Columbia Sportswear’s Treadlite 16 Review

Columbia Sportswear’s Treadlite 16 Review

Treadlite 16l
The Columbia Sportswear Treadlite 16

After a few days of fly fishing at Cape Vidal I was ready to review the Treadlite 16. It had served me well on the beach, carrying all my essentials for the 10km hikes on soft sand with fly rod in hand. So I sat down in front of my PC and popped onto the Columbia Sportswear website to grab a few of the bag’s technical specs. It was there that I spotted their description of the bag…

The partner of choice for sunrise sojourns into the high alpine, this minimalist yet technical day pack sports an innovative suit of technology in a lean and mean 16-liter body.

I really couldn’t have summed it up better myself. Obviously there are a few immediate differences – for example we don’t have many alpines here, unless the Drakensberg counts – but it’s still a near perfect light weight, day pack.

So what makes this the perfect day pack for me whilst fly fishing and on day hikes?

  1. It’s extremely lightweight which makes it exceptionally comfortable. I can wear it for an entire day without noticing it’s there.
  2. Columbia’s patented Backdraft system minimises the bag’s contact with my back, keeping me cooler in the hot African conditions.
  3. It has a waist strap for when I’m carrying heavier loads, but it can be removed for lighter loads and to keep them out the way.
  4. The chest strap keeps the shoulder straps together which prevents them from irritating me whilst fishing with the bag on.
  5. Columbia’s Omni-Shield technology keeps the contents of the bag dry when I get caught in the rain, hit by a wave, or fall into the river. It also helps prevent the bag from staining.
  6. It’s the perfect size to hold a towel, my lunch, and a few other odds and ends without wasting space or being overly bulky.
  7. The sleek design means it doesn’t hook on trees when I’m ducking and diving through thick vegetation to my next fishing spot.
  8. The interior of the bag is reflective which makes it easier to find my kit at a glance. No more woman in her handbag syndrome.
  9. There is a small, soft-lined, pocket for my cell phone.
  10. Did I mention it weighs next to nothing?

The Columbia Treadlite 16 is definitely my day pack of choice. I give this bag a solid 9 out of 10 rating and am yet to find a better day pack for active outdoor enthusiasts.