Good Design: The Ozark Trail 1-Person Backpacking Tent

This article presents an idea that has high influenced my way of thinking about design. The article is centered on ideation and focuses primarily on how to do it well. It introduces the concept of design space, design exploration, and the trade off curve.

The bag stayed in place on my back using the sternum strap. Having a separate rain fly for a 2- or 3- person tent makes sense because multiple people can split up the weight a little easier on longer hikes. With a 1-person tent, that doesn’t really make as much sense. After all, I was carrying the whole thing and so it might as well be connected. Essentially, the rain fly for the Ozark Trail was integrated into the tent directly. At 35 liters, this pack is perfect for day trips or for hikers who don’t need to carry a lot of gear on the trails.

Like the Ozark Trail 45 Qt Rolling Thermocooler, the Pelican 45QW Elite Wheeled Cooler includes a lid with inch notches and also includes centimeters for those outside of the United States. Similar to the Ozark Trail cooler, the Pelican features orange wheel rims and also has orange clasp accents. You can get this cooler in three colors, Tan which is featured here, as well as graphite and white. The other two colors will have different rims and accents, so if you don’t love the orange you have options.

ozark trail backpack

On the other hand, accessing the tent from the middle, or on the long side, gives one more degree of freedom. Assuming a symmetrical tent, like the Ozark Trail, my head could be placed at either end and both options would feel equally comfortable. In fact, my particular tent spot wasn’t completely flat so I quickly rotated my sleeping bag so that my feet weren’t above my head all night. It was pretty easy to make adjustments from the side door access. The one downside with integrated rain flies is the lack of ventilation and temperature control. We had great weather – not too hot and not too cold – but it did rain for about 5 minutes.

This cooler, when compared to the Pelican 45Q Elite and Yeti Tundra, has the smallest profile while still providing 45Q internal storage. It features rubber latches which I am a huge fan of for boating applications. When you are out on the water, people often sneak over to grab something from the cooler and may not latch it back up.

Cracking this thing open sounds like you are opening the airlock on a spaceship. You can tell there is a serious seal established when you latch this shut. The Ozark Trail 45 Qt Rolling Thermocooler also comes with an internal tray, which the other two do not. Lastly, I haven’t yet had a chance to test its waterproofing in a huge down-pouring of rain, but it did hold up in some strong winds surprisingly well.

Future users may want to seal or waterproof the seams a little better. Visit our Trail Directory for an overview of the sections. Trail section pages include maps, directions, and downloadable GPS (.gpx) and Google Earth (.kml) ozark trail backpack data. Join Outside+ to get access to exclusive content, 1,000s of training plans, and more. Choose this pack if you prefer a smaller yet spacious design, as it has useful features and the durability of larger options.

I sweated just a bit but not too much since the walk was short (and I didn’t want to sweat after a shower). I did finish my activities very sweetly and was able to walk and hike without carrying anything in my hands. This pack has no extraneous features, save for the small front zip pocket and an internal hydration sleeve. There are no compression ozark trail canopy straps or other means of securing anything to the outside of the pack, aside from the “daisy chain” on the front. My only knock on it would be the lack of a small water bottle pocket. Aside from the main pack bag, there is a small zippered compartment on the front, that, depending on how much you have stuffed inside, is pretty tight.

The Ozark Trail cooler is made from polyethylene, which is the most common kind of plastic in use today. The rotomolding process entails heating plastic pellets which coat the interior of a mold while it is spun around in a number of different directions at a very consistent pace. The mold is kept on the move during both the heating and coating phases as well as the cooling phase. So, I have to say that I was really surprised with how this test turned out. You can see from the images below that there was consistent ice melt, however two of the three were better performing.

For water and OJ I use Vapur anti bottles which aren’t bulky at all. My glucose meter and keys went in the small outside pocket. I did instantly notice the difference of carrying a lighter bag. I also don’t really prefer single compartment stuff bags, but, this works for what I need.