The CamelBak Sequoia 22 received a facelift for 2018. We've tested the new version and like it as much, if not more than the older one. They updated the hip belt, using a dual-wing design, which offers the best and biggest side storage pockets in this review. No more deciding between your phone or GPS or anything else, you can fit it all and more in your side pockets. The pack is made of 210D ripstop nylon and 420D plain-weave nylon in high wear areas, like the bottom and sides. CamelBak states that this bag has a 19-liter volume, with three more liters available in the outer pouch. You can also fit things in the separate reservoir pocket, even with a full hydration bladder, and stuff the mesh side pocket full too, so this pack held as much as the 24-25 liter packs in this review.
Out in the Spring Moutains, Nevada, in our Editors' Choice winner. This daypack was comfortable and had great features, and was our go-to choice for long days on the trail.
Packs don't get much comfier. The shoulder straps and hip belt have some nice padding, and the lumbar area has the best padding in this review. Along the back, two padded sections provide cushioning and support, but the horizontal channels between them help keep you cooler on hot days. While not quite as ventilating as the mesh backs on the Gregory Jade 28, Osprey Sirrus or Deuter Futura 22 SL, those packs don't provide as much cushioning, so it can be a bit of a trade-off. Want more cushioning? Go with the Sequoia. Need more ventilation? The Sirrus is a better choice.
While there's no internal frame on the Sequoia
, the back has a lot of rigidity, so even when it's packed full of gear, and you have the hydration reservoir in there, the bladder doesn't push against your back uncomfortably. The shoulder straps are curved and shaped for a woman's narrower shoulders, but not so narrow as to be uncomfortable, like we experienced on the Patagonia Nine Trails
. This pack is one of the few that comes with containment loops on all the straps to hold the tails out of your way. It may look unconventional compared to more traditional daypack construction, but the Sequoia
is designed to keep you comfortable mile after mile while laden with a full day's worth of gear.
The padded sections help keep you supported and comfortable, while the cutouts encourage airflow and ventilation.
We found the features on this pack to be incredibly useful and make this a pretty versatile bag. Leave it to CamelBak to know how to stow their reservoirs. The bladder goes inside its own zippered and insulated pocket (with a blue zipper pull to prevent you from opening the wrong compartment), away from the rest of your gear, and the pads on the back of the pack prevent it or other bulky items from pushing into your back. The shoulder strap has a quick release clip for the tube, and there's also a side pocket if you prefer to use a water bottle instead of the reservoir (or if you need a lot of water).
The new hip belt design provides a lot more storage on the side pockets and significantly more than any other hip belt in this review. They fit an oversized smartphone even in a bulky case with room to spare! One side is zippered while the other side is elastic-bound. An open side pocket seems like a bad idea at first, but if you want to stuff a bandana or hat in there, it won't fall out easily. Then you can keep your valuables in the zippered side. Other features we find useful include an ice axe holder, a felt-lined top pocket, a stretchy and a zipped front pocket, and some organizer slots and pockets in the main compartment. The only thing it doesn't have is a rain cover that stows in the bottom of the pack like the Osprey Sirrus 24. CamelBak does sell them separately for $14.
The zippered pocket on the left side can hold a smartphone and other items simultaneously.
This pack weighs just over 36 ounces, which makes it among the heavier packs in our test group — though four packs weigh more than 40 ounces! This weight doesn't include the hydration bladder, which is an add-on for any other pack we tested.
Part of that heavier weight comes from the extra padding on the back that makes it more comfortable, along with the heavier material on the bottom and other high wear spots. While this pack is about a pound heavier than the Mammut Lithia Speed 15, it is also one of the most comfortable for hiking heavy loads over long distances.
It's nice to go light in the mountains, but we like being comfortable too. The Sequoia is a bit heavier but offered great padding and durability in return.
Ease of Use
This pack is one of the easier packs to use that we tested. Its main compartment zippers unzip quite far and all the zippers and configuration of the pockets are intuitive and helpful. It also has several adjustability features that we appreciate. While the new version of the Sequoia did away with the load-lifter straps on top of the shoulder straps, we find these to be unhelpful in a daypack anyway. And while they also got rid of side adjusters on the hip belt, it's because they actually changed the whole configuration of the hip belt. Instead of being a separate belt attached to the bottom of the pack like traditional backpacks, the new Sequoia has integrated the ability to pull the bottom of this bag closer to your back with the hip belt itself. This intriguing system allows you to cinch the pack down while tightening it around your hips at the same time.
That being said, this pack only comes in one size with an 18-inch torso length, and it does not have a ton of adjustability vertically. The Sequoia fit both our 18" torso and 19" torso testers very well, but if you're much smaller or larger, it might not work so well. Look for a model that comes in different sizes, like the Patagonia Nine Trails 26 or Gregory Jade 38.
The unique hip belt and load tightening system of the Sequoia was a hit with our testers.
We gave this pack a high score for durability thanks to the 210D ripstop nylon used in the body of the pack and the extra thick 420D nylon used on the bottom. We also couldn't find just about any other user complaints about the durability of this bag.
We do a lot of hiking in the desert southwest, and the sharp cacti and rough rocks destroy thinner packs here, so if you live in an area with spiky plants and sharp rocks, you should consider that when purchasing your next bag. The Sequoia held up without a fuss.
The thicker material held up well in our sharp desert environment. While it may not last as long as the ancient Bristlecone pines behind it, you should get a lot of use out of this pack.
The Sequoia 22 is a great choice for all kinds of day hikes; be it a quick jaunt with the kids (and all of their gear), or a big peak objective where you'll need 4-plus liters of water and several layers. If you're covering long distances with a lot of gear, this pack is comfortable and supportive. It is also useful for a wide range of outdoor activities, including paddleboarding and long hauls on a mountain bike.
Want a comfortable pack AND hands-free hydration? Our Editors' Choice winner is hard to beat!
This is one of the most expensive bags in our review ($150), but it does come with a 3L water bladder, which by itself retails for $20-30, so that does increase the value. Considering how comfortable it is, and also how large, you can get a lot of use out of this pack.
The CamelBak Sequoia 22 is a great pack and our Editors' Choice winner. It's spacious and comfortable, with some great features and a large 3L water reservoir. It's a little on the heavy side, and perhaps a bit big if you're only going on a one or two-hour hike, but for longer all-day missions, this pack is a great choice.