The KISS principle (Keep It Simple, Stupid) says that unnecessary complexity should be avoided – and 30-40 litre rucksacks are one place where this acronym should definitely be applied. Thankfully, Crux realises this, and the AK37 does exactly what a hill-walker’s sack should: no more, no less. It tips the scales at a respectable 960g. The fabric is an incredibly tough blend of Kevlar and Cordura, making this ideal for long-term durability as well as short scrapes up scrambles. There are minimal seams to fray or leak, and many are seam-sealed to keep out water, while bonding rather than stitching techniques are used where possible too. The padded back system is simple but comfortable. Compression straps allow poles to be easily stowed in the stretch wand pockets. There is a snow lock extension and a big lid with a useful pocket. But I would have made the design even simpler by using a single-clasp buckle for the lid – but that is about all I would change. Some rucksacks have airflow back systems that will be more comfortable in hot weather, while other sacks are lighter and lower in price.
Capacity: 37 litres
Fabric: Schoeller Keprotech (28% Kevlar, 72% Cordura)
Features: padded back system; top tensioning straps, external and internal lid pocket, wand pockets, compression straps, twin ice axe/pole attachment points
Made in: China
Stores in the UK: 36
Verdict: Keep it Simple, Stupid and buy this sack for hill-walking and scrambling as it is ideal for the job. This sack won ‘Best in Test’.
First published in Trail magazine, May 2008