I recently got a new backpack, the Cactus Henry. It's an awesome pack; suitable for long and short trips. I chose it due to the secure harness. I initially passed up the Nort as it looked too small for long backcountry day trips, plus it doesn't come with a chest harness. On further investigation, it turns out the Nort is chest strap compatible, with the additional sternum strap.
That was enough to turn me on. I ordered the Nort. It is a classic shape—skinny and spine hugging, ideal to protect the vitals from a huck to flat somersault (well, not for this puppy).
Once I installed the sternum strap the security was almost as good as the Henry's. The shoulder straps are comfortable but not over padded, and they feature a cool little exit for a hydration hose and a couple of loops on the straps to snug the hose away.
It's safe to say that even on a short two-hour ride I carry a lot of gear (see pic). The Nort swallowed it all and still had room for two ham sandwiches, several snack bars and a zombie apocalypse kit (maybe). It has three zippered compartments. The main one is roomy, and there's a small internal fleece-lined pocket and a medium-sized external pocket. Finally, the interior is lined with high-vis nylon to make it easier to find stuff.
The Nort is a heavy-duty, lightweight backpack suitable for short to long day trips. Just like all Cactus packs, it's made to wear in not out.
Tip: get the sternum strap.
Below I have listed the tools, spares and clothing I take on pretty much every ride. Some would say a balaclava, satellite tracker and emergency bivy bag is OTT for a two-hour ride, but you know what? Crashes happen, and I'd feel stink if I couldn't keep someone, or myself, as comfortable as possible after a big stack and/or direct emergency assistance accurately to our position. So if you're riding with me, relax, I got your back.
- Rain jacket/shell
- Polypro balaclava
- Emergency bivvy bag
- Spot satellite tracker
- Sunscreen/lip balm/chamois cream (butt butter)
- Pump with duct tape wrapped around it
- Spare tube (2 on longer rides) with duct tape
- Tools/spare kit in Cactus tool bag. Bike specific multi-tool with a chain breaker, Leatherman multi-tool with pliers, 3 tire levers, replaceable derailleur hanger, set of brake pads, SPD cleat, 3 quick links, 2 chain pins, heavy-duty needle and dental floss, tubeless valve, selection of tube patches and tire boot, selection of zip ties.