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CamelBak Sequoia 24 Review

A super comfortable pack with a unique waist belt system and included hydration bladder for the serious day hiker
CamelBak Sequoia 24
Photo: REI Co-op
Editors' Choice Award
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Price:  $155 List | Check Price at REI
Compare prices at 2 resellers
Pros:  Comes with hydration bladder, very comfortable hip belt, good capacity, solidly constructed
Cons:  U-shaped top opening is smaller, some pockets are less convenient
Manufacturer:   CamelBak
By Maggie Brandenburg ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  Oct 29, 2020
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79
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#1 of 14
  • Comfort - 25% 9
  • Versatility - 25% 8
  • Weight - 25% 6
  • Ease of Use - 15% 8
  • Durability - 10% 9

Our Verdict

Are you the kind of serious day hiker who's prepared for any possible scenario but sometimes suffers from the extra weight of all that preparation in your pack? The CamelBak Sequoia 24 has got you covered, bringing the most comfortable hip belt design we've ever felt in a women's daypack and winning our Editors' Choice Award once again. With a good-sized 24-liter capacity, durable construction, and an included 3-liter hydration bladder, the Sequoia 24 is built to mask the weight of its contents, hugging comfortably against your hips. A few things about this pack's organization have changed in this most recent version of the bag, but its supreme comfort remains.

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CamelBak Sequoia 24
Awards Editors' Choice Award Top Pick Award Best Buy Award Top Pick Award Top Pick Award 
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$119.95 at Backcountry
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$98.95 at AmazonCheck Price at Backcountry
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Pros Comes with hydration bladder, very comfortable hip belt, good capacity, solidly constructedGreat ventilation, backpack-like comfort, useful pockets and attachments, well built, intuitive useAdjustable torso length, very durable, great features and pocketsGood for on-the-go, secure fit, fits more than expected, many shoulder strap pocketsShockingly lightweight, padded shoulder straps, useful features, packs into own pocket
Cons U-shaped top opening is smaller, some pockets are less convenientOne size only, heavy, lame hip belt webbing systemRuns a bit small, front stow pocket a bit smallOpens unconventionally, meant for more specific use, not rainproofNo hip belt, small overall size, no back padding - can feel contents
Bottom Line A super comfortable pack with a unique waist belt system and included hydration bladder for the serious day hikerAll the comfort and security of a full backpack in a bite-sized daypackA versatile, durable, and comfortable pack that works just as well on the trail as in townA lightweight, securely fitting pack, cleverly designed for use on the goAn ultralight solution that doesn't cut out all the comfort and features
Rating Categories CamelBak Sequoia 24 Gregory Juno 24L Osprey Tempest 20 Chimera 18 Osprey Ultralight S...
Comfort (25%)
9.0
8.0
7.0
7.0
3.0
Versatility (25%)
8.0
8.0
9.0
6.0
6.0
Weight (25%)
6.0
6.0
6.0
8.0
10.0
Ease Of Use (15%)
8.0
8.0
8.0
7.0
5.0
Durability (10%)
9.0
9.0
8.0
7.0
4.0
Specs CamelBak Sequoia 24 Gregory Juno 24L Osprey Tempest 20 Chimera 18 Osprey Ultralight S...
Weight (oz) 36 oz 31 oz 31 oz 17 oz 4 oz
Volume/Capacity (liters) 24L 24L 20L 18L 18L
Back Construction AirSupport(TM) backpanel; mesh covered foam panels with air flow channels VaporSpan ventilated mesh AirScape backpanel; large spaced horizontal padding bars covered by large-holed mesh FlashDry backpanel; lightly padded and covered in fine mesh Lightweight nylon
Hydration External hydration sleeve and 3L Crux reservoir included Internal hydration sleeve External hydration sleeve External hydration sleeve None
Hipbelt Yes Yes Yes Yes, webbing No
Compartments 2 1 1 2 1
Rain Cover No No, but DWR finish No No No
Additional pockets 6 6 8 7 2
Outside Carry Options Trekking pole and ice axe attachments, side pocket, expandable overflow pocket, hip belt pockets (one zip, two stretch), daisy chain, hydration hose clip Lare exterior stretch pocket, 2 stretch side pockets, 2 zippered hip belt pockets, 1 zippered pocket, hiking pole storage, ice axe loop Lidlock helmet attachment, trekking pole quick-stow, large stretch front pocket, ice tool loop with bungee tie-off, side pockets, hip belt pockets, sunglasses shoulder stow, bike light loop Trekking pole and ice axe attachment, side pockets, expandable front stuff pocket, four small pockets on shoulder straps, loops on shoulder straps Side pocket
Whistle No Yes Yes No No
Key Clip Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Materials 420D oxford nylon 210D Honeycomb Cryptorip nylon, 420D reinforced bottom 70D x 100D nylon body, accent and bottom 420HD nylon packcloth 70D ripstop nylon, closed-cell foam, elastic pockets 40D Nylon ripstop
Notable Features Hydration bladder included, hydration pocket has blue zipper pull, removable metal stiffening rod in center of back. multiple pockets in both hip belts, several internal stretch pockets, U-shaped top zipper Sunglasses stow loops, hydration hose attachment, trekking pole attachment Helmet attachment, trekking pole quick-stow, sunglasses quick-stow, bike light loop, shoulder strap pocket, stowable ice axe loops Dyno Cinch System connects shoulder straps and waist webbing as one system, cinch cord for top and sides of pack all one system, main and small zippered compartments are opened via side zips for one-shoulder access Packs into its own pocket

Our Analysis and Test Results

The CamelBak Sequoia 24L is a women's specific daypack made of 420-Denier oxford nylon with an AirSupportâ„¢ back panel and dual-wing hip belt. It comes in a single size meant to fit 15 to 19-inch torsos. We previously tested the 22-liter version, and this one is meant to fit 24 liters of gear and includes a 100-ounce (3-liter) hydration reservoir housed in a dedicated bladder pocket.

Performance Comparison


The Sequoia 24 is an exceptionally comfortable pack even with a...
The Sequoia 24 is an exceptionally comfortable pack even with a heavy load for long distances.
Photo: Maggie Brandenburg

Comfort


When it comes to serious comfort, no matter how much you cram inside, the CamelBak Sequoia 24 reigns supreme. Its cleverly designed dual-wing hip belt both compresses and hugs your load to your body and cradles hips of all shapes and sizes in plush support. No other daypack we tested can boast as comfortable a hip belt as the Sequoia, making this the ideal pack for serious hikers packing heavy cargo. Its shoulder straps are both padded and ventilated by mesh covering strategic holes through the supportive foam. The adjustable sternum strap is convenient and helpfully placed to add comfort rather than make us ladies feel awkward with inconvenient chest placement. CamelBak's AirSupportâ„¢ back panel combines a removable stiffened core with numerous wide channels left between foam panels that provide both support and maintain decent airflow.


This latest version of the Sequoia retains its most comfortable features we love while making some improvements that we appreciate. The shoulder straps now attach at the very top of the bag for better load-carrying ability. Ventilation channels now run both vertically and horizontally, leaving an oversized + of possible airflow. There are very few things we dislike about the comfort of this exceptional pack. It's a little too easy to overstuff, particularly with a full load and a full 3L bladder, which then pushed the back of the bag against you, closing off those key airways and feeling slightly lumpy and a bit awkward against your body. And if you want a daypack you can easily wear with or without the use of the hip belt, the Sequoia's dual-wing system is almost impossible to wear conveniently without clipping the hip belt, as those two dual wings splay wildly to each side if not attached to each other. But for a seriously comfortable weight-bearing daypack, we are crazy about the Sequoia 24.

The Sequoia has a unique dual-wing load-tightening hip belt system...
The Sequoia has a unique dual-wing load-tightening hip belt system that makes it one of the most comfortable in the game.
Photo: Maggie Brandenburg

Versatility


The CamelBak Sequoia 24 has a plethora of pockets inside and out. A separate hydration pocket is easily identifiable by its blue zipper pull and comes with the super convenient CamelBak 3L bladder and all the necessary holes and clips to manage the hose. The main compartment features three sleeve pockets — one large and two smaller, mesh options. A small zippered, fleece-lined pocket on the outside holds sensitive items that shouldn't be scratched. A narrow fine mesh exterior stuff pocket easily holds an extra layer for quick access. The oversized dual-wing hip belt also allows for our favorite offering of pockets. One side holds two large mesh sleeves that can easily accommodate even the oversized smartphones of today, while the other side has a large zippered pocket that fits a surprising number and array of objects including compasses, granola bars, and even a whole apple. A single water bottle pocket is a great spot for a tumbler full of coffee. Two daisy chains adorn the length of the bag, ending in loops that hang off the back. One side has an adjustable bungee loop with a hook that can easily stow trekking poles. If you like pockets, the Sequoia 24 is right up your alley.


While the dual-wing hip belt does cinch the bulk of your load close to your back, the pack lacks any additional straps to help tighten down the top of the bag. The side pocket for an extra water bottle is located on the same side as the trekking pole attachment, which effectively makes it so you can only use one of these features at a time. We'd love to see a second water bottle pocket on the other side of the bag. And while this bag is full of useful features and pockets for full-day hikes, it's so specific to hiking that we have a hard time enjoying it as much on a bicycle commute or as a travel bag (when we don't want to use the hip belt). For cross-sport and multi-use applications, there are more versatile daypacks out there. But for pretty much anything a day hike might throw your way, the Sequoia 24 is well-equipped to handle it.

This pack has plenty of pockets, loops, hooks, and other features to...
This pack has plenty of pockets, loops, hooks, and other features to keep you organized while you're out.
Photo: Maggie Brandenburg

Weight


All this padding and luxurious comfort come at the cost of significant weight. The Sequoia 24 comes up at a whopping 43 ounces or 2.75 pounds, making it among the heaviest daypacks we tested. This weight does include both the 3-liter bladder (without this, the pack is its advertised weight of just 36 ounces) and the metal stiffening rod, both of which could be removed if you're into shedding ounces. No rain cover though, as the Sequoia doesn't have one integrated or stowed anywhere.


However, the superior hip belt once again saves the day for the Sequoia. No matter how much stuff we crammed into this pack and how much water we managed to bring along, even the heaviest weights are more comfortably and evenly distributed with this bag than any other we tested. And for what you get in terms of large capacity (for a daypack) and high-quality durable materials, the higher-than-average weight is more than worth it.

Despite its high initial weight, the comfort of the Sequoia...
Despite its high initial weight, the comfort of the Sequoia functionally negates this, easily carrying everything we needed without feeling heavy.
Photo: Maggie Brandenburg

Ease of Use


Once again, the Sequoia 24 relies on its unique hip belt design to carry the burden of adjustability. It comes in only one size, advertised to fit women with torsos 15 to 19 inches long from nape to hips. It has basic adjustability in the shoulder straps and hip belt, but the distinctive design of the hip belt's dual-wing system helps it to achieve a better fit across a range of hip shapes and sizes. The sternum strap sits high across the chest and can easily and quickly move up or down to secure the pack across the most comfortable part of your chest. Pockets everywhere help keep you organized and hold the things you need quick access to within easy reach.


Unlike the previous version of this bag, the Sequoia 22, the Sequoia 24 now features a U-shaped top zipper to access the largest main compartment. While this aesthetic may be more appealing to some, it's significantly less convenient to use. By limiting the zipper's range that previously extended down the side of the bag to only flipping open the top, it's much harder to locate items on the bottom of your pack without having to pull out things you've stashed at the top. This zipper configuration also limits the ease with which you can place oversized items in your bag — like a laptop, if you're a daypack commuter or traveler. In addition to that problematic shift, CamelBak has added a small fleece-lined pocket to the outside of this bag, which could be convenient but is executed in a way that makes it more of a liability. This little pocket is positioned exactly at the base of the top that flips open with the U-shaped main zipper, making anything you put inside this little pocket solidly in the way of accessing the main compartment. As that little pouch is fleece-lined, it begs to have sensitive-to-scratching items like sunglasses put inside, yet the placement of this loose, flapping pocket inside the pack makes anything you keep in it at risk of being damaged as you pull things from the main compartment. As much as we want to like this new pocket configuration, we much prefer the older, traditional over-the-top zipper style that makes it much easier to pack and access your main compartment items.

As much as we love about the Sequoia, we aren't fans of this new...
As much as we love about the Sequoia, we aren't fans of this new style of U-shaped opening, that's harder to access and more difficult to use than previous versions of this bag.
Photo: Maggie Brandenburg

Durability


Made of thick, 420-Denier oxford nylon and strong, clean zippers, the Sequoia 24 radiates durability. Reinforced seams and sturdy materials bring confidence to this pack's ability to handle the trials of hard use. Even its color — somewhere between purple and grey — stays cleaner looking than the bright colors of many other women's bags.


Our only potential concern with this bag's durability might be in straining the zippers. Because the pockets and their zippered access points are a bit awkward and oddly placed and shaped, it's a little too easy to pack things unevenly in this bag, artificially straining zippers where there aren't compression straps to take on the tension. With that being said, the zippers — and the rest of the bag — showed no signs of failing during our field testing, this is just one potential concern we have for the bag after a prolonged amount of time and abuse.

The Sequoia is durable, comfortable, and strong.
The Sequoia is durable, comfortable, and strong.
Photo: Maggie Brandenburg

Value


There's no way around it, the CamelBak Sequoia 24 is one of the most expensive daypacks we tested. What that extra money gets you is one of the most comfortable hip belts available that makes carrying any weight pretty painless — and a hydration bladder to go with it. If you're a serious day hiker who needs plenty of space and you're unwilling to sacrifice comfort, the Sequoia is worth the investment.

A redesigned back panel adds even more airflow than previous...
A redesigned back panel adds even more airflow than previous iterations of the Sequoia while maintaining padded comfort.
Photo: Maggie Brandenburg

Conclusion


The Sequoia 24 is a supremely comfortable daypack that's well-equipped to haul heavier loads without actually feeling like it weighs you down. It has tons of pockets and comes with a water reservoir and hose to keep you hydrated. Though its shape and unique dual-wing hip belt are less versatile for certain uses (like carrying a large laptop or wearing without using the hip belt), for earnest hikers who crave comfort over long miles, this pack can't be beaten.

No matter where the trail may take you, the Sequoia 24 will help you...
No matter where the trail may take you, the Sequoia 24 will help you get there more comfortably.
Photo: Maggie Brandenburg

Maggie Brandenburg