The SKYLINE 8.0
Is yet another one of the "new thinking" pack designs from OUTDOOR PRODUCTS. Those that have discovered equipment from this manufacture have long known that you very often get much more then you pay for. OP first came on the scene back in 1973ish and has always been on the leading edge of equipment design.
The SKYLINE 8.0 is yet another example of their thoughtful mixture of materials, construction, function and style.
I admired the SKYLINE the first time I spotted it in my local Mart store. Like many of us, I have toted enough pack cloth to know what I'm looking at and in just a few moments, I fell in love with the thing.
The deep blue coated rip-stop pack cloth trimmed with grey accents and webbing were a real eye catcher. Bar tacks and pipping tape were at all the stress points and the expansion / reduction layout of the compression straps was nothing if not genius. Someone over at OP was doing their job right.
The design looked classic and modern at the same time.
Much more then a glorified hydration pack, this bag carries like an alpine ruck with very good distribution of load and center of balance characteristics.
Load lifter straps are featured throughout the design enabling the wearer to place the weight in the optimum location for the task at hand, be it a trail hike, vertical climb or biking.
The side compression straps are angled to not only pull the load in close but also to lift the load up. This prevents that "lump of gear at the bottom of your pack" syndrome. I really hate that.
The pack's main hip belt is generously sized (I should know) well padded and have relief openings that wrap around the hip bone instead of cutting into it. Pockets are built in, they are just great for GPS , SPOT units or GORP.
Features like this are generally reserved for packs with much higher price tags.
Access to the main load is via the top panel as well as a side zip on the port side. A center zip back panel opens a nicely sized "outer" pocket that is great for TP, maps, flashlights etc.
The SKYLINE's main support derives from a single aluminum stay that can be formed to the contours of the wearer's spine for a custom fit. The top end of the pack frame is semi ridged and well cushioned. The entire suspension is secured via Velcro hook and loop material.
Deep and wide water bottle style side pockets as well as a Daisey chain ladder and believe it or not ice axe loops add to the versatility of the pack as does an elastic top cord for sweaters or hats just to round out the possibilities. Lets try hard not to forget that this thing is hydration bag capable with a dedicated compartment, hose window and bite valve retainer clip.
The SKYLINE 8.0 pack is just one more reason to give Outdoor Products another look. Well planned and produced equipment is their hallmark and you just can't beat the price. What a wonderful piece of gear to help make our days in the field more enjoyable.
Good work OP, we will be watching you.