REI Trailbreak 60 Backpack: Lightweight Design, Straightforward Functionality

The REI Co-Op Trailbreak 60 is part of a new line of REI gear that focuses on high quality, sustainable materials, and a lower price point. Price is relative, but the Trailbreak 60 is a standout: it’s a fully functional, surprisingly comfortable backpacking pack that retails for $149.

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The Trailbreak 60 ready for a quick overnight backpacking trip.

The Trailbreak 60 comes in two suave colors, is offered for both men and women, and clocks in at a now-standard 60 liters, which is just big enough to fit modern backpacking gear — smaller pads, more compressible bags, and tiny stoves.

The Trailbreak doesn’t scream of anything fancy, and it’s honestly refreshing. Each strap has a purpose, there are the generally-agreed-upon pockets and pouches for storing gear, it holds 35 pounds comfortably and weighs just three pounds, 11 ounces.

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Side compression straps help to keep the load tight and centered.

While this isn’t the pack for extended backcountry trips with lots of weight, for most backpackers, especially those new to the adventure, it’s ideal.

See the Men’s REI Trailbreak 60

See the Women’s REI Trailbreak 60

Unique Features of the REI Co-Op Trailbreak 60

The REI Trailbreak 60 is not very complicated, so fancy features are not a talking point. With that said, it’s worth highlighting the function-first designers of REI, who included every critical pocket and pouch a modern backpack needs.

There are two zippered hip belt pockets, both of which can fit a large smartphone. Hip belt pockets are universally loved, and are the perfect place to store trail bars, energy packs, chapstick, smartphones, and other small items. This is coupled with two water bottle pockets that are very easy to reach even with the pack on, a feat most backpacks can’t quite accomplish.

REI-Trailbreak-60-water-bottle-pocket-and-hip-belt-pocket
Sized to fit a standard Nalgene, there are two mesh water bottle pockets, and two zippered hip belt pockets.

There’s a single exterior stuff pocket on the Trailbreak 60. It’s not made of mesh, but it has elastic straps that allow you to pull it open, and it holds and secures gear at a moment’s notice quite well.

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Quick stuff pocket can fit a lot.

The fixed top lid has a single zippered pocket that’s perfect for a map, journal, and frisbee, and the bottom of the bag has a large zippered pocket for your sleeping bag. Both of these pockets round out a form and function familiar to most backpackers, and will make packing a breeze.

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The top lid pocket,

While you could certainly get more complicated, you really don’t need to. The rest of your gear goes in the spacious main chute, which organizes easily (just shove it all in there!).

An REI Backpack with Universal Torso Adjustment

Perhaps the best feature of this pack is its torso adjustment feature.

REI designed the Trailbreak 60 to fit men’s torsos from 17-21 inches, and women’s from 15-19 inches. This is critical, as people’s torso lengths vary quite a bit, and don’t always correspond to hip size. To adjust the pack, simply detach the shoulder strap yoke velcro, slide it to the desired torso length, and secure it again.

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A clear, simple method makes the Trailbreak 60 a universal backpacking pack. And you can see the high-quality foam of the back support.

You’d think the comfort would be sacrificed somehow — either by the price of the pack, or the easy adjustment of the shoulder straps — but it’s not. The Trailbreak 60 has legitimate comfort, and the shoulder straps and back are padded with high quality foam.

The hip belt also adjusts to fit most people. These adjustments mean you can pass down the pack to your kid or loan it to a friend if needed.

See the Men’s REI Trailbreak 60

See the Women’s REI Trailbreak 60

Who is REI Co-Op?

REI Co-Op doesn’t really need an introduction — it’s the in-house brand of the largest U.S. outdoor retailer. The company is known for creating thoughtful, sustainable products that rival (and often beat out) big brand competitors.

The Trailbreak 60 is REI’s entry-level backpacking pack that punches way above its price.

See the REI Trailbreak 60 for men and women.


This article is sponsored by REI Co-Op.

Backpackers.com Affiliate Policy: This guide contains affiliate links, which help fund our website. When you click on the links to purchase the gear we get a commission, and this goes a long way to creating guides, gear reviews, and other excellent content.

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