Millet Ubic 30 ReviewSeptember 10, 2014
- Rain cover included
- Good organization options
- Loads of exterior carry potential
- Variloop straps were complicated and limited compressibility
- Extra webbing and buckles everywhere
- Single-layer bottom fabric compromised durability
- Fixed lid and hipbelt
The Millet Ubic 30 is a comfortable, tough mountain daypack. Regrettably, Millet took a valiant stab at improving external-carry versatility with the Variloop strap system (included on the entire Ubic line) and wound up negatively affecting both the quality of the pack’s exterior carry options and the user’s ability to compress the bag’s main compartment. Despite the Variloop(s), the Ubic 30 proved itself to be a generally well-rounded backpack capable of taking on a wide variety of tasks.
The Millet Ubic 30 is a mountaineering daypack featuring a uniquely adjustable external-carry system.
The Ubic 30’s simple, flexible x-frame delivered well-balanced support for any combination of gear I could fit inside; for a mountaineering-style pack, its harness padding was more than sufficient. However, I found the ergonomics of the hipbelt adjustments to be somewhat lacking.
I often wished that this pack gave me the ability to strip some features—and significant weight—for lighter-load excursions. The Ubic’s wild proliferation of straps and buckles felt consistently unnecessary, even when I needed to carry several items on the pack’s exterior, and ultimately contributed to a lower score here. That said, 41 ounces is a fairly average weight for a pack of this size and apparent persuasion.
The Ubic was only minimally expandable, thanks to its fixed lid, but I found that anything that fit inside the pack carried well. With the main bag fully full, extra pockets performed with aplomb, and both frame and harness felt perfectly capable when supporting larger loads. Tragically, although its plethora of external-carry options marginally enhanced overall carry-capacity, the awkwardness of the Variloop usually discouraged me from attempting any creative super-loading.
Though I would have preferred a top-loading pocket at the front of the pack, I found the other pockets and access options to be well placed and intelligently designed. Extra pockets were entirely useful, even when the main compartment was overstuffed.
Unfortunately for this pack’s overall score, the Variloop system hurt more than it helped in several categories. On the other hand, I was pleased with the included rain cover and the functional pocketing. And while I would have liked to have a removable hipbelt and lid, considering the Ubic’s stated target user-group, the included raincover and hydration sleeve definitely enhanced its versatility for those users who aren’t always donning a harness under their daypack.
At a typical price point in a jam-packed and competitive category, the Ubic’s features were neither specific enough nor versatile enough to elevate it above the crowd.