable material for rock scrambling and bushwhacking, but think we'd prefer hauling a lighter pack through a boulder field next time.
Credit: Sam Schild

Features and Ease of Use


This pack has a lot of pockets, but less than the previous version of the Traverse that we tested. There could probably be one or two fewer pockets on this pack and it still would have enough storage, though.

It has a bottom access zipper pocket to get into the bottom of the pack without opening the lid. And, it has a removable divider to keep the bottom compartment separate. It is possible to reach the water bottles in the side pockets while wearing this pack, too. There are actually two side pockets on each side, one of these side pockets is lower and tilted forward to make reaching your bottle easy.

REI Co-op Traverse 60 backpacks backpacking - there are two water bottle pickets on each side of the pack, and we...
There are two water bottle pickets on each side of the pack, and we were able to reach the water bottle in the lower water bottle pocket.
Credit: Sam Schild

This pack uses two different materials for the hip belt pockets. One of the pockets is a stretchy material and the other one is ripstop nylon. This is an interesting feature that seems unnecessary, but it's nice to have a stretch pocket for certain items, even though the stretch mesh is less durable.

The top lid of this pack also doubles as a daypack. And, the stretchy front pocket is big enough to stuff a jacket, some snacks, and whatever else you'd need to stuff in an outside pocket. The light-colored material on the interior of this pack makes it easy to see inside. And, the top opening stays open enough to make packing efficiently easy enough.

The detachable top lid includes a pair of shoulder straps to convert...
The detachable top lid includes a pair of shoulder straps to convert into a daypack.
The top lid daypack is great for sunset hikes from basecamp.
The top lid daypack is great for sunset hikes from basecamp.


Adjustability


The REI Co-op Traverse 60 comes in four sizes. The torso size is adjustable with velcro, which is easily accessible and allows for size tweaks of any increment. Each individual size is adjustable to accommodate three inches of torso length and a massive range of waist sizes.

On the medium pack we tested, the total waist belt length measures 54 inches. Our main tester has a 30-inch waist and he was able to snug the waist belt down to fit with some room to spare. There is also a large torso with a small waistbelt size, which we think is a great feature for all the tall skinny people out there.

REI Co-op Traverse 60 backpacks backpacking - the waist belt adjusts from 30 inches to 52 inches.
The waist belt adjusts from 30 inches to 52 inches.
Credit: Sam Schild

Value


We think the REI Co-op Traverse 60 is a good value. And if comfort is a top priority, this is a great value. It is less expensive than many packs we tested, but not the least expensive. There are more expensive packs that performed slightly better overall, and some more expensive packs didn't perform as well as this pack. There weren't many packs that rated higher in the comfort category, no matter the price.

Conclusion


This pack is a contender for the most comfortable pack. Though it isn't the most comfortable pack out there, it's close. It offers tons of features, perhaps more than it needs to. And, all those features do make it quite heavy. In any case, if you are in the market for an affordable, versatile backpack that will keep you organized while out for the weekend or more, the REI Traverse 60 is worth looking into.

REI Co-op Traverse 60 backpacks backpacking - we think this is a good value for a comfortable and durable...
We think this is a good value for a comfortable and durable backpacking pack.
Credit: Sam Schild

Sam Schild
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