I recently tried my first canoe trip and fell in love, so I decided to invest in a canoe pack. The Quetico is everything I was looking for in my first pack at an amazing price for what you get. While I haven't been able to test it on a trip yet, I will say the materials and construction quality are excellent, and the harness system is very comfortable. So glad I decided on an Ostrom, I can't wait to get it out on trips this year!
I would also like to add that I reached out to Bill with a question before ordering, and he went above and beyond in terms of customer service.
This pack is the cast iron pan of packs. Buy it once, no regrets ever. I use a contractor garbage bag as a liner to ensure the stuff I want dry stays dry. The handles on the pack are perfect for setting in canoe and lifting. I especially like the top buckles which allow you to cinch the pack to perfect size for your load. Top quality all around -- and fit just for you!
I recently used the Quetico pack on a 15 day, 250 Km trip through Quetico Provincial Park. Not only is the name appropriate, it is an excellent pack. I chose the frameless design because I have other packs with frames and wanted a pack without restrictions - to stuff it with waterproof sacks and dry bags from top to bottom, side to side. The harness was comfortable and felt proportioned to my body - 30 Km of total portage distance. I didn't think I needed the extra volume of the Winisk because I like to take a second small "day pack" with readily accessible gear and personal stuff. We did swamp out on some "granny rapids" and the Quetico pack (all the packs) floated happily along with us for over 15 minutes before it started to drop, very slightly, and then at least 20 minutes before it was barely half submerged (and it was heavy) - perhaps I could have tightened it better but the thick and sturdy nylon construction is very water resistant and the draw string top enclosure is very tight. I appreciated the multiple grab handles for loading and unloading. The external strapping options on the sides and top are strong and well positioned - with some extra webbing you can attach just about anything. I was doubtful about the single top compartment but it was fine, it's big enough to stow smaller pouches of personal belongings if needed and the over all design is tidy and uncluttered. The adjustment straps for the top compartment (floating lid) extension options are perfect and very generous - long to accommodate bulky contents or down tight when needed. I started with the sleeping pad on the upper outside but was able to pack it inside as the days went along and the multiple compression straps are excellent. It feels light when empty and feels very comfortable and secure when fully loaded. I absolutely recommend this pack! I tried using a tump strap but it felt unnatural and never used it - the weight distribution was everything I hoped for on the long and uneven trails on the trip. My Osprey Atmos 50 litre might have been more comfortable but no way could it have accommodated the amount of stuff needed for 2 weeks. The Quetico Canoe Pack is a really great pack. And, honestly, I thought it was a good buy at the regular price earlier this year. With the discount? Very worth it.
We also used the Wabakimi internal frame and the Voyageur Canoe Barrel - both "well used" from previous trips and they are still in perfect condition - I should know, it was my job to carry the food barrel!
we've been using Ostrom canoe packs for well over 20 years. In fact I have a pack from the early 90's that is fully intact and we still drag around from time to time. We now use the Quetico Canoe packs on all our trips into Quetico and elsewhere. They have held up on trips without a single failure on any stress point. They have even held up to exposure to sun over all that time. They pack well and we would leave home without them
I always associated portage packs with my back being blistered and cut up, rubbed raw over every carry. This past summer my partner and I paddled to Hudson Bay, it took us 60 days and hundreds of trail-less portages. On this trip, I used the Ostrom Quetico pack to haul 90+ pounds of our food. My pack felt nice and snug to my back, the shoulder straps and hip belt were very comfortable, as if it was apart of me. I’m 5’8, 110 pounds, and having a bag I feel confident carrying with makes me excited for the trails of summer.