Kailas Hurricane 26l Small Hiking Backpack review – a solid, lightweight day pack

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REVIEW – When you travel, you typically need to bring stuff along with you as you see the sights. There are lots of ways to do this but if you want your hands free, a backpack is a great solution. We had a trip coming up where I knew we would need to carry various things throughout the day so when I was given the opportunity to test the Hurricane 26l backpack from Kailas, I jumped at the chance. Off we went to the Galapagos Islands in Ecuador and Machu Picchu in Peru to give the Hurricane backpack a test. Oh, the things I do for you, dear readers.

What is it?

The Kailas Hurricane 26l small hiking backpack is just that, a backpack. It is designed for day travel and comes with pockets galore and a nice suspension frame that keeps the pack away from your back.

What’s included?

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  • Backpack
  • Brand tag

Tech specs

Click to expand

Dimensions: 18.5 inches (H) x 9.3 inches (W) x 6.5 inches (L) (26l version)
Weight: 900g / 31.75oz (just shy of two pounds)  (26l version)
Capacity: 20l or 26l – I tested the 26l version
Construction: 420D high-density nylon fabric
Comfort features: 3D suspension frame with a mesh panel to reduce back heat
Laptop support: fits up to a 14″ laptop
Additional supports: chest strap and waist strap
Available colors: Black, Dull Green, Kailas Red (20l only), Purple (20l only), Sea Green (tested)

 

Design and features

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It is designed like, well, a backpack. It has hooks and straps and pockets and pockets inside the pockets.

The two shoulder straps are nicely padded without being overly large and cumbersome. That green area below the gray holds the adjustable chest strap – more on that below. You can also see the full-length mesh panel that rests on your back. Sorry for the slightly blurry photo. I didn’t have a chance to redo the photo. At the very top, you can see a tag.

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That tag marks a pass-through for a straw. If you have a hydration bladder, you can mount that inside the pack and pass the straw through the opening for sips on the go.

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Peeking at the back, we can see the suspension frame system that supports the backpack, gently curving it away from your back as well as that cooling mesh panel.

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The chest strap is adjustable vertically. There is a hidden three-slot strip under the flap where you can clip the two sides of the chest strap. This was critical for me as I’ll describe later.

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There are two stretchy pockets, one on each side, for a water bottle or umbrella.

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The face of the backpack has a deep quick-release, quick-access pocket.

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Above that is a small pocket perfect for stashing sunglasses, granola bars, and such. It even has a keychain hook.

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The main back compartment is nicely sized. It has a Velcro strap at the top to secure items.

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The pocket on the back can accommodate a 14″ laptop or iPad.

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The middle compartment has a large main area plus a slew of small tuck and zipper pockets.

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The waist strap has padding on the sides plus two small zipper pockets for stashing small items like a snack bar, or inhaler. The waistband is highly adjustable. It even fits my more-than-ample waist – OK, it was technically slightly below it.

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Performance

Thinking about traveling and minimizing your bags while still hauling a hiking backpack doesn’t seem to go together. The thing about this Hurricane backpack is that it only weighs a couple of pounds and when empty, packs quite thin. That was surprising given its suspension frame. I was able to fit it on top of my clothes in my checked bag easily. Off we went to Quito, Ecuador.

One thing about this trip is that we were going to higher altitudes, up to 12,000 feet at times. One way to combat altitude sickness is to drink water – a lot of water. They provided us with reusable metal water bottles. Being able to pop both of those in the pack every day and have them easily accessible was great. I couldn’t easily reach them, but my wife was more than happy to grab them when we needed hydration. I expect a thinner person might be able to reach and replace the bottles easily.

Here is the Kailas Hurricane in Quito, Ecuador, enjoying time in the Southern Hemisphere while parts of me were overhanging the Northern Hemisphere.

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Weather can change quickly in this part of the world. I was able to carry rain gear for both of us, two water bottles, and more odds and ends easily. I was impressed with how well the mesh panel and suspension system kept my back cool. The combination of the chest and waist straps balanced the weight so well that I was comfortable wearing the pack, even fully loaded, all day.

Once we transferred to the Galapagos, we had to move from ship to shore each day by Zodiac boat. This meant two things. First, we had to wear life vests. Second, we were required to have our hands free when loading and unloading. Enter the Hurricane. It adjusted easily to fit over the life vest. This is where the chest strap adjustability came in. The chest strap, at its default location, was choking me when I was wearing the life vest. A quick unclip/clip on both sides moved the strap down and I was back to comfort mode again.

The backpack swallowed up my Sony RX10-IV camera, a Cotton Carrier chest mount strap, rain gear, two water bottles, and more items without complaint.

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At the Urubamba ruins in Peru, the temps were in the 40s in the morning but quickly climbed to the low 70s. The Hurricane swallowed my bulky fleece jacket easily. Here I am contemplating how hard I would be breathing after climbing to the top at 9,000 feet above sea level. (hint: it was really, really hard)

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That lead photo at the top of this page was taken at Machu Picchu, and it was the same – my fleece, rain gear, water bottles, and more stuff crammed in. The pack remained comfortable to climb with and wear all day long. Nice!

What I like about Kailas Hurricane 26l backpack

  • Lightweight
  • Great capacity
  • Easy to get on and off
  • Well-made
  • Lots of pockets and storage places
  • Super comfortable for all-day wear
  • The suspension system and mesh panel work well to keep your back cool

What needs to be improved?

  • I would have preferred red, but the 26l isn’t available in red – that’s all I can complain about

Final thoughts

If you have not figured it out yet, I like the Kailas 26l Hurricane backpack. I wore it every single day for 14 days in warm, hot, cool, and wet weather. I loaded it lightly, heavy, and in between. I climbed up and down with it and walked over extremely uneven and treacherous surfaces. I never felt out of balance. The pack was secure, and comfortable, and did its job extremely well. We have more upcoming travel and this backpack is going to do a lot more world exploration with us. I’m a fan. So is this blue-footed booby!

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Price: $56.99 for the 26l size, $47.99 for the 20l size
Where to buy: Amazon
Source: The sample of this product was provided for free by Kailas. Kailas did not have a final say on the review and did not preview the review before it was published.

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