Gear Guide

Keen’s Newport DP pack is one cushy ride

By Brian Barker June 16, 2010

Once my wife discovered that she could stuff our one-year-old’s diapers, changing pad, extra clothes, and various other baby-centric sundries inside this nifty new daypack from Keen and still have room to spare for our usual assortment of trail essentials (rain jackets, power bars, guide book, etc.), I immediately gave up hope of ever regaining custody of it again.

But whether you roll with a baby on board or not, any hiker would go gaga for Keen’s Newport DP (; $90). For starters there’s a ripstop Polyester exterior, which has a nice crumply, broken-in feel, but still manages bombproof toughness, whether you’re faced with bushwhacking an overgrown trail or watching your child drag it repeatedly across the driveway.

Zip the Newport open and you’ll find two separate compartments for storing gear (or, if you like, a laptop), both complete with interior sleeves and an assortment of mesh catch-alls. I always tend to over-pack (easy to do with a kid), so I definitely appreciated the presence of three super plush back pads too, which kept all my lumbars happy no matter how much I tried to supersize our loads.

There’s a lot of attention to detail here as well, like the presence of dual holes for CamalBak tubes, which means you can position your hydration valve on either side of your body. And especially handy given our weather this year was the addition of a stashable rain cover to help keep everything inside the Newport nice and dry.

After all, I assure you, I have enough wet diapers to deal with already.

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