The big sell here is the pivoting hip-belt which (with the use of an allen key that comes with it) can be adjusted to allow the whole pack to move with your gait, thus reducing the risk of friction sores on your hips and back. At first I found the belt shifted the weight onto a single hip with every step. But once I’d tightened the pivoting device (an operation requiring both patience and dexterity), the shift in weight distribution was much more natural and efficient. For people who suffer with sore hips and back on long hikes, this is a genuinely useful feature, though those who just want a stable load might find it superfluous. The floating lid means you can stuff the pack to overflowing point and still secure it, and there is also a front access zip. But ease of access is compromised by the zips themselves: the watertight taping makes them frustratingly tough to operate, turning what should be a great feature into an obstructive one. Target Price £150.
Extra pockets: 8 (2 x top, 4 x front, 2 x belt)
Back system: Suspension and padding
Contact: 01572 772436, www.blackdiamondequipment.com
PROS: Innovative pivoting back system, floating lid, waterproof zips.
CONS: Fiddly adjustments required to achieve good fit, zips tough to use.
Best for: Those needing a solution to hip and back problems on big treks.
Review from Country Walking magazine.