Looking for a load-hauler that will get you through the summer and still be ready to rock and roll for ski season? Jansport's got a little somethin'-somethin' for ya. The Eichorn is part of Jansport's Cloudripper series of do-it-all technical outdoor packs. It's a bit of a porker, but you make it back with all-day comfort, stability and serious abuse-taking props. The Eichorn 60 liter regular sized pack weighs in at 4lb. 12oz (moo!), and the weight is in the extra-thick shoulder straps and hip belt, the tough ski-edge-repelling front facing, and the burly Arch Rival suspension.
Features are comprehensive: small elastic mesh pouches on both sides of the hip belt, dual gear loops, dual hypalon ski loops for A-frame carry, dual quart-bottle pouches, dual ice axe loops down low and velcro shaft-keepers up high, and dual stow-away compression straps for snowboard carry plus two extra clip-ins up high for diagonal ski carry in either direction. There is no top lid, and the main compartment has a nifty and fast roll-top closure. Inside is another compression strap and a smaller clip in point for hydration bladders, with exit ports on both sides. There are two other compartments: a high-mounted small compartment with mesh pocket and key clip, accessed by a zipper that goes around three sides of the pocket; and below that a tall shallow pocket with a side zip for layers.
All zipper pulls are glove-friendly with those little u-shaped stiffeners that keep them open, just waiting for you to give them the finger. The buckles are all those fancy power-pinch models, also glove-friendly. The fit is fully adjustable from 16 to 19 inches on the back via a clever and easy system. The hip belt has dual side-pulls, a GearFlogger favorite feature, and the shoulder straps are nicely contoured with a generous vertical adjustment on the sternum strap. Secret squirrel feature: there are is a 14 inch vertical zipper on the right side of the main compartment for another entry point, very useful if you pack accordingly.
The Eichorn carries nicely, with the extra-thick shoulder straps and hip belt easily absorbing the bumps and jumps on the trail. The honeycomb mesh back panel and hip belt are highly breathable. All in all it's a very livable pack, with all the features there when you need them and not getting in the way when you don't. If you're looking for a tough, four-season pack and don't mind a little extra cushion for the pushin' check out the Eichorn. Also available in a tall 70 liter model.