Rodeo Backpack by GoLite
Reviewed by Judy Nugent
The Rodeo snowboard
backpack is an excellent choice for snowshoe enthusiasts. New from
the GoLite company, this pack lives up to its name. It weighs in
at only 1 pound, 10 oz. Naturally I was curious how GoLite got it
to be so light. Were they leaving out essential accessories? Were
they cutting corners with materials? After nearly 30 hours of testing,
the answer is a resounding no. The designers at GoLite have done
their homework and have put a new backpack on the market that deserves
Here is a basic description
of the key features. The most easily identified feature, and the
first thing you should notice from the picture, is the snowboard
sleeve on the back of the pack. On each side are stretch bands connecting
the sleeve to the backpack, allowing it to accomodate snowshoes
in a variety of sizes. Also, the pack is made of very durable materials
that are also ultra light in weight. It comes with a 3 liter insulated
hydration sleeve and a detachable, neoprene MP3 holder. The back
is made of a contoured air channel mesh which I found more comfortable
than some rigid metal support backs on competitor's models. Another
key feature is the water tight main compartment. With any winter
sport, being waterproof is essential. There is a side tool loop
holder and a zipped shovel holder for snow enthusiasts. There are
also a few smaller details like drain hole and hip belt pockets.
So as the temperature
started to drop in my home town of Chicago, I put this backpack
through a few test. The bottom line; I was pleasantly impressed
and found it hard to think of features that GoLite missed. First
it comes in different, exciting colors. (I chose the color Fire).
This isn't the most earth shaking detail, but in a world of red,
green, and blue back packs, I like that mine is Fire. Next, the
pack is affordable at $110. I thought that with its specialty design
and ultra light materials, the price would have been much higher.
Next it is durable, water resistant, and has a hydration system.
In fact it nailed all of the criteria we set at the magazine. A
possible problem is that it may not be available in your local store,
but with the advent of the internet, this is no longer the concern
it once was. Now you can go to golite.com and order it. Another
possible problem is that it doesn't have the rigid metal bar construction
to support very heavy loads over a long period of time. That being
said you have to figure in the additional weight of these supports.
Obviously different packs are designed for different needs. For
the general day hiker I think this pack will make their burden lighter,
while still meeting all of their needs.
I feel the Rodeo exceeds
expectations and is a good choice for snowshoers. It comes in two
different lengths to accommodate different body types, and a few
different colors. I suggest you investigate this company to see
if they have a pack that will suit your needs, and try them on for
yourself. You might just be surprised how heavy your old backpack
feels once you try a GoLite.
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