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30L across 6 main pockets
20.6-21.6 oz. unloaded
ALEX: The Outdoor Vitals Skyline 30 Fastpack is a thoughtfully designed, versatile pack that combines durability, functionality, and comfort, making it an excellent choice for adventures ranging from day hikes to multi-day fastpack adventures through the backcountry. With a 30-liter capacity, it strikes a perfect balance between providing ample storage space and remaining lightweight.
The company behind it, Outdoor Vitals, is known for its commitment to producing high-quality outdoor gear that stands up to the demands of the wilderness. With a mission to help people connect more deeply to the outdoors, they are committed to a patient process that involves in-depth research and thorough testing of the gear they develop. If you haven’t yet, check them out.
I took the Skyline 30 out on long days in the Crestone Mountains in Colorado. I love the feeling of having everything I need for a long day in the mountains in my pack. Correction: I don’t love being aware that I have everything in my pack — I like to pack it all in and forget about it. The Skyline 30’s vest-like fit kept my gear close to my body and allowed me to do just that.
TAYLOR: I’m far from a hipster, but I appreciate uniqueness. Anything small-batch or craft is right up my alley. It’s even better when practicality and function are the most forward design principles. For all of these very reasons, the little-known Outdoor Vitals is one that pulls me in every single time.
Everything the team creates is top-shelf quality. Off the top of my head, highlights include the lightweight ball of warmth Ventus hoodie, the adaptable Tern Ultralight Merino Tee, the wind-slaying Vario jacket, and the Tushar Rain Jacket with pit zips… it’s seriously good stuff. Now that I think of it, I have more Outdoor Vitals gear at the ready than any other brand right now.
Outdoor Vitals was born from a classic storyline. It’s the “I’m not satisfied with any of the gear I have, so I’m going to create my own stuff and sell it because this is what people actually need” type of story. When the company started, it was all about the backpacking scene, and still mostly is. And that’s the reason why most runners out there still don’t know the brand at all.
Fast forward a few years, and the owner of the company stumbled onto the trail running scene and got hooked. Outdoor Vitals’ ultralight mentality is a natural crossover to the trail running scene. It shouldn’t be a surprise that we’re now seeing some very run-specific gear trickling out onto their website.
Using their massive depth of outdoor gear knowledge and newfound stoke for running, the Skyline 30 Fastpack was born. It’s a prime example of what Outdoor Vitals is ready to do in the space. Let’s get to some specifics.
ALEX: The purpose and design of the Outdoor Vitals Skyline 30 are tailored to meet the needs of those looking to spend long days or multiple days out on the trail. Its 30-liter capacity strikes a perfect balance between ample storage space and weight.
The black-and-white design and aesthetic of the pack are so good. It’s clean and simple. I love white packs and white shoes. Well, I love them until I wear them in the mud once, and there’s no evidence that the shoe started out a beautiful clean white color. Sometimes I wonder why companies even bother — kinda like white underwear. Why? I digress. The pack looks really good. Even better, the 100D Robic nylon diamond ripstop is super durable and water resistant with a WP rating of 15000 mm HH.
The pack immediately scored points when I saw that it had exterior pockets… well-designed ones, at that. Ever since I owned my first Ultimate Direction Fastpack and experienced the beauty of well-functioning external stretch pockets, I cannot use a pack without them. Wet clothes? Wet tent? Stuff it in the stretch pocket. Stinky socks? White underwear because you were feeling bold on day one? Stretch pocket. Snacks, water filter, headlamp, gloves, and any other items you want quick access to on the move? Stretch pocket.
I’ve nearly doubled the carrying capacity of packs by really stretching that stretch pocket. It’s a wonderful design that, once experienced, will change your life. The great thing about this stretch pocket, in particular, is that it’s made of a durable Challenge Ultra stretch mesh material that won’t get snagged on branches or scraped up when you’re squeezing between rocks or falling on your ass and riding scree down a steep slope.
Seamlessly built into the design of those wonderful external stretch pockets is a pass-through bottom pocket that works perfectly for stowing trekking poles. The side stretch pockets both accommodate 1L bottles and are also perfect for your water filter, extra food, gloves, or headlamp. There’s even a zippered compartment in the mesh to keep your phone and wallet secure.
The second feature I look for in a pack is well-designed front pockets, and the front of the Skyline 30 is awesome. There are bottle pockets that fit two 500ml soft flasks, and each strap has three smaller stretch pockets. This is hard to explain, so look at the photos. The first is for soft flasks and is secured/adjustable via a retention loop and shock cord tension closure. The middle is secured with a zipper and includes a lanyard clip. The lower pocket is perfect for items that you need quick access to and is also secured/adjustable with a retention loop and shock cord tension closure.
The shoulder harness has dual adjustable sternum straps that you can move vertically and adjust for tension. It’s made of perforated foam that allows the pack to breathe effectively and is protected by a ripstop mesh. The back is equipped with EVA foam with large cutouts that effectively vent the back of the pack and allow airflow between you and your gear. All add to the weight savings, and all have a well-thought-out purpose.
The main compartment of the pack has a simple stuff sack design with a roll-top V-compression webbing closure. This design is secure and also allows you to stow your sleeping pad on the outside of your pack. There are two small zippered pockets (this is where I store spare batteries and a charger) as well as a hydration bladder sleeve inside. The 23L main compartment is where I stored my climbing helmet, puffy jacket, rain gear, an extra base layer, socks, food, and first aid.
As with most packs, it performs best when fully loaded. While the bounce and movement were minimal when packed to half capacity, it was notably better when I had a full load. The side adjustments are super simple thin paracord which I didn’t appreciate at first but then grew on me. The design keeps the pack lightweight, and I appreciate that it’s less fancy stuff that could fail or cause issues in the backcountry.
Finally, the pack is equipped with three trekking pole/ice ax tension loops that allow tools to be carried in a variety of different ways.
TAYLOR: Let me forewarn that much of what I’m about to say is an echo from Alex. She was able to get more miles and big adventures than I did, but we still had basically the same experience.
The most glaring positive, to me, was the overall fit. The harness of the Skyline 30 Fastpack is just like many other modern trail running vests. It has a lightweight front strap construction with some external pockets for the essentials like water bottles and a few other small items immediately underneath. The mesh and light layer of shoulder padding are very breathable and just rigid enough to hold the shape when the pack is full. The harness straps clip together with a series of chest straps and another “high hip” strap that comes across the stomach. I didn’t originally like this placement, but it actually grew on me and was a necessary piece to the puzzle. An
Even with full bottles, a phone, and keys up front and a full pack in the back, there was zero bounce to speak of. Everything was anchored appropriately without feeling restrictive. This carries a myriad of goods better than either of the Ultimate Direction Fastpack models that we reviewed. I was very surprised at its functional carrying capacity.
Most backpacking packs or fastpacks will ride closer to the waistline, but the Skyline 30 Fastpack rested a little higher on the mid back to keep things really close to the body. Again, this is similar to many trail running vests on the market right now. Personally, I liked how the ride felt, and the EVA foam backing provided more comfort as weight increased.
As Alex thoroughly laid out, pockets are a big deal with the Outdoor Vitals Skyline 30 Fastpack. They’re everywhere. Inside, outside, this side, that side, up front, and in back. All are thoughtful and have some real backpacker influence.
There are large external mesh pockets that make it too easy to stash jackets and other crap that needs easy access. We’ve already discussed the utility of the harness pockets. Then, there’s a large 23L main pocket and internal water reservoir sleeve with a roll-top closure that can cinch tightly or expand as needed.
Durability throughout the pack will be a non-issue too. The body of the pack is made out of a very light water-resistant ripstop-like material. I didn’t think twice about slipping through some rocks, setting my pack down near a stream, or bushwacking. There’s no doubt that the Skyline 30 Fastpack will last for many adventures to come.Shop Outdoor Vitals Skyline 30 Fastpack
ALEX: I didn’t take this one out for any multi-day outings because doing so might require an adventure partner carrying a larger pack. Which, for the record, is always my preference. “Huh, this doesn’t fit in my pack, but I need it. Can I just put it in yours?” An alternative to this approach, if you can’t find a willing participant, is to ensure all of your gear is ultralight — which requires work or, let’s be real, money.
TAYLOR: Even though the Skyline 30 Fastpack is large for a running pack, it will be a stretch to fit everything you need for a night out or multiple days on the trail. 30 liters sounds like a lot until you try to fit your gear in it.
It can be a solid option if you have the right gear otherwise. I’m talking about bivy sack-type camping here. Everything from the sleeping bag to food systems and layers has to be able to pack down to micro. It would help a lot if your route also has a steady supply of water for filling the Hydroflask bottles that come with the pack.Shop Outdoor Vitals Skyline 30 Fastpack
ALEX: I love the Outdoor Vitals Skyline 30 Fastpack and find myself reaching for it even for short hikes when I want to have some extra gear. It’s fun to wear and use, and it looks good.
The Skyline 30’s design is well-thought-out, with multiple pockets and compartments that allow for efficient organization of gear. The main compartment is spacious enough to accommodate essentials such as a hydration bladder, extra layers, and snacks. Additionally, the pack features amazing exterior mesh pockets and attachment points for securing trekking poles or ice axes, ensuring quick access to essential items while on the move.
The durable construction and water-resistant materials effectively protect gear from the elements, ensuring that important items stay dry even in inclement weather. The thoughtful design allows for easy access to essentials, saving precious time during summit pushes and surprise storms up high.
The Outdoor Vitals 30L Fastpack is reliable and well-designed. Its durability, ample storage capacity, and comfortable fit make it an ideal choice for tackling challenging terrains like multiple 14ers, long days out in the mountains, or even short to mid-distance day hikes. Whether you’re a seasoned hiker, an FKT hopeful, or looking for a pack for your urban run commute, this pack will enhance your experience by efficiently carrying your gear and providing the functionality you need in any setting.
You cannot go wrong with this one or anything else from Outdoor Vitals.
TAYLOR: I’ve learned to expect big things when Outdoor Vitals steps up to the plate. In the case of the Skyline 30 Fastpack, they hit a first at-bat homer. Function and practicality are met with style to create a sleek pack that’s ready for just about any adventure.
If you have the right ultralight gear and conditions, this pack could be a great multi-day fastpacking companion. As the mule, I was happy to carry the Skyline 30 when it was bursting at the brim or had just a few things.
There’s no reason that this couldn’t be used for a day pack or long race pack, either. It has all the necessary ingredients for sensibly hauling any amount of gear at a quick clip while being much lighter than its competitors.
You can pick up the Outdoor Vitals Skyline 30 Fastpack for $198 from Outdoor Vitals using the buttons below.
Alex is a trail and ultra runner from the upper midwest who loves Minnesota’s long winters and logging miles on the rooty, rocky, steep trails of Lake Superior’s North Shore. She was the first female to set a supported FKT on the 310 mile Superior Hiking Trail (SHT) and enjoys multi-day events and races, especially if they involve snow and -20 degree temps.
All-time favorite shoes: Hoka Speedgoat Evo, Hoka Tecton X, Altra Timp.More from Alex
Taylor Bodin is a trail and ultra runner living in Estes Park, Colo., with his wife and daughters. Trail running is pretty much the only hobby he can manage right now and loves it. Every so often, he will pop off a race or FKT attempt because competition is pure and the original motivator for him getting into running anyways. When not running, Taylor is a 1st grade teacher, running coach (track & field, Cross Country, and Trail/Ultra athletes), and volunteers at his church.More from Taylor