45L, £45 – you can’t say much fairer than that, which is why you don’t find many discounts for this one. Despite its capacity, it’s noticeably smaller than most of the packs in this test because it has a simple padded back system, with no suspension system to impinge on storage space. But it still holds the same amount of kit as a larger 45L pack with suspension system: mine easily holds a waterproof, a fleece, a soft shell and a biggish lunch. Plus it has no adverse effect on your balance, and it’s very light at 1115g. The downside is that heat management isn’t so good, and my back got a trifle damp on hot ascents. There’s just one main compartment, two side-pockets and two in the lid, and the compression straps squeeze the pack down snugly when it isn’t full. If you’re not doing major hill-climbs, this will see you right; it would be perfect for a less demanding trail like the Thames Path, where its ample storage and good weight distribution can really shine. Target price £45.
Pockets: 4 (2x top, 2x side)
Back system: Air Force (padded)
Contact: 01475 746000, www.vango.co.uk
PROS: Simple storage, not too fussy, good hip-fin support.
CONS: Back system not as effective on hill-climbs with a full load.
Best for: Family walks and easier trails without too much up and down.
Review from Country Walking