/ Alpkit Gourdon - long term review

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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!
In reply to Only a hill:
> I plan to replace it with one exactly like it!

Go on...
Live life on the edge...



Get one in a different colour.
:-)

I haven't used mine nearly as much as yours but it has also been great. Simple and effective. The only thing that annoys me is that the stiffner on the roll top is forever fraying, no matter how often I run a lighter down it to try and seal it. In the spirit of the blog promotion thread, I reviewed some Alpkit stuff on my blog this summer, including the Gourdon 25 http://lightfromthenorth.blogspot.fi/2012/06/alpkit-in-operation-kayak-touring-in.html
Only a hill - on 06 Oct 2012
In reply to TobyA:
I'm tempted by a red one! But having looked at your blog post, I agree--their biggest drawback is the stock shortages. In fact I see the Gourdon is out of stock right now...
In reply to Only a hill: If you use in winter, what do you do with your ice tools BTW? Just carry them or something?
Only a hill - on 06 Oct 2012
In reply to TobyA:
Have fun =) I've been bivvying with the Gourdon a couple of times... always a challenge fitting everything you need in a 25 litre sack!
In reply to Only a hill: Alex, you've inspired me. I'm going bikepacking and will camp to night in the forest. Off to pack the gourdon.

Cheers old bean!
Only a hill - on 06 Oct 2012
In reply to TobyA:
> (In reply to Only a hill) If you use in winter, what do you do with your ice tools BTW? Just carry them or something?

I stuck them between my back and the rucksack, poking out between the shoulder straps at the top. It's comfier with a single axe but also acceptable with two. I considered getting a more fully-featured sack for winter, with compression straps, but ultimately I always preferred to keep things waterproof and simple...
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Dave 88 - on 06 Oct 2012
In reply to Only a hill:

Agree entirely. I've used mine from DWS in Mallorca, weekly down the wall, Cornish sea cliffs to Scottish winter and its been fantastic for everything. Didn't have the strap problem you did, but it would be good to put 2 simple axe holders on the back.

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