It’s easy to make your rucksack lighter: just cut off the bits you don’t really need, right? The problem with this approach is that the result can be a pack that is also very uncomfortable, not very stable and lacking some of the features we all love to have when hillwalking. But this assumption could be about to change if the Vaude Citus 24 LW lives up to the hype.
It is described by Vaude as ‘the lightest hiking rucksack on the market with a ventilated back system’. It incorporates Vaude’s Aeroflex back system, with a fine mesh holding the body of the sack away from the wearer’s torso to allow more airflow and therefore less of the sticky sensation that many conventional rucksacks often create. So the result should be a very comfortable carry. Comfort is further enhanced by this rucksack weighing just 541g for the 24 litre version and about 480g for the 16 litre version.
It does not skimp in the features department either as you get a wide hipbelt to stabilise the load. Also, there is a conventional lid opening with a zipped pocket that has an additional zipped mesh pocket inside. There are a pair of stretch side pockets too. A system of cords allows the sack to be compressed; it also allows items to be attached to the outside.
Grab the Vaude Citus 24 LW for a day on the hill, and it is very user-friendly. The lid opens up easily with its twin quick-release buckles, and there is a drawcord for the main opening. The slight teardrop profile of the body makes it easy to pack, but also there is some stiffness in the back system to prevent the shape of the sack being distorted by gear stashed inside.
The lid pocket takes an OS map with ease. The mesh side pockets are wide and deep, and when combined with the external drawcord system you can stash a water bottle or trekking poles to the sides of this pack securely. But of course other sacks have even more pockets and compartments, while this has the basic essentials, but no more.
Get the Vaude Citus 24 LW loaded and head to the hills, and it is a very stable carry. As you’d expect with this design of back system this is not sweaty to wear, and as the hipbelt and shoulder straps are perforated there is good airflow throughout the body contact areas.
It is also good to see that this feels quite robust for such a lightweight rucksack, although if you compared it to heavier packs you would without doubt find elements of the heavier rucksack to be more durable if you are really hard on your gear.
Capacity 24 litres
Features Aeroflex back system; lid with external zipped pocket; stretch side pockets; compression drawcords
The Vaude Citus 24 LW proves you can have a lightweight rucksack that is also extremely comfortable and practical for the hillwalker whether they are moving fast or slow. The only reason not to buy it is that you want just a few more pockets, more capacity or more durability, which will all make an alternative rucksack much heavier. 4.6/5
Review by Graham Thompson
First published in Trail magazine February 2016