Berghaus Freeflow 40
£105 Capacity 40 litres Back sizes one size (men’s) Weight 1465g
For warm weather hiking, this pack provides extremely high levels of airflow thanks to the Freeflow curved design of the back panel, over which is stretched padding to form a trampoline that holds the pack off your back. The main compartment capacity is 40 litres and you get top entry via a fixed lid as well as a base compartment entry. The lid has a good pair of internal and external pockets and there’s a useful front stretch stash pocket. There are compression straps and wand pockets as well as small hipbelt pockets. The weight of just 1465g includes a 77g raincover and the price tag of £105 makes this pack appealing.
The back system on this pack comes in just one size with no length adjustment and no women’s option. I found the load was not spread quite as comfortably over the top of my back as other rucksacks, due to a relatively small contact area that localised the pressure of the load – so this is a pack to try on before buying. The capacity is less than others, but also the curved back makes packing a little more hassle than designs with straighter back panels. If there are any little niggles to be had, then the side compression straps don’t have quick-release buckles and there are no additional front or side zipped pockets – other than those, it’s good for the money.
The increased airflow, the weight and the price are great, but you get less capacity and the comfort and the fit range is less than others.