Early Draft Owner Review VauDe Siena 40 Daypack

Name: Mark Verber
Age: 41
Gender: Male
Height/Weight/Torso: 5'10" (1.8 m) / 180 lb (82 kg) / 19.5" (50 cm)
Email: email address
Region: San Francisco Bay Area, CA
Date: Aug 6, 2003


Review Item: VauDe Siena 40 Daypack
Volume: 2200 cu ( 39 l)
Listed weight: 2lb 15oz (maybe wrong?)
Weight as delivered: 2lb 5oz
MSRP: US$95 (paid $50)


Semi teardrop shaped panel loading daypack designed for biking.  The VauDe Aeroflex suspension system consists of metal struts which which runs along the top and bottom of the pack, with connecting struts that arch away from from your back which hold a rubberize nylon mesh taut.  This design provides something like a 2" air gap between your back and the pack, but reduces the storage capacity of the daypack.  There are huge mesh pockets on either side of the pack which are large enough to hold two modest size water bottles (or two 12oz cans).  There is a hide away gear spider for holding a helmet, and a hide-away waterproof pack cover.  Near the bottom of the back of the pack is a tiny pocket,  with a slightly larger pocket in the middle of the back.  The pack itself has one large compartment, with a sleeve in the middle of the spine which can hold a 100oz (3l) hydration system. There is a Velcro closing hole at the top of the pack for threading out a hydration tube.  There is a small compression strap on either side, near the top of the pack.


I have used this daypack biking in the SF bay area, numerous day hikes throughout California, Arizona, Utah, Nevada, Oregon, and Wyoming. The pack has also been used on several overnight trip in the summer.  I have also used it as a carry on bag. It just fit in the overhead on small regional jets. Weather has been between 40F and 110F. Hotter weather has been mostly dry.  Cooler conditions sometimes had rain.


This is the coolest daypack I have ever used.  When I first put the pack on it almost feels like my back is being air conditioned, especially if the hydration bladder spent some time in the freezer.  At the end of a long but not to strenuous hike hikes in 100F weather I found my back reasonably dry, with the shirt under the shoulder straps was pretty damp from sweat.

The suspension system has been very comfortable.  The shoulder straps are adjustable  (claims to fit torsos which are 17" +/-4").  The "SwingWing" waist strap is well designed and keeps the pack stabile under a variety of conditions.

I prefer a daypack with more internal divisions to organize gear, but I am willing to forgo organization  for the comfort this daypack gives me.  I typically store a flat first aid kit in the back pocket, a long lens for my SLR in one side pocket, a couple of water bottles for the family in the other side pocket.  In the main compartment I have an SLR + some smaller lens in the bottom which are protected by Domke wraps, a pair of binoculars, and then jackets, lunch, and guide/identification books which fill out the space.  I typically have a 2L Platypus hydration bladder in the hydration sleeve.  This all adds up to something like 18lb.  The pack is comfortable with this sort of weight.

When I am using this pack for overnight trips, it's in the summer.  I place a 3L platypus in the hydration sleeve. I carry a poncho/tarp in one side pocket, and items for the day (snacks, camera, etc) in the other side pocket. Inside the main compartment of the pack I carry a down quilt, an air mattress, alcohol stove, small pot, extra base layer shirt, Montane Featherlite pants & smock, extra socks, warm hat, and food.


Rather heavy for a daypack, but in hot weather the extra weight is justified by excellent ventilation.

Backpacking Background

I did a lot of backpacking from 1972 through the '80s. I started by going to various destinations in Ohio, West Virgina, and Red River Gorge in Kentucky. Destinations expanded to include sections of the AT, the PCT, the Rockies (Rocky Mountain National Park, Yellowstone, Tetons), The Big Horns, and various destinations in Canada. In the '90s my outdoor activities slowed down to make room for other aspects of life. Nearly all my backpacking was heavy-weight style. In 2001 I started seriously backpacking again... mostly in the Sierras. Over the next three years I switch from a heavyweight to ultralight to lightweight style. My three season base weight is now 8-11 lb (3.5-5 kg). Full carry weight including food and water is typically 15-25 lb (7-11 kg) depending on the length of the trip. Winter trips run a bit heavier.