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CamelBak Sequoia 24 Review

A super comfortable pack for the serious day hiker
CamelBak Sequoia 24
Photo: REI Co-op
Editors' Choice Award
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Price:  $155 List | $155.00 at Amazon
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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77
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#1 of 13
  • Comfort - 25% 9
  • Versatility - 25% 8
  • Weight - 25% 6
  • Ease of Use - 15% 7
  • 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 24L capacity, durable construction, and an included 3L 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  Best Buy Award   
Price $155.00 at Amazon$139.95 at Backcountry
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Pros Comes with hydration bladder, very comfortable hip belt, good capacity, solidly constructedComfortable, well-ventilated, adjustable torso length, included rain coverAdjustable torso length, very durable, great features and pocketsLarge capacity, good back ventilation, adjustable torso, included rain coverMoves with you, durable build, well-balanced load carry, good pockets and carry options
Cons U-shaped top opening is smaller, some pockets are less convenientHeavy, ill-fitting hipbeltRuns a bit small, front stow pocket a bit smallRuns small, heavy, expensive, large for average day hike needsNo hydration reservoir clip (loop only), not meant for downpours, very long torso
Bottom Line An extremely comfortable daypack for committed hikersA great pack for those who hike in wet climates and who are on the smaller sideA comfortable and durable pack that works as well around town as it does out on the trailA large option for those who need a big capacity bag and want it to carry weight comfortablyComfortable to carry even over long distances when fully loaded, with great balance and good features
Rating Categories CamelBak Sequoia 24 Osprey Sirrus 24 Osprey Tempest 20 Gregory Jade 28L Black Diamond Nitro 22L
Comfort (25%)
9
8
7
8
7
Versatility (25%)
8
9
8
8
8
Weight (25%)
6
4
6
5
6
Ease Of Use (15%)
7
9
8
8
7
Durability (10%)
9
9
8
7
8
Specs CamelBak Sequoia 24 Osprey Sirrus 24 Osprey Tempest 20 Gregory Jade 28L Black Diamond...
Weight (oz) 36 41 26 42 31
Volume/Capacity (liters) 24 24 20 28 22
Back Construction AirSupport(TM) backpanel; mesh covered foam panels with air flow channels Ventilated tensioned mesh AirScape backpanel; large spaced padding covered by large-holed mesh Crossflow suspension OpenAir backpanel; ridged foam covered by large mesh
Hydration External hydration sleeve and 3L Crux reservoir included Internal hydration sleeve External hydration sleeve Internal hydration sleeve External hydration sleeve
Hipbelt Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Compartments 2 1 1 1 1
Rain Cover No Yes No Yes No
Additional pockets 6 5 8 6 5
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 Trekking pole attachment, ice axe loop, side strech pockets 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 External stretch pocket, trekking pole holders, ice axe attachement, sunglasses loop and bungee, hip belt pockets, hydration hose clip Ice axe loops, dual 5-loop daisy chains, expandable side drink pockets, front stuff pocket, hip belt pocket, small zippered top pocket, four shoulder strap loops
Whistle No Yes Yes Yes Yes
Key Clip Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Materials 420D oxford nylon 210D nylon body, 420D nylon bottom 70D x 100D nylon body, accent and bottom 420HD nylon packcloth 210D nylon body, 420D nylon bottom 210D ripstop nylon, 210D Dobby Abrasion
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 Integrated rain cover, ice axe loop, trekking pole attachment, adjustable back Helmet attachment, trekking pole quick-stow, sunglasses quick-stow, bike light loop, shoulder strap pocket, stowable ice axe loops Adjustable torso length, internal pocket, cinch straps, sunglasses quick-stow Bike light loop, main zip opens all the way down, ReActiv shoulder straps connect to each other behind the waist and waist belt not attached to frame to facilitate twisting, front expandable pocket reinforced with internal structural foam panels

Our Analysis and Test Results

The CamelBak Sequoia 24L is a women's specific daypack made of 420D oxford nylon with an AirSupportâ„¢ back panel and dual-wing hip belt. It comes in a single size meant to fit 15-19" torsos. We previously tested the 22L version, and this one is meant to fit 24L of gear and includes a 100oz (3L) 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 lumpy and 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 using the hip belt, as those two dual wings splay wildly to each side if not clipped together. 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 — on 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 and 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 3L 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 on 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 15-19" long from nape to hips. It has basic adjustability in the shoulder straps and hip belt, but the distinctive design of the hip belts 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 in the way of accessing your main compartment. As the pouch is fleece-lined, it begs to have sensitive-to-scratching items like sunglasses put inside, while 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 zipper style that makes it easy 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, 420D 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