DHPL Travels: The Versatile Base Camp Travel Canister

Upon first glance, the Base Camp Travel Canister by The North Face appears to be a scaled-down version of their Base Camp Duffel. However, don’t let its size deceive you, as it boasts a spacious capacity and sturdy build. Let’s dive in and discover what this versatile travel canister has to offer.

External Components

The pouch’s exterior is crafted from 300D recycled polyester, providing a substantial and durable feel. To enhance water resistance, there’s a phthalate-free PVC laminate, giving it an almost industrial quality reminiscent of FREITAG. We did notice some slight discoloration in certain spots, though the source of these marks remains a mystery.

For added durability and grip, the bottom of the pouch features a layer of 840D ballistic nylon. While the upper material is durable and water-resistant, it can become slippery when wet. The ballistic nylon acts as a buffer between the polyester and wet surfaces, making it ideal for use near bathroom sinks.

Overall, the exterior materials demonstrate exceptional durability and water resistance. We haven’t experienced any issues with water seeping into the main compartment, a testament to the quality of these materials. However, it’s worth noting that this durability comes at a price—the canister weighs in at a hefty 15 ounces (425 grams), making it more suitable for slinging over your shoulder rather than simply carrying in a pouch.

The bag’s YKK zippers are robust and easy to operate. The main compartment zipper is covered by a large fabric welt to keep water out. While the fabric welt performs its job well, it can prove slightly challenging to navigate, especially in low-light conditions. We can’t help but wonder why The North Face opted for a fabric welt instead of an AquaGuard finish, which would have reduced the weight.

Inside The Canister

The interior of the Base Camp Travel Canister presents two distinct sides. First, we have the highly organized lid area, followed by the unsegmented main compartment. Let’s begin with the lid.

The lid features a zippered mesh compartment, perfect for storing smaller, flatter items. Keep in mind that since it’s mesh, any liquids in the canister could potentially leak into this compartment. However, it’s an excellent spot for securing gear you don’t want to lose.

Behind the zippered mesh compartment, there’s a liner pocket that serves as a storage space for the hanging hook and mirror. The mirror attaches securely with a hook and loop fastener, allowing you to use it for grooming when access to a bathroom is limited. Even with the mirror stowed away, there’s still some room for small items. However, avoid storing sharp-edged objects here, as they could damage the mirror.

Between the lid and the main compartment, two support beams made from strap material ensure that the contents remain level when the canister is hanging. While these support beams may prove slightly cumbersome when accessing items, their inclusion is worthwhile for the added functionality they provide.

A mesh divider separates the lid from the main compartment and extends briefly into the chamber, attaching to the back side bottom of the pouch. This divider allows you to store items you prefer to keep separate from the main compartment, such as toiletry tools and consumables. It’s a practical solution for organization without taking up excessive space. However, be aware that there’s no cover on the top, so items could potentially fall out if the canister experiences rough handling. We haven’t encountered this issue during our testing, though.

At the end of the divider, you’ll find two elastic tabs. These tabs not only help you hold the divider in place while grabbing items from the back area but also provide additional storage space. They’re ideal for holding items like toothbrushes or manual razors that require quick and easy access. If you choose to store sharp objects here, remember to remove them once they’re no longer needed to avoid any accidental injuries.

The remaining space in the canister is entirely customizable to suit your needs. With its generous 3.5-liter capacity, there’s ample room for all your essentials and more. If necessary, you could even share the space with a travel partner. Keep in mind that the canister does not come with an included 3-1-1 bag for airport security purposes. If you plan to carry liquids, you’ll need a separate removable bag once you’ve taken the toiletry pouch out of your daypack or travel backpack.

In addition to toiletries, this pouch serves as a versatile storage option for electronics or as an organizer within your pack. You can comfortably fit a Fuji XT-3 mirrorless camera with a 15-45mm lens and still have plenty of space for an additional prime lens, cables, or chargers. If you often travel with heavy-duty electronic equipment, this canister provides a secure and dry storage solution. However, since the exterior materials lack padding, we recommend ensuring the pouch is adequately protected during transit.

In conclusion, the Base Camp Travel Canister by The North Face is a true all-rounder, excelling in various applications over the long haul. As the saying goes, “a jack of all trades is a master of none, but oftentimes better than a master of one.” If you appreciate gear that can serve multiple purposes and don’t require a dedicated toiletry kit, this pouch is an excellent choice for you. However, if you’re specifically seeking a toiletries-only solution, you may want to explore other options.

For more travel essentials and information on DHPL Travels, visit DHPL Travels.

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