Developed from the Berghaus Expedition Light 80, this 40 litre pack features a Biofit back system, which allows the shoulder straps to be raised to adjust back length. You get twin main compartments and a fixed lid. Side compression straps, mesh side pockets and a front stretch stash pocket provide loading options and it all weighs in at a respectable 1330g. 5/5
The Biofit back system features a shoulder harness system that can be lengthened to suit your back length, but there is no women’s version of the Berghaus Explorer 40. The back system is stiffer than some others, which is good for heavier loads, but it isn’t quite as well-contoured and shaped as some other packs so it tends not to mould to the body quite so well. 4/5
There is less airflow on this pack than others, as you don’t get the ‘trampoline’ design on the back system, but there is an air chimney up the middle of the back and open mesh coverings. There are no cut-outs on the hipbelt or shoulder straps either. So overall it’s sweatier than the best, but it is stable and great with poorly packed loads due to its stiffness. 4/5
There is a zip-out divider between the upper and lower compartments, making the Berghaus Explorer 40 a useful pack for overnight trips as you can organise gear easily. The lid is a fixed design, so less care is needed to check it fits the top properly. I like the compression straps and mesh side pockets, and the hipbelt pockets are great too. It’s a simple and effective design. 5/5
Very well-priced, but it has a smaller capacity than some other packs and you aren’t getting as much airflow as some others, either. 5/5
The Berghaus Explorer 40 is an ideal hillwalking sack for most walkers in many situations, but it lacks some nice details. It won Trail’s ‘Best Value’ award.
Review by Graham Thompson
First published in Trail magazine September 2015