Vaude Brenta 30 (2017)

Features

A pack that always does well in Trail tests. It has a 30 litre capacity with a unique Aeroflex back system that allows the airflow across the back as well as the shoulder strap length to be adjusted. A good snow-lock extension and a lid with two buckles protect the main compartment. The lid has pockets and there is a stretch front pocket and stretch side pockets. The compression straps are good too. 5/5

Fit

The men’s Brenta 30 has just one back size, but you can adjust shoulder strap length to effectively increase back length. The women’s Maremma 32 has the same shoulder strap design. The Brenta fitted me well, but the hipbelt padded fins were quite short so this should fit those with smaller waists well too. 5/5

Comfort

The Aeroflex back system’s mesh panel holds the pack away from the body, and can be adjusted for a closer fit with less airflow. There is soft padding on body contact areas, and the hipbelt has large cutaways to allow more airflow and help the padding mould to the body. It has good stiffness too, so you can pack this without the back panel digging into your body. 5/5

In use

This is heavier than some. The lid pocket is nice and large for a map or guidebook, and there is an additional internal secure zipped pocket. The stretch front pocket is ideal for a jacket between showers. The main compartment has a top opening, which works really well and you can open it from a front zip towards the base. The side stretch pockets work well with the side compression straps. It’s great! 5/5

Value

The price is lower than some and the features are ideal for most walkers, so this rucksack is better-than-average value. 4/5

Verdict

For general valley, hill and mountain walking this is an excellent all-rounder but some other sacks will have additional benefits. It won Trail’s ‘Best in Test’ award. 4.8/5

Review by Graham Thompson
First published in Trail magazine March 2017