GearHiking
Q:

Where can I get a good "strapack"?

A couple years ago I saw an ad in Outside for a pack which was basically a strap that went over one shoulder and had several pockets on it for gear. I think it was called something like "strapack." Can you help me find it? David Washington, Missouri

A: C'mon, make me work harder! Google "strapack" and you'll turn up the goods—basically a small pack with a single strap rigged with a cell-phone holster ($39; www.computerbags.com/strapack.html). Several companies make something similar, such as Eagle Creek's Fling ($45; www.eaglecreek.com), a very similar "pack" with a small pack bag attached to a sling-style strap. I also like REI's take on this type of pack, a sleek item called the Singular Shoulder Pack ($68; www.rei.com). It has lots of good features, such as a long zipper, removable padded laptop case, and small pockets for keys and other loose items.

Laptop Messenger


This is basically an urban, on-campus style—when I was in college, lo, those many years ago, I hauled around an ancient Gerry daypack and never really put it "on." So savvy marketing people picked up on this—in fact, I believe I was their inspiration—and started designing easy-on, easy-off one-strap packs.

The other model, of course, is the courier bag, the quintessential one-strap pack, and a useful one at that. Eagle Creek's Runway ES ($40) is a slightly spiffed-up version of such a pack—it's on or off your back in a second, holds your laptop or other around-town necessities, and is made of tough Cordura nylon. The other sure-fire brand in this realm is Timbuk2, a staple of grungy bike messengers and road warriors everywhere. Try its popular ballistic-nylon Laptop Messenger ($90; www.timbuk2.com) or customize your own, with fun options like Neapolitan ice cream-style coloring, reflectors, and strap add-ons like a cell-phone holster and accessory case ($80 for medium-sized bag; $10-$20 for upgrades and accessories). This should give you everything you remember—and more—from that long-ago ad in Outside.

For a dizzying array of the best packs and luggage, check out Outside Online's 2005 Buyer's Guide.

Our mission to inspire readers to get outside has never been more critical. In recent years, Outside Online has reported on groundbreaking research linking time in nature to improved mental and physical health, and we’ve kept you informed about the unprecedented threats to America’s public lands. Our rigorous coverage helps spark important debates about wellness and travel and adventure, and it provides readers an accessible gateway to new outdoor passions. Time outside is essential—and we can help you make the most of it. Making a financial contribution to Outside Online only takes a few minutes and will ensure we can continue supplying the trailblazing, informative journalism that readers like you depend on. We hope you’ll support us. Thank you.
Contribute to Outside
Filed To: Day Packs
Lead Photo: courtesy, Timbuk2
More Gear