It would be wrong to want to write poetry about a rucksack, but the AirZone almost makes me want to. It’s got the lot: a suspended back system that pushes the load away and vents heat without sacrificing your balance, access to the main compartment via the top and the side, a generous front-panel pocket and hip pockets on both fins. I also like the Centro Adjust system which slides the harness up and down (the pack also comes in three different back lengths, which helps you get the right fit from the shopfloor). I’m not a fan of the cord storage on the front panel, but if it’s a fleece-on, fleece-off day on the Pennine Way, you may well be glad of it. The 35:45 numbering (ladies’ ND 33:40) relates to the expandable capacity, which is achieved by lengthening the straps on the lid. But it’s the massive side zip that really sells it: instant access to everything in the pack at a glance, enabling you to find that buried pack of Penguins easily. Priceless. Target Price £90.
PROS: Ample storage, plenty of features, great fit and excellent ventilation
CONS: Extremely hard to think of any (and I’m really trying)
Best for: At 35L, overnights and winter; at 45L, long-distance paths.
Review from Country Walking magazine.