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August 2017 Issue
Home / Gear reviews / Packs

Cactus Foray 75

Price:

$699

Our Rating:

Weighing in at 2995g, the Foray is everything you might expect from an old-school Kiwi pack.

With a thick canvas body and nylon reinforcement on high wear areas, it’s the sort of pack most trampers could expect to last a lifetime. Considering how heavy canvas is, it’s surprising the Foray isn’t heavier. The simplicity of the design accounts for this: it has a single compartment that keeps stitching and zips to a minimum.

The removable lid can be set up as a bum bag, used as a pillow, or left at home to shave off some grams. Simplicity rules the day here, too: it has a single pocket with a small Velcro pouch inside for stowing keys. I’d prefer the lid to be a little larger considering it’s the only exterior closed storage on the pack.

The rigid compression panel allows the pack volume to be reduced for shorter-duration trips and is the ideal place for stowing awkward cargo like snow shovels and rain-jackets. A simple cat’s cradle for crampons and two ice-axe attachments make the Foray suitable for alpine travel as well as bush travel.

The two small side pockets are designed for housing the ends of poles and snow stakes rather than drink bottles.

Another area weight has been cut is on the harness, which is a fixed length. The Foray comes in three harness sizes, and adjusting the shoulder and hipbelt straps is enough to achieve a comfortable fit. The shaped frame sheet sits snugly against a wearer’s  back, and the padded back, hip-belt and shoulder straps, while not luxurious, are about right.

The Foray is designed for anything from weekend outings to two-week trips in deepest Fiordland. If you are looking to make an investment in a pack that’ll last most of your tramping days, it’s a good option.

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