Defy Normal. That’s MHM’s mission, to reimagine outdoor gear and make it better. While originally started as a typical company, with products sold through REI and other outdoor stores, MHM decided to leave that path and work the direct to consumer model instead. They do have their own store in Denver, so stop in and meet the guys behind the brand – super nice and funny guys (I met them at Outdoor Retailer).
There are some unique designs in this pack, and for me the main difference between this and all other backpacks is the Snake-Loader zipper system, that opens up the entire pack, top to bottom. Or, using one of the 3 luggage grade #10 YKK zippers, open the top, middle, or bottom of the main compartment. At 34 liters, this is an ideal day bag or for the weekend if you pack heavy, a lot longer if you keep things simple. We used it for skiing and hiking – perfect for the latter and serviceable for the former (their Slay 24 is the pack that is geared more towards the slopes).
Along with that main compartment come 9 more pockets, making it easy to organize your gear for carrying. While I wasn’t initially enamored with the large external stuff-it pocket, it’s turned out to be one of the ones I use the most often. Live and learn.
I also love the grab handles, I really think every pack should include those.
While I enjoyed the molded foam back panel, shoulder straps and hip-belt, I wish the zippered hip belt pockets were larger and the belt padded all the way around for more comfort. This is mostly because I have a large belly (my own fault), but also because those small pockets are pretty far back by the hips and my phone doesn’t fit in them.
A couple of hidden extras include trekking pole or ice axe loops along with 4 compression straps. This is nice in that I usually don’t carry poles or axes or compress my packs unless needed, so the look and feel is a lot cleaner (no straps dangling or whipping around).
This pack is hydration reservoir compatible – it doesn’t come with one, but it’s easy to see how it work should you need that function.
The included deployable rain cover is a nice touch – I never took it out in enough rain to test it out, but if the quality is anything near the rest of the design, I’m sure it works great.
60 Day Trial; Lifetime Warranty; Free Shipping and Returns – this is pretty much one of the best offers you’ll find when buying a backpack online.
If you’re looking for a well-made mid size pack, look no further – the MHM Gear Salute has you covered.
*This pack was provided to me for editorial purposes – all opinions are my own.