Gear Review: My Trail Backpack Light 50L
Price: Retail – $210 | Direct – $129
Weight: 2lb 1.5oz.
Volume: 50 Liters
Summary: The My Trail Co Backpack Light 50L is a lightweight and versatile option for anyone looking for a durable and dependable pack for outdoor adventures.
Every outdoor enthusiast needs a dependable backpack that can help them to make the most of the great outdoors. If you’re in the market for a pack that’s lightweight, strong, and comfortable then check out the Backpack Light 50L from My Trail Company.
My Trail Company is an up and coming gear company based in Boulder, Colorado. The My Trail Backpack Light 50L is the evolution of the GoLite Jam – a pack that outdoor enthusiasts around the world know and love. This multi-function pack will appeal to both backcountry newbies and seasoned outdoor adventurers.
The Backpack Light 50L can serve as both your daily driver and your go-to pack for Instagram-worthy adventures. It’s a good all around option, but may not be the best choice if you’re picking a pack for a very specific sport or function. The no-fuss design combined with the weight conscious, durable, and comfortable features means that you can pretty much go anywhere and do almost anything with the 50L.
Let’s take a look at the different features of the My Trail Backpack Light 50L:
Size: As the name suggest, the Backpack Light 50L is a 50 liter pack. Stuff it full of gear and it’s ready to go for a multi-day trip. Or utilize the ComPacktor system (2 hook and loop clips on the bottom and the 4 side straps) and the pack cinches down to a 20 liter day pack. This is the best of both worlds – long approaches or quick summit blasts. It’s also convenient to make this “big” pack a daily driver. Plus, the ComPacktor system brings the weight closer to your back. Need even more space? There’s also a 70 Liter model.
Materials: The Spectra/Dyneema weave is 3x’s stronger than Kevlar, 15x’s stronger than steel, and only 1/20th of the weight. It’s durable, although I’m sure a sharp ski edge or crampon could still pop a hole in it. With proper care, this pack can withstand pretty much anything you’re going to throw at it.
Rolltop Closure: The extendable neck cinches tight and quickly rolls down to close the pack. A large compression strap cinches down over the roll top for security.
- 2 zippered mesh pockets on the hip belt are ideal for cameras, snacks, GPS, smartphones, sunscreen, or other small items, but items can get wet!
- 2 stretch/elastic mesh pockets on the sides of the pack will hold a water bottle or will contain a tripod or poles while you’re on the move.
- 1 large Zippered pocket on the back of the pack makes it easy to stash an extra layer or other items. Unfortunately, the pocket is not large enough to hold avalanche gear (shovel/handle/saw/3m probe) nor does it have a drain if you put wet things in it. We noticed that Engearment.com was able to fit their avy tools in the pocket, so depending on your gear it might be possible.
Haul Loop: Every pack needs a good haul loop. This one is pretty straight forward and fine for warm weather adventures. It’s not quite large enough to grab easily with a bulky Kinco glove during winter activities like backcountry skiing.
Ice Axe Loops: The Backpack Light 50L features 2 ice axe loops – one on each side. It would be nice if they would cinch down more to ensure that the axes are secure and bombproof when you’re on the move. They allow the ax to wobble a bit.
Suspension System: The frameless design features a foam pad, shoulder straps, hip belt, sternum strap, load lifters, which provides the ability to adjust and balance the pack for comfort. My Trail Company suggests the pack will carry 40 lbs, but we found it maxed out at 30-35 pounds – plenty for a lightweight trip. I could tell a big difference between a pack loaded with gear for a hike vs a fully loaded glacier travel kit. Also I had to pack the bag carefully to ensure that any heavy metal (crampons/shovel blades/cams) didn’t poke me.
Breathability: My Trail uses air mesh lining on hips, back, and shoulder straps to ensure that the pack doesn’t get too hot. Ventilation is important!
Side Straps: Each side of the pack has 2 side straps that are a-symmetrical. They can be used to cinch the volume of the back down or they can cross the back of the pack for exterior carry of items like a foam sleeping pad or snowboard. The side straps will carry the skis or splitboard in a-frame, but it will take a bit of creativity to go with a diagonal carry.
Security Key Clip: Never lose your keys with this simple, but useful feature.
Sternum Strap: The strap has both a reflective tab and a whistle on the buckle. I’ve never used the whistle, but it’s a nice thing to have just in case you ever need it.
Hydration Ports: The pack does feature hydration ports and a special sleeve for a water bladder. We did not test this feature.
Sizing: My Trail Backpack Light 50L comes in 3 sizes: Small, Medium, and Large.
Testing The My Trail Backpack Light 50L
After trail testing the My Trail Backpack Light 50L, I found the pack to perform well in almost all conditions. My Trail Company has done a good job of balancing durability, weight, and comfort. The Backpack Light 50L will be one of my go-to-packs for hiking, backpacking, and peak bagging – as long as the load isn’t too heavy.
For backcountry skiing and mountaineering it works well, but due to the fact the back pocket doesn’t easily hold avalanche gear, the fact that the haul loop is quite small for gloved hands, and the fact that ski gear can push the weight to comfort ratio, I will opt for a different pack for those mountain missions. One last note, I’m curious to see how the durability of the mesh hip belt and side pockets will hold up over the long term.
Final thoughts: The My Trail Company Backpack Light 50L is a solid option for any outdoor adventurer looking for a lightweight, quiver-of-one backpack that’s budget friendly.
Disclaimer: My Trail sent the Backpack Light 50L to A Mountain Journey to test and review.
Official Specs From MyTrailCo.com:
- Small = 15.5-17.5″
- Medium = 17.5-19.5″
- Large = 19.5-21.5″
- *Spine Length is measured from the 7th (bumpy) vertebrae to the top of the iliac crest (hip bone).
Hip (Iliac Crest):
- Small = 25-48″
- Medium = 29-52″
- Large = 33-56″
- Composite frame sheet
- Contoured foam hip belt with 4 pockets
- Contoured foam shoulder straps with reflective tube guides and lifter straps
- Air mesh lining on back panel, hip belt, and shoulder straps
- Adjustable stretch sternum strap with reflective tab and emergency whistle
- Internal stretch mesh hydration sleeve with gravity hook and twin hydration ports
- Haul loop
- Extension collar with draw string roll top closure and quick pull tab
- Large dual zippered front pocket with secure key clip
- Twin ice axe retention loops
- Stretch mesh side pockets
- Extra-long compression straps accommodate external loads on sides
- Side compression straps can connect across front
- Loops and tabs at bottom seams complete ComPacktor system so your smallest loads can be kept close to your back