Marmot Kompressor Meteor Review

June 22, 2018
Marmot Kompressor Meteor
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GEAR INSTITUTE RATINGS
82
Fit/Comfort
6
Carrying Capacity
8
Features
6
Hydration System
6
Versatility
6

The Good

  • Very lightweight
  • Packs down into its own pocket
  • Side pockets work well

The Bad

  • Uncomfortable with heavy loads
  • Not well ventilated
THE VERDICT
The minimalist Marmot Kompressor Meteor is a lightweight pack for non-technical summits or travel. There are better options for heavier loads or crossing over into riding and running.
FULL REVIEW

Comfort/Fit

The closed-cell foam back sheet on the Kompressor is comfortable and gives the pack some structure while being very lightweight. Our measured weight of 10.4 ounces was the lightest in the test and less than half of the other options. With no bladder, the panel reduced the feeling of sharp objects in the pack but did not get rid of them completely. Testers had to pack carefully for it to be comfortable.

With a full 2-liter bladder, no objects poked through and the back panel was comfortable.

The shoulder straps are very thin with highly-ventilated Airmesh straps and 3/4-inch  webbing running down the middle. With loads from five to ten pounds the straps were comfortable but above 10 they began to dig into testers’ shoulders. Most of the weight rested on the webbing at that point. The webbing is attached to the shoulder strap in only four spots and moves freely for the rest of its length. When testers pulled the sides of shoulder straps to adjust them, the strap would move but the webbing did not which made them slightly harder to get comfortable.

The sternum strap is ½-inch webbing with a whistle and short elastic section. The elastic portion is not long and was fully expanded most of the time while testers (including our smallest tester with a 39-inch chest) wore the pack, not providing much stretch.

The waist belt is 1-inch webbing with the buckle in the middle and is about 46 inches long. It can be removed at slider buckles on the pack.

Ventilation on the Kompressor is poor. The nylon back on the pack with the smooth, flat back panel created a very warm surface for testers at most temperatures and got warm with little effort. The shoulder straps are more ventilated with the Airmesh straps, though the webbing covered half the Airmesh and restricted airflow.

Carrying Capacity

Testers liked the pocket arrangement on the Kompressor. The pack has one large compartment, a stash pocket on the top and a large pocket on the front with a vertical zipper. Two side pockets and the hydration pocket just inside the back panel complete the storage.

The main panel pocket unzips easily and opens the top half of the pack. The top stash pocket hangs inside the main compartment using some of the space.

The top stash pocket can store a wallet, phone, keys and a couple bars. The zipper is only 5.5 inches long which made it a bit awkward to get large phones into the pocket. When a bladder is in the hydration pocket, it pulls down on the stash pocket zipper creating a kink and making it hard to unzip.

A large front pocket unzips vertically. The pocket is large enough to hold a midlayer and thin jacket. Items fit in this pocket even when the main compartment was packed full. After removing the back panel the whole pack folds into this pocket. The zipper on this pocket is double sided for zipping when it’s inside out.

The side pockets are excellent and easily hold 1 liter water bottles. The elastic top and stretch pocket material held water bottles and bars in while moving quickly.

Features

The Kompressor Meteor is a simple lightweight pack with few features.

An emergency whistle is built into the sternum strap buckle. The sternum strap also has a small elastic section to help with bounce between the shoulder straps. The elastic on the Kompressor is short and was fully extended most of the time we wore it.

The waist belt and sternum strap have small elastic loops to hold the excess webbing. The shoulder straps did not have any loops on them.

For travel, the whole pack flips inside out and folds into the front pocket. The back panel has to be removed to do this. When folded down we found the front pocket could be even smaller for more packability but this made folding and stowing it very easy. To make the pack even lighter the back panel and waist belt can be removed.

Two small reflective strips above and below the vertical pocket made the pack more visible at night.

Finally the Kompressor is very lightweight. It was the lightest pack in our test even with the back panel and waist belt installed. The pack is made from a thin 70 denier fabric which saves weight but will impact durability. We saw no runs or tears during testing.

Hydration System

The Kompressor Meteor has a minimalist hydration system. The hydration bladder pocket is just a gap behind the back panel with a clip to hold up the bladder. The hose is routed through a hole in the top of the shoulder strap, on to the shoulder and through one loop on the shoulder strap.

Putting the bladder into the pocket is a bit awkward. We had to remove the flap that covers the top of the top of the back panel and slide in the bladder. The clip on the hanger is too large to go through small holes in bladder handles. It didn’t fit through our Hydrapak bladder hangers. Handles with large holes or open-ended hooks would not have an issue. We ended up clipping it to the cord that ties the bladder handle to the bladder. When the bladder is in, the back panel doesn’t fit quite right and bladder pocket hangs open an inch.

Testers were able to route the hose over their left or right shoulder and then through the loop on the shoulder strap. Most looped it through the elastic section on the sternum strap to hold it steady. It was harder to put the hose through the tight sternum strap loop than on other packs.

Versatility

The Kompressor Meteor is not as versatile as other packs but it does well at its intended purpose. The Kompressor worked well for packing down small and travelling light.

With thin shoulder straps and low ventilation we wouldn’t want to wear this on warmer half-day hikes but it worked well as an extra bag while traveling. It worked fine for running or riding but was not as ventilated or comfortable as other options.

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