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REI Trail 40 pack

SenorJacques

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2022
In yet another sign that my planned Camino Frances next year is Meant To Be, one of the backpacks I’ve had my eye on for a while - the REI Trail 40 - was just deeply discounted to about half its original price. I think I first became aware of it while browsing threads here and it’s well reviewed (the first review on REI.com is actually from someone who used it in their Camino!), so I thought I’d share in case anyone else is looking for a new pack that might work for their own walk.


(There is also a women’s version on sale for the same price.)

I’ve had great experiences with REI equipment in the past so I’m pretty sure I’m going to go with this ... but since I also like to explore my options thoroughly, I’m wondering if anyone here has any suggestions about similar packs to consider?
 
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celinehenriette

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Zwolle - Rome 2013
Jacobsweg Austria 2018
Camino Frances 2018
Camino Portugues 2018
Finisterre 2018
I just bought that backpack while traveling along the westcoast of the US and I'm very happy with it. I didn't go on long hikes or anything, but for traveling the pack is ideal. Easy to get your stuff, because of the zipper on the front. Very comfortable to carry around, I took 5 books with me, no problem!
Hope this helps :)
 

Vacajoe

Traded in my work boots for hiking ones
Year of past OR future Camino
2019 Biarritz-Pamplona-Lourdes
2018 Aragon/Frances/Finis
2018 Operation Sabre
2018 Marin Ramble
I’ve used the old version (pre-2019) of that pack on two Camino trips and multiple other hikes. It’s the perfect size for carry-on AND hiking, a nice plus when traveling abroad. 👍
 

Juspassinthrough

in our minds, we're vagabonds, you and I
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (2017)
Camino Inglés 2019
Leon-Sarria, June (2019)
Camino Aragonés (2023?)
More important than price, how does it fit/feel? Does it have accessible pockets for water bottles and other accessories? Attachment points? I’ve had very good luck with REI equipment but your boots and pack need to fit and feel good. Load it up with 15+/- lbs. and walk the store for an hour or so. Good luck, Buen Camino.
 

SenorJacques

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2022
More important than price, how does it fit/feel? Does it have accessible pockets for water bottles and other accessories? Attachment points? I’ve had very good luck with REI equipment but your boots and pack need to fit and feel good. Load it up with 15+/- lbs. and walk the store for an hour or so. Good luck, Buen Camino.

100% agree but unfortunately I don't live within several hundred miles of an REI store to try it out before buying - I've been interested in it based on features and online feedback (including the comments from @celinehenriette and @Vacajoe above - thanks!), along with the great price. From everything I've read, the bag ticks all the boxes for accessible pockets (including ones for water bottles and hip belt pockets) and attachment points for carabiners and trekking poles. But without being able to see how it feels on me I'm pretty much ordering it on faith that it will work. (And if it doesn't - that's where REI's excellent one year no-questions-asked return policy comes in!)
 
Last edited:
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O Peracha

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Le Puy to Santiago (2014)
Annapurna Base, Nepal (2014)
GR 5 - Holland to Pompey, France (2015)
Lisbon to Finesterre (2016)
For its size, at 3+ lbs, that is a very heavy pack. Wonder how much it weighs with the cooler portion out? The way it is written up it sounds more like a pack you take for a picnic not something that you would wear day in day out on a trek. If you do get it, I'd wear it as you would have it loaded on your camino on several long walks. Good thing about REI; they have a very liberal return policy.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
If you can get by with just 30 liter capacity the Trail 30 pack weighs only 2 lb 1.5 ounces.
 

SenorJacques

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2022
For its size, at 3+ lbs, that is a very heavy pack. Wonder how much it weighs with the cooler portion out? The way it is written up it sounds more like a pack you take for a picnic not something that you would wear day in day out on a trek. If you do get it, I'd wear it as you would have it loaded on your camino on several long walks. Good thing about REI; they have a very liberal return policy.

3.1 lbs seems to be about the same size - or smaller - as the other packs I've been looking at (including the Osprey Manta 34 and Kestrel 38), so the Trail 40 didn't seem particularly heavy to me, especially given its few extra liter capacity - and since I tend to pack minimally regardless I'm not too concerned about a few extra ounces on the pack itself. And there are many reviews online - including several on this forum - which testify to the fact that it's well-suited to multi-day (or -week) hikes in addition, presumably, to being useful on picnics :)

But you're right, it really depends on how it fits me and carries in real-life use - and REI's generous return policy is definitely something I'm keeping in mind. (Not sure what you mean by the "cooler portion" though? Are you referring to the optional hydration bladder?)
 

SenorJacques

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2022
If you can get by with just 30 liter capacity the Trail 30 pack weighs only 2 lb 1.5 ounces.

I saw that, and considered it - but since I will be travelling for a spell both before and after my Camino, I think I'd be more comfortable trading off a pound or so of weight for additional capacity. (Though given my increasing obsession with minimalist packing of late, maybe a 30L will serve my purposes just fine? Good thing I have a while to decide for sure ... and again, good thing REI has a liberal return policy!)
 
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Vacajoe

Traded in my work boots for hiking ones
Year of past OR future Camino
2019 Biarritz-Pamplona-Lourdes
2018 Aragon/Frances/Finis
2018 Operation Sabre
2018 Marin Ramble
It’s not overly heavy, though certainly not an ultralight (with an ultra high price tag!) that one can find. New version eliminated one pocket and changed the zippered front map pocket, but it still retains all the clips/attachment points/pockets you could want. Only thing truly lacking is good internal compression straps but I manage. They were recently on clearance for $60 at REI, so it’s a great option for those on a budget.
 

Bash On!

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Next year perhaps?
Got the Trail 40 at half price on rei.com, which was a steal. Sadly, even the larger size was just too small for me (I took it to a local REI to be fitted).

Turns out I have a 22" torso, and the m/l topped out at 21". Ended up getting a Gregory Zulu 40, which is lighter and has better back ventilation, but is much more expensive.
 

SenorJacques

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2022
Got the Trail 40 at half price on rei.com, which was a steal. Sadly, even the larger size was just too small for me (I took it to a local REI to be fitted).

Turns out I have a 22" torso, and the m/l topped out at 21". Ended up getting a Gregory Zulu 40, which is lighter and has better back ventilation, but is much more expensive.

I use (and love) a Zulu 55 for my backcountry hiking treks and considered the Zulu 40 for my Camino but yes, price was an issue - though I'm now seeing that it's on sale for as low as $99 on Amazon at the moment. Decisions, decisions ...
 

Brian E

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
May/June 2018
May 2019
Sept 2019
May 2020
In yet another sign that my planned Camino Frances next year is Meant To Be, one of the backpacks I’ve had my eye on for a while - the REI Trail 40 - was just deeply discounted to about half its original price. I think I first became aware of it while browsing threads here and it’s well reviewed (the first review on REI.com is actually from someone who used it in their Camino!), so I thought I’d share in case anyone else is looking for a new pack that might work for their own walk.


(There is also a women’s version on sale for the same price.)

I’ve had great experiences with REI equipment in the past so I’m pretty sure I’m going to go with this ... but since I also like to explore my options thoroughly, I’m wondering if anyone here has any suggestions about similar packs to consider?

Thanks...just bought another one. Now I will have one in black and green. For that price you can't beat it. I used this exact one (Large) for my last two Caminos and it was fine. Now I will have one for training/all around use and one for the Camino.
 

jpflavin1

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
I saw that, and considered it - but since I will be travelling for a spell both before and after my Camino, I think I'd be more comfortable trading off a pound or so of weight for additional capacity. (Though given my increasing obsession with minimalist packing of late, maybe a 30L will serve my purposes just fine? Good thing I have a while to decide for sure ... and again, good thing REI has a liberal return policy!)

A three pound pack, imo, is not heavy. I want a pack that provides a lot of easy access (gloves, bottled water, sleeping bag etc.) and an attached rain coat for pack. Osprey packs have been my pack of choice.

That said, everyone comfort is determined by different wants/needs. I like the idea of a (2lb. 1oz.) pack. Less weight is never bad on the Camino.

The price is definitely right.

Ultreya,
Joe
 
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RJM

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
A few times
Nice pack and a very good price. Be perfect for the Camino. What you put (or don't put) in the pack is far more important than the pack itself.
I have an REI pack I purchased about seven years ago. Very well made a sturdy.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
If you like the panel loading aspect of the REI pack you might want to consider the Gossamer Gear Ranger 35, which weighs almost a pound less. Yes, it's more expensive, but at $124 it's still a great buy. I used it on my 1000+ km Camino this Spring, and also on my Porto to Santiago Camino. It's very comfortable.

 

SenorJacques

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2022
If you like the panel loading aspect of the REI pack you might want to consider the Gossamer Gear Ranger 35, which weighs almost a pound less.

Whoa, that is one sweet bag (as the kids say) (do the kids still say "sweet"?)
Panel loaders are a definite preference for me, and this checks a lot of boxes (carryon sized, outside compression straps, mesh stuff pocket, daisy chain, tool loops) that were already on my list - and adds a few new ones (shoulder strap pockets!) that hadn't been until now. Definitely a contender - thanks for the recommendation!
 

Chris Gi

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Did April through June 2018 from Pamplona to Santiago.
2020 May or end of September - NO!
2021 ?
100% agree but unfortunately I don't live within several hundred miles of an REI store to try it out before buying - I've been interested in it based on features and online feedback (including the comments from @celinehenriette and @Vacajoe above - thanks!), along with the great price. From everything I've read, the bag ticks all the boxes for accessible pockets (including ones for water bottles and hip belt pockets) and attachment points for carabiners and trekking poles. But without being able to see how it feels on me I'm pretty much ordering it on faith that it will work. (And if it doesn't - that's where REI's excellent one year no-questions-asked return policy comes in!)
Love REI and their return policy is amazing.
 
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512

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
(2017)
Got the Trail 40 at half price on rei.com, which was a steal. Sadly, even the larger size was just too small for me (I took it to a local REI to be fitted).

Turns out I have a 22" torso, and the m/l topped out at 21". Ended up getting a Gregory Zulu 40, which is lighter and has better back ventilation, but is much more expensive.

I had the opposite problem; I ended up buying the women's with the shorter torso.
My wife and I both used one on the Norte this summer.
Fantastic bag, IMO, very comfortable and great contents access. Plenty big for the camino and slides right into the overhead bin. I won't go back to a top loader except for wilderness hiking.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
2018
In yet another sign that my planned Camino Frances next year is Meant To Be, one of the backpacks I’ve had my eye on for a while - the REI Trail 40 - was just deeply discounted to about half its original price. I think I first became aware of it while browsing threads here and it’s well reviewed (the first review on REI.com is actually from someone who used it in their Camino!), so I thought I’d share in case anyone else is looking for a new pack that might work for their own walk.


(There is also a women’s version on sale for the same price.)

I’ve had great experiences with REI equipment in the past so I’m pretty sure I’m going to go with this ... but since I also like to explore my options thoroughly, I’m wondering if anyone here has any suggestions about similar packs to consider?

I have an REI women's pack. I think it may be the next size down for 40, not certain and it is in a closet... I have found it to be perfect for me. Especially I like the service in REI. When I bought this the salesman tried several on me, decided a women's REI worked best, then put a sandbag in it, made some adjustments, sent me to walk all around the store, adjusted straps again, etc. One feature I love is that it is front opening, not top opening - meaning it unzips so be almost like a suitcase in terms of access. Besides 2 Caminos, I have used it for travel within the US, finding it often easier to trek through airports with this backpack than to drag some suitcase. Fits in overhead as carry on if not crammed too full.
 

uncletim

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
May '19, Oct 19
the Ranger 35 looks nice at 764g? I think my current 40L pack is almost double that?

I was looking at the Hyperlite 2400 Southwest.
 

Pinzi

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Portugués, Tui to Santiago (Sept 2019)
In yet another sign that my planned Camino Frances next year is Meant To Be, one of the backpacks I’ve had my eye on for a while - the REI Trail 40 - was just deeply discounted to about half its original price. I think I first became aware of it while browsing threads here and it’s well reviewed (the first review on REI.com is actually from someone who used it in their Camino!), so I thought I’d share in case anyone else is looking for a new pack that might work for their own walk.


(There is also a women’s version on sale for the same price.)

I’ve had great experiences with REI equipment in the past so I’m pretty sure I’m going to go with this ... but since I also like to explore my options thoroughly, I’m wondering if anyone here has any suggestions about similar packs to consider?
Just finished the Portuguese from Tui to Santiago. I used a trail 40 from REI, and it was the perfect pack for the trip. The folks at REI sized me when I bought. The pack was comfortable and carried everything I needed. And it fit in the overhead bin on the plane.
 
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trecile

Camino Addict
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
If you can get by with just 30 liter capacity the Trail 30 pack weighs only 2 lb 1.5 ounces.
I checked out this pack at REI today, and it doesn't have load lifter straps, so I don't think that I would recommend it for the Camino.
 

jcat

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2016
I've used my Osprey Stratos 34 on my two trips on the Camino, but I happened to see this pack on sale at REI on Friday. Loaded it, walked around with it, fit like a glove, and a great deal! I bought one and I will find use for it!
 

Malachiuri

CaminoTranquilo
Year of past OR future Camino
St Jean to Burgos '17
St Jean to Fisterra '18
St Jean to Astorga '20
COVID CAMINO!
Norte '21
I own a couple of the Trail 40 daypacks and have used them on Camino. Really a nice pack.

Only down side that I have found is being a back hugger, they don't breath terribly well. I end up with a lot of sweat issues in hot weather.

M
 

jcat

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2016
Decided to take my REI Trail 40 on my last hike / camping trip of the year this weekend. My gear (tent, sleeping bag, stove, food etc) fit very nicely and the pack was very comfortable for 10 miles each day. Such a great value for the price. A buddy from the trip just ordered one after checking mine out.
 
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