The Breva is a traditionally styled pack with an adjustable back length system – ideal for petite women. The harness carries loads well, but the broad shoulder straps won’t suit women with narrow shoulders. Conversely, the chest strap is quite short, which won’t suit women with large busts. There’s a rain cover in the lid, although it hasn’t got a dedicated storage pocket (apart from the stuff sac it comes in), and there’s no means of securing it to the outside of the pack when in use.
Main compartment: Lid/drawcord
Back system: Padded/suspended mesh
Other features: Pole holders; rain cover
Contact: 0161 432 0319; www.tatonka.com
The Tatonka Luna 36 rucksack secure women’s shoulder fit; top zip pockets; rain cover, gear loops; front pocket; bottom compartment; elastic mesh side pockets, internal access zip, vented back, pocket on padded hipbelt. But very heavy at 1869g and tested as 6 litres oversize at 42 litres; extremely high price; overly complex back system; limited back length options; internal access useless with top-opening liner bag.
Tatonka – tel. (0161) 432 0319; www.tatonka.com
Verdict: The Tatonka Luna 36 rucksack is a good fit for tiny women, but it’s heavy even before loading!
First published in Trail magazine July 2009
Review: The padded harness made it comfortable enough, although we found the adjustable back length fiddly and prone to coming undone. More adjustment on the shoulder and chest straps would be good. The Tivano appears much larger than its 30-litre capacity and the lack of compression straps made it feel very unstable on the back. We’d have liked more pockets and a less bulbous design.
Capacity: 30 litres
Main compartment: Lid/drawcord
Back system: X Vent Vario (concave)
Other features: Waist belt, bellowed side pockets, separate bottom compartment, pole attachment, hydration-compatible
Colours: Teak/nut, deep blue/blue
Contact: 0161 432 0319, www.tatonka.comVerdict: A huge pack with a traditional design that some will like. However, it’s a bit expensive for the limited
amount of features it offers and could do with some compression straps.
The Tatonka Breva 20 women's rucksack offers back length which means you're able to get a good fit, but we would have preferred more padding on the hip belt. We like the comfortable soft shoulder straps and concave back system. The Tatonka Breva 20 is streamlined and lightweight, although we’d have liked some compression straps to secure the load. More pockets would also be useful – the rain cover takes up most of the room in the lid pocket.
Capacity: 20 litres
Main compartment: Lid/drawcord
Back system: X Vent (concave)
Other features: Waist belt, two side pockets, pole holder,
Colours: Reed/leaf green, ice blue/nut brown, star/tan
Contact: 0161 432 0319, www.tatonka.com
Verdict Adjustable back length makes this a good option for women with short backs. It’s lightweight, but would benefit from extra pockets and side compression straps.
Reviewed by Country Walking 2008.
This rucksack has an adjustable back system; very well-padded back, airflow chimney; very wide padded hipbelt; base compartment with external access; mesh wand pocket; side compression straps; front pocket; lid with internal and external pockets; men’s and women’s fit. But 2000g is very heavy; more of a small backpacking sack for heavy loads than a large day sack.Verdict
If you are travelling hut-to-hut or want a small backpacking sack this is a good option, but it is heavy.
First published in Trail magazine, October 2008
What do you really need from a 30-40 litre rucksack when hill-walking? Some would say just a sack that is reasonably light, reasonably durable and reasonably priced – and that is exactly what the Cima Di Basso is. You get only what you might reasonably need with this sack. It weighs in at a very respectable 830g, simply because it has so few features. The back system is padded and stiff enough to allow easy packing. The hipbelt is a plain webbing design that does all it needs to. There are compression straps so you can stabilise the load or stash extras on the outside. There is also a small loop at the base of the sides so trekking poles can be attached. The lid covers the access to the main compartment and you get a good lid pocket. There are no frills here, but do you really need anything more? This is ideal for scramblers, walkers and climbers, and it is an excellent price. But you get none of the frills of pricier, heavier sacks. So there are no wand pockets, and no back system with lots of airflow for more comfortable summer walking. The back system is basic and the hipbelt is not as padded as others. No waterproof cover or hydration system pockets either.
Capacity: 35 litres
Fabric: Textreme 6.6, 420D nylon
Features: padded back system; compression straps; external lid pocket; twin ice axe/pole attachment points
Made in: Vietnam
Stores in the UK: 70
Verdict: If you want a sack that is practical, light and durable, the Cima Di Basso 35 is exactly that – and it’s a great price too.
First published in Trail magazine, May 2008
The back system of this backpacking rucksack has been tweaked for 2008 to improve comfort and stability, and generally it felt very good and fitted well. You get a zipaway front opening as well as the conventional base and main top entry. There is also a front pocket plus the usual pair of side bellows pockets, and these are all nice and large for water or fuel bottles. The compression straps get quick-release buckles too, which is a bonus. The lid is a floating design so you can overload the main compartment when needed on an expedition. The lid pocket is huge and I liked the addition of side bellows panels that trap items in the lid when fully opened. There are chunky haul loops at the front and back, which makes manhandling it far easier. But the floating lid is not linked to the main body with a bellows panel, so it could easily leak in heavy rain. I’d also have preferred the hipbelt fins to wrap further around the front (although some may prefer this less intrusive design). The weight may be a turn-off though.
Capacity: 60 to 70 litres
Fabric: 1000D nylon
Features: V2 adjustable back system; twin main compartments; floating lid with internal and external pockets; front pocket; side compression straps; wand pockets; hydration system-compatible
Made in: Vietnam
Stores in UK: 60
Verdict: A great backpacking sack at a good price with generally good features, but the weight and details may not be everyone’s idea of perfection.
This 41-50 litre rucksack is the backpacker’s dream. It has features for the hill while also fitting all the criteria for heading off around the world. The pack comes with a zip-out divider and an opening at the base so you can easily get at things you packed at the bottom or separate out dirty clothes. There is a selection of useful pockets; internal and external ones in the lid, and an OS-sized one with a mesh security pocket on the front. This pocket also zips out to allow access to the middle section of the pack. It also comes with a cute removable toiletry bag and mirror. But the Luna does have features for hill-walking and trekking such as walking pole attachments, but it has more features suited for backpacking. So if you want a dedicated hill-walking pack it may be worth looking at other models. You get 10 litres more capacity than the manufacturer suggests, too.
Sex: men’s and women’s
Manufacturer’s capacity: 45 litres
Trail tested capacity: 55 litres
Fabric: Ask Textreme 6.6 and 420 HD nylon
Features: adjustable shoulder straps, hipbelt and back length, side and base compression straps, elastic walking pole attachments, removable raincover
Made in Vietnam
Stores in UK: 50
Verdict: Buy it if you are off backpacking and may want to go trekking while you are away.
This backpacking rucksack, which comes in men’s and women’s styles, has an adjustable back system; very comfortable; hydration system-compatible; large bellows size pockets; side compression straps; zipped bellows base pocket, one wand pocket; front pocket converts to waistpack or can be removed to save 270g. But 3850g is very heavy; floating lid design could allow water into main compartment; high price for what you get.
Verdict: Buy it if you like the unusual design and don’t mind the weight.
Unusually, the back system of this women’s-fit daysack actually allows you to alter its length, making it possible to get a more precise fit. It will also appeal to the taller females out there. There is a good selection of pockets (the side ones in particular are gigantic). The base of the pack has a zipped opening to access items packed at the bottom. There are also basic facilities for a hydration system and walking pole attachments at the side. But there is no adjustment for the top of the shoulder straps, leaving them to flop around. The walking pole attachments are positioned over the pockets, making them hard to access, and there are no compression straps to reduce the capacity or secure the enormous side pockets.
Manufacturer’s capacity: 30 litres
Trail tested capacity: 39.5 litres
Materials: Textreme 6.6, Microrip
Features: adjustable back system, side pockets, external lid pocket, rain cover, walking pole attachment point, rain cover
Made in Vietnam
Stores in UK: England 30; Wales 6; Scotland 10; Ireland 3
Verdict: Buy it if you like ’sacks with lower compartments and side pockets for when trekking hut-to-hut or B&B-to-B&B.