Accessories

Trail Tested: Quartable 18L Pack

Easy access to items with dedicated shoe compartments for this runner-focused commuter backpack.

Mudroom Quartable 18L

Storage Capacity: 26L (1600 cu. in.)
Pack Weight: 1.8 lbs (.82 kg)
External materials: 420d Ripstop nylon and 420d polyester back and bottom panels.
Price: $105
Best Features: Large side shoe compartments keep sweaty, muddy shoes separated from other items; multiple zipper entry points make access to items super easy.
Room for Improvement: Lacks a hip belt for added support and comfort on long carries.

For runners whose trail runs always start with a commute to the trailhead, the Mudroom Quartable 18L is a gear-hauling commuter backpack designed with the runner in mind. The main selling feature of the Quartable 18L, and where most day backpacks fall short, is the large side shoe compartments that keep your sweaty, muddy shoes separated from all your other items. Accessible via external and internal zippers inside the main compartment, one can easily fit two pairs of shoes (mine are size 9), which is perfect for both my trail shoes and recovery sandals. I also found these compartments to be a perfect spot for storing my post-run sweaty clothes and dirty gear.

Suitable for weekend commutes to the trailhead, a workday bag for after-work trail sessions or as a carry-on travel bag, Quartable 18L has a 26-liter storage capacity (the 18L in the name is the length). I easily fit a pair of shoes, my OOFOS recovery clogs, a small foam roller, stretching rope, towel, 4L hydration vest, 3000 calories of food, a change of clothes and water—and still had some room to spare.

The main compartment is accessed through a large U-shaped zipper making it easy to grab items buried at the bottom. Two smaller compartments along the front can hold smaller items like keys (with a key hook), fueling gels and small electronics. The main compartment contains a padded laptop and tablet sleeve that is also accessible through a side zipper for quick, direct access. Made from durable 420d Ripstop nylon and polyester I found the pack to be able handle a good amount of abuse making it the perfect bag to haul all your gear.

—Cory Smith, a former NCAA D1 runner is the owner and head coach of Run Your Personal Best , an online coaching business helping runners train for anything from 800 meters to a 100-miler. When Cory isn’t coaching you can find him on the trails around Santa Barbara, California and Mammoth Lakes, California, testing and reviewing running gear.