“Head straight to the trail from campus or the office with the Divide. Features include: side access laptop compartment, right side accessory pocket with cover flap, left side mesh bottle pocket with bungee closure, zippered main compartment with internal organization pockets, interior hanging pocket and sunglass holder, internal hydration sleeve with hose port, EVA frame sheet with air mesh back panel, elastic sternum strap with bite valve catch.” – Mountainsmith
The Mountainsmith Divide makes for a great day pack for a day out on the trail or as an everyday ‘go-bag’. What makes this a great go-bag is the fact that is doesn’t scream military or tactical. You could have a fully loaded out go bag and walk around a college campus without anybody thinking twice. The Divide blends right in with the urban environment. Although I haven’t used this bag in a truly urban environment, I have used it as a day hike bag several times over the past few months, so that’s what I’m basing this review off of.
The first thing that I noticed about this pack out of the gate was the mesh water bottle pocket. This mesh water bottle pocket actually fits a full size water bottle. This is one of my pet peeves when selecting a backpack. I’ve seen so many great packs that fall short on this small feature. They are usually too small and/or do not have adequate retention to hold the water bottle securely.
The other feature that stands out is the high visibility yellow interior lining. By having this bright liner inside the pack allow to locate items quicker than normal as it seems that it is brighter inside the pack versus having a dark colored interior. I’ve seen some custom gear manufacturers start doing this recently and I’m glad to see Mountainsmith doing that with this pack.
Facing the pack from the front, on the right is a ideally sized admin pouch that I used for my first aid kit and SWAT-T tourniquet. You could use this pouch for many things, but when I think of a quick access pouch, I think of medical. The last thing I want in a time sensitive emergency is to be digging around inside the pack for my first aid kit or tourniquet.
Also inside the pack is a sleeve for a hydration bladder. This is a nice feature to have available in case you go on a longer day hike and need more water. In addition to the sleeve there is also a hook to suspend the bladder from, a hose port in the top of the pack to route the drinking hose through, and finally loops on the shoulder strap to secure the drinking hose. Although I haven’t used a bladder in this pack yet, I intend to do so.
I will continue my testing of this pack into the fall and winter months. I will provide an updated review after further testing and evaluation has been completed, to include using a hydration bladder. Stay tuned….