This ‘Alpine’ pack is biased towards rockier mountains when weight is important but also durability and functionality. It uses tough 500 denier Cordura nylon that is waterproof and has taped seams. The back panel is stiffened and padded but lacks soft mesh. There is a basic webbing hipbelt but no top tensioning straps on the shoulder straps, and only one external pocket. For general walking it’s too stripped. 3/5.
The Force Ten Alpine 25 comes in one size with no women’s version. There is no back length adjustment and no top tensioning straps, so this is very much a pack to try before buying as it may not fit as well as other options with more adjustment. It did fit me okay, although it felt a little short on the back. Also I noticed the shoulder straps were very wide; on smaller folk this may be an issue. 3/5
The back system is stiffened and padded but you don’t get the airflow of other packs; however it won’t soak up water and feel as cold on the back as some. It is a good weight of 769g but a lack of padding on the hipbelt means it isn’t the comfiest option for walking when loaded up. As there is less adjustment it may be less comfortable if it does not fit well too. 3/5
For scrambling, climbing and rocky ridges the Force Ten Alpine 25’s clutter-free design is ideal in many ways. Also it is virtually waterproof so your gear is well-protected. The material is very durable too. But you only get one lid pocket and the main opening is a zip rather than buckle-lid design. No wand pockets are provided either. Great for some users but probably not most walkers. 3/5
The price is good for a rucksack that uses tough waterproof material, but more walker-friendly designs are available for less cash. 3/5
If you want a durable, clutter-free pack, particularly for scrambling and climbing, the Force Ten Alpine 25 is great; but others offer benefits to mountain walkers. 3.0/5
Review by Graham Thompson
First published in Trail magazine August 2016