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Walkhighlands review of Winter daypacks: your views

Walkhighlands review of Winter daypacks: your views


Postby Paul Webster » Fri Oct 21, 2011 8:58 am

In the first of our reviews of the latest outdoor clothing and equipment, Phil Turner takes a look at winter daypacks.

Winter daypacks review

Agree with Phil? Let us know your opinions and experiences on rucksacks small enough for a day trip but large enough to carry your winter gear...
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Re: Walkhighlands review of Winter daypacks: your views

Postby BethAtTheHug » Fri Oct 21, 2011 8:12 pm

Is it just me who thinks that ice axe loops encourage a dangerous practice? I've seen a number of close calls with the spike of an axe sticking up in the air close to other people's faces when the wearer turns round or bends over to tie a shoe lace/etc.
Better to put the axe down the side compression straps or the back for easy access. Plus putting a relatively weighty item at the point of greatest leverage doesn't seem a great plan in the comfort stakes.

Interesting review.
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Re: Walkhighlands review of Winter daypacks: your views

Postby gaffr » Fri Oct 21, 2011 8:27 pm

Like yourself I have to be able to reach the axe without taking off the sack...it has to ready for using. If 'back' means between your own back and the sack that would be my own preferred position :) although I can reach it from the 'side straps'....my sack has a wee pouch for the spike which is useful ...maybe don't fall over backwards on the path :lol:
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Re: Walkhighlands review of Winter daypacks: your views

Postby skillinabottle » Fri Oct 21, 2011 10:12 pm

This is a good new feature. I know the list is never going to be comprehensive, but can I suggest another worthy of the list?

I use a Deuter Guide 35+, which I find to be very well made and fairly flexible in terms of capacity. It would be interesting to know how Phil thinks it compares with the others on the list. For me, its slender body is good for scrambling as your centre of gravity isn't distorted too much. The outer material is tough, I don't have to e too precious about it. It has an removeable inner mat which is very difficult to get in an out, I tend not to bother with it. It weighs 1.4kg, so not the lightest. But I do think it will last for years to come.

No, I'm not on commission, but if anyone at Deuter wants to sent some products my way for testing, send me a PM. :thumbup:

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Re: Walkhighlands review of Winter daypacks: your views

Postby gaffr » Sat Oct 22, 2011 8:20 am

I've only just read the sack survey :) I would agree with the comments regarding the Osprey sack. Started to use one of these fairly recently and found it really comfortable, so much so, that I find it difficult to get back from HM after letting her use it during a recent trip. :( The one that we have :lol: is a bit bigger at around fifty litres. Must say that it is the only sack where I have not cut straps and bits of stuff off from it.:D It is all very neat and tidy.
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Re: Walkhighlands review of Winter daypacks: your views

Postby lenster » Sat Oct 22, 2011 10:42 am

With my trusted Karrimor of many a year falling apart I went for the podsacs alpine 40 earlier this year. Phil's review is spot on and while these things are subjective I'm delighted with it. Anyone looking for a lightweight, no frills, well fitted, ample space and attachment options day pack should consider it.
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Re: Walkhighlands review of Winter daypacks: your views

Postby SouthernUplandKing » Sat Oct 22, 2011 1:19 pm

I have a North Ridge Ballistic 35l pack and have been using it for the past few months and its been really good.

It's exactly what I was looking for, slim and cut down with nothing but what I needed. I still had too do a bit of chopping and changing but now its just about perfect. Its basically a rip off of the Crux AK Range but alot cheaper.

I took off the ice axe loops and walking pole holders, which were pretty un-necessary as I stash them on the side anyway. Lost alot of the extra material on the chest and waist belt straps which were too fidgety with loads of extra tat hanging off. Compression straps are simple. Hip belt is removable and the back supports can be taken out aswell. Has a rope strap unde the hood for any scramblers etc and two lid pockets (inner and outer) Comes with bungee cord for lashing too the front which allows you too stash your waterproofs, sleeping mat or crampons.

Back system is just slit foam but its pretty good for such a simple design. I tend not too suffer from a sweaty back too much anyway and its not been a problem for me so far.

Only problem is the lack of pockets on the side which means you have too stow your poles carefully because the could fall out of the straps. Only a minor niggle which can be solved by properly attaching your poles or stashing them under the lid.

Overall its not too big for day trips and has just enough room for an over night bivvy.

Well worth taking a look at if light and fast is the way you want too go :) !
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Re: Walkhighlands review of Winter daypacks: your views

Postby jester » Mon Oct 24, 2011 10:53 am

I agree that rucksack covers are an additional faff, and usually remove mine. However recent winters have on more than occasion seen fastex clips filled with snow and completely frozen, meaning I couldn't access the sack, or parts of it.
For that reason I'm looking to use one again, the question is how to so in conjunction with pointy things, sich as ice axe/poles.
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Re: Walkhighlands review of Winter daypacks: your views

Postby Alastair S » Mon Oct 24, 2011 11:29 am

jester wrote:I agree that rucksack covers are an additional faff, and usually remove mine. However recent winters have on more than occasion seen fastex clips filled with snow and completely frozen, meaning I couldn't access the sack, or parts of it.
For that reason I'm looking to use one again, the question is how to so in conjunction with pointy things, sich as ice axe/poles.

Pretty much the reason I don't use these covers. I guess you would need protectors on your ice axe & poles (if the cover is large enough to encompass these bits of kit).
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Re: Walkhighlands review of Winter daypacks: your views

Postby soulminer » Wed Oct 26, 2011 4:57 pm

I cannot fault my Osprey Kestrel sacks- 28l and 38l, totally comfortable. Do agree with the extra long straps though, not a fault just a slight inconvenience at times :)
I have a Berghaus Arete as well, great sack,not as comfortable as my Ospreys- but hate the buckle on the waist strap :-x
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Re: Walkhighlands review of Winter daypacks: your views

Postby rockhopper » Wed Oct 26, 2011 10:24 pm

Certainly a useful new feature - cheers :D
I use a Vango Boulder 35 and would agree with the comments - I tend to use the wand pockets to hold the handles of walking poles and the loops work fine for my ice axe. It's fairly tall and narrow inside which can make it seem smaller than 35l. The bladder space is tight and can be tricky getting a 1.5l camelbak bladder to fit - but then it doesn't move around. Although there's a ventilated back I find that it's not ventilated enough and tends to get sweaty. Overall I'm happy with it esp at the price - small issue though is that I find the zip at the bottom for the rain cover can dig into my back if I only have a couple of thin layers on and the rain cover isn't very waterproof so I tend just use drybags inside.
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Re: Walkhighlands review of Winter daypacks: your views

Postby Driver84 » Mon Oct 31, 2011 11:14 am


I have last seasons Berghaus Arete 35 - I think the only difference between old and new is the addition of the extra attachment loops that have now appeared.

I bought it - online :? - due to its lesser weight and slightly smaller capacity to my TNF rucksack I had been using.
What I have found is that the webbing for the shoulder straps feels slightly cheap and I have found it to twist easily when tightening. This has led to some difficulties in removing the sack! :shock:

Also to this, I have found the shoulder strap to come apart easily on a couple of occassions if picking up my rucksack by the strap.

Additional to these issues I have also found the chest strap to easily disconnect from the shoulder strap - luckily I had tied the chest strap around my camera case and as it only came undone on one side my camera remained safe! :)

My TNF pack had an aluminium frame which offered great stability - but with the arete there isn't as much support if any. A slightly stiffened back is all that is here. May be ideal to some and terrible for others.

With that being said, it is a really light weight pack and pretty minimalistic. And with the slight niggly faults - on mine anyway - aside, it is quite a good pack.

I know it's cheap in price, but for me some of the physical aspects of it are.


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Re: Walkhighlands review of Winter daypacks: your views

Postby Milesy » Sat Nov 05, 2011 11:02 am

I have the Arete 45 for winter which is the model from 2 years ago. I see they modified the attachment loops. The ones on my model were bungee cord you had to girth hitch round your axe(s) and both cords have snapped numerous times with me tying knots to fix. The velcro looks much more practical.
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Re: Walkhighlands review of Winter daypacks: your views

Postby cheekykarma » Sun Nov 06, 2011 10:12 pm

I just bought the Talon 33 by Osprey

I am not sure yet after one day out with it.

A lot of things I like.

Some things I am not used to or have to change or grow to love.

And still I need to experience it in worse conditions and see how it helps out.

It is such a hard thing to judge a pack - from the moment you play with it in store - to the night before you start packing your own gear and thing aaaaaaa dammit!!! I bought the wrong pack!

This seems a great all rounder maybe even all season day packer.

But I need to come back in months later time to be sure.

:)
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Re: Walkhighlands review of Winter daypacks: your views

Postby nathan79 » Mon Nov 07, 2011 10:59 pm

Like Milesy i also have the Berghaus Arete 45 as my winter pack.Mine is last years model. I think it's a nice light pack, even at 45L and being climber oriented pack it feels less bulky than my 28L Macpac i use for the other 3 seasons. Not the best back venting system but i don't see that as a concern for winter when i'm layered up anyway. I do like it's minimalist approach but i do feel it would be better with side pockets rather than the ski carry set up it has. I should really keep my eyes on ebay for an older model.

If the 35L is just a smaller version of it's big brother then it's a decent purchase.
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