Mountainsmith Clear Creek 18: Pack for Daily Adventures

Mountainsmith Clear Creek 18 -

A touch of outdoor retro and a whole bunch of lightweight functionality. Designed for your day-in, day-out adventures, the Clear Creek 18 is game for a 10 plus mile trek or perfect for your daily commute. It’s a simple pack, the kind that I would always want to have in my car so that whenever an adventure presents itself, you can count me in! It’s also a great travel pack since it’s light and can hold an impressive amount travel essentials of small to medium size. The main zipper extends three quarters of the pack outer structure to allow for loading options that are normally only seen in much larger gear bags. Although the Clear Creek may not have the wow factor with its looks it easily outperforms its dapper competition. At $70 you would be hard-pressed to find any regret in this purchase.

The trusty Multi-Rip CORDURA® outer and nyloon embossed liner looks and feels tough, which is always expected from Mountainsmith. When working with packs that are meant for the outdoors it’s always important to test their ruggedness. The seams on this pack are very well constructed and when handling it you really can’t find a possible weak point in its structure. Much of this can be attributed to the Mountainsmith name as they also don’t concern their brand with modern fashion trends and focus primarily on outdoor function and quality. These days, it’s common to see a great looking pack from a distance only to pick it up and immediately recognize that it won’t last long in the elements.

Mountainsmith Clear Creek 18 -

By using CORDURA® as the building block this pack provided coverage on the trail that left us with the peace of mind to focus on the path ahead and not the safety of our gear. The 3 liter hydration sleeve is more than adequate for day hikes and doesn’t consume the internal volume like many others do. It’s also easy to access for refill purposes which can only be appreciated when you are tired and trying to conserve your energy.

Mountainsmith Clear Creek 18 -

Given the Clear Creek’s smaller size it performs adequately when used on the bike. Adventure cycling is quickly becoming a favorite past time for cyclists who want to stray away from their over crowded local trails (we are speaking from experience). The Clear Creek 18 can store your fluids, tools, nutrition bars, apparel pieces, wallet keys and electronic devices safely and securely.

You also won’t find superfluous padding here that can cause discomfort during exercise. The main straps have enough cushion in them to save your shoulders and sternum from discomfort or harmful rubbing while on the trail. The back panel on the Clear Creek 18 displays what every quality bag should have, an EVA based light layer of padding. With three regions separated by a thin channel, we experienced very little perspiration during our day hike. As expected when riding, there aren’t many packs that can truly prevent the harmless back sweat. On the exterior,  a jacket can be stuffed to the front of the pack with it’s built in chord system, shoes or a helmet can be hung from the daisy chain loops, and your classic Nalgene can fit in a side pocket (although with a pack this size I feel that it throws off the balance). Every useful feature that was integrated into this pack is done with superior quality and testing.


Mountainsmith Clear Creek 18 Review -

New Mountainsmith Backpack -

Aside from all of these fun features there is still a ton of tech and lingo to understand that Mountainsmith has provided below.


•Anvil Airway ridged EVA backpanel padding

•Removable 1″ waistbelt

•Front panel daisy chain loops

•Reflective front panel attachment point

•Duel side panel mesh pockets fit most 32oz bottles

•Internal hydration sleeve sits up to 3L

•Elastic sternum strap and bite valve catch with safety whistle

Mountainsmith Clear Creek 18 -


•Bar tack reinforcements

•YKK® Zippers

•3M™ Reflective Cord


•305d Multi-Rip Cordura®HP

•210d Nyloon Embossed Liner


•17.25″ x 10.75″ x 6.5″ / 43.8 x 27.3 x 16.5 cm (H x W x D)

•Waistbelt Width: 1″

•Waistbelt Circumference: 28″ – 48”


•1060 cubic inches / 17.5L


•Up to 25 lbs


•19 oz. / 0.53 kg

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