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Topic - Alpkit Gourdon - long term review

Only a hill - on 06 Oct 2012
I bought a new rucksack from Alpkit in May 2007. It was the original Gourdon 25 litre waterproof rucksack, and at the time I didn't have particularly high expectations as it only cost something like 30. However, having used the rucksack *every single day* since, I can honestly say it was probably the best 30 I've ever spent!

The Gourdon proved to be a real workhorse and the fact that it was waterproof meant that I carried it everywhere. It became my standard daysack for mountain and crag, both summer and winter, in the UK and the Alps. It's been to the summit of every hill I've been up between that day and this.

About a year ago it started to develop a few tiny holes in the bottom thanks to general wear and tear. I patched them up and carried on, but today I had to accept the inevitable as one of the holes is now big enough to put my fist through. The waterproof membrane at the top of the bag, where it rolls up, has also perished and is flaking off on the inside. Frankly I'm amazed it suffered as much punishment as it did before suffering damage.

My only real complaint about this stunning bit of minimalist hill gear is that the shoulder straps tended to slip quite badly (a complaint I believe Alpkit remedied in their second generation of the product).

I'm retiring the bag with the greatest of reluctance and I think it is a testament to the original design that it survived thousands of miles on the hill over a space of five and a bit years. I plan to replace it with one exactly like it!
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