Review: Chicken Tramper Ultralight Gear 2.5L Fanny Pack
The ultralight backpacking community is one made up of many different types of people. Some of them use their financial prowess to get an edge and buy the lightest, most durable gear on the market. While some, like Nathan and Austin from Chicken Tramper Ultralight Gear, decide to make their own gear for a fraction of the cost, and that’s exactly what they did on their thru hike of the PCT in 2018.
Each piece of gear from CTUG(Chicken Tramper Ultralight Gear) is custom made. You get to choose the color of each of the panels from a pretty extensive pallet. I added it up and there are 144 different color combinations just for the fanny pack that they sent me! This means that aesthetically, you’re in control, so if you don’t like the look, it’s on you. I chose the 2.5L fanny pack because I was planning a thru-hike of the Ouachita Trail and wanted a waterproof, easy to access compartment to keep my phone and snacks while hiking. All of the gear from CTUG is made from a lightweight, waterproof material called Xpac and although the company does mention that they don’t seal the seams of their gear, I didn’t have any problems with water getting in even in the nastiest of rain storms.
I’ve always been the type to look at people wearing fanny packs around town in a sort of confusion. These days, they seem more like fashion statements than actual functional pieces of gear. Boy, was I wrong! I recently took my 2.5L fanny pack to the PNW to do some hiking and decided to use it like a small carry on while flying and exploring the city and let me tell you, I’m forever a changed man! After the first day, I emailed Austin from CTUG and told him how stoked I was on the product and wouldn’t be traveling without it ever again. This being said, I think it’s important to think about the application you’re going to be using your gear in. On the trail, the 2.5L was perfect! It had plenty of room for my snacks, water filter, phone, wallet, and a few other odds and ends and it was right up front, where I could grab what I needed with ease. I even used the fanny pack for a short day hike and ended up fitting my AppGear Hoodie inside. The only negative thing that I have to say about this pack is that when I got to the city, the snacks, water filter, head lamp, and more hiking related gear wasn’t needed and the pack suddenly felt too big and I found myself wishing I had a smaller version for town (which I’ll probably be ordering soon).
Everything that CTUG makes is made out of Xpac which is extremely durable and waterproof. They do mention on their site that they don’t tape the seams of their gear so it technically isn’t waterproof but I got caught in a pretty nasty storm on one hike and it kept everything inside nice and dry. When we were hiking out in Washington, we were hiking and climbing and falling our way up a volcano that was littered in lava rock (yes the same stuff people use on their feet). The whole hike, I didn’t think twice about the pack rubbing against the rock. Even as we sat to eat some lunch and I was pressing it against the porous stone the pack was the last thing on my mind, and when I attempted to get up and then fell on said pack, it didn’t get so much as a scuff although my avocado that it was housing was a bit worse for wear.
If you’re looking for an outdoor fanny pack these days, you’re not going to be able to find much under the $30 mark and the packs you find in that range aren’t going to have many features are are probably going to fall apart on you after a few miles on the trail. It seems like a no brainer to me to spend an extra 15 bucks to have a custom, hand made pack that will has the potential to be with you for thousands of miles!
If you decide to order anything from CTUG be sure to use the code GEAR15 at checkout for 15% off your order!
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