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January 2017 Issue
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The North Face Fovero 85

The Fovero 85 offers huge capacity



Our Rating:

THIS PACK comes with all the mod cons expected from North American trekking packs: features include multiple pockets, a large stretch-mesh stash pocket, hiking pole attachments, plumbing for hydration, and a removable lid.

The main sac has a sleeping-bag compartment accessed via a separate bottom zip, but it can be made into a single compartment for those wanting to use a pack liner. A vertical side zip provides easy access to the main compartment.

I found some of these features to be superfluous additional weight and potential weak points which can allow water ingress. But as long as you don’t intend to tackle bush bashing, river crossings and tops travel in a gale, the large built-in pack cover does a good job of keeping the pack dry.

The pack itself is made from a lightweight water and tear-resistant nylon weave and weighs around 2.5kg, which is reasonable for a pack of this size. Much of the weight comes from the Optifit frame which offers easy back-length adjustment.

I found the hipbelt to be insufficiently rigid, which caused it to slope backwards under heavy loads. The shoulder straps are attached high on the pack, which makes them constricting around the chest and abdomen for all but the tallest users.

However, provided it fits the user well, the Fovero 85 is a decent choice for long on-track hiking trips, or for a five-week European sojourn. It is not well-suited to the rigours of lengthy tramps over rough terrain. It has a tall and narrow cut, but the bounty of zips and mesh make it a poor choice for bush bashing and I found it uncomfortable with a heavy load

– Alexis Belton