I’ve managed to accumulate a few daypacks over the years, some for hiking, some for running, some for easy trips and some for tough stuff. The thing is, I might as well get rid of them all now, because in this new pack, the Osprey Skarab, I’ve found something that fits all of my needs.
Released for Spring 2019, the updated Skarab is a fairly simple daypack in terms of design, but it seems to perform with effortless versatility.
Available in 22 or 30 litre capacities for men, and 20 and 28 in the women’s equivalent called the Skimmer, I’ve been testing out the 22 litre Skarab for over five months now and have been impressed by every aspect of it bar one tiny, tiny detail which I’ll get to in a bit.
I’ve used it for my daily run commute and the occasional cycle, for days out on a mountain bike, for weekends away, on a sunrise hike up Helvellyn and even on a two-day backpacking trip in North Wales where it managed to hold all the necessary ingredients for a minimalist-style wild camp.
First I’ll start with the back system which is one of the Skarab’s most impressive aspects in my opinion. It’s simple stuff – just a foam back panel with little ventilation holes and a mesh covering it – but it feels comfortable, even while running with a full load. There’s also a cavity behind it where a bladder can be stowed.
As for the harness, there’s one stenum clip which has a magnet to attach an Osprey hydration system and sliders for height adjustment, and there’s a buckle linking the two small, slightly padded hipbelt fins.