If you’ve ever struggled to balance awkward beach chairs, beer, snacks and a towel flung over your shoulder for good measure, you’ll appreciate the Tahoe by Granite Rocx, the ultimate party pack. The Tahoe backpack cooler is designed to accommodate one or more beach chairs through a clever arrangement of straps and compartments and has a detachable insulated bag to keep cans, bottles and food chilled. A large-capacity main compartment and bungee cord on the front holds beach towels, sunscreen, tunes, chips—whatever you need to have a good time outdoors.
The Tahoe backpack has three compartments, including a large zippered space in the back for a flat, folded beach chair, a spacious middle compartment, and a smaller front space with zippered pockets and slots for pens and business cards. Other features include a bungee strap on the front that can be used to affix a jacket or rolled beach towel. Two side pockets can hold water bottles while a small stretch pocket on the pack strap can hold a mobile device. The bottom straps, designed to hold a cylindrical chair, could be used to carry a pad, rolled blanket or even a tent.
The main pack is quite long, which is necessary to accommodate a beach chair. However, without the need for a chair the pack felt a bit oversized for a day hike or short trip to the beach without a beach chair. At 20 inches long it is about six inches longer than a typical day pack/bookbag. The pack is sturdy and comes with adjustable chest and waist straps, making it appropriate for longer treks with a lot of gear.
The many uses of the Tahoe
After testing the Granite Rocx backpack cooler during a week in Hawaii and I found that it worked well for a number of different uses, but did find that I used the insulated bag more often than the larger pack:
- Travel shoulder bag. My husband used the smaller insulated bag on the plane to carry the things he needed easy access to, including his book, headphones and snacks. The insulating capability wasn’t needed but the compact size was appreciated.
- Travel pack. I used the larger back to carry my computer, using the chair compartment in the back to keep it protected from other items. My reading material went in the middle section, while my tickets and other small items went in the front. There was so much space that I realized I could easily pack for a weekend trip with just this bag.
- Beach bag. We used the insulated bag to hold water, sunscreen, magazines, sunglasses and a sarong at the beach.
- Hiking bag. Finding the large pack to be a bit too large for a day hike I elected to use the insulated bag to store water, energy bars, camera and maps when we hiked the Judd Trail to Tantalus.
- Grocery bag. At the grocery store we found that the insulated bag held a surprising number of chilled items, including wine, carrot sticks, apples, cheese, milk, eggs and juice.
I thought I would use the backpack every day to go to the beach but was surprised to find that we used the insulated bag instead for shopping, hiking and trips to the beach. The compact size and convenient shoulder strap made it a more appealing choice than the large pack. The adjustable strap was long enough that it could be worn in several positions and was comfortable enough, though on a 10 mile hike I would have rather had a small pack. The bag has a pouch on one side and stretchy pocket on the other, which was perfect for quick access to camera, maps and smart phone during excursions. The cooler can hold two six-packs, two bottles of wine or a combination of cans, bottles, snacks and other small items.
Next summer I look forward to using the Tahoe backpack cooler system for the annual 4th of July fireworks display in our area, where the large capacity and ability to carry folding chairs will be much appreciated for our large group. We attend a number of outdoor concerts and movie nights, for which the Tahoe will be quite useful.
The Tahoe is the first product by Granite Rocx, a new company launched this year by Stephen Berei and Sophia Berman, who reside in the Lake Tahoe area. Steve realized there was a gap in the marketplace for a pack that could carry all the beach paraphernalia he needed, and the Tahoe was born. The Tahoe, named for the largest lake in the area, is the father of future products.
Pros: The small cooler is very versatile when traveling due to its compact size and insulating capability. The whole system is well-thought out.
Cons: The backpack itself is on the large size for a female frame, but is comfortable and holds a lot of gear.
The Granite Rocx Tahoe backpack cooler is a well-conceived, designed and manufactured system that can be adapted to many outdoor and travel activities where bulky gear and an insulated cooler are needed to enhance the experience.
Granite Rocx Tahoe Backpack Cooler
Weight: 1.9 lbs (backpack); 0.6 lbs (cooler)
Capacity: 35 liters (backpack); 9 liters (cooler)
Material: 420d Ripstop Nylon
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received the Granite Rocx Tahoe backpack cooler for free from Granite Rocx as coordinated by Deep Creek PR an Outdoor Retailer Public Relations Company in consideration for review publication.