The Mammut Hera Element 40+ (as you might imagine) boasts a capacity of 40+ litres, but accommodates a generous amount of kit with room to spare, so it’s good for trips of several days. The rucksack has two compartments, one of which can be zipped away to create a single space, and large tags on the lower zips are perfect for gloved hands.
The pack comes in just one back length but is adjustable to four sizes via an easy-to-operate system that works by turning the shoulder straps, removing them, then moving them up a notch and locking them back in place. Simple to use it might be, but it’s certainly not the most comfortable, due to the thick padding on the shoulder straps and hip belt feeling too bulky and not well-ventilated. It does keep the bag from sitting too flush against your back to prevent you from getting too sweaty though.
But the shoulder straps rubbed a bit on my collarbone, and the hipbelt never seemed to fit quite as well as I’d like – I found I had to fiddle with it a fair bit. Also, as the second heaviest here, after longer walks I did feel those extra grams.
The Mammut Hera Element 40+’s floating lid had an extra clip linking it to the main compartment to help prevent rain getting in; and although only one compression strap had a quick-release buckle both were easy to operate.
Capacity 40+15 litres
External pockets 1
Wand pockets yes
Hydration pocket yes
Back lengths 1
Floating lid yes
Men’s option yes (Heron 50+)
With the Mammut Hera Element 40+ you get a lot of bag, but the weight may put some off and it costs more than equivalent options.
Review by Phoebe Smith
First published in Trail magazine Spring 2012