Features like the headphone collar for your mp3 player make this more of a general use pack, suitable for the daily commute as well as the great outdoors. Some other bits such as the mesh side pockets don’t feel as useful as they could be, not being large enough to hold a water bottle of any kind. There is a sleeve for your hydration bladder inside, although the small opening means it’s a struggle to get the drinking end of the tube through. The back system is reasonable, with technical elements to it. The upper part has mesh-lined extra padding around the shoulder blades that improve comfort a little bit rather than adding any substantial venting. The hip padding works better than anticipated too, with the waistbelt flexing almost independently from the pack.
Main compartment closure: Zip
Back system: Vented
Accessories: Pole loops; compression straps; hydration-compatible
Contact: 0800 056 0127; www.blacks.co.uk
• Review from Country Walking magazine, July ’11