I recently had the opportunity to put the MEC Vista 70L Backpack to the test during a challenging 5-day backpacking trip into the Rocky Mountains.
As someone who values durability, comfort, and organization in a backpack, I was eager to see if this pack could meet my expectations. I’m happy to report that it not only met but exceeded them.
First and foremost, the MEC Vista 70L Backpack is built to last.
The main fabric is an abrasion-resistant 420-denier nylon with a PFC-free DWR finish and a PU coating, providing superior weather resistance.
Throughout the rigorous trek, the pack held up exceptionally well against the rugged terrain, brushing against rocks and trees without a scratch.
Carrying a heavy load for long distances can be challenging, but the Vista 70L Backpack excelled in terms of comfort.
The airmesh backpanel allowed for maximum airflow, preventing excessive sweating on hot days.
The padded hipbelt, made with EVA foam, provided a comfortable carry, alleviating pressure on my shoulders and distributing the weight evenly.
The load lifter straps on the shoulders allowed for fine-tuned adjustments, ensuring a personalized fit. Additionally, the padded, contoured ergonomic shoulder straps and height-adjustable sternum strap further enhanced the pack’s comfort.
One aspect that truly impressed me was the organization features of the MEC Vista 70L Backpack.
The long U-shaped zippered opening made it incredibly convenient to access items inside the pack without the need to unpack and repack everything. This was especially handy when I was searching for snacks during the day.
The lid of the backpack included a top pocket with a key clip and an underlid zippered mesh pocket, providing easy access to essential items.
The large front stretch mesh pocket and dual side mesh water bottle pockets were great for stashing items on the go, such as a jacket or hydration bottles.
The side compression straps and sleeping pad straps ensured a secure and compact load, and the attachment loops and shock cord loops were useful for securing my trekking poles. During winter, these loops would be perfect to hold an ice axe.
During the trip, I also appreciated the inclusion of a hydration sleeve with a hanger hook and elastic routing strap on the shoulder straps. During the 60+ mile trip, there were only two options for refilling water, so I was glad I could carry my 3-liter bladder easily.
Additionally, the built-in Recco® Rescue System reflector was a reassuring safety feature. While I didn’t need a rescue, these reflectors would allow ski patrol and mountain rescue teams to detect and locate the backpack under snow if necessary.
The other safety feature the Vista Backpack included was a whistle that was attached to shoulder straps. This safety feature I did have to use and it worked great to startle a bear that was on the trail at a lower elevation.
With a volume of 70L, the MEC Vista Backpack provided ample space to carry everything I needed for the 5-day adventure in the Rocky Mountains. Its dimensions of 63cm in length, 29cm in width, and 35.5cm in depth were well-suited for accommodating my gear without feeling overly bulky or cumbersome.
Overall, the MEC Vista 70L Backpack proved to be an exceptional companion for my backpacking trip. It withstood the demanding conditions of the Rocky Mountains and comfortably carried a substantial load while hiking 10-15 miles per day across 15,000 feet of vertical change. The durability, comfort, and organizational features of the pack exceeded my expectations, making it an excellent choice for multi-day adventures and adventure travel.
MEC, a brand with a long-standing reputation in the outdoor gear industry, has once again delivered a reliable and high-quality product.
With their focus on comfort, value, and sustainable materials, the MEC Vista 70L Backpack embodies the spirit of outdoor exploration and is sure to accompany hikers and backpackers for many years to come on trails from coast to coast.