30-35l ruck­sacks

We’ve tested, and found the best

Trail (UK) - - Contents -

MAIN COM­PART­MENT EN­TRY The en­try to the main com­part­ment may be a con­ven­tional lid with a buckle or a zipped clo­sure. There are pros and cons of both de­signs, with lids hav­ing the ad­van­tage that there are no zips to break, you can over­stuff the bag and the lid of­ten has an ex­cel­lent pocket for smaller items such as maps and guide­books. COM­PRES­SION STRAPS These are on the sides of some ruck­sacks and al­low you to com­press the body of the sack to help sta­bilise the load. They are also use­ful for stash­ing items onto the side of the sack, such as trekking poles and wa­ter­proof jack­ets. WAND POCK­ETS Orig­i­nally de­signed for avalanche probes or ‘wands’, these pock­ets on the side of a ruck­sack are of­ten made of stretchy, mesh fab­rics and are ideal for stash­ing the ends of trekking poles, as well as smaller items in­clud­ing wa­ter bot­tles or snacks. HIP­BELT This is de­signed to carry most of the load if the pack is heavy, but when car­ry­ing lighter loads it may only be used to en­sure sta­bil­ity of the pack. Ei­ther way, it should fit snugly around your hips while be­ing com­fort­able and easy to ad­just. Look for some foam pad­ding for max­i­mum com­fort. POCK­ETS At least one ex­ter­nal zipped pocket is use­ful for guide­books, maps and GPS re­ceivers, but some peo­ple like more and oth­ers can tol­er­ate less. Stretch pock­ets with­out zips are com­monly placed on the front of the ruck­sack and these are ideal for stow­ing wa­ter­proof jack­ets be­tween show­ers. Pock­ets on the hip­belt are ideal for snacks and GPS re­ceivers. Lid pock­ets are great for guide­books, sun­glasses or sun­cream. VEN­TI­LATED BACK SYS­TEM So that you don’t get too sweaty, many ruck­sacks have mesh pan­els that hold the sack away from your body to in­crease air­flow and re­duce the hor­rid, clammy sen­sa­tion that you get wear­ing some ruck­sacks. The greater the air­flow across the back, the less sticky you will feel. SHOUL­DER STRAPS The shoul­der straps take some of the weight, but they need to be care­fully con­toured and padded to make them com­fort­able. As we are all dif­fer­ent shapes it is im­por­tant to try them for size, fit and com­fort be­fore part­ing with cash. HY­DRA­TION POCKET If you like to use a hy­dra­tion blad­der with a feeder pipe to drink from rather than a wa­ter­bot­tle, then look for a ruck­sack with a pocket for the hy­dra­tion blad­der in­side the pack. All the sacks fea­tured here can ac­com­mo­date a hy­dra­tion sys­tem. SNOW LOCK EX­TEN­SION Lo­cated un­der the lid and at­tached to the body of the main com­part­ment this ex­ten­sion of ma­te­rial pro­vides ad­di­tional pro­tec­tion for your kit. It will have a draw­cord clo­sure so you can close the top of the main com­part­ment in­de­pen­dently of the lid to en­sure it is well pro­tected from the el­e­ments.

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