Mountain Hardwear Wandrin 48 (2012)

The Mountain Hardwear Wandrin 48 is a rucksack that holds a surprising amount of kit within its two compartments. Long zip tags make it easy to open the lower one, and this can be opened up inside (thanks to a zip) to make one compartment if preferred. An oddly placed rain cover in the top half of the lower compartment takes up a lot room, though it can be removed. A side zip also allows main compartment access without having to open the lid.

The bladder pocket is zipped away from the main compartment, which is a nice touch, and both the floating lid and an expandable front pocket with an extra map-sized pocket are good features.

The wand pockets are generous, and having at least one quick-release compression strap is useful (two would have made it perfect). One niggle is that if carrying something heavy in the lid you do have to watch that it doesn’t slip down, as rain could potentially leak inside, but if you monitor it and use dry bags it’s not a problem.

The pack comes in two back lengths and though pegged as ‘unisex’ the smaller one seemed cut with a bias towards a woman’s figure, sitting well on the hips and shoulders. The Mountain Hardwear Wandrin 48’s back is extremely well-ventilated, held away from your body with a huge mesh panel that doesn’t reduce the internal room.

Weight 1.42kg

Capacity 48 litres

Compartments 2

External pockets 5

Wand pockets yes

Hydration pocket yes

Back lengths 2

Floating lid yes

Men’s option unisex model

Website www.mountainhardwear.com

 

Verdict

The Mountain Hardwear Wandrin 48 is a light, comfy, well-ventilated and good-value pack that fits in all you need for multi-day walks. It was awarded the ‘Best in Test’ accolade.

Review by Phoebe Smith

First published in Trail magazine Spring 2012


Mountain Hardwear Dihedral 2008

This rucksack comes in 45 litre (S) and 52 litres (M); padded back system; padded hipbelt; wand pockets; side compression straps; one main compartment with snow-lock extension; extending lid; extremely durable fabrics; hydration system-compatible. But 1870g (size M) is extremely heavy; others are lighter with more airflow; not many pockets; lid can float forward to allow water in.
Verdict
An exceptionally durable rucksack, but its weight may be a drawback.

First published in Trail magazine, October 2008

Mountain Hardwear Maestro

At 2380g this is a relatively lightweight backpacking rucksack that comes in men’s and women’s styles. But the real story here is the unique Exodus back system that really hugs the body while having minimal contact areas and a high degree of freedom of movement. The ‘sack is very narrow too so you can easily move your arms back and forth when walking with trekking poles for example. There’s excellent space for the head too. The body of the ‘sack is quite simple with just one main compartment, side compression straps and a cavernous front pocket. You can stow trekking poles to the sides easily and you can fit a hydration system. The lid can be raised or removed, which is ideal when you really have to overstuff the pack. Overall this is a stable ‘sack that does not hinder movement, with a reasonably low weight. But the floating lid design could allow water into the main compartment. The high price tag doesn’t quite match what you get. You’d need to be careful what you put in that large front pocket too as anything heavy or loose would no doubt hinder stability of the ‘sack. Not everyone will like the idea of a single rather than twin main compartment.

 

Capacity: 66 litres
Materials: Cordura with Ballistic Cordura base
Features: adjustable Exodus back system; extending lid; one main compartment with top entry; three lid pockets; front pocket; quick-release side compression straps; wand pockets; hydration system-compatible
Weight: 2380g
Made in Philippines
Stores in UK: England 20; Wales 2; Scotland 10; Ireland 2

Verdict: Buy it if you want a relatively unrestrictive, relatively lightweight ‘sack with good features for general backpacking.