WHAT I’VE GOT – Hyperlite Mountain Gear Summit Pack

The one object I own which prompts strangers to ask me about it. The Summit Pack is a minimalist, relatively small day-back. It’s got no pockets, no zipper, no mesh pouches, no structure and exactly one compartment. The design is roughly analogous to a wet pouch: put stuff in, roll down top and buckle! The fabric is a synthetic woven fabric known as Dyneema (a kind of polyethylene, with incredibly long molecules and therefore very high individual fiber strength), which makes the bag super lightweight but also abrasion-resistant and mostly waterproof.

I love this bag because it’s …. essential. It does exactly what it intends to do, and nothing else. Somehow, everything I need to carry always fits inside; nothing jams, sticks or breaks; I can run, bike or simply walk with it stuffed to the gills. It also manages to be performative without looking overly technical, designed or militaristic. In general, I sort of have a thing for backpacks — and yet I’ve stuck with the same backpack for four years running.