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Black Diamond Nitro 22 (2015)

£80.00

As soon as you feel the face fabric, you know this tough cookie is meant for rough, rocky adventures. It’s highly abrasion-resistant (I scrubbed it on hard, damp limestone while squeezing into a Derbyshire cave) and it doesn’t mind getting wet, so it doesn’t bother with a rain cover. The mesh/hole back panel ventilates well, while the huge hip-fins embrace ...

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Gregory Miwok 18 (2015)

£65.00

A perfect example of how a small pack can do great things. This tiny 18L pack is snug, secure and flawlessly stable, even on a boulder-hoppy hike in Snowdonia. The mesh back panel sits flush to your back, but flexes with you and has huge air pores which stop your back feeling too sweaty. The shoulder straps are highly breathable ...

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Platypus Sprinter XT25 (2015)

£120.00

This unisex pack comes from a brand who mainly make hydration systems, so it’s built around (and supplied with) a 3L water bladder and hose. This explains the higher prices and weights. Platypus’ approach is to hang the long, rectangular bladder in its own chamber behind the main section. You’d think this might impinge on storage, but no: the main ...

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Jack Wolfskin ACS Stratosphere 20 (2015)

£75.00

The ACS is a fine-looking rucksack. But it’s clever as well as sexy. Firstly, it’s narrow so the load is tightly contained and it never impedes your arm movements. The harness is rigid round the back of the shoulders, like the collarbone of a good coat, the shoulder straps are well-cushioned but superbly ventilated, and the hip-belt is a model ...

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OspreyStratos 24 (2015)

£75.00

The Stratos 24 has been my default summer day-pack for a very long time. It just gets everything right: compactness, stability, features in abundance and unrivalled comfort. It comes in two different back lengths and has a concave AirSpeed back system which pushes the load away and keeps you well ventilated. This does have a knock-on effect on storage space, ...

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Vango Trail 25 (2015)

£35.00

The Trail is a great, compact rucksack for everyday walks. It mixes simplicity and technicality: it has the most basic hip-belt and back system; yet it closes with a lid and buckle, which is unusually refined for a sub-30L pack, and it has two capacious side pockets which help you distribute the weight very evenly. The side pockets easily take ...

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Berghaus Trail Speed 30 (2015)

£70.00

FeaturesThe Trail Speed 30 is based on Berghaus’s hugely successful Freeflow rucksack, but they have taken the trampoline mesh panel away to create even more airflow while maintaining minimal body contact areas. The body of the sack has a conventional lid with twin buckles and pockets. Side compression straps combine with mesh side pockets. 5/5 FitThis pack is available in ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Terra Nova Laser 20 (2015)

£45.00

FeaturesAt just 318g you’ll struggle to find a lighter 20 litre rucksack than the Terra Nova Laser 20; not only that, but you do also get a few features to make it more useful. The main body has front zipped opening, rather than a lid, and there is an additional external zipped pocket. You get mesh pockets on the body ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 4
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Millet Prolighter 27 (2015)

£90.00

FeaturesThe Millet Prolighter 25 is a dedicated mountain pack so you get a clean, uncluttered and streamlined design. The back system allows the pack to sit close to the body but is lightly stiffened and lightly padded. The top lid has a single buckle with a pocket on the outside and inside. You get a pair of compression straps on ...

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Gregory Z25 (2015)

£77.00

FeaturesThe Gregory Z25/J23 is a little heavy at 960g, but it does have a CrossFlo back system, which holds the pack away from the wearer for more airflow. The opening is a zipped design rather than a lid and you get a huge front stretch stash pocket as well as a pair of stretch bottle pockets on the sides. There ...

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Deuter AC Lite 22 (2015)

£60.00

FeaturesThe AC Lite 22 features Deuter’s Aircomfort ventilated back system for maximum airflow across the back. The body has a single-buckle lid with an outside pocket that only just takes a map. There is no stretch pocket on the front, but you do get a pair of stretch side pockets; however there are no compression straps to work with these. ...

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Osprey Talon 22 (2015)

£75.00

FeaturesThe Osprey Talon 22 and Tempest 20 are well-established favourites that offer a good set of all-round features for hillwalkers. They are built around a padded back system. The main compartment is a zip opening rather than buckled lid but you get a good stretch front compression panel and side stretch pockets. And 750g is a good weight. 4/5 FitThe ...

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Black Diamond Bolt 24 (2015)

£90.00

FeaturesThe shoulder straps on the Black Diamond Bolt 24 are linked by a wire that slides through a sleeve on the base of the pack to allow independent movement of the shoulder straps. The body of the rucksack is a neat mountaineering-bias design with a single-buckle lid but you also get very useful side and front pockets and a pair ...

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Vango Boulder 25 (2015)

£35.00

FeaturesThe Vango Boulder 25 is a well-priced general walking sack with a good set of features. Firstly it has a stiffened back with padding and an air channel up the centre to reduce sweat build-up. You get an attached lid with an outside and inside pocket plus a single buckle closure. On the sides are compression straps and small drawcord ...

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