/ Alpkit Gourdon - long term review
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!
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
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...
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!
Cheers old bean!
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...
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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