Before leaving Norway, I spent quite a lot of time researching lightweight equipment. This is one of the gems I found.
My 72 liter rucksack weighs only 1.4 kilos! That is about two kilos less than other conventional rucksacks.
After carrying the rucksack for about 4.500 kilometres, I am very satisfied with the choice!
Functionally, I don’t see many disadvantages. The hipbelt doesn’t move with the walking movement and the padding of the shoulder straps is a little on the thin side, but because I keep all my equipment light, I don’t miss this.
As with all light weight equipment, it pays to show a little extra care. For instance, when I am putting the rucksack in the luggage space under a bus, I make sure there are no sharp objects around, and that the shoulder straps won’t be hooked onto something when other people take out their luggage. All the straps are thinner than usual, but they are more than strong enough for the rucksack’s intended use.
During the winter, I carried in excess of 20 kilos. Sometimes the straps on the lid were stretched to the limit, because I had my tent under it. All the same it never crossed my mind that I wanted a bigger (and heavier) rucksack.
The rucksack has a stiff back, and I like the way it hugs to my back. It feels comfortable both in minus 20C and pluss 40C.
Wear and tear:
After about 4.500 kilometres, it is only natural that a rucksack becomes somewhat travel stained.
I have walked quite a lot through dense foliage and forests. Once I felt something holding me back, and as so often before just forced my way on. The zipper is attached to the rucksack with a fairly thin water resistable membrane. A twig went through the membrane and slashed open a hole in the lid. When I got to a small town, I had the zipper stitched to the lid. The membrane is only glued on. The content of the top lid is waterproof, and with enough rain anything will get wet. If I were to do a long walk again with the same rucksack, I would have the zipper stitched to the rucksack with a heavy duty thread before I left.
The material in the rucksack has done suprisingly well. The side pockets which have a stretchable material have become a little slacker. They have carried half- and one litre bottles, tent poles, tripods, woolen hat, gloves, maps, sun cream, food and walking sticks. Not all at the same time though.
I have had to repair both sides of the hip belt where the straps are attached to the padded hip belt. This is another reinforcement I would have done before setting out on a long trip. I had shoe mongers repair the damage with two studs on each side going through the padding and straps.
All in all, I’m very happy with this rucksack and hope to use it many times after I am finished walking the Great Wall.
Unless you are climbing Mount Everest, then you would probably have a lot of enjoyment from using a lightweight rucksack that is more than half the weight of ordinary rucksacks. Come to think of it – a person climbing Mount Everest might want to consider saving a couple of kilos too…