I bought a Gonex 55L Hiking Backpack. The description says 'Hiking Backpack Outdoor Trekking Camping Backpack'. Overall, this is a pretty decent backpack. I am confident that the 55L is accurate, if the pack is totally stuffed. It is comparable in size to a 40 or 45L Cilogear pack. The pack has some good and some poor design choices.

Back view

gonex_55_back gonex_55_back_open gonex_55_pocket gonex_55_skirtt

This is a view of the back of the pack. There is a very large light blue pocket on the outside made of a stretchy material which seems well ventilated. It could be used to hold wet stuff, or stuff you need to get to quickly. Around the perimeter of the pocket is a zipper on 3 sides, which when opened will allow easy access to the interior of the pack. The pocket is secured with two quick release clips on the bottom, which are gray. The top opening of the pocket is secured with a quick release clip. There are a number of reflective highlights on the pack, including on the top side edges of the pocket. The pack extension is dark gray and about 6 inches high. It has a drawstring at the top. There is no lower drawstring, which would be a nice feature, and is found in all Cilogear packs.

Pack front


This is the front of the pack, i.e. the part which rests against your back. There are two shoulder straps and a waist belt. The shoulder straps have a sternum strap which can be adjusted vertically and has a orange whistle built in. The sternum strap adjusts up and down over a rounded portion of the shoulder strap. This is great to quickly adjust the height, but the sternum strap also slides up with little effort, requiring constant adjustment. I prefer a sternum strap that requires much more effort to adjust, because they tend to stay properly adjusted. The shoulder straps have load transfer straps to the top of the pack. The back is padded with lightweight foam and there is a central vertical slot for ventilation. At the top is a somewhat thin but robust carry handle.

Pack side


This is the side of the pack. There is a mesh pocket on either side of the pack which could be used to hold a water bottle. There is one compression strap with a quick release on either side of the pack. There is also some elastic cord attached to one side of the compression strap that could be used to secure a pole to the outside of the pack. For a pack of this size, I would prefer to have two compression straps per side.

Pack bottom


The bottom of the pack has a small zippered compartment that holds a yellow rain cover. The rain cover has a reflective Gonex logo. It is a nice feature, but a good pack should be reasonably waterproof and not need a cover.

Pack waist belt


This is the pack waist belt. The belt has a reasonably large pocket on each side, which could be used to hold a cell phone or small camera. The belt is reasonably stiff vertically and well padded. The belt is long enough to fit over bulky clothing unlike many other packs. The belt is not vertically adjustable or removable.

Pack lid

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This is the pack lid. It is removable from the pack. It has a zipper which is U shaped and wraps partially around the lid, making it easy to access the interior. There is an inner compartment which has a mesh separator. Inside the inner compartment, is a key-holder. The outside of the lid is composed of two layers of fabric. This makes it much more abrasion resistant, but it also makes it much harder to patch a hole. I think this is the only two layer part of the pack. The underside of the lid shows the two sliders where the lid attaches to the pack via straps. The lid attaches to the other side of the pack via two quick release buckles.

Pack frame

gonex frame gonex inside

The Gonex 55L pack has a framesheet which is made out of reasonably stiff fabric. It may be nylon. There is a central sleeve where a curved cross section aluminum stay is. This is a reasonably light and supportive frame. I prefer the Cilogear frame, which is a thin sheet of polyethylene with a aluminum stay. It is more difficult to sew th5rough polyethylene, but polyethylene is far stiffer than nylon fabric and can be used without the stay if desired. The Gonex fabric seems useful only to properly locate the aluminum stay, and provide a small amount of stiffness in case you have pointy stuff in the pack. On the other hand, it is a much better frame than the Gonex 35L pack. The framesheet is secured in the pack via z zippered compartment. Also present inside the pack is a large padded pouch which could be used to hold a hydration system. There is also a hole at the top to allow a hydration tube to exit the pack. What is missing is a loop or clip at the top of the pack to keep a hydration bag from slipping down to the bottom of the pack.

Pack Conclusion

Overall, the pack is reasonably well constructed and reasonably priced. It has many features. It is a decent value, and at least as good as a The North Face pack. It could use a loop inside to secure a hydration bladder. It could use another side compression strap. The zippers could be urethane coated to make them more waterproof.

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