Tuesday, 26 November 2013

ultra marathon rucksacks?

Continuining with researching the plans for the JOGLE next year, I needed to get a rucksack for the trip and start training with it.

Now most of all the adventure trips I have completed, have only ever really needed a small rucksack. The Marathon des Sables, only a very small 25 litre sack, and I went with a North Face super lightweight pack, which broke on day four. (not too helpful). The OMM style packs are great for small trips, espcially the karimor OMM, however its too small for this trip.

With my experiences from the Army, I would rather carry a hundred extra gamms and have something a little more robust for the 21 days, than worrying about carrying extra sewing equipment, incase the rucksack breaks. And also my experience with the North Face backpack, was very off putting (and their complaints department just ignored me!). So after a little research, I decided on the following rucksack.

Its a DaKine poacher, which is basically made for snowboarding and especially for filming snowboarding. The construction is completely bombproof, nice hard wearing RipStop type material, which feels rough and ready. The straps are uprated versions of the "heli-pro" series of rucksacks that they make, and if you are familiar with these you will know how good an uprated version would be. The back padding is incredible, and moulds almost instantly to your back shape, with soft foam cushioning. Adjustment is everywhere, from the shoulder straps, to the chest strap and the hugging waist strap, which also contains a small handy pocket for snacks or keys etc.

A nice additional extra on this rucksack is the amount of storage options. Inside the lid, is a waterproof and see through (handy) pocket, and along the back, are extra pockets for keeping equipment seperate. On the outside is an extra flap, which covers another set of good equipment pockets, where lighter weight accessories or rain covers could be kept.

As with the Heli-pro rucksacks a thermally insulated drinking sleeve is attached to the left arm, and a bladder pouch is provided inside the rucksack. Although on this trip, both the insulated drinking route and the bladder will not be used. (squashing a bladder next to my heavy equipment when packing, like my cooker, could burst the bladder and this would then make it useless).

The rucksack wiehgs around 1,7Kg, however I have managed to cut this down slightly, by removing the aluminium shapers, and also some of the thousands of extra straps that are provided for different ways of carrying ski's and snowboards.

At 180 euros, its an expensive rucksack, however, luckily, I had a friend who gave me this one, so got it for free. I think If I had to pay that amount of money (although the pack is worth it), I would have compromised on build quality and chose something cheaper. Although, this is only to do with the fact that cost is important to me, but would choose the DaKine if money was no worry. All in all its a great rucksack, especially the comfort and the storage options, although the cost might put it out of a lot of peoples budgets....

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