The redesigned Canyon Pack by Runout Customs called the V2 gets high marks in terms of comfort, function, and durability.
I have been using the V2 over the last month and a half while guiding primarily class C canyons in the eastern United States. Below are my thoughts on the V2 pack after this month and a half of use.
Comfort: This is the first thing that caught my attention when I put on the V2 pack for the first time. It was incredibly comfortable to wear it did a great job of distributing the weight to my hips as oppose to my shoulders. I believe this can be contributed to the quality of the hip belt and the urethane material that creates the packs structure. I found that it was not necessary to put a back panel into the sleeve but this option is available if you feel you need more ridgity in the pack. My only complaint with comfort is I would like to see a little longer sternum strap on the pack, however the buckle whistle is a great feature on the sternum strap.
Function: How did the V2 function as a canyon pack. I have used it primarily as a rope bag as well as hauling my clothing and harness to the canyon on the apporach. I feel it is large enough to carry 300 ft of rope 9.2 diameter, a harness, helmet, and wetsuit. At this point it will be reaching capacity. The top loading design with wide entry is ideal for stuffing rope quickly after rappels and the small zippered pouch is great for putting food or other small things which need to be out of the way while using the pack as a rope bag. I would have liked to see a few more grommets on the sides of the pack to assist in faster drainage but the packs bucket shape ensures that all the water does drain at an adequate rate. Finally, I found that clipping the pack to one of the two haul loops on top of the pack and to your harness made for a smooth rope feed from the bag while rappelling. While rapppelling with the bag clipped to me I found that it was best to wrap the waist belt around the back of the pack and clip it to ensure it stayed out of the way of your feet.
Durability: Although I have only used my V2 for about a month and a half it has seen consistent use and shows no signs of wear. It seems that it has been put together well and is made of the highest quality material. I can not yet comment how well it will hold up in slot canyons but my experience with the V2 canyon pack in Class C canyons has been positive and the nicest feature is how quickly it dries.
I strongly recommend this pack to any canyoneer who wants a quick drying, top loading canyon pack . Especially if they would like the pack to serve a dual purpose as a rope bag as well.
This review was written by Pura Vida Adventures owner/ and head canyon guide Joe Moerschbaecher.
Pura Vida Adventures was the first company to run commercial canyoneering courses in the eastern US, in addition canyoneering courses and trips are run by Joe Moerschbaecher who is certified through the American Canyon Guide Assocition. Pura Vida Adventures is the oncly American Canyoneering Academy accredited guide service in the eastern US. www.pvadventures.com
To find out more about Runout Customs or the V2 Canyon Pack visit http://www.runoutcustoms.com/ .