This backpacking rucksack took first place in our test in May 2005. The back system is able to flex and move with the body while maintaining stability of the load. The shoulder straps can also rise up the back when you bend forward. I find it works really well and does not restrict body movement, making it ideal when walking over uneven terrain. You get a main and lower compartment with a top opening that benefits from a deep snow lock extension. The lid lifts to allow extra capacity and a fabric bellows prevents water from seeping into the main compartment. You get bellows side pockets, plus compression straps and wand pockets that allow trekking poles to be easily stowed. There’s also a front compression panel with a map pocket built in, which is useful. But at 2720g this is not the lightest backpacking sack available. The lid cannot be raised as much as some, and it cannot be removed or turned into a waist pack. Some people may simply prefer the conventional feel of a pack that does not allow such extra body movement.
Capacity: 65+10 litres
Fabric: Ardura 1000D / 600 RS and Esdura 600D
Features: adjustable Bioflex back system; twin main compartments; waterproof seams on lid; lid with 2 pockets; bellows side pockets; side compression straps; wand pockets; rain cover; hydration system-compatible
Made in: China
Stores in UK: no info provided
Verdict: A superb general backpacking sack if you want extra freedom of movement and a good set of features at a sensible price. It gained the ‘Best Value’ and ‘Best in Test‘ awards.