Sea to Summit Rapid 26L DryPack ReviewMarch 21, 2014
- Load-lifters improve all-day comfort
- Hydration pocket is separate from main compartment
- Main compartment really is waterproof
- Zippered external pockets are not splash-proof
- Foam backpanel dries slowly, does not allow for much airflow
- Single external attachment point
The Rapid 26 is a streamlined and durable all-weather day trip companion, perfect for rainy-day commuting or adventure travel. Unfortunately, it lacks the external attachment points necessary for the versatility we expect from drybag-inspired packs.
The Rapid’s wide, ventilated shoulder-straps and generously-padded backpanel distributed the impact of heavier loads, but the relatively stiff foam padding rubbed some users the wrong way at the neck and lower back. Load lifters and a removable webbing hipbelt were welcome additions on longer days and for higher-tempo activities.
Although the Rapid’s overall weight is pretty average, we wouldn’t have traded any of its features for the few ounces their omission might’ve saved. The TPU-laminated nylon body of this pack strikes an especially nice compromise between light weight and durability.
The stout shoulder harness and somewhat rigid backpanel easily supported heavier gear, and the roll-top closure offered a bit of flexibility for packing bulkier goods, but the single external attachment point was a disappointing limitation of carry-capacity.
Extra pockets (5!) felt like little luxuries on a waterproof pack, and their usefulness was fully appreciated, even if the zips allowed a few drops through. And while a bright white interior is mostly standard on drysacks and their ilk, we still marveled at how well we could see our stuff in the Rapid’s main compartment.
Zips and buckles were high-quality and well-placed. However, the paucity of external attachment points was a noticeable shortcoming; Sea to Summit’s new Carve 24 (the Rapid’s little brother) gets it right with a Hypalon daisy chain and four additional lash points on the sides.
Even compared to most drybag-style daypacks, the Rapid’s list price is rather high. And while the strong initial quality of this pack does seem to justify the asking price, there are other products offering similar (if more specialized) performance for less.