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Application: Columbia Mobex daypack—Rick D

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  • redbike64
    Please accept my application to test the Columbia Mobex daypack. I have read Chapter Five of the BackpackGearTest Survival Guide, Version 0609, and the
    Message 1 of 1 , May 28, 2010
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      Please accept my application to test the Columbia Mobex daypack.

      I have read Chapter Five of the BackpackGearTest Survival Guide, Version 0609, and the annotated sections on the BGT.org Website. I will follow and meet the test requirements: I agree to post all three reports using the BGT Report Writer within the allotted time and to meet or exceed the required number of backpacking days during the test period. I will supply copious photographs along with my text. My tester agreement is on file.

      Applicant: Rick Dreher
      Relevant Stats
      Age: 56
      Height: 6 feet (183 cm)
      Torso: 19-20 inches (48-51 cm)
      Weight: 175 pounds (79 kg)
      Email: redbike64(at)hotmail(dot)com
      Location: Northern Calif.
      Years backpacking experience: 43
      General skill level: mid to advanced

      Hiking Style and Experience

      I backpack the Sierra Nevada and southern Cascade ranges and my trips range from day hikes to a week. I solo most of the time and my overnight pack weight ranges from 20 pounds to 35 pounds (9 to 16 kg), depending on trip length and expected weather. Dayhike loads are 5-15 pounds (2-7 kg). My favorite destinations are alpine and I like trips that include some off-trail hiking to remote locales. My dayhike distance ceiling is about 20 miles (32 km) in easy terrain. In winter, the snowshoes come out and I head out into the white stuff.


      I use a daypack weekdays on my work commute and weekends for hiking and photo excursions. These uses put different demands on a pack so I'm always looking for the "next best thing." Could that be the Mobex?

      Test Proposal

      For the test duration, I propose to use the Columbia Mobex for my commute which, this time of year, is usually by bicycle. When not working I'll use it for day hikes and photography trips. This schedule will have me using the pack five to seven days a week for the test duration. Because of the biking, I am very interested in testing a nice yellow "Lymon" color Mobex.

      Gear carried will vary depending on trip purpose and the weather. My commute load includes food, clothing, bike tools and parts, work documents, cell phone, etc. Photo loads include a dslr, lenses, filters, batteries, flash, towel, clothing, water, snacks, etc. Hiking loads will also include a camera (dslr or compact), clothing, food, water and the "10 essentials," as well as trekking poles (which I'll sometimes strap to the pack). I foresee lugging as much as 15 pounds (7 kg), tops.

      Key Test Questions:

      * Build—is the Mobex well made of good materials?
      * Fit—can I get a comfortable fit with a variety of loads?
      * Capacity—how will the Mobex accommodate my different uses with their very different loads? How do the various pockets and load management tools help or hinder? What gear can I reasonably strap to the outside?
      * Comfort and utility over the long haul—how does the Mobex feel over a long day on rugged routes with big or lumpy loads? Is it sweaty? Can I retrieve supplies and gear on the go? What's the deal with the peculiar exoskeleton frame?
      * Protection—does the Mobex protect my gear from the elements and from soggy ground and does it keep my back comfortable from the jabs of lumpy stowed gear?
      * Wear and tear?--does the Mobex fend off backcountry abuse over the test period?

      Test area description and conditions:

      Dayhikes will be in the California Sierra Nevada, 4k-12k ft (1.8k-3.7km) elevation, the terrain ranging from heavy forest to treeless alpine. June through September daytime temperatures can range from 40 to 90 degrees F (4 to + 32 C), with cooler mixed weather in early season and hot, dry weather mid to late summer. Rain or snow? Who knows?

      Commute and local photo trips will be in the Sacramento Valley, which is flat and ranges from warm to hot. Elevation will be essentially sea level and temperatures as high as 110 F (44 C). If it rains we'll hold some sort of holiday in appreciation.

      Current Test Obligations; Outstanding Applications

      I have been selected for the ULA Circuit test but they won't be shipping for awhile. I have no other outstanding proposals.
      My test links can found here:


      Thanks for considering my application!

      rtd 5.28.10
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