Jack Wolfskin Denali 75

The Jack Wolfskin Denali has become my go-to pack for travel. In the past couple of years I have chosen to take a few extended family vacations in lieu of additional backcountry backpacking trips. Nothing against backpacking, but I am more likely to get full family buy-in on my vacations if my family is actually included in them. And, those kids are only going to be young once. We have taken a few trips to Europe and Central America over the past couple of years.

After our first trip, I realized I needed to travel with a trekking-style backpack rather than conventional luggage. Roller bags and huge duffels were incredibly inconvenient at backwater Panamanian border checkpoints, and when shuttling between European train stations and hotels. After dealing with their weight and unwieldiness, my wife and I knew we needed a change.

Jack Wolfskin Denali 75

Taking the Jack Wolfskin Denali 75 through Kings Cross

On our most recent two trips to Europe, I have used a trekking pack from Jack Wolfskin. It has been a blessing.

I have now carried the Denali 75 through six European nations. If I’m traveling solo I probably wouldn’t use a pack that is so cavernous as this 75 liter heavy hitter. But if I’m hauling my kids’ clothes, and some souvenirs as well, I appreciate a little extra room. Generally, my wife and I will carry trekking packs so the kids remain relatively unencumbered with their lighter daypacks.

The Denali 75 is certainly not a carry-on pack, but it doubles as a nice pack for extended winter backpacking trips.

Jack Wolfskin Denali 75

The Denali 75 is well suited for winter overnights.

I have found the Denali to be one of the more comfortable trekking packs I’ve worn. Traveling precludes wearing it for extended periods of time (hotel to train station…train station to hotel), but its so easy to carry. The load lifters ease the weight off my shoulders and a thick, well padded belt rides high on the hips, helping to distribute the load. The shoulder straps are generously padded as well.

On my gear scale, the Jack Wolfskin Denali checks in at about 6.5 pounds. That’s too heavy to thru-hike the PCT, but it’s okay for a night or two in the backcountry. It would be a great option for those hauling photography, fishing, or other bulky gear into the mountains.  It makes up for any weight penalty with solid construction, and it is one of the more durable packs I’ve used.  Throwing a pack around subway stations and airports can take a toll, but the Denali hardly shows a scuff. I’ve now checked it on multiple international flights, and it takes everything those airline employees can throw at it.

Jack Wolfskin Denali 75

The Jack Wolfskin Denali sets the standard for durability.

The pack body is 300D cross rip fabric. The base is reinforced with 840D polyamide. I haven’t had a single problem with the stitching or the overall integrity of the Denali. 

The Denali utilizes Jack Wolfskin’s X-Transition suspension system which utilizes crossed aluminum poles to transfer weight to the wearer’s hips. In addition, a light aluminum frame provides additional structure. The straps can be adjusted easily depending on the torso length of the wearer.

Jack Wolfskin Denali 75

Here it is right off the luggage carousel. Well cushioned straps and a unique suspension system add to the Denali’s positives.

The Denali 75 is full featured.  One of the most convenient characteristics of this pack is using the front panel for loading. When traveling, a front panel makes packing – and searching within the pack – so much easier. There is a separate sleeping bag compartment. I usually remove the separator to increase overall volume.

There are two water bottle pockets on either side in the usual position. The large pocket on the back panel is deep and is divided into smaller areas for keys and personal items, but the small opening makes it somewhat difficult to access. A longer zipper would solve this issue. As with other packs this size, there are numerous attachment points (straps, buckles, and shock cord) in case you need to strap something on the exterior of the pack. There are two pockets on the lid, including a nice hidden storage area.

I have two international trips scheduled for 2018, with the possibility of a third lingering in the back my mind. I plan to take the Denali with me this summer as I explore Croatia & Italy.  And I’d like to get it out for a one or two night night winter trip in the coming months. The ruggedness and versatility make the Jack Wolfskin Denali 75 a worthy choice for both.

One Response to “Jack Wolfskin Denali 75

  • That bag looks awesome, though I can’t imagine carrying anything that big anytime soon. every trip I realize I’ve brought too much stuff and keep whittling it down.

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