American Outdoor Guide|Fall 2021

When your gear list outweighs the capacity of your pockets, it’s time to find an alternative way to carry the things you insist on bringing along. PocketUp has a great solution with its Gale Lumbar Pack, especially when you customize it with some of the company’s other great accessories.


I prefer to think of EDC as being expandable according to the situation because every day isn’t the same. So, if I’m going hiking, for instance, I will carry what I like to call EDC Plus. I will have my standard EDC items—knife, flashlight, lighter, handgun, spare ammo, cell phone, keys, and wallet.

But then I will add more outdoor specific gear to it. It’s EDC Plus: my usual EDC items, plus the things I need for the day’s special circumstances and special activities. You might have a special EDC Plus lineup for when you go for a bike ride or when paddling your kayak around a lake. You get the idea.

So if my EDC Plus gear won’t fit in my pockets, what is the best way to carry it all? I’m learning more about PocketUp, a small company that has many answers to that question. PocketUp makes an array of outdoor gear, from small, zippered organizer pockets to full-size packs and everything in between.


A great thing about PocketUp is that the company sells its American-made packs and pockets as separate items. That means you can choose the products to outfit your kit exactly the way you want. You don’t have to compromise by choosing a pack that might fit well but comes up short with its selection and location of pockets and compartments.


For my first PocketUp pack, I wanted something that would hold more than I could fit in my pockets without having to make the jump to a regular daypack or backpack. The company’s Gale Lumbar Pack seemed the way to go.

To accessorize this pack, I wanted pockets that could both organize my smaller items, create ease of access, and increase the capacity. But I didn’t want an unsightly conglomerate of pockets and pouches lashed all over the place that might catch on thick brush, be unbalanced, or shift when tackling tough terrain.

To customize my lumbar pack, I purchased the company’s Gus 1 and Gus 2 zippered pockets, its Wai Bottle Pocket, and its Mini Pod.


The PocketUp Gale Lumbar Pack is designed as just that: a pack that rides comfortably along the lower back and in this instance is fastened by a wide, padded waistbelt. There are several advantages to a lumbar pack. For one, it keeps the load on the hips. It won’t be top-heavy as some packs are, which can be treacherous in steep terrain. While the pack does contact your lower back—and the pack is generously padded there—it doesn’t cover your entire back. This helps to keep things cooler both in warm climates and when exerting yourself in cold climates.

This pack goes on and off quickly and easily. There’s no struggling or contorting your body as you sometimes do with shoulder straps of a daypack that you must loosen and retighten repeatedly. With this lumbar pack, just hit the quick-release buckle up front on the waistbelt and you can drop the pack. Also, with no shoulder straps, there’s nothing to interfere with shouldering a long gun, which makes this pack excellent for hunting too.

The Gale Lumbar Pack is constructed of 1,000-denier Cordura nylon. It features a large main compartment with two-zipper access and a smaller, yet full-width zippered pocket on the front of that. In the main compartment, one entire side is lined with soft, fuzzy Velcro material. Leave it as-is and you can keep delicates, such as a tablet computer, from getting scratched. Or, as needed, you can add PocketUp pockets inside this compartment that feature panels with the hooked side of Velcro.

This pack does not feature PALS webbing all over the exterior as you might find on many tactical packs. But with about 650 cubic inches of capacity in this pack, you probably won’t need it. There are attachment points for a pod on the bottom.

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