/ GROUP TEST: Trekking & Expedition Packs 50-70 Litres

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Packs montage, 4 kbWhether it's a weekend or a month away, rucksacks ranging from 50-70 litres should cover most needs. The 14 models on test here include both smaller lightweight packs and gear guzzling titans.

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purplemonkeyelephant - on 06 Sep 2017
In reply to UKC/UKH Gear:

Hahaha Arcteryx! For £380 I could hire a porter on minimum wage to carry my stuff for 50 hours.

Or get one of those fantastic Vango Sherpas and spend the extra £315 on lager and cake. Or an entire holiday to the alps. Or a new set of DMM Apex's.
angry pirate - on 06 Sep 2017
In reply to purplemonkeyelephant:

Turns out I can only press "like" once! Such a shame...

Admittedly I'm not dragging a pack up to a high expedition venue absolutely bombproof is not high on my list of priorities but I've totally abandoned the idea of a large heavy pack nowadays, especially since kit has got so much smaller and lighter in the last twenty years.
I now use an Osprey Exos 48 (52 litres in the large size) which comfortably fits kit, tent and food for a week in UK summer or a few days in winter. The pack weighs in at about 1.2kg and has a very comfy back system. My old pack was 2.5 kg. The weight difference is the weight of my tent.
The material is very thin so I do try to be careful with it, or drag it up winter routes (I have a different pack for that) and it won't last a lifetime but for me the trade off is worth it!
Jiffy - on 08 Sep 2017
In reply to UKC/UKH Gear:

My main rucksack is an Osprey Aether 60. I can manage most trips with that but I have trouble fitting my -18c Rab sleeping bag in it as that takes so much space. Instead of using a larger, heavier rucksack I put the sleeping bag in a drybag and attach that by bungee cord to my rucksack.

For mega loads (sack of coal and extra refreshments) I use my 90l Osprey Crescent.
brianrunner - on 10 Sep 2017
In reply to UKC/UKH Gear:

The review misses out on the range of 'real' lightweight rucksacks available mostly from the US. I have an Mountain Laurel Designs Exodus weighing 550g which I have used for 1000 miles plus including trips up to 9 days. Its simple, comfy and brilliant. I shudder to think of carrying the heavy weight packs listed here (>3kg - good grief!).

Some companies making backpacks to look out for are Mountain Laurel Designs, Gossamer Gear, ULA and Zpacks.
Hyphin - on 10 Sep 2017
In reply to UKC/UKH Gear:

Can't quite justify spending £380, but considering £80 on one of these

https://www.decathlon.co.uk/alpinism-5510-backpack-id_8170104.html

Anyone care to share their experience/review. Though given their returns policy it's probably a fairly safe bet.
GarethSL on 11 Sep 2017
In reply to UKC/UKH Gear:

I think some people are out of tune with how expensive rucksack have become. The £380 for the Arc'teryx bag is nothing. Especially when brands like mystery ranch are asking £900 for very uninspired gear.
Big Lee - on 11 Sep 2017
In reply to GarethSL:

£380 is ridiculous. Arcteryx and similar companies deliberately overcharge because they market themselves as a top-end product. If they were cheaper then they would lose that luxury brand appeal.
Pedro50 on 11 Sep 2017
In reply to angry pirate:

I could not agree more. I have an Exos 46 and an Exos 58. They both weigh about 1kg. Ideal for backpacking, not for rock scraping cragging etc. A base weight of 2.2kg is over-engineering IMHO.
Siward on 11 Sep 2017
In reply to Pedro50:

I'm with you on the weight argument but I think there comes a point, and packs over 50 litres are getting there, where the sorts of loads envisaged justify a bit more engineering (and thus weight) in the pack itself.

My general aim these days is to carry less weight full stop which means my rucksack needn't weigh much either but that's of no use when carrying coal and beer and winter kit into some remote bothy in winter
chuffer - on 11 Sep 2017
In reply to Big Lee:

> £380 is ridiculous. Arcteryx and similar companies deliberately overcharge...

Roughly two working days is ridiculous?? How long would it take you to make a pack of similar quality starting from nothing? You dig up the oil, fraction it, polymerise the right fraction, weave the cloth, cut the pattern, stitch or weld it. That's just a cylindrical bag, For buckles you'd need a steel mould to inject the plastic into.......

Of course none of us can do all those things individually because they are rather specialist in most cases. So, we do something else that we do specialise in for money and then exchange the money for something that maybe ten or more other people with specialist skills have contributed to making.

What is ridiculous is that it has become normal to begrudge swapping more than one or two hours of our own work for so much....Perhaps because we forget that there is a lot more to a rucksack than "just" some sewing (which is probably rather more skilled than most of us would allow anyway.

Sorry, soapbox away now..
Toerag - on 12 Sep 2017
In reply to chuffer:

Of course all those things cost money, but the other manufacturers seem to be able to do it for a lot less money......

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