Want to have an extensive load carrying performance from a backpack? Then let me introduce you to the Sierra Designs Flex Capacitor. It can expand from 40 to 60 Liters in storage. Thus, giving you more space to load foods, clothes, and essential gears for longer trips. Sierra designs flex capacitor review covers more in detail.
This cool backpack also excels in comfort and its lightweight makes your trip smoother. Do you know one amazing thing about this Sierra Designs backpack? It teamed up with Andrew Skurka, one of the most reputed names in the world of hiking professionals. At first, I felt a bit skeptical and thought this man is endorsing the pack for a fee.
See some of its competitors:
So, I sat down in research for hours, and then my analysis over this pack made me a fan of it. Now, it is my turn to share the awesomeness of this backpack with the review. But before we start, you should know for whom this pack is for. Alright, let’s see.
Who needs Sierra Designs Flex Capacitor?
Those who want to shift from heavy packing setup to something ultra-light then this Flex Capacitor is a great choice for them. It gives you the facility of expanding storage space as per need and you can carry up to 50 pounds weight comfortably. The pack features a Y-FLEX interior support structure which helps to nicely set the bag on your back and hip.
As a result, it takes the weight off your back to the hip and you can easily carry the bag without feeling any burden over your shoulders. Besides the pack has good cushioning in hip belts, shoulder straps, and back. So, overall, it is an excellent choice for light packing on longer outdoor activities.
But I am not finished yet. There’s more to know about the Flex Capacitor that I will cover one by one.
Sierra Designs Flex Capacitor Review
♦Weight and Size | ♦Materials and Durability | ♦Storage and Pockets | ♦Compression System and Attachment Points | ♦Frame and Suspension | ♦Comfort and Ventilation | ♦Hip belts and Shoulder Straps | ♦Features | ♦Pros & cons | ♦FAQ | ♦Buyer’s guide and conclusion.
Quick overview: ✔Weight: 2 lbs. 10 oz, ✔Dimensions: 30” x 13” x 10”, ✔Material: 100D Nylon-Poly Ripstop (body), 420D Nylon Oxford (bottom), ✔Volume: 40-60 Liter or 2441-3661 cubic inches, ✔Hip belt: Yes, padded, ✔Shoulder straps: Yes, padded, ✔Support: Y-Flex, DAC Pressfit Aluminum, ✔Torso Length: 2 sizes, S/M: 16″-19″, M/L: 18″-21″, ✔Hip belt lengths: SM/MD: 29″-32″, MD/LG: 32″-35″, ✔Max. load-bearing capacity: 50 lbs., ✔Access: Top, ✔Hydration Compatible: Yes, ✔Pockets: 1 zippered lid, 2 zippered hip belt, 1 shoulder, 2 side pockets, ✔Gender: Men’s.
Weight and Size:
Now talking about weight, I am sure you have seen the backpack in the picture. So, what do you think will it be lightweight or heavy? If I say its lightweight then I have a logic behind it. You see, this bag is not like the traditional one moreover it looks like some durable pieces of fabrics are sewn together. And some necessary straps, belts, buckles, and features are added to give this more like a bag look. That is where I felt this pack will be less weighty and comfortable to carry, unlike the casual backpacks. Apart from my analysis, the Flex Capacitor also weight about 2 lbs. 10 oz.
You know, when I go shopping, I love to explore various options. And everyone also loves to check and find their own fit. So, such flexibility is also seen in the new Flex Capacitor’s hip belt size and torso length. This backpack is available in 4 hip belts sizes and 2 torso lengths. Now, you can choose this light and cool pack according to your fit. The available hip belt sizes start from less than 29″ and up to more than 35″ i.e. SM/MD: 29″-32″ and MD/LG: 32″-35″. Where torso lengths are S/M: 16″ – 19″ and M/L: 18” – 21”.
Materials and Durability:
The durability of a backpack depends on the type of material used in it. And I am glad to tell you that, the Sierra Designs always stand up to its standard of providing high-quality materials to their product. Like, the Flex Capacitor is made of 100D Nylon-Poly Ripstop in the body where the bottom is made with 420D Nylon Oxford.
You know, the material on the pack body makes it breathable, water repellent, and strong to resist tear and abrasion. Also, the bottom fabric of the backpack is very lightweight and highly durable. It has a nice smooth surface and fully waterproof. Thus, you can see in terms of durability this Flex Capacitor won’t disappoint you.
Here, #10 zippers are used in the pack. Besides, the straps and buckles are made of good and reliable materials.
Storage and Pockets:
You can access the Flex Capacitor’s main compartment through the zippered top lid. There are two flat pockets in the top lids that are designed to hold thin objects like maps, phones, or snack bars. When you flip open the top lid, you will see gigantic space inside the pack. There are basically two zippers on the top lid, one placed on the pocket while the other one runs in U-shaped around the main compartment.
So, the good thing is, both the zippers are covered with durable fabric flaps for protection against rain and dust. The U-shaped top zipper features two sliders so it has the possibility of not working at times and can compromise the usability. That’s why I will suggest you carry any clips or safety pins just in case you need it.
As I was saying, the main compartment of the pack is very spacious and it has two fabric loops. You can hang a water reservoir there. Again, you can use it as a separate hydration reservoir sleeve with a single hydration port behind the collar of the hydration hose. Camelbak Fourteener 20 backpack provides Hydration reservoir up to 3 liters with the pack itself.
But the thing is you need to dig your hands to the bottom if you want to find anything inside the pack. Now, this can be frustrating at the time of need.
There are stretch mesh side pockets to store water bottles that are easily accessible while wearing the pack. You can even store a 1 Liter water bottle in the side pockets. A cool thing is, the mesh can stretch enough to fit tent poles or a Tenkara rod and rests securely in the side pockets.
I really like how they designed the side pockets with a mesh outside while the pocket’s bottom and the perimeter around the mesh are braced with nylon for added stability.
The Flex Capacitors feature zippered hip pockets in the hip belts. These pockets have ample space to store your handy items such as snacks, electronics, GPS, napkins, etc. Plus, both pockets are enveloped with fabric and quite durable.
Well, as for external storage then you have a large mesh pocket to store your wet gear, rain cover, or a wet tent. This time Sierra Designs has added a new feature to remove the internal hydration mesh to the pack’s outside. So, you can suspend the hydration sleeve with 4 exterior gear loops. All I can say, it’s the most functional and cool feature added by Sierra Designs until now. However, the pocket is quite small and its flimsy mesh is better designed for the pack’s interior.
So, there is yet room for improving more than functionality as well.
Read next: High Sierra Appalachian 75 backpack
Compression System and Attachment Points:
There are several external straps and attachment points in the Flex Capacitor. I will start with compression straps. So, there are two tiers of compression straps that move back and forth of your backpack. It can be used to compress your pack load or you can attach anything outside with them.
These compression straps are quite long and they are spaced far away from each other. Due to this, you can get enough area to attach ax shafts, skis, snowshoes, etc. when you are packing for a hardcore long trip.
Besides, if you want to compress or expand the volume of the main compartment, then the compression straps will be very helpful. Besides, when the compression straps are loosened, it increases the diameter of the pack’s main compartment.
So, the main compartment volume increases from 40 Liter to 60 Liter, giving you ample space to store more things. I think compression straps are a great feature, giving you more versatility while using the pack.
Also, the backpack has four adjustment straps and two ice ax loops on the bottom. The four adjustment straps help mostly to lock the particular size you want to have in a backpack. However, there are no attachment points for carrying trekking poles. If you want to carry your trekking poles then you have to secure it with the other webbing straps placed at the pack’s backside.
Also, what I didn’t like much is the absence of a lower sleeping bag compartment. If it bugs you the same you can try out the Osprey Volt 75. This will be a great backpack for you too. Though it is a bit expensive. But I think it worth the price.
Frame and Suspension:
A frameless backpack fit awkwardly to your back and often feel restless to carry when it lingers to your sweaty back. Besides, such a pack is not convenient for carrying weight more than 30 pounds.
But thankfully, the Flex Capacitor features a fully suspended Y-shaped Aluminum frame. Also commonly known as Y-Flex internal suspension. The frame system consists of three Aluminum tubes connected by a hub. This helps to offer airflow around the kidneys to avoid SBS (Sweaty Back Syndrome).
It slit into hip belts and transfer excess load up to 50 pounds to the hip belts when your pack is heavily loaded.
The frame is very lightweight and an excellent add-on to this backpack. Do you want to know an inner secret? The frame is supportive due to the strong tension in the system that held it in place. It is in the internal part of the bag and removable when you want to resize your hip belts.
Comfort and Ventilation:
Comfort and Ventilation go hand to hand for any backpack. If you are not feeling comfortable wearing a bag then you won’t be wanting to use it again. Similarly, it is annoying to wear a bag with sweaty back in hot and humid weather conditions. So, considering your comfort and providing you good ventilation the Flex Capacitor has some thoughtful designs.
A lot of users appreciated the use of a large lumbar pad and padded hip belts. They found it very comfortable and helped to support their load finely.
Plus, the Y-shaped frame and padding work together in offering a wide air channel behind your back. Through this channel, air flows and reduces the build-up of sweat. It keeps your back dry and cool at the same time.
I got very impressed by the well-designed raised lumbar pad of the Flex Capacitor. Why? Because it distributes the weight of the pack to your hip in the correct position and at the same time it offers you lumbar support. Unlike any other backpack, the Flex Capacitor actually provides support to your lower back. So, it is a great choice for those who suffer from sensitive lower back pain.
The scapula pads and lumbar pad pairs work together to offer a great airflow. Besides, for dripping sweat, it makes route down your side rather than down your bottom and prevents chafing.
Read next: Osprey stratos 50 comfortable backpack.
Hip belts and Shoulder Straps:
You can change the hip belts sizes by removing the Y-shaped frame when needed. Though it is very tough and takes a mountain amount of strength and lubricants to remove the frame and insert it accurately. So, to save yourself from the hassle and to get the perfect hip belts size of this Flex Capacitor, you can directly order it from Sierra Designs.
The shoulder straps in this backpack are very simple and don’t have so many attachment points. There are two stretch pockets given on the shoulder straps and they are secured by elastic bands. It is wide enough to hold your phone or a bar of snacks. But it is wise to store handy things in the zippered hip belt pockets for safety.
So, these are some important discussions about this backpack. Now it’s time to tell you some fun facts of the Flex Capacitor so you can remember well. Alright, let’s go!
- High-quality materials like Ripstop- and Oxford- Nylon is used in the Flex Capacitor that will offer great durability.
- The Flex Capacitor is quite lightweight to carry and you can expand it from 40-60 Liter when needed.
- To provide great ventilation and fine posture to your back, the bag has featured the Aluminum Y-shaped frame. Due to this, the bag can comfortably support load up to 50 pounds.
- You can choose any of the four hip belts sizes and it fit anything from 29″ to 35″ and more.
- There are zippered hipbelt pockets to store your handy items like a headlamp, phone, snacks, etc. for easy access.
- Two side stretch mesh pockets are included in the backpack that can hold up to a 1-liter water bottle.
- Have sensitive back pain? Then you will surely like the raised lumbar pad of this pack. It takes off the weight of the pack to your hip and offers lumbar support.
- You can access this pack from the zippered top lid and inside you will get a fabric loop for a hydration reservoir.
- There are two-tier compression straps in the backpack that helps you to expand or compress the bag when needed. Besides you can use them outside to secure ice axes or any other poles.
- The shoulder straps include a sternum strap to keep them balanced. Also, it features two chest level stretch mesh pockets secured by elastic bands to carry handy items.
- It has great ventilation due to the Y-Flex suspension and the padding. Together it provides a large channel behind your back for airflow and reduces sweat build up.
- Large compartment.
- It has many flexible points to adjust the backpack according to your fit.
- Great ventilation.
- Good lumbar support.
- An excellent choice for sensitive back pain.
- Adjustable torso length and hipbelts sizes.
- Hydration is compatible.
- Lacks attachment points for trekking poles.
- No option for a lower sleeping bag compartment.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ):
- Is it ultra-lightweight?
Ans: I won’t say its ultra-light but it is surely lightweight.
- Can I remove the Y-Flex suspension?
Ans: You can but it is suggested not to do so because then inserting will be tough for you.
- Is there are attachment points for sleeping bag compartment?
Great! I guess you have read everything above. Okay, now I have some essential buying guides for you.
Before going shopping for a backpack, always measure your torso length and hipbelt size first. It will save your time while shopping. Consider what features you want and what to avoid. Lastly, check if the product is damaged or torn. If you find it later on then return it immediately.
Again, if you want to shop online, then always go for the trustworthy sites that can assure you 100% original product.
Well, it’s time to go and I want you to know that Sierra Designs Flex Capacitor will be the perfect lightweight pack for you to carry more loads than the usual backpack. It is comfortable, durable, has good packability, and comes with greater ventilation. So, what else do you need from a backpack like this!
I hope you won’t regret giving it a try. The rest is your case!
Thanks for reading our Sierra designs flex capacitor review. I think it will help you during your backpack purchase.
Also, let us know which part of the backpack you have liked the most.