Outdoors 1208

Published on September 17th, 2010 | by Greg


The Columbia Mobex XL Provides More Space, Less Weight

Columbia has been a go-to for anyone who shares the love of the great outdoors and well-executed clothing or equipment. Most recently, they introduced the Mobex XL Backpack for those who desire to carry a little more. The Mobex XL looks like an oversized version of it’s old self.

What makes this backpack so compelling is the light feel of our heavy load. It is made with Flex Frame construction which is similar to the design of a tent. Flexible poles give the Mobex its shaping, but most importantly, the support to carry our substantial load.

This bag is a bit overkill for normal student use. But the design of this backpack is magnificent and it really appeals to those adventurers who need a compatible, versatile design when hiking, canoeing, kayaking, or plain old biking.

Columbia wanted to appeal to trailblazers who need more space but don’t need the extra bulk. The lightweight fabric paired with Columbia’s Omni-Shield-armed material on the pack dissuades rain and grime from seeking shelter. You might have remembered us sharing the perks of the Omni-Shield when we wore the Titanium Micro Advantage Fleece the half-zip fleece that kept us warm and dry. If you need to keep comfy on the road, we really liked the zipper and chin guard, especially at the neckline where a zipped-up fleece can often rub against skin and become pretty irritating. Not here; plus the fairly tight sleeves and neck line ensure that wind doesn’t get inside.

While on a bike ride we rode into a patch of rain and we were able to easily wipe the rain and some mud clean from our pack. The nylon shell is water-repellent so no harm done. The pack moved with us instead of against us as it is more aerodynamic that most.

What we found most helpful about this pack was the visibility. The clamshell main zipper made it possible for us to peel back the main compartment and have access to the interior. The Modex XL also features cargo netting dividers so our items easily kept their places while hiking.

A decently comfortable hip belt provided the ideal spot for a water bottle and a removable tool pouch inside handled our first aid kit. There is even a neat front compartment to put your shoes if you really are using this for a triathalon.

We found the design to be a well-rounded addition to the Columbia family. We were able to purchase for $120 from Amazon. You can choose from a bright orange or a bright blue color, solarize or capri, respectively.

About the Author

Greg dreamed up the idea for the Truly Network while living in Hawaii, which began with a single site called TrulyObscure. In 2010, when advertisers and readers were requesting coverage beyond the scope of that site, TrulyNet was launched, reaching a broader audience over a variety of niche sites. Formerly the head technology correspondent for the Des Moines Register at age 16, he has since lived and worked in five states and two countries, helping a list of organizations and companies that includes the United States Census Bureau, TripAdvisor, Events Photo Group, Berlitz, and Computer Geeks. He also served as the Content Strategy Manager for HearPlanet, a multi-platform app that has reached over a million users and has been featured in the New York Times, Hemispheres Magazine, National Geographic Adventure, Fox Business News, PC Magazine, and even Apple’s own iPhone ads. Greg has written as a restaurant critic and feature journalist for a number of national and international publications, including City Weekend Magazine, Red Egg Magazine, the Newton Daily News, Capital Change Magazine, and an arm of China Daily, Beijing Weekend. In addition, he has served as a consulting editor for the Foreign Language Press of Beijing, as well as a writer and editor for the George Washington University Hatchet, the school newspaper of his alma mater. Originally from Iowa, Greg is currently living in the West Village of Manhattan.

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