Monday, October 6, 2014

Gear Junkie: Hanchor PIPE-T1 backpack

If you're like me, you'll have a number of backpacks floating around your home, all with different purposes. One for your rope, one for the work commute, one for multi-pitch, another for the gym. The list is long and hunting for the right bag when its time to shine arrives can often leave you running late.

Being a bit of a minimalist, I'm always looking out for multi-use objects and items that can make life simpler. Take the spork for example. Why have a draw full of rattling cutlery that takes up space when you can have a spoon, knife and fork in one? 

Admittedly, I wouldn't be singing the same tune if I was blessed with ample space to live, but 3 years in a NY apartment the size of a dive bar toilet and then up-sizing to a Ford Van, I'm ruthless when it comes to owning anything that takes up space.


I  recently picked up the new Hanchor PIPE T-1 backpack and have been having fun taking it on a variety of adventures..

The bag itself is made of bomber X-Pac VX21, a laminated fabric which has incredible water proofness and shear strength. The bag itself is not rated as waterproof as the seams are not sealed, but it held up incredibly with the torrential NY rains that seems to come sporadically. Its zips are laminated to further aid in keeping water out and it has a number of zipper pockets throughout to make organising your life into a bag that much easier.

Over past month or two, I've used this bag everyday for carting about my laptop about (Mac book pro 13") and taken it on a number of trips to see how it performed.




 I first took it hiking up 14ers in Colorado in which it performed well. I easily fit everything I needed for the day, including one very tired dog (awww) and didn't chaff or rub. I also managed to fit a bladder in the bag with a bit of jimmy rigging with a NiteIze "S" clip. Not ideal, but it worked.



Next, I took it to a climbing competition in Arkansas titled "Twenty Four Hours of Horseshoe Hell". The competition involves climbing continuously for 24 hours to accumulate points and climb as many routes as you can. It's an incredible event that will leave you feeling like you've been through the ringer the day after.

For this, I loaded it with snacks, a guidebook, water proof clothing and multiple water bottles that conveniently fit snugly in the front pockets. Over the course of the competition, It got coffee'd , dragged across rocks and  thrown through brambles. Amazingly, after the comp the bag was still in great shape!

Most recently, I attempted a long multi-pitch adventure which was to repeat one of the worlds longest routes in the Gunks, NY. We unfortunately got rained off the route after just 2 days but the bag came along for the ride and was comfortable enough but I don't think this is one of its strong applications.


THE WORD

The bag is incredibly tough and hard wearing by any standard. It's another testament of Hanchors' commitment to make quality products that are built to last. Primarily designed as a nifty day pack, it's proven itself to be tough as the city I live in (NY) and suitable for many different uses. 

As for pricing, the PIPE-T1 comes in at around $174 which seems a lot at first glance but competitively priced when compared to its competitors such as the Arc'teryx Blade 30 or the Osprey Packs Spin 22.

Cost: $$$$
On the high end of the price range

Comfort: 4/5
Stays comfortable after extended period of time and when fully loaded

Features: 5/5
The bag is loaded with small details that help organise your hectic life into a bag

Functionality: 5/5
This may not be the first bag you reach for when you go on a multi pitch fiasco, but it fits most other days. Whether your simply commuting to work, getting groceries or wondering around town, this pack is pretty neat!