Looking for a rucksack that’s built to last? Then the Macpac Aspiring offers all the basics in a beautifully simple package that will work year-round and on routes of any level of technicality. It’s not the lightest pack around (at 1300g) but it’s robust and will deal with the worst the hills can throw at it. It feels a very spacious 32 litre pack with sufficient capacity for overnight gear. The Airsupply 2 back system works well and offers better stability and loading than some packs with ventilated back systems. The double axe loops and crampon bungees make it ideal for winter. Designed for the European market, there are limited numbers in the UK from outlets such as Needle Sports and Nevis Sports. You’ll need to hunt around but it’s a good investment. But the exit point for the hydration bladder is under the lid rather than to the side of the pack, which may not suit you. Side wand pockets are not suitable for water bottle storage (but will keep walking poles etc in place) and the back system will prove hotter than airflow systems in warm weather. Test this alongside the excellent Deuter Guide 35+5, which is a great alternative that just missed out on a place among the finalists.
Capacity 32 litre
Fabric Aztec HP; Kevlar Matrix
Features classic Macpac large lid; 2 ice axe attachments; reinforced base pockets that allow ski/snow stakes/walking poles etc to be carried; crampon attachment bungee
Made in Philippines
Stores in the UK 15
The Macpac Aspiring is a great pack that will take both summer and winter walking in its stride. That combination of flexibility and durability means it is an excellent investment. Accordingly, it was given the accolade ‘Best in Test’.
Review by Matt Swaine
First published in Trail magazine September 2010