I don’t remember if it was my girlfriend or I who discovered the company Boreas Gear but as soon as I saw their backpacks I wanted one for my 2017 Adventure. I remember looking at the Boreas Gear website and seeing photos of streamlined, artistic looking backpacks and thinking man those look so cool.
When I got to San Francisco to meet my girlfriend, for the start our 2017 Adventure, she surprised me with her own Boreas Gear Echo backpack. She found a local store that had them in stock and purchased the Echo to be her new chestpack. The 25 liter Echo seemed to be the perfect fit for a tekkie-traveler, it has a double hull construction with a fully waterproof interior and laptop sleeve, meaning she wouldn’t have to worry about getting her electronics wet when hiking or traveling around.
My chestpack going into the adventure was going to be some random bag that my girlfriend’s father had laying around his house. So when I saw her with a fancy new chestpack I had to get one. We went back to the store where she purchased her Echo backpack but she got the last one. The store had a slightly bigger style, the 35 liter Monterey, for sale but instead I asked the store worker if they would sell me their Echo display model and they did.
About the Boreas Gear Echo
I really, really wanted to like this backpack, it looks so cool, but looks do not guarantee functionality. As a design the Boreas Gear Echo backpack is very streamlined, with 25 liters of tapered sleekness.
Hosting a double hull constructions the Echo comes with a fully waterproof roll-top enclosure, including laptop sleeve. There is a waterproof top zipper pocket to store small items and it has two, side zipper pockets that run the length of the backpack. The side pockets are not waterproof but instead they have drain holes so you could store wet gear and not worry about getting your dry stuff wet. The Boreas Gear Echo backpack has a stretchable front pouch, along with attachment loops along the front. It has thin hip belt straps and stowaway shoulder straps for ease of transporting. The Echo sports an adjustable chest strap, with accompanying whistle, and includes padding along the back for comfort.
Both my girlfriend and I used the 25 liter Boreas Gear Echo backpack as our chestpacks for 8 months across the South Pacific and Southeast Asia. Unfortunately the size and design just made them too awkward to enjoy carrying around. 25 liters is too big for a travel chestpack or even a day hiking pack but it is too small for a multi-day hiking backpack. With it’s size and shape I am not sure where the Echo fits in.
The tapered design looks cool but it is a complete headache for storing gear. The bottom of the backpack is too narrow compared to the very wide top. There is seemingly no good way to pack items inside. This design hampers the functionality of the backpack and the double hull construction of the Boreas Gear Echo makes it extra elongated and bulky for 25 liters. We both quickly found the shape to be cumbersome and annoying, most notably it being impossible to set down, even for a second, without the backpack falling over.
Unfortunately my Boreas Gear Echo backpack is officially benched and it will probably stay that way. This is definitely not a good travel backpack, even for a backpacking-tekkie like myself, and at home I have yet to find a good use for it.