My MEC Ibex 80 backpack didn’t suffer a cruel fate of being accidentally dumped in a deep lake, or being clawed apart by a bear… it was far worse. I’ve parted ways with it due to the dreaded Boxing Day sale (Don’t tell Ibex). Sorry Ibex 80, you’ve served me well for over 20 years and you still look brand new, but it is time to move on.
MEC no longer makes the Ibex 80, but it was aimed at adventurers who wanted a larger sized backpack without the larger price tag. It had plenty of pockets, and even a spot to stash a water bladder (which sadly I never used). I utilized every square inch for storage and while it was usually bursting at the seams, it never failed… except for the chest strap. It would sometimes pop loose thanks to a poorly designed clip, although sometimes on long hikes I would argue with myself that maybe it was a design feature. The pack had all the bells (and chest whistle) that you would look for and aside from its weight (and slightly uncomfortable fit during long hikes) it was everything I could need.
It has completed the Frontenac Challenge (a 180KM trek) four times, has been on countless camping trips, and pretended to be a canoe pack on more trips that it should have been allowed to.
Oddly, my favourite feature was the meshed zippered side pocket that was the perfect size to carry my 20oz fuel bottle.
Don’t worry, it isn’t headed down the portage in the sky… but onto a new owner that will hopefully love it as much as I have and explore new areas of the outdoors. Happy trails Ibex 80!