Thursday, 15 December 2011
Rucksacks from Berghaus
A couple of rucksacks have arrived from Berghaus.
Pictured above, they are Freeflow 20 day sacks, featuring Berghaus’s Freeflow IV backsystem, breathable shoulder straps and a front pocket that doubles as a 2 litre hydration reservoir pouch. The swing tags also broadcast an ‘integrated raincover that is stowed away in the top lid’. This must be a secret pocket that I can’t find, and as the rucksacks don’t have a lid as such I would recommend the use of a waterproof liner such as a 22 litre one from Bob and Rose.
These look to be excellent little day sacks, made from Ardura 420D fabric and weighing in at just under 900 grammes. I see lots of them in use on the trails. The size is a bit small for all the junk I tend to carry around, so I’ve found a couple of grateful recipients who will report back on their performance in due course. Thanks Jenny and Sue.
The Freeflow 20 retails at around £55 from Berghaus, but costs rather less from numerous retailers. The current specification is here.
The full range of Berghaus daysacks is here, and their larger packs are here, available from many sources.
Sue’s Review (September 2012):
The hip (waist) belt was too high, and the fit of the shoulder straps was too tight for Sue’s broad shoulders. The capacity was limited, so this wasn’t really for Sue, who can fit almost as many contents more comfortably into her bum bag.
Jenny’s Review (June 2012):
The shoulder straps and waist straps are substantial and provide quite a bit of support, all easily adjustable to suit.
The 'freeflow ventilation back system' (their words!) is impressive and certainly keeps the rucksack off your back.
I also liked the fact that you can fix (two) walking poles to the outside of the rucksack, I didn't end up using my poles but it was good to be able to take them with me for one or two of the walks, just in case.
However, all the 'technology' described above did seem a little over the top for such a small rucksack - you really can't fit much into it, so one wonders about the need for substantial (and a little bulky) shoulder and waist straps and the freeflow system. I also found the lack of smaller zip pockets to be a disadvantage - e.g. somewhere to zip in your camera rather than delving into the main bag. There are side pockets for water bottles, which is good, but it would have been nice to have the opportunity to zip them up or velcro them, for extra security - I wouldn't use them for anything other than bottles or tissues or the like. There is a section at the front for storage, but I found that once you had put your summer waterproofs, camera, etc into the main part of the bag, this section could hold very little.
So, overall I found the rucksack comfortable to carry, with some useful features such as the walking pole straps (or whatever you call them), but I thought the freeflow system could have been reduced a bit in order to allow a little more storage capacity/variety.
I’ve noticed another blogger’s more detailed review here.
Helen’s review is here.