Bergans Helium 40 (2016)

Price £149

by Graham Thompson |


Its 964g weight sets the Bergans Helium 40 apart from many packs, but it also has some stiffness in the back to improve performance. There is, however, less airflow across the back than some. You also get a main compartment with a ‘floating’ lid, as well as a front zip opening to the main compartment. Large, stretch mesh side pockets and compression cords complete this practical design, but you don’t get hipbelt pockets. 4/5


There is both a men’s and a women’s version of this pack, and each comes in just one size, but you can adjust the back length on the pack by raising or lowering the shoulder strap section via a webbing buckle system. Top tensioning straps are also provided in order to pull the sack into the shoulders. I found the Helium 40 to fit well. 5/5


The Bergans Helium 40’s low weight improves comfort, but there is less airflow across the back than with some designs, because this is not a trampoline design. Moreover, the body contact areas don’t use the open mesh style of padding that is soft and allows more airflow. However, the Helium is more supportive of heavier loads and does not soak up water so badly. 4/5


I like this rucksack due to its weight, combined with its practical features. I’d prefer a fixed rather than ‘floating’ lid, but I like the very large, zipped lid pocket. Hipbelt pockets would be a good addition. I wouldn’t use the zipped front opening to the main compartment, but some may like it. The side stretch pockets are great. More airflow for summer walks would be good. 4/5


The £149 price tag feels quite high, given the absence of features that proliferate on competitor packs. 3/5


The Bergans Helium 40 is one of the better options among the very light rucksacks, as it retains plenty of practical features. 4.0/5


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