RRP Price: £85
For days out in the Scottish hills this summer I’ve been testing this 30l pack from Mammut. Unlike most others I’ve used the Lithium Zip doesn’t have a lid, instead simply having a top zip opening, and I’ve found it very convenient enabling rapid access to the contents. Beside this main top zip is a zippered compartment lined with fleece; inside this there is a good rain-cover that ensures that a covering lid isn’t missed when the weather takes a turn for the worse. There’s also plenty of room in this top compartment for other small items that you wish to be able to access quickly.
On the front of the pack is a large stretchy pocket that can be used to quickly stow wet gear, or even fit larger items like a helment. On both sides are further stretchy mesh pockets large enough to hold a litre water bottle each – though the interior also has a large pocket for a hydration bladder (and a hole for the tube). If you avoid using the side pockets then the fairly narrow shape means that there is little to get in the way if you are scrambling. There’s also a further zippered compartment with a key clip inside the pack, and finally a small pocket in the hip belt.
The full-contact back has ridges in the foam padding creating air channels for good ventilation, and the shoulder pads and hip belt are also pretty generously padded too for a pack of this size. The material is triple ripstop Nylon which has proved very robust so far, the pack still looking very smart and new after a season’s hard use. There are loops for carrying trekking poles or ice axes, though I tend to prefer a slightly larger pack in winter.
I tend to find many rucksacks have simply too many straps, toggles and fiddly bits so I’ve really appreciated the simple, smart and easy to use design of the Lithium Zip; it’s also supremely comfortable.