Backcountry Solutions Geek
Test Series by Andrea Murland
Report - June 13, 2012
Long Term Report - October 15,
|| Andrea Murland
|| amurland AT
shaw DOT ca
& Kimberley, British Columbia, Canada
|| 5 ft 2 in (1.57
|| 125 lb (57 kg)
I began hiking frequently in 2006 and have
since hiked in Western Canada, Australia, and spent two months
backpacking in the Alps. I spend most weekends either day-hiking or on
2 to 3 day backpacking trips, with some longer trips when I can manage
them. I also snowshoe and ski in the winter, but don’t have a lot of
experience with winter in the backcountry yet. Elevation is typically
500-3,000 m (1,600-10,000 ft), in the Canadian Rockies and the Selkirk,
Purcell, and Monashee ranges. I try for a light pack, but I don’t
consider myself a lightweight backpacker.
Report – June 13, 2012
Image Courtesy of Backcountry Solutions
| Year of
|| US $22.95
| Listed Weight:
|| 45 g (1.6 oz)
|| 1.5 in (3.8 cm)
deep x 2.75 in (7.0 cm) wide x 6.5 in (16.5 cm) high to front edge,
in (19.1 cm) high to back
|| 1.5 in (3.8 cm)
deep x 3.5 in (8.9 cm) wide x 7.0 in (17.8 cm) high to front edge,
|| 7.75 in (19.7
cm) high to back
Description & Initial Impressions
The Geek Pocket is an accessory pouch with two clips on the back to
attach it to packs, harnesses, etc. The manufacturer describes the
material as “durable waterproof canvas exterior and Polartec WindPro
water-resistant fleece lining”. The exterior does feel like it’s made
from canvas, and the lining is soft and a bit fuzzy, to protect screens
and lenses. It seems strange to me to advertise water-resistant
features in an open-top pouch, since the contents are going to get wet
if it rains anyway. A 1.0 in (2.5 cm) wide strap comes from the back of
the Geek pocket and attaches to the front with a hook-and-loop closure,
with the loops being on the front of the pocket and the hooks on the
strap. The strap has a loop sewn in the end of it as a finger tab. On
the strap is sewn the Geek Pocket label, with the manufacturers
website. The back of the Geek Pocket has a 1.0 in (2.5 cm) wide piece
nylon webbing which is sewn at the top and bottom, as well as 1.5 in
(3.8 cm ) down from the top. On this piece of webbing are the two Annex
Clips. The top clip is between the stitching at the top and partway
down, and so is fixed in position. The bottom clip can be positioned
anywhere between the mid-stitching and the bottom. The Annex clips open
by squeezing them, and snap closed. The Pocket appears to be well
constructed, with just the odd end of a thread showing.
First off, I tried a whole bunch of objects inside the Geek Pocket. My
GPS receiver is an extremely roomy fit in every direction, and my
snug in width and depth, but the Pocket is much longer than my camera.
My bearspray is an excellent fit, though I can’t put the strap over the
top of the trigger; it has to go through the finger hole. I see that
the website shows bearspray in the pouch exactly in this way. I went
for a hike with the bearspray in the Pocket and it worked great – no
slop and I tried a quick deployment a couple of times with success. I’m
looking forward to trying a radio in the pouch during Search and Rescue
Second, I tried the Geek Pocket with my three packs. My daypack has
enough webbing on the shoulder straps to make it work. I carried the
bearspray with a compression strap wound under the webbing on the back
of the pocket and that worked well. My most common overnight pack has
limited webbing on the shoulder straps; I tried the Pocket there and it
has to go quite low, where it brushes my arm. I will have to see what I
think of that while I’m hiking. I might be able to do something with it
attached to the waist belt. I also tried my biggest pack, and it has no
webbing on the shoulder straps so I’m limited to fiddling with the
waist belt there too. Stay tuned for more on how these fared...
I think the Geek Pocket is going to be an excellent addition to my kit.
So far it’s out-performing my current bearspray carrier. I am looking
forward to figuring out the best way to use it on all of my packs.
Report – October 15, 2012
During the testing stage, I used the Geek Pocket on two overnight
backpacking trips, one three-day backpacking trip, eight day hikes, and
for five Search & Rescue practices. All of these activities
occurred in the Southern Canadian Rockies, in conditions ranging from
sun to snow, at temperatures from freezing to about 30 C (86 F).
Floppy Camera Case
- Camera: I got a new (to me, anyway) camera during the
testing phase, and it’s even smaller than my old one, so it fit in the
pocket with tons of room to spare. A little too much, actually, it felt
floppy and it was hard to dig the camera back out.
- GPS: I also got a new GPS, and it is also a roomy fit in
the Geek Pocket and hard to get back out.
- Bearspray: my bearspray continues to fit very nicely inside
the Geek Pocket. This is what I carried most often in the Pocket.
- Radio: the radios that we use for Search and Rescue fit
snugly into the Geek Pocket up to where the microphone attaches, and
then the radio is too wide. Unfortunately, at this point it’s a
challenge to get the strap on the Geek Pocket over the top of the radio
to hold it in place. This will likely be what I use the Geek Pocket for
in winter months when I’m not carrying bearspray.
Overall, most of my use was with a strap on my pack threaded through
the webbing on the back of the Geek Pocket. The Annex Clips just
weren’t facing the right direction most of the time, though it was nice
to have the option of attaching them to something vertical. An
improvement (in my opinion) would be to have some way to detach the
webbing strap at the bottom (a snap or other attachment) so that the
Pocket could be more easily attached to a horizontal fixed strap
(rather than having to thread it through).
- Daypack: I tried carrying the Geek Pocket attached to my
shoulder strap and found that it rubbed my arm uncomfortably. I
eventually resorted to attaching it to the compression straps at the
back of the pack, as I tried for the Initial Report.
- Overnight/Search & Rescue pack: I carried the Geek
Pocket with bearspray in it on one of the side compression straps, with
the strap through the webbing on the back of the Pocket. I used an
elastic strap on the pack to try and keep the Pocket from swinging, but
it did have a tendency to tilt.
- Biggest pack: This pack was a little harder to find a
place, since the compression straps are way too high for me to be able
to reach the pocket with the pack on. I eventually unthreaded one of
the webbing straps for adjusting the waistbelt from its buckle, put
that strap through the webbing on the back of the Pocket, and
re-threaded the buckle. That worked but it was inconvenient to change
if I wanted to use the Pocket for something else.
- Climbing harness: A harness was mentioned on the Geek
Pocket website, so I figured I’d try it. I attached the Pocket to the
haul loop on the back of my harness using the Annex Clips. I had to
have the clips quite close together to get them on the haul loop, and
attaching them with the harness already on was difficult (the haul loop
is at the back). Actually, I broke one of the clips while I was doing
that...more about that later. Once attached the Pocket was just fine
there, but it was a bit floppy with just a camera inside and tended to
swing around with a radio inside.
Broken Annex Clip
I didn’t get the opportunity to hike in the rain with the Geek Pocket,
but I did take it on a creek crossing. After crossing, the Pocket and
contents were wet, but the Pocket wasn’t holding water. It dried out by
the next morning.
Durability & Customer Service:
One of the Annex Clips broke while I was trying to attach it to my
climbing harness. It was the top, fixed-in-place clip that broke. I
contacted Backcountry Solutions and they very rapidly offered to look
into it. After speaking with the manufacturer of the clips to see if a
simple self-repair was possible (no), they sent me a replacement clip
that slides onto the webbing. I was very pleased with the response and
The Backcountry Solutions Geek Pocket is an excellent holder for gear
of all types, within a certain size range. It perfectly fit my needs
for a bearspray holder.
Securely holds items
Options to attach to vertical straps or to put horizontal strap through
the Pocket webbing
Doesn’t hold water
Excellent customer service
Annex Clip broke
Have to thread a horizontal strap through webbing on Pocket (no quick
Thanks to Backcountry Solutions and BackpackGearTest.org for the chance
to test this gear pocket! I am happy to say that it has earned a place
in my kit as a bearspray and radio holder.
Read more reviews of Bakcountry Solutions gear
Read more gear reviews by Andrea Murland