Jono tested out the BlackWolf Maikoh 70L trekking pack to see how it held up to trail and transit.
Every adventurer needs a sturdy trek pack. A back buddy that can handle the bumps and bruises of longer hikes and is as sturdy as it is functional. Aussie company, BlackWolf, who’ve been designing and refining products since 1996 recently sent me the new Maikoh 70L to test out in the wild. With a few hikes and flights in the bag (so to speak) here’s how the pack performed on the ground.
Keep It In The Pocket
The sheer amount of pockets and the way BlackWolf has designed the layout of the compartments is a major positive for this pack. With a total of 12 pockets, compartmentalising your gear should be no issue.
One of my favourite functions is the ability to access the main pocket from both the top and the front via an expandable zip front opening. I’m happy to see that the days of burrowing through the top of the pack to get to something at the bottom are behind me. It also has a zip opening partitioned pocket at the bottom of the bag (say that 3 times fast), so you can opt for a large main pocket or section it off for bulkier items you may not need until evening.
Along with the plethora of pockets, the exterior of the bag is home to a bunch of compression straps, zips and clips. Though the straps and clips can be a little fidgety at times, they are very functional and allow you to compress and secure the contents of the bag making it a nice little nugget to pop on your back.
The Maikoh has an internal pocket allowing you to hook up a water bladder with a dedicated hydration port and a hose clip, so your hydration station can come with you wherever you travel. If you’re using your pack on the trails or don’t own a water bladder, your water bottles will find a comfy home in one of the pockets on either side of the pack, making it very convenient to get your H2O on the go.
Whilst we’re on the topic of moisture, BlackWolf has also included a handy stowaway rain cover in its own zippered pocket at the base of the bag for protection against the elements, or in the wise words of Snoop Dogg, fo’ drizzle.
Security and Durability
If keeping your belongings safe is high on your checklist, BlackWolf has got you covered. They’ve included both tough lockable zips and an internal RFID pocket, which you can use to protect your credit cards and passports against scanning theft. The whistle moulded into the sternum strap buckle also provides a way to attract help if you need it or just whistle while you walk, whatever tickles your pickle.
With the pack being made from polyester, it has abrasion-resistant qualities, relatively low moisture absorbency and provides a nice overall feel to the bag. This being said, I’ve used nylon-built packs that are more durable, water-resistant and have a lower moisture absorbency based solely on the fabric used to construct the bag. However, in the time I’ve tested the Maikoh I haven’t had any issues with the fabric quality or durability of the pack.
Weight and Comfort
Coming in at 1.98kg, the Maikkoh weighs almost one two-kilo bag of rice. But seriously, it’s very light. The pack comes with both removable sternum straps and a detachable hip belt, allowing you to streamline your pack if your trip doesn’t require the extra support. I used this feature for a portion of my trip to the Philippines and found it was pretty easy and intuitive to remove and reattach the hip belt.
The compression straps allow you to compact the pack and help distribute its weight closer to your back, which is very handy on longer walks. BlackWolf has also incorporated the New Origins 3D EVA foam harness which was comfortable, ventilated fairly well, and when coupled with the hip and sternum straps, made for a very compact carrying system
The Maikoh 70L Trekking Pack is a great all-round pack. Based on the features and construction, you can really tell this pack was designed by adventurers, for adventurers.
Though the material that the bag is made with doesn’t feel as durable as some packs I’ve used in the past, the lifetime warranty on all of BlackWolf’s products is a fantastic touch and gives you the peace of mind that any faults on your trekking pack will be fixed with no additional damage to your bank account.
The Maikoh can also be used for both long expeditions and as a travel bag too. All in all, it’s a back companion you won’t regret taking with you on any adventure.