Best for day hikes and commuting
Plusses: Breathable and comfortable, well made, affordable
Minuses: Won’t fit everyone, no ice axe retainer
890g / 26l
Features: It’s built around a sturdy frame and a highly breathable AirZone LT harness with ventilated shoulder straps and a lightly padded waist belt with stretchy pockets. The main sack is robust 210D ripstop fabric and features a wide hydration sleeve, internal security pocket and three stretch mesh outside pockets. There’s also an external zippered stash pocket for wallet or sunglasses. Two compression straps and a pair of hiking pole retainers, plus raincover, round out the pack.
Fit: It comes in one size (46cm back length), which fitted me well (at 1.76m), but my shorter partner found it too long in the back. Aside from the back length there’s loads of waist belt and shoulder strap adjustment, which will suit bigger people, although it left me with lots of spare waist belt strap, which had no retainer.
Comfort: The Airzone Active harness is suspension-style – a taut mesh separates the pack from your back. The result is exceptional breathability. The frame is sturdy and is wing-shaped on either side at the base (in the lumbar/hip region) so it almost sits on your hips. While I liked the stability of the frame wings, another user commented that they dug into her back, especially while on a bike.
In use: Day packs with a generous main sack and lots of pockets make it easy to organise equipment, and this pack’s harness and frame make it suitable for carrying plenty of gear and water for a full day out. I particularly liked its stability on my back on awkward terrain. It has a raincover and a small tab for attaching a rear light, but I would have appreciated an ice axe loop. The external zip pocket would be improved if it was lined with sunglasses-protective fabric.
Value: For the quality of its harness and overall features the price is good.
Verdict: A versatile, do-it-all pack for day trips, commuting and possibly even as a hut-based summer overnighter.