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Patagonia Nine Trails 26 - Women's Review

The most expensive pack in this review that doesn't quite deliver for the price.
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Price:  $159 List | $159.00 at REI
Compare prices at 3 resellers
Pros:  Sleek design, zipper extends down the pack for easy access.
Cons:  Expensive, shoulder strap design is too narrow, uncomfortable.
Manufacturer:   Patagonia
By Cam McKenzie Ring and Maggie Brandenburg  ⋅  May 5, 2018
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53
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#15 of 15
  • Comfort - 25% 3
  • Versatility - 25% 5
  • Weight - 25% 6
  • Ease of Use - 15% 8
  • Durability - 10% 6

Our Verdict

We were excited to test out the new pack line from Patagonia, but unfortunately, it didn't entirely deliver. Women's specific pack models tend to have narrower shoulder straps with less space between them to fit a women's body better; however, there is still some space between them. The straps on the Patagonia Nine Trails 26 are cut so closely together that they rub annoyingly against our neck, and as a result, this was one of the least comfortable packs that we tested. While there are some other things to appreciate about the Nine Trails, they are overshadowed by the poor design. From the looks of things, the men's version has wider straps, so if you're super keen on all things Patagonia and this pack, consider that option instead.


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Overall Score Sort Icon
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Star Rating
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Pros Sleek design, zipper extends down the pack for easy access.Comfortable, lots of good features, water reservoir includedComfortable, well-ventilated, adjustable torso length, included rain coverCompact, adjustable, comfortable for a light bag.Large capacity, good back ventilation, adjustable torso, included rain cover
Cons Expensive, shoulder strap design is too narrow, uncomfortable.On the heavy side, expensiveHeavy, ill-fitting hipbeltNo rain cover, hip belt pockets are made of mesh.Runs small, heavy, expensive, large for average day hike needs
Bottom Line The most expensive pack in this review that doesn't quite deliver for the price.A versatile daypack that can hold a lot of gear.This pack is loaded with features, and if it fits, you'll love it!A light and simple daypack that is perfect for quick jaunts on the trail.The biggest and most comfortable daypack in our test group. Great for heavy loads and big days out.
Rating Categories Nine Trails 26 CamelBak Sequoia 22 Osprey Sirrus 24 Lowe Alpine Aeon ND20 Gregory Jade 28L
Comfort (25%)
10
0
3
10
0
9
10
0
8
10
0
6
10
0
8
Versatility (25%)
10
0
5
10
0
9
10
0
8
10
0
8
10
0
8
Weight (25%)
10
0
6
10
0
6
10
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5
10
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7
10
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5
Ease Of Use (15%)
10
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8
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8
10
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8
10
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8
10
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7
Durability (10%)
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6
10
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9
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9
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8
Specs Nine Trails 26 CamelBak Sequoia 22 Osprey Sirrus 24 Lowe Alpine Aeon... Gregory Jade 28L
Weight (oz) 34 36 41 29 42
Volume/Capacity (liters) 26 22 24 20 28
Back Construction Breathable monomesh Ventilated back panel with molded pods Ventilated tensioned mesh Air Contour backing with Flexion harness Crossflow suspension
Hydration Internal hydration sleeve External hydration sleeve and 3L Crux reservoir included Internal hydration sleeve External hydration sleeve Internal hydration sleeve
Hipbelt Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Compartments 1 2 1 1 1
Rain Cover No, but DWR finish No Yes No Yes
Additional pockets 5 7 5 5 6
Outside Carry Options Large exterior stretch pocket, 2 stretch side pockets Trekking pole and ice axe attachments, side pocket, hip belt pockets (one zip), daisy chain, hydration hose clip Trekking pole attachment, ice axe loop, side strech pockets Trekking pole and ice axe attachements, side pockets, helmet attachment External stretch pocket, trekking pole holders, ice axe attachement, sunglasses loop and bungee, hip belt pockets, hydration hose clip
Whistle No No Yes Yes Yes
Key Clip Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Materials 210D CORDURA nylon ripstop 200D ripstop nylon, 400D plain-weave nylon 210D nylon body, 420D nylon bottom Abrasion-resistant nylon coated with TriSheild 210D nylon body, 420D nylon bottom
Notable Features Zipper extends down one side Hydration bladder included, multiple pockets in both hip belts, internal storage pockets, exterior pocket felt-lined Ice axe loop, trekking pole attachment, adjustable back Ice axe loops, trekking pole attachment, adjustable back Adjustable torso length, internal pocket, cinch straps, sunglasses quick-stow

Our Analysis and Test Results

New for 2018, the Patagonia Nine Trails 26 is a large-sized daypack with a sleek and simple design. It's constructed from ripstop nylon and plain-weave nylon. It comes in two sizes, S/M and L/XL. We tested the L/XL version, which has a 20-inch back length.

Performance Comparison


We tested the newly released Nine Trails 26 this season. There is a ton a storage space  but we disliked the shoulder strap design which made it the most uncomfortable model in this review.
We tested the newly released Nine Trails 26 this season. There is a ton a storage space, but we disliked the shoulder strap design which made it the most uncomfortable model in this review.

Comfort


We gave the Nine Trails the lowest score for comfort out of all of the models in this review. While there is a good amount of padding on the hip belt and shoulder straps, the narrow cut of the shoulder straps left them pressing in and rubbing annoyingly against our necks. By the end of a two-hour hike, we couldn't wait to get this pack off. We had several women try it out to make sure it wasn't just one person's experience, and we all felt the same thing. Women's specific daypacks are typically cut with narrower shoulder straps than the men's versions, but Patagonia overshot the mark a little on this one.

The 1.5-inch gap between the shoulder straps is too narrow. The straps also curve in dramatically  and they dug into our necks annoyingly.
The 1.5-inch gap between the shoulder straps is too narrow. The straps also curve in dramatically, and they dug into our necks annoyingly.

Versatility


While the overall design for this pack is somewhat minimal, it does have some reasonably versatile features. There are pockets on both sides of the hip belt and an inner sleeve for a hydration bladder. There are two smaller pockets for storing little items, one of the outside and one inside the main compartment, and the outer stretch mesh pocket expands quite a bit and can fit extra layers. The side compression straps work well and can hold your trekking poles, but there is no ice axe loop. There's no rain cover either, though the material has a polyurethane coating and a DWR finish.

The hip belt pockets are large and fit our smartphones with some room to spare.
The back panel is supposed to help keep you cool  but you still have the weight of the pack directly on you  and it will get wet on hot days.

Weight


This pack weighs 2 pounds 2 ounces in the L/XL size that we tested. That's about the middle of the "pack" when it comes to the rest of the models in our test group. Since it has the largest volume (26L), it does have a good weight to volume ratio.

Ease of Use


We gave the Nine Trails a good score for ease of use. Its U-shaped zipper extends down further on one side. That makes it easier to access stuff at the bottom of the pack. It comes in two sizes so that you can fine-tune the fit from the get-go. The shoulder straps have load lifting tensioners also. The Gregory Jade 28 is also available in two sizes but is a lot more comfortable, so look to that model instead of this one if you want a larger daypack.

We appreciated that this pack came in two sizes and had some other adjustability options  but you can see here how the shoulder straps are pressing into her neck.
We appreciated that this pack came in two sizes and had some other adjustability options, but you can see here how the shoulder straps are pressing into her neck.

Durability


This daypack has some construction details that should help it last a long time, including a reinforced bottom and 200D Cordura ripstop nylon throughout. However, the stretchy outside side and front pockets are likely not going to last as long.

Best Applications


The Nine Trails has a large capacity and can fit a whole day's worth of gear and then some. If you tend to take a lot on your day hikes, say because you're hiking with small kids or in variable climates, then this is a good choice if it fits.

If you have a small neck you might find a good fit in this pack  but the cut was too narrow for us  even in the L/XL size.
If you have a small neck you might find a good fit in this pack, but the cut was too narrow for us, even in the L/XL size.

Value


This pack retails for $160, which is the most expensive daypack in this review. The CamelBak Sequoia 22, our Editors' Choice winner, is slightly less expensive ($150) but comes with a hydration reservoir and is a better performing pack for the price.

Conclusion


It takes a while to perfect a pack's design and construction, and while we're sure Patagonia puts a lot of time and attention into theirs, they missed the mark a little with the shoulder strap design on the women's Nine Trails 26. Hopefully, their next iteration fits a little bit better, and you can always try out the men's version as that option should have more space in between the straps.


Cam McKenzie Ring and Maggie Brandenburg