Mountainsmith Lookout 45 Review
When we first received the Mountainsmith Lookout 45 pack, we weren’t sure how we wanted to test it out. Should we just go on some local hikes with it? Maybe we should make a week-long backpacking trip in the Colorado Rockies and see how it holds up. Well, the question of how it should be tested was answered when we got the offer to do some traveling overseas. Some close friends of ours extended the offer to do some traveling throughout Southeast Asia with them, and since we hadn’t tested out the Mountainsmith Lookout yet, we decided to bring it along.
The first part of the trip took us to the Denver International Airport for a flight to Saigon. Roughly 8,000 miles later after departing Denver, we arrived and picked up our luggage. Score number one for the Mountainsmith, it had survived 8,000 miles in the belly of a 747 and had emerged looking the same way we had left it.
This was impressive considering it was packed with more supplies than it really should have been. The trip we were using it for was not your normal trip through the backcountry. I had packed the Mountainsmith Lookout pack so full I could barely keep it shut. I wasn’t looking for the normal lightweight pack; I was looking for the pack as much as the possible bag. I have traveled with some high-end designer luggage that came out looking worse than this pack did.
The trip we were on would take us throughout Southeast Asia, but we would have a home base in Saigon. Having a home base was great because it allowed us to leave some things behind and would allow us to take short trips of a week or less. The Mountainsmith pack was great for these short trips. The pack would be with us on trips throughout Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, and China. It would see dense jungles, high mountain peaks, city streets, and oceanfront beaches.
Okay so let’s just jump right into how the pack performed. If I had to summarize how the Mountainsmith pack performed, I would say it performed great. There isn’t much about it that I didn’t like. It is not too heavy of a pack, which is great for those long days or weekends out in the backcountry. It is also a very durable pack that can withstand a lot of abuse. During this trip, the Mountainsmith Lookout pack took a lot of tumbles down some steep terrain and held up just fine.
The Mountain Smith Lookout pack also kept the contents of the bag pretty dry. There were days that we were hiking through some pretty thick jungle with some petty soaking rain and everything inside the bag was still try when we opened it up. There was a slight dampness to some of the contents, but considering we were in a hot and humid jungle, it was to be expected.
Overall the Mountainsmith Lookout 45 worked great on the trip that we took. It survived thousands of miles in the cargo area of airplanes, it took on hundreds of miles hiking through thick jungles, it survived many days of intense rain and storms, and it survived the abuse of tumbling down hundreds of feet when we set it to close to the edge in the mountains. This is a tough pack that will provide you with the lightness you desire when traveling in the backcountry and it will also provide you with the durability you need in a pack.
If you are looking for a new pack, the will stand up to pretty much any condition I would look into the Mountainsmith Lookout 45 pack. I have no problem recommending this pack to anyone that is looking for a new bag for some backcountry hiking or some world traveling. When I travel or head out into the backcountry I don’t baby the equipment I bring with me. I don’t set my pack gently on the ground when I take it off, and I don’t avoid thick forest or jungle. My packs and all my equipment are abused more than the average person equipment.
If I bring a piece of equipment out into the backcountry with me or take it on extended trips, I expect it to hold up to whatever I throw at it. This is precisely what the Mountainsmith Lookout 45 did; it took all the abuse I put it through and was still there at the end of the trip ready to take some more.