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Reviews > Packs > Pack Accessories > Hillsound PackStack > Test Report by Brian Hartman

July 26, 2021


NAME:Brian Hartman
EMAIL:bhart1426ATyahooDOT com
LOCATION:Westfield, Indiana
HEIGHT:5' 9" (1.75 m)
WEIGHT:160 lb (72.6 kg)

I have been backpacking for over 20 years throughout Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky and most recently in the Western USA. In addition to backpacking I enjoy family camping with my wife and kids and being outdoors in general. I would describe myself as a mid-weight backpacker. I hike with fairly light weight clothing, equipment, and gear but still like to bring more than the bare essentials with me while on the trail.




Manufacturer: Hillsound Equipment
Year of Manufacture: 2021
Manufacturer's Website:

Item tested: PackStack Pro Short for 60L backpacks
MSRP: $31
Listed weight: 3.95 oz (112 g)
Measured weight: 3.9 oz (110 g)
Listed packing capacity: 6.4 L (390.6 cuin)
Listed dimensions: 4 x 8 x 13 in (10 x 20.5 x 32.5 cm)
Measured dimensions: 4 x 8 x 13 in (10 x 20.5 x 32.5 cm)
Materials: Cordura Ripstop (100% Nylon)
Waterproof YKK Zipper
Fully seam-sealed
Color: Black

The PackStack Pro is a modular pack storage system that's designed to help organize and protect backpacking gear including food, clothing, cooking supplies, sleeping bags, tents, and footwear.  

Waterproof for items that require safe storage from moisture
Seam-sealed Cordura waterproof fabric and waterproof YKK zipper
Crescent moon shape to eliminate dead space and allow for a contoured fit
Top handle for easy access 
Lightweight and durable construction
External storage pocket
Sized to fit 60+L backpacks
Comes in tall and short sizes
Limited lifetime warranty

The PackStack Pro Short 60+L (hereafter called PackStack Pro) is one of sixteen variations of pack organizers sold by Hillsound Equipment.  The organizers are categorized into Pro organizers which are waterproof, and Standard organizers which are weatherproof.  In addition each version is available in 'Short' or 'Tall' height and 40L and 60L varieties.  The PackStack Pro is made from seal-sealed waterproof Cordura Ripstop fabric and has a waterproof YKK zipper.  It has a half moon shape that allows it to fit nicely into a backpack, and it comes with a limited lifetime warranty.  The back side of the PackStack is convex rather than straight so that there's still room in the backpack for a hydration bladder.

The PackStack Pro Short 60+L stands 4 in (10 cm) tall, and is 8 in (20.5 cm) deep and 13 in (32.5 cm) wide.  
It has a fabric top handle, and Hillsound's logo is embossed on the top of the pack.  My PackStack arrived in a small storage pouch with cardboard packaging surrounding it.  It was in new condition with no loose threads, snags, marks or blemishes, and it was lightweight but still felt durable.  Overall it appeared to be well designed and manufactured, and of excellent quality.  Care instructions for this product are pretty simple: brush off any dust or dirt that accumulates on the PackStack, then rinse off and hang to dry.

IMAGE 1                    BD

IMAGE 2                    IMAGE 3


I was able to fit two pair of socks and underwear, two t-shirts, and a pair of shorts in the PackStack with relative ease.  Ideally I'd have a second PackStack for kitchen items like my canister stove, fuel, utensils, bowl etc, and a third for miscellaneous items or winter accessories.  For now, though, I just have the one of these so I won't be doing any stacking on my trips.  My PackStack Pro came in a nylon mesh pouch which I plan to use to store my wallet, keys, and glasses while on backpacking trips.  The pouch measures 5 x 8 in (12.7 x 20.3 cm) and has a zippered top.  


As someone who likes to keep his stuff organized I look forward to testing the PackStack Pro during this test series.  It's well designed, well built, and seems rugged.  



During the past two months I took the PackStack Pro on two backpacking trips for a total of five nights.  I also took it with me on a dayhike in the rain one weekend to test its waterproof capabilities.

1. My first trip was to the Miami State Recreation area in Northeastern Indiana.  Daytime temperatures on this three-day backpacking trip ranged from 77 to 81 F (25 to 27 C), with nighttime lows of 72 F (22 C). The weather was hot and muggy with mostly clear skies and light winds. The terrain was flat, and trails were well worn.  I hiked 14 miles (22.5 km) on this outing at an elevation around 750 ft (228 m).

2. My second trip was to the Hoosier National Forest in Southern Indiana.  I hiked 12 miles (19.3 km) during this trip.  The terrain was hilly and heavily forested, and temperatures ranged from 76 to 84 F (24 to 29 C).

3. I also took the PackStack Pro on two day hikes in a nearby park.  I traveled
5.5 miles (9 km) on the first hike and 3 mi (4.8 km) on the second.  On the second trip temperatures were the coolest they've been all summer, at 59 F (15 C), thanks to a cold front that moved over the Midwest.  We also got some much-needed rain which gave me the perfect opportunity to test the waterproofness of the Packstack Pro.


The PackStack Pro performed well during Field Testing.  It fit comfortably in my backpack, it had enough room for my clothing, it was durable, and it was waterproof.  

Fit: I have both 55L (3,356 cu in) and 65L (3,966 cu in) backpacks and had no problem fitting the PackStack Pro into either one.  It was easy to slide down into my packs and the handle made it easy to pull back out.  Its half-moon shape, as Hillsound Equipment refers to it, conformed well to the shape of the packs, and its concave back made sure that it didn't poke into my back when the backpack was strapped on me.  I just have one PackStack to test, but I can image that having two or three of them could really declutter my backpack and make it more organized.  I intend to try the PackStack with a hydration bladder on an upcoming outing. 

Storage space: I have the PackStack Pro short, made for 60L packs, and was able to stuff three pair of socks, two pair of underwear, a long sleeve shirt, and base layer top and bottoms into the pack.  I would have liked to get a lightweight rain jacket in as well, but I don't think it would've fit.  Once everything was in and zipped up, the PackStack held its shape well, but was pliable enough that I could push in one side or the other if I had to stuff it into an odd shaped compartment. 

Durability: The PackStack feels rugged and well-built, and I had no issues with it during my outings.  It's made of CORDURA RipStop nylon which in my experience handles abrasions, pulling, and stretching really well.  I didn't think twice about tossing the PackStack around and setting it wherever I wanted.  The YKK zipper open and closed easily, and even though I jammed so much into the pack that I'm sure I stretched it, it didn't appear to be any worse for the wear.  The handle seems sturdy too and so I wouldn't hesitate to pull hard on it if I needed to.  Before typing this review, I doublechecked the pack to see if it had any rips, tears, snags, loose threads, stains, permanent marks, or fading and didn't find any of those things.  I would give it an 'A' so far for durability.

Waterproofness: To test how waterproof the PackStack Pro was, I left it on a park bench in the rain for fifteen minutes while I hiked a short trail.  Even though I hadn't seen anyone in the park I left a note with the pack saying "don't take me, owner coming back"; and sure enough it was there when I returned, although quite wet from rain.  The water droplets on top of the pack were beaded up, a good sign that a DWR coating had been applied to the fabric.  The bottom of the pack was soaked as well but the water wasn't beaded up there like on top, probably because I set it in a puddle.  After taking a few photos of the outside of the pack I opened it up to check my clothes and see how they fared and am happy to report that everything was bone dry.  The nylon pack didn't wet-through, the sealed seams held tight, and the YKK zipper didn't let any water in.  Having performed a field test for waterproofness, I wouldn't hesitate at all to trust the PackStack Pro with my valuables.

A4    A5     A6


The PackStack Pro did a good job of organizing my clothes and keeping them dry during Field Testing.  It proved to be easy to use, durable, and waterproof.



During the past two months I used the PackStack Pro on a 3-day backpacking trip, a 12-day camping trip, and two day trips for a total of 17 days.

1. My first trip was to the Hoosier National Forest in Southern Indiana.  Daytime temperatures on this 3-day backpacking trip were in the low 70's F (22 C), with nighttime lows in the mid 60's F (18 C).  Skies were mostly clear with light winds and low humidity, perfect weather for backpacking. The terrain was rugged and hilly, and the trails were overgrown with vegetation but well marked.  I hiked 9 miles (14.5 km) on this outing at elevations that ranged from 621 to 842 ft (189 to 256 m).

2. My second trip was a 12-day adventure to the Southwestern United States where I visited multiple State and National Parks including Red Rock Canyon NV, Valley of Fire NV, Zion National Park UT, the Mohave National Preserve CA, Joshua Tree CA, and Death Valley CA.  I hiked approximately 96 miles (154 km) during this trip.  The terrain was incredibly varied and the landscapes and scenery were breathtaking.  Temperatures on this trip ranged 29 to 84 F (-1.7 to 29 C).

3. I also brought the PackStack Pro with me on two day hikes to local parks.  I hiked
5 miles (8 km) the first day and approximately 4 mi (6.4 km) the second day.  The weather was cool and breezy both days but the forests and trees were magnificent as fall colors reached their peak.


Once again the PackStack Pro performed well during Long Term Testing.  It was durable, waterproof, easy to slide in and out of my pack, and helped make finding things in my pack much easier.  Truth be told, I liked it so much that as soon as Field Testing was over I ordered two more organizers from Hillsound.  

Fit: In my Field Report I said the Packstack Pro easily fit in my backpack, but I couldn't comment on how multiple organizers would fit because I only had one.  Now that I've been backpacking with three Packstacks for the past two months, I can definitively say that three 'short' Packstacks in one pack is not a problem, and I could probably fit a fourth if I had one.  Not only do they fit, but they easily slide in and out of my pack without making a mess.  Gone are the days of having to stuff things into awkward spaces to fill voids in my pack. 

Storage space: During the last two months I continued to use the Packstack Pro to organize and carry my clothes.  I used the other two Packstacks for my kitchen supplies and toiletries / first aid kit (see photo below).  What I realize now is that as much as I like the Packstack Pro 'short' organizers, there are times when I could use a 'tall' Packstack because some things require more volume.  One example is my sleeping bag which won't fit in the 'short' Packstack.  Other examples are my food and shelter, which currently go wherever I can fit them.  Unfortunately the reality is that they're expensive and I had to draw the line somewhere, and that was at three organizers.  

Having things organized and easily accessible has made the dreaded chore of packing and unpacking much easier, as I move from one campsite to another.  And finding things in my pack is now a breeze because I know exactly where they're at and nothing else gets jostled when getting something out or putting it away.  

Durability: I've had no issues with durability as my Packstack/s remain in great condition with no marks, tears, holes, snags, or sticky zippers.  I haven't washed them yet because they don't accumulate much dirt, but eventually I'll wash them and report back if there are any issues.

Waterproofness: The Packstack Pro remains waterproof and I've had no issues with water leaking into it, or shampoo for example leaking out.  Long story.

Finally, two side benefits to being more organized are 1) it's easy for me to replenish items that get used up like toiletries, matches, items from my first aid kit, and batteries for my headlamp because they're all in one place.  And 2) packing for my next trip is much quicker because everything's already organized and ready to go.  I simply slide the Packstacks into my backpack along with my other items and head out.

A4    A5     A6


The PackStack Pro has performed admirably during Long Term Testing, keeping my clothes organized, protected, and dry.  It's been durable, easy to use, and most importantly, it helped me eliminate one of the annoyances of backpacking, trying to find my stuff, wherever it settled, after cramming it in my backpack.

This concludes my Long Term Report for the PackStack Pro and this test series.  
Thanks to Hillsound Equipment and BackpackGearTest for allowing me to test this storage pack.

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