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Which Rucksack?


#1

Hi,

Just wondered if anyone could suggest a good rucksack for SOTA use.

I currently use a Regatta Survivor 35 litre, which was cheap and has been very good I suppose as it is still in good condition and has carried my heavy SOTA gear up summits for the last four years.

As I am getting more seriously interested in mountain walking I’m upgrading my gear. The problem with my current pack is that the hip belt is just simple webbing with no padding. It is quite honestly useless, all the hip belt does is hold the pack around the waist. I’d prefer a padded hipbelt which transfers a bit of the weight of the pack on the hips to remove some weight from the shoulders. This brings me onto the shoulder straps, these are only adjustable from the bottom and they cut into my arms as they have miserly padding.

The actual storage in the pack is brilliant, it has wand pockets on both sides and compression straps, which serve very well to secure the rucksack special and SOTABeam / Pole.

I’m looking for something similar in size to my Regatta pack, with similar storage, but with better hip belt and shoulder straps. Hydration compatability would be a bonus. Packs I have looked at are Osprey Talon 33, Osprey Mutant 38 and Lowe Alpine Crag Attack 40. Does anyone have these packs? Any comments?

73 Colin


#2

I think that’s the same as my old rucksack. It was great for years of SOTA until three days into the Pennine Way, when it started to cripple me! It is now Jimmy’s school bag!

I now use a Berghaus rucksack, which is very good.

Tom


#3

In reply to M0CGH:

both my rucksacks are from the macpac range, they are all very robust.

many thanks,

Roger - M3ZDI


#4

I use a “Jack Wolfskin” Rucksack, 73, Mario


#5

In reply to M0CGH:
My Love Alpine Skyline 55 is fine, light (2kg), but an old model.

73 Alain


#6

In reply to M0CGH:
I use an Osprey pack (55l)because it fits well, has a superb hip belt and is light - BUT - because of the shape of the frame to give back clearance (ventilation) and when the hydration bladder is in its pouch the inside of the main compartment is somewhere close to useless for SOTA. Effectively the interior has an enormous inflexible bulge and stuffing things like my lunch box, an FT817, the crush bag with antenna etc makes for difficult packing and unpacking. The stretch fabric of the bag is rugged enough but I am really disappointed with what (if you believe TRAIL)is meant to be the Rolls Royce of backpacks. I seriously doubt the claim of 55 litres but if true it is the most awkward shape.

I suggest you examine any pack you plan to buy with a very cautious eye and with the format of the contents and their accessibility in mind. Great backpacking pack, far from ideal for SOTA activations.

73

Barry GM4TOE


#7

In reply to GM4TOE:

Hi Barry,

Thanks for yor comments, I went to look at some Osprey packs at the weekend and you have confirmed my thoughts about the shape of the packs. I also think they look rather small when compared to other 'sacks with the supposed same capacity.

I am in the planning stages of an overnighter in a few weeks, and I’m looking for a 'sack for then. As money is tight I was thinking of trying to get a bag big enough to hold my tent and sleeping bag aswell, but in reality I think I’ll have to get two. I’ve just thrown away an 80 litre pack during a clearout -Doh! (it was well past it’s best though.)

I like the idea of a ventilated back system, but not at the cost of functionality.

Thanks to other posters so far too - your comments noted.

73
Colin


#8

In reply to M0CGH:

I have an old Berghaus Vector pack with is about 30L or so. It’s just about big enough in winter when there’s more layers to carry. It’s from 1983 so there’s no frame and it’s a snug fit on my back. That means wet and sticky after a few minutes :frowning: However, it’s a rectangluar shape inside which makes it good for all the rubbish I carry on an activation. It only has one small top pocket but does have lots of straps for attaching things. I keep meaning to replace it with one that is better ventilated, with more pockets and more padded straps but this old bag takes a licking and keeps ticking!

When you punt for your new one, take all the stuff you want with you and check it fits. I’d get one with a few pockets so you can keep more useful stuff both sorted and easy to get at. Make sure you can attach your fishing pole without any fuss. Also invest in a good dry sack if you don’t already have one. I picked up a 22L with a translucent panel for about £7 and it was one of the bets investments I’ve made. By a bigger one as excess will fold away and you’re not left trying to force stuff into a small one.

Andy
MM0FMF


#9

In reply to M0CGH:
Colin, I highly recommend the sack I’m using, its a Gelert X-plorer 65L and is a classic climbers sack with top extension. The main attraction for me is a padded inside pocket against the back padding which is roomy enough for an FT857D but it is loaded with features: a net and a zipped pocket each side, a bottom compartment with zipped access to the main compartment, two map pockets on the lid, one inside, one out, padded straps and belt, fixings for two ice axes, two poles and crampons, a pull-out waterproof cover to keep the gear dry, and best of all, it was just under £20 from ASDA!

In general you get what you pay for, and this is about a third of what you would pay for a similarly featured sack at an outdoors shop, but mine has had several long weekends for walking as well as SOTA and shows no signs of distress: a bit big for a walking sac, perhaps, but it will do for anything except perhaps the more difficult alpine peaks!

73

Brian G8ADD


#10

In reply to M0CGH:

I have an old Berghaus Vector pack which is about 30L or so. It’s just about big enough in winter when there’s more layers to carry. It’s from 1983 so there’s no frame and it’s a snug fit on my back. That means wet and sticky after a few minutes :frowning: However, it’s a rectangluar shape inside which makes it good for all the rubbish I carry on an activation. It only has one small top pocket but does have lots of straps for attaching things. I keep meaning to replace it with one that is better ventilated, with more pockets and more padded straps but this old bag takes a licking and keeps ticking!

When you punt for your new one, take all the stuff you want with you and check it fits. I’d get one with a few pockets so you can keep more useful stuff both sorted and easy to get at. Make sure you can attach your fishing pole without any fuss. Also invest in a good dry sack if you don’t already have one. I picked up a 22L with a translucent panel for about £7 and it was one of the bets investments I’ve made. By a bigger one as excess will fold away and you’re not left trying to force stuff into a small one.

Andy
MM0FMF


#11

In reply to GM4TOE:

I recently bough a Karrimor 35l pack. It has the ventilated back, which is very useful, but the curve is less severe than some others. This makes it much better for putting rigid things like ring-binders or radio equipment in. It’s got a padded hip belt. It also comes with a cover that packs in a small pocket at the base when not in use.
I haven’t actually used it for SOTA yet though; I’m going to the Hebrides soon so can test it there. I’ve given it a good amount of general use and it seems fine.


#12

Hi All,

Been looking at rucksacks and have decided to stick with the rucksack I’ve got and get another larger rucksack for my up coming overnighter trip. I decided to get a Lichfield Explorer bag from Argos as this seemed really good value for money. I decided to do a web search to find some reviews about it and the search flagged up that Amazon is selling the Lichfield Explorer 70+ for £17.78 with free delivery!

I couldn’t pass on such a bargain, so I have ordered it. It turns out that Lichfield is the budget arm of Vango, and the Vango Explorer rucksack is identical apart from name and colour. The Vango Explorer seems to be held in high regard.

Will have to post an update when the 'sack arrives.

73 Colin


#13

In reply to M0CGH:

Just noticed that Amazon are selling Lichfield Pathfinder 70+ Rucksack also, which is same as the Explorer, but has a raincover and adjustable back system. This adds 400g. The price is 28p cheaper at £17.50! Same old story - do your research for weeks, buy something, then find a product better and cheaper the next day! Never mind - I could always send the Exlorer back, but I never use the raincover on my current rucksack and the 400g saved might come in useful.

73 Colin