Replacing Haglöfs’ Topo 75 in 2009 is the slightly lighter Sumo 75 – a big, sturdy pack designed for expedition usage, but at 3.13kg, it’s not the lightest. It has zipped access to the main compartment, as well as a curious but very effective funnel opening on the base.
The Sumo has a big feel to it. The back length adjustment is via an awkward but effective hook and loop affair, and uses a system of aluminium stays to transfer weight to the hips. There’s a head space cavity at the top of the back, then a lid which detaches to form a bumbag with its own substantial padding and strap. Inside the main body you get a removable divider, and on the front is a useful haul loop, one small pocket and one large, plus zipped access to the main compartment. The rather odd-looking bottom compartment access sees the traditional curved zip replaced with a projecting funnel. This zips up and clips tidily into place, offering welcome relief to those of us who insist on cramming in too much stuff and are fed up of struggling with zips on over-loaded packs.
On the hill
This is a fine pack with a perfectly comfortable carry, but relatively speaking it felt old-school restrictive. The hipbelt swivels more than packs of ten years ago, but the whole back system just didn’t offer the best freedom of movement. However, this did lead to it being an exceptionally stable carry, and if this is what you’re after it’s worth a closer look. That first night, easy access to the base compartment was a blessing. It was tipping it down, so I wanted to get the set up quickly; and being able to unclip, unzip and pull out the tent without faff or unnecessary unpacking was great. Less great, though, was that the pack leaked and access to the two front pockets was impeded by the lid when the pack was less than fully loaded. And that removable lid and bumbag? Probably useful for travel, but on a multi-day backpacking trip I never had a need for it. Personally, I would prefer to sacrifice its padding for a lower overall weight.
Stated capacity 75 litres
Trail tested capacity 85 litres
Back lengths adjustable
Materials 840D ballistic polyamide, 630D ATY polyamide, 630D Oxford polyamide, 420D double ripstop polyamide
Made in Asia
Stockists in the UK 5
Stockist details 0845 602 7343; www.haglofs.se
Verdict: A big-feeling pack that manages to make huge loads stable and comfortable, although the trade-off is less freedom of movement than others on test. It’s not waterproof and, with fat zips and industrial fabric, it’s not designed to be light – but it should withstand years of abuse.
Review by Ben Winston
First published in Trail magazine April 2009