British brand Podsacs have a superb reputation and a very loyal following, says Toby Archer.
"I don't think I can remember one story from friends, acquaintances or customers in the climbing shops where I used to work about anyone managing to break one. I'm sure it has happened, but clearly not very often. When the company founder and designer Pete O'Donovan decided to sell Podsacs to a bigger company a few years back, there was definitely some nervousness from the fans. Could Podsacs maintain the same reputation for quality and design as part of a bigger company?"
Toby, when you have the plastic plate and alu rib removed how does the lid fair in terms of stability? I have a similar arrangement on a North Face sack and have experimented with removing the plate which ends up with the lid and top of the sack flopping about too much.
In reply to niallk: As well as I remember I don't think it makes any difference at all. Even with the plate and stave removed there is still some reasonably stiff foam in there (think Karrimat) which gives the pack its shape. I have an old Osprey sack which has very similar removable bits that basically I have never used, and that lid on that is fine as well so I guess its something more to do with the design of your TNF pack?
I shall go upstairs and fish out from the depths of the cupboard and investigate further though! Hang on a bit...
Nice review. Just a word of warning before you all get excited. I have the 50L version - it's great in all ways, except it's not what I would call bombproof. I have 2 holes in it and I've only had it since May - one of the holes was caused by 1 week's use on Skye (when it was brand new).
I have never packed crampons or an ice axe into it and all my trad gear was in another bag inside the pod so the only way it could have got the holes is by abrasion from the rock - not great for a climbing sac.
Pod have repaired one of the holes for me, rather nicely in fact. I haven't sent it back again and have just resigned myself to the fact that it's going to get trashed - i have tape over the latest hole.
Only my opinion/experience but it has put a few of my mates off buying one.
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