.............not all those that wander are lost..............

Sunday, 4 March 2012

Introducing....my new rucksack!

Until this year I have always used a small Vango rucksack for my winter activities. I've probably had it since about 2001 - and it's been well-used (and abused!). Sadly it's reaching the end of its life - the material is rather sun damaged and the tags on the zips have ripped off. It has no pocket for carrying a water bladder - which I now would rather do than take a bottle. This season I've been using it for leaving our packed lunch at the bottom of the pistes instead of carrying it all morning.

The sharp-eyed among you will have noticed in the photo (previous post) I was using a yellow Deuter sack for x-country skiing - but it's not ideal. It's really my summer walking sack as it has a mesh back and is marked as carrying 15L.  While skiing I found it wasn't comfortable - the back is away from me so the bag tends to swing unless I tighten it up hard. Then I found my arms felt rather constrained and occasionally snagged on the bag. It also doesn't have quite enough room for all the extras I need in colder weather.

So I did a lot of research and found the Deuter Speedlite 20.  Wiggle.co.uk were prepared to send it here for no extra charge (FREE delivery!). I sent for the black version.


I've used it now a few times and I'm impressed. All my other rucksacks have mesh backs with one notable exception - I'll come to that later...... This has a padded back and therefore carries closer to me. It also has no pocket/top lid covering the body of the bag. There is a small zipped pocket though - useful for my purse, tissues, keys, etc. The zippers all have big loops on them for opening with gloves on. It should take 20L of stuff and has a large bladder pocket inside. It weighs about 530g, so it's lighter than my walking rucksack.


{Small top pocket has a useful key tab inside it}

One of its best features are the double compression straps on the sides. They are arranged so they can also be clipped together across the body of the bag. This means you can carry skis or snowshoes easily.


{Carrying snowshoes easily and safely on the outside of the pack.}

I'm also impressed with two other features - the hydration tube outlet which is not on the top of the bag but further round so minimising the length of the tube exposed to the elements. I do use a neoprene cover, put the tube under, not over, my arm if it's freezing temperatures and blow back the water into the bag every time, all help to stop the tube icing up. There's a velcro tab on the front shoulder strap to secure the tube for drinking.

{Low exit for the hydration tube}

The other feature I particularly like is the tapered shape so there is no chance of catching the bag with my arms. There are also four tabs on the front where you could attach a extra carrier (e.g. for a helmet) so it might make a good cycling or downhill skiing sack too.

{One of the four tabs arranged on the front for attaching extras}

Apart from two stretchy pockets at the sides of the bag there is also a 'kangaroo' type pocket on the front through which a jacket would go or could carry a map, gaiters, snacks etc.

{Sun cream bottle in the kangaroo pocket which is behind the front of the bag}

The rucksack seems well made and well designed. As you can tell I'm pleased with the purchase and hope to get a few years of good use out of it.

I mentioned the other rucksack I have which doesn't have a mesh back - that is my new backpacking one from Granite Gear. I hope I can get on with that just as well. It's waiting patiently at home for me to give it its first real outing.

9 comments:

Alan R said...

Does that mean the Dueter Air Contact has been relegated after all the good times.

Laura said...

Hi Alan - I expect you mean the 45 + 10 ActLite I used for backpacking - it's been for a clean up to the importers after I complained about the buckles slipping - I'm going to keep it in case I don't get on with the new GG Vapor Ki - both are at home though........

Louise said...

You won't creak.

Laura said...

Ahh! Bliss....

Louise said...

I might lose you...

Phreerunner said...

I use a Deuter TransAlpine 30 for day walks Laura. Despite being a cycling sack (I bought it for a TransAlp bike ride) it has innumerable features and is superb for day walks, for someone like me who always walks around with 'the kitchen sink'. It doesn't creak, either!

Laura said...

NOT creaking hadn't occurred to me as a benefit of using a padded backed rucksack..... I'm looking forward even more to the Challenge now - NO CREAKING - well, not from the rucksack anyway!

Alan R said...

Sorry,
Yes thats the one i meant. Don’t know why i said Air Contact, I have the Actlite 45 + 10 at home as well.
I havn’t seen the GG Vapour Ki in reality. Looking forward to a review soon.

Laura said...

In general I really like Deuter rucksacks - they're well designed and are made well. I'm hoping I like the GG but it's quite different as it has no top lid. It also weighs less. I'll let you know!......