Vaude Brenta 30 (2016)

Features

The Brenta has been ranked ‘Best in Test’ in previous Trail reviews. It has a 30 litre capacity and a unique back system that can be adjusted to sit closer to or further from the wearer’s back. The main compartment has a good snow-lock extension, a lid with twin buckles and a good-sized external pocket. Stretch mesh pockets on the sides and front add to the flexibility of the design. 5/5

Fit

The Aeroflex back system not only holds the pack away from the body but it can also be adjusted to sit closer or further away. The shoulder straps can be adjusted in length too. These factors, along with the fact that the pack is available as the men’s Brenta and women’s Maremma, mean it should fit most people. 5/5

Comfort

On the back the fit feels great, and you also get padding in all the right places. The padding is firmer than some others and the hip fins are a little stiffer too, but this may soften, while very soft padding just gets softer over time. The stiffness in the back and padding also means you can pack this pretty badly and it remains comfy. 5/5

In use

It weighs more than others of this capacity, but the difference is tiny. The compartment design is great and I liked the conventional lid with a snow-lock extension underneath. Also those quick-release buckles on the compression straps make it easier to stash trekking poles to the sides. The stretch pockets are useful for waterproofs and the lid pocket is big. 5/5

Value

There are lower-priced rucksacks out there but this is very hard to beat on performance, so while not the cheapest it is good value. 4/5

Verdict

The Brenta/Maremma is an excellent all-round day sack that will fit many hillwalkers, with a great set of practical features. It won Trail’s ‘Best in Test' accolade. 4.8/5

Review by Graham Thompson
First published in Trail magazine March 2016