The REI Trail 25 is a multi-purpose panel-loading backpack good for day hiking, urban use, and travel. While it’s easy to discount it as a hiking pack, it’s surprisingly functional for just that purpose with lots of strategically located pockets, trekking pole holders, and a slim torso hugging profile that makes it easy to carry when it’s loaded up. Add in the included rain cover and you have a great do-it-all backpack to get out and about with.
Specs at a Glance
- Pack Access: U-Shaped Zipper (Panel Loader)
- Gender: Men’s and Women’s models
- Volume: 25 liters
- Weight: 32 ounces
- Hydration compatible: Yes
- Rain cover included: Yes
- External Pockets: 5
- Hip belt: Removable
- Fits torso: 17-19″
- Fits waist: 28-44″
- Framesheet: HDPE
- Dimensions: 19.5 x 13.25 x 7.5 inches
- Max recommended load: 20 pounds
The REI Trail 25 is a panel-loading style backpack with a U-shaped top zipper that lets you look straight into the main compartment so you can see everything inside and easily locate what you need. It has a large hydration pocket inside with a hook to hang a reservoir and a single port over the right-hand shoulder. There are two additional mesh pockets in the interior, one large pocket on the inside of the lid and a pocket along the side that can hold a water bottle or skinny coffee thermos inside the pack.
The Trail 25 has an additional five external pockets: two side water bottle pockets made with a stretch mesh, a zippered pocket on the outside of the lid that’s sized for sunglasses, a rain cover pocket near the bottom of the pack, and a second stretch pocket inside the righthand side water bottle pocket. There’s also a compression strap above each of the side mesh pockets, so you can secure long skinny objects in them like fishing rods or a hiking umbrella.
The pack has a pair of trekking pole holders on the front of the pack attached to daisy chains that you can attach gear to with carabiners or straps (not included), plus a pair of sleeping bag straps underneath (included) that you could also use to carry a sit pad. There’s a second pair of external straps at the top of the pack that are also good for carrying a jacket when you need to layer off.
The Trail 25 has an internal HDPE framesheet which is soft but helps give the pack a shape so it doesn’t collapse on itself. The back panel is padded with foam and mesh to wick away moisture with a wide air channel to provide ventilation. The hip belt is a simple webbing strap that is used to hold the pack bag close to your torso but can also be removed if you’d rather use the pack as a beltless rucksack. The shoulder straps are also well padded and come with an adjustable sternum strap that can be easily repositioned on a rail. There are two pairs of elastic hydration hose keeper straps on each of the shoulder straps, that can also be used to hang an accessory pocket.
If you’d like a little more waist storage, you can also connect an REI Waist 2 fanny pack to the hip belt buckles and wear it in front of your belt buckle. That’s a nice application to keep track of your tickets and personal documents when traveling and can even come in handy for hiking.
|Make / Model||Sizing||Raincover||Price||Women's Model|
|Osprey Talon 22||Adjustable||$130||Osprey Tempest 20|
|Deuter Speed Lite 24||Fixed Length||$105||Deuter Speed Lite 22 SL|
|Gregory Zulu 30||Adjustable||Included||$150||Gregory Jade 28|
|REI Trail 25||Fixed Length||Included||$80||REI Trail 25|
|Deuter Guide Lite 24||Fixed Length||$130||Deuter Guide Lite 22 SL|
|Osprey Stratos 36||Adjustable||Included||$170||Osprey Sirrus 36|
|Mystery Ranch Scree 32||Adjustable||$189||Wms Mystery Ranch Scree 32|
|Kelty Redwing 36||Adjustable||$100||Wms Kelty Redwing 36|
|REI Traverse 32||Fixed Length||Included||$139||Wms REI Traverse 32|
|Deuter Trail 30||Fixed Length||Included||$135||Deuter Trail 28 SL|
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