If you’ve spent anytime commuting to work or traveling, you’ve probably been caught in unexpected weather. Mountain Hardwear’s new DryCommuter line is there to help with that. We tested the 32L OutDry Backpack. This pack has some excellent features, but we wouldn’t call it perfect. Let’s jump right in.
This pack’s main compartment uses OutDry to protect from wet conditions, however the zippered side-access padded laptop compartment is not waterproof. While a light rain should be fine, this seems like a big oversight. In addition to the main compartment and zippered laptop sleeve, other pockets include: a side pocket that fits shorter water bottles, a small zippered security pocket on the back panel, an easy access zippered pocket on the top of the bag, and a storage pocket with organizer sleeves.
The exterior design of this pack is sleek. The muted color scheme fits nicely with the design. The exterior of the pack has reflective accents and spot for your light while commuting. I appreciate the simplistic look and stylish hook closure, however it did not stay clipped well even when I tighten the strap down. One of the features I like the most is the security zippered pocked in the bag, which is the perfect size for a wallet, passport, phone, or other valuables. The back panel and shoulder straps are both padded, but the pack doesn’t have hip belts, so if you’re walking with this pack full all day, you’re likely going to get sore shoulders. The 32L is a nice size for travel or work with room for those gym clothes or whatever else, but I’d suggest going with the 22L if you’re more concerned with having a waterproof compartment for your laptop.
Mountain Hardwear is onto something with these good looking, technical commuter bags, however they’re just not quite there. We hope they keep experimenting, because this bag has potential!
Weight: 1 lb 11 oz
Best used for: travel, commuting