CamelBak Sequoia 24 Review
Compare prices at 2 resellers Pros: Comes with hydration bladder, solidly constructed, carries a heavy load
Cons: U-shaped top opening is small, some pockets are less convenient, hip belt is awkward
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CamelBak Sequoia 24
|Price||$130.42 at Amazon|
Compare at 2 sellers
$159.95 at REI
|Check Price at REI|
Compare at 3 sellers
$129.95 at Amazon
$79.95 at REI
|Pros||Comes with hydration bladder, solidly constructed, carries a heavy load||Large capacity for versatile uses, great back ventilation, adjustable torso, included rain cover||Great features and pockets, easy to use, adjustable torso length||Great ventilation, backpack-like comfort, useful pockets and attachments, well built, intuitive use||Great access to your gear, big pockets, simple yet versatile|
|Cons||U-shaped top opening is small, some pockets are less convenient, hip belt is awkward||Runs small, heavy, easy to overstuff for average day hike needs||Water bottle pockets are a bit small, front stow pocket is a bit small||One size only, heavy||Unsupportive hip belt, not the most breathable back panel|
|Bottom Line||A solidly made pack with an included hydration bladder for those who value durability||Look no further for one of the most comfortable daypacks in our test group for heavy loads and big days out||This pack can comfortably do-it-all with excellent features, strong durability, and impressive adjustability||All the comfort and security of a full backpack in a bite-sized daypack||A durable, versatile pack that's both easy to use and easy on your wallet|
|Rating Categories||CamelBak Sequoia 24||Gregory Jade 28L||Osprey Tempest 20||Gregory Juno 24L||REI Co-op Trail 25...|
|Ease of Use (25%)|
|Specs||CamelBak Sequoia 24||Gregory Jade 28L||Osprey Tempest 20||Gregory Juno 24L||REI Co-op Trail 25...|
|Measured Weight||36 oz.||42 oz.||31 oz.||31 oz.||30 oz.|
|Back Construction||AirSupport(TM) backpanel; mesh covered foam panels with air flow channels||Crossflow suspension||AirScape backpanel; large spaced horizontal padding bars covered by large-holed mesh||VaporSpan ventilated mesh||HDPE framesheet|
|Hydration||External hydration sleeve and 3L Crux reservoir included||Internal hydration sleeve||External hydration sleeve||Internal hydration sleeve||Inner hydration sleeve|
|Rain Cover||No||Yes||No||No, but DWR finish||Yes|
|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||External stretch pocket, trekking pole holders, ice axe attachement, sunglasses loop and bungee, hip belt pockets, hydration hose clip||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||Lare exterior stretch pocket, 2 stretch side pockets, 2 zippered hip belt pockets, 1 zippered pocket, hiking pole storage, ice axe loop||Pole fasteners, side mesh pockets with elastic enclosure|
|Materials||420D oxford nylon||210D nylon body, 420D nylon bottom||70D x 100D nylon body, accent and bottom 420HD nylon packcloth||210D Honeycomb Cryptorip nylon, 420D reinforced bottom||Recycled nylon|
|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||Adjustable torso length, internal pocket, cinch straps, sunglasses quick-stow||Helmet attachment, trekking pole quick-stow, sunglasses quick-stow, bike light loop, shoulder strap pocket, stowable ice axe loops||Sunglasses stow loops, hydration hose attachment, trekking pole attachment||Ability to add REI Trail 2 Waistpack for more storage, contoured foam harness, raincover included, bottom is reinforced to be abraison resistant|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The CamelBak Sequoia 24L is a women's specific daypack made of 420-Denier oxford nylon with an AirSupport™ 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.
The CamelBak Sequoia 24 has a dual-wing hip belt that compresses your load to your body — but at the cost of an awkward fitting process. Its shoulder straps are both padded and ventilated with 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 AirSupport™ back panel combines a removable stiffened core with numerous wide channels left between foam panels that maintain decent airflow. However, the back padding was not nearly as comfortable as other packs we tested. The padding dug into our testers' backs and shoulders after only a few moments of being on. The hip belt is comfortable once you get it on, but it is awkward and uncomfortable if you aren't able to adjust it correctly.
Also, it's a little too easy to overstuff, particularly with a full load and a full 3-liter hydration 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 fairly comfortable weight-bearing daypack, the Sequoia 24 is in the middle of the pack.
The CamelBak Sequoia 24 has plenty of pockets inside and out. A separate hydration pocket is easily identifiable by its blue zipper pull and comes with the super convenient CamelBak 3-liter bladder and all the necessary holes and clips to manage the hose. A small zippered, fleece-lined pocket on the outside holds sensitive items that shouldn't be scratched. One side holds two large mesh sleeves that could accommodate oversized smartphones, but testers found that since there's no way to secure the pockets, we wouldn't want to put our phones in there anyway. 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. One side has an adjustable bungee loop with a hook that can easily stow trekking poles.
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 has useful features and pockets for full-day hikes, it's so specific to hiking that we have a hard time enjoying it 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 equipped to handle.
All this padding and support comes at the cost of significant weight. The Sequoia 24 comes in 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.
Ease of Use
The Sequoia 24 comes in only one size, advertised to fit women with torsos 15 to 19 inches long from nape to hips. 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 because it is small. 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.
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.
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 a durable bag and a hydration bladder to go with it. If you're a day hiker who needs plenty of pockets and a hydration bladder, the Sequoia might be for you.
The Sequoia 24 is a dependable bag equipped to haul heavier loads without actually feeling like it weighs you down. It has some useful pockets and comes with a water reservoir and hose to keep you hydrated. Though its shape and 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 just want to hike, this pack might be for you.
— Madison Botzet & Maggie Nichols
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