Gear Review – Berghaus Freeflow 25+5L Rucsac

25 06 2013

A few weeks ago, I received a request on my blog to do a gear review. I’ve never done one before and have to admit to not having read many either so here goes and hope it’s informative and helpful…

Product
As I am an outdoor gal, with an outdoor blog, the product in question was, of course, outdoor clothing – more specifically, rucsacs. The rucsac in question is the Berghaus Freeflow 25+5 litre and, for those who are into colour schemes, it’s black and lime green.

Features
Free-flow back system
Adjustable back length
Adjustable shoulder strap height
Adjustable shoulder strap length
Padded waist belt
Height Adjustable Chest strap
Side compression straps
Long zipped side pockets
Outer mesh side pockets
Internal lid mesh pocket
External lid pocket
Hydration reservoir pouch holder (2L bladder)
Waterproof raincover stowed in base pocket
Walking pole/ice axe attachment points

Review
I tried the rucsac out on a recent trip to the remote Loch Ossian Youth Hostel where I would be both biking and walking and needed to take a sleeping bag, wash stuff, towel and spare clothing and food for 2 nights.

The pack was excellent for cycling as it has a very small profile and hugs the body well so has no effect on your balance on the bike. The pack is a very secure fit to the body and doesn’t move around at all. So, the stability of this pack is great and would be good for scrambling and, I would imagine, climbing.

The ‘freeflow back system’ was great at leaving my back cool and unsweaty while walking and cycling – a must for me as I’m used to wearing a ‘bumbag’ normally for walking and am not used to having a sweaty back! A minimum of mesh has been used, just 2 narrow strips between the padding at the top and bottom of the pack, so most of your back is left free of anything except air – very comfortable.

The shoulder strap padding also utilises ‘EVABreathe foam technology’ so they’re very breathable and non-sweaty too. I did, however, find the shoulder straps quite a bit less comfortable than my normal bothying rucsac – they seemed stiffer and harder. I wasn’t sure how I’d find them on a really long few days walking.

As I’m quite tall (6 feet), the adjustable back is also a must for me – I had it on the next to longest setting and found that fine so the sac would accommodate taller folks quite happily. For smaller folks there are 3 settings below the one I used (5 settings in all).

The lid pocket is particularly large and I found it great for packing all the things I needed quickly to hand. I also found that, when using the mesh outer side pockets, the compression straps came in useful to strap around the top of long items (e.g. flasks) to keep them in place.

Being a woman, with the usual bumps, I found the height-adjustable chest strap very useful too (nothing worse than being squashed!)

As I don’t use walking poles and had (finally) put my ice axe away for this June trip, I didn’t try out the attachment points on the rucsac. Nor do I use a hydration bladder so can’t comment on the reservoir pouch holder either.

I think my only real quibble with this pack was, because I’m quite an untidy ‘packer’, I found the narrowness of the pack quite restrictive and wouldn’t have been able to fit any more stuff in. However, for a normal walking daypack, and not a trip to a remote hostel where you have to take extras like sleeping bags, I’m sure it would be fine. Once I’d packed the inside, I found I couldn’t fit a lot in the zipped extension side pockets.

For those into aesthetics (which I’m not really, preferring functionality), some may find the very light cream compression, adjustment and chest strap rather incongruous. The general black/lime green colour scheme is fine though…

All in all, a useful and very stable pack for adventurous outdoor activities. Here’s a couple of photos of it…

Berghaus rucsac(both-cropped)

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Information

16 responses

1 01 2015
r.azli

Hi
Do you think this backpack suitable for 5-6 day travel,no sleeping bac or other camping util,only clothes,pants and etc?
Thanks

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1 01 2015
mountaincoward

Hi, I mainly use it as a daysack. I did use it for an overnight where I just took a change of clothes and food and I managed but found it a bit of a squeeze.
Carol.

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26 07 2013
Tessa Park

Oh and you are absolutely right re the B&Bs 😦

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27 07 2013
mountaincoward

I thought prices were bad before but wait till my next posts – I found some which were much more than that! 😮

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26 07 2013
Tessa Park

I have a (slightly bigger) Berghaus rucksack with the back system and find it great as I have back problems. Used an old tiny rucksack on my last trip with no back support and boy did I notice the difference 😦

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27 07 2013
mountaincoward

I only ever buy rucsacs with air-back systems – I couldn’t cope with the ones which just sit wetly on your back!

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4 07 2013
Scotlands Mountains

You could always sell it to fund a nights B & B 🙂

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4 07 2013
mountaincoward

I don’t think it would raise enough second-hand for the amounts I’m having to pay lately 😮

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27 06 2013
bob

My own rucksack is just a canvas hole to drop things into. A still functional relic from the early dark ages. What the hell is a Hydration Bladder? Is that a built in Platypus system for holding liquid sustenance perhaps? Sounds like those life support units that you get in hospital. Maybe the next generation of rucksacks with have an inbuilt doctor application aboard to drip feed painkillers and repair you in the event of an accident 🙂
I shouldn’t laugh. Apps built into rucksacks are the next logical step.
Good review Carol. Maybe you will get to try out free accommodation next time and provide a review. Fingers crossed.

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27 06 2013
mountaincoward

LOL – I wouldn’t be surprised about the apps thing – it’s getting silly isn’t it!

A free accommodation offer would be great as I’m finding even the B&Bs in Scotland very expensive now 😦

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26 06 2013
Jim Cassidy

Good review. Do you have any photos of it?

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27 06 2013
mountaincoward

Hi, thanks Jim – I’ve included a couple of photos. Unfortunately none of it in action on my back as I was on my own for my trip!
Carol.

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25 06 2013
fedupofuserids

Do you get to keep it 🙂

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25 06 2013
mountaincoward

Yep 🙂

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25 06 2013
Franz Fuls

Great review. You should do more!

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25 06 2013
mountaincoward

Thanks Franz – you never know, I might get offered more items to review if this goes down well.
Carol.

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