San Francisco based Boreas creates simple backpacks with clean lines in sizes and styles for everyday use to multi-day trips deep in the backcountry. Boreas never adds extra straps, zippers, pockets, or buckles that you don't want or need, helping to streamline the packs and keep the weight down.
I tested out the Bolinas daypack during a recent trip to Boulder, Colorado. With a tall and wide roll-top closure, you can cinch the Bolinas down small for bike commuting or light load day hikes, but you can also stuff it to the brim for more gear intensive day long pursuits such as climbing. The daypack is lightweight at 2lbs 4oz, so you can pack it full without feeling overloaded.
With 30L of storage capacity, I was able to fit all my personal climbing gear, including helmet, as well as snacks, water, an extra layer, and a sport climbing rack inside the pack. Used as a carry-on for my flight to and from Denver, the Bolinas easily fit into the overhead bin of small commuter planes, even when stuffed with all my gear and clothes for a week.
The Bolinas features a variable suspension system where you can keep the pack close to your back for carrying bigger loads, or you can lift the pack off your back for more ventialtion when biking or hitting the trail on hot days. An easy pull strap system lets you bow the foam back panel away from the mesh shoulder strap panel, creating a huge ventilation channel.
The ripstop nylon pack itself is water resistant, but a secret zippered pocket is completely waterproof for storing your camera, phone, wallet, or any other valuables in case you get caught out in the rain. Hidden webbing loops at the bottom of the pack let you attach a blinky light or even secure your trekking poles. Two further zippered pockets at the base of the pack offer extra gear storage.
The Bolinas is hydration ready, with a separate sleeve and hanger buckle on the inside for your reservoir. The hydration sleeve is padded and stretches to fit your laptop when used for your bike commute. Hydration tube exits live on both sides of the pack, with loops on either shoulder strap to secure the hose.
Although I love this workhorse of a daypack, the biggest problem is the top strap. In order to keep the roll top from flapping open, you need to have the top strap buckled. For some reason, Boreas made the strap way too short, so that if the daypack is somewhat full, you can't actually buckle the strap.
I find it very strange that a designer would not err on the side of too long (which you can easily shorten yourself if it annoys you that much) instead of much too short. I would have loved to be able to throw a rope over the top of the daypack on short approaches to the climbing crag (probably not the intended use), but the top strap was way too short to even contemplate securing anything on top.
Bottom Line: The Bolinas makes an extremely comfortable and versatile daypack that can be used to bike to the office or even stuffed full for a weekend adventure out on the trail. I recommend adding your own top strap extender so you don't get frustrated trying to secure the buckle.
The Boreas Bolinas daypack retails for $140 and is available now.