Talkback: Just In - Alpkit Gourdon 20

19 messages
16/02/2012 at 17:00

I've had one for about 6-months now, which I got for when I was cycle commuting and couldn't use my panniers for some reason. As you say, it isn't good if overloaded, but otherwise I like it, and mainly use it for walking.

I prefer it to my berghaus freeflow 20, which is also a lot more bulky.

When walking along the flat, I have used the (very thin) hip belt fully tightened and the shoulder straps fully loosened, which gives a good air gap and helps with sweaty backs.

And the price of £22.50 is pretty attractive for something so useful.

I do have the 30 litre gourdon as well, which I wanted as a dry bag that one could use as a backpack - but that is far less useful as there are no mesh pockets or compression straps.

The 30 litre version does have the same hydration compatibility as the 20 litre sac- just no other pockets

Edited: 16/02/2012 at 17:11
16/02/2012 at 22:28

I'm on my second G20 now. The second is in the newer fabric and the mesh was better. You can tighten the shoulder, chest and waist belt and it is stable enough when fully loaded. I use mine for day walks in all seasons including in winter with winter kit. I do wish the 25 or 30 litre versions had the mesh and bungee cords as they are very much the best features in the G20 sack IMHO.

Beware though as thee original G20 fabric became leaky on mine after about 18 months. I am not sure how better the slightly heavier or thicker fabric on my newer G20 will last bu I think it is at least 18 months old now I reckon. Love it. It was the mesh pockets that got me off using a bladder and using a bottle. The pockets are accessible on the move and take 750ml cycling bottles and possibly a full litre one too.

17/02/2012 at 09:17
I'm very interested in one for bike commuting! Will the G20 take a laptop?
17/02/2012 at 09:33
What do the taller OM members do? I've always found hipbelts on daypacks annoying as I they're there but my 6'3 frame means its a belly belt rather than a waistbelt.
17/02/2012 at 10:03
This is almost my favorite bit of kit. The little pad makes a useful sit pad. I've stuck some strip velcro inside my pack at the top and attach a little pouch for all those items that won't fit in my pockets. You can easily avoid the barrel effect when full by loading it carefully rather than stuffing it.
17/02/2012 at 10:10

cf long folk: I use a classic 32 which happens to be just long enough for me. Its slightly vexingly large for a day sac but there you go I've yet to find notably smaller/lighter that really works for just that reason.

Although to be fair once you make a sac tall enough, its not going to be that small in terms of capacity

While the classic is longer than a fair few running sacs, its still not that long in the scheme of things. A couple of people do their lighter sacs in sizes - Golite's running sacs here and quite a bit of Osprey's bits come in two sizes. Probably other folk too.

Or just go up a little in size terms for something coming in three sizes and compress it.

Edited: 17/02/2012 at 10:11
17/02/2012 at 10:39

Ben, Im almost 6'5 and I know what you mean. I bought a bag with a long back, and if I make the shoulder straps sufficiently long then I can put the hip belt on the hips rather than around my stomach. Quite often though I find myself using the waist belt more to keep the bag in place rahter than it carrying a substantial amount of weight. On my Deuter Guide I find myself taking the padded waist belt off when I am not carrying a heavy load at it makes it a bit lighter (good for travelling) and it is very comfortable without it.

17/02/2012 at 11:24
Nick P 10 wrote (see)
I'm very interested in one for bike commuting! Will the G20 take a laptop?
I used to cycle commute with mine. It took a laptop easily along with my work clothes, sandwhichs and a few other bits. I even managed to stuff a pair of work shoes in it as well on monday mornings and friday afternoons!! It can be a bit tight igf I am carrying a bit more than normal but it worked for me and kept it all dry as well.
benp1 wrote (see)
What do the taller OM members do? I've always found hipbelts on daypacks annoying as I they're there but my 6'3 frame means its a belly belt rather than a waistbelt.

I'm 6'5" and while it does that belly belt thing a bit I find it is actually not too bad really. I often only use the belt when I need to strap it on tight for running or scrambling or on dodgy terrain / descents. That is also the same for the sternum strap. It doesn't need them for light loads which I try to keep it for.

I can't wear the smaller OM sacks as they are too short but this I can. Guess that is the simple nature of it that it just works ok.

If you want a small and light sack then there is a tall and thin 20 litre Inov8 sack. The racepac20 or racepro elite 20 as well. One is a traditional but light sack with one buckle and good features such as belt pockets, side pockets in mesh accessible on the move. The other is a 300 or so grammer with a long, vertical zip opening. That comes in a swirly black almost black cammo patterned fabric. The first is about 500g and the second is about 340g before you strip down. They are both very narrow which makes them taller. Not tried yet but interested. I could try today and re-post if they fit me.

17/02/2012 at 11:26
One more thing... at this capacity a belt is really not for load transfer IMHO but to help keep it close to the body when moving. I think that is what Nick said and certainly what I meant by part of what I said above.
17/02/2012 at 11:35
Thanks for your comments folks. I agree in that if its not carrying much weight then the belt isn't needed as much, and that it can stop the pack moving around so much, but it still seems more of a waste than not in most cases

The only small pack with a hipbelt that fits me is a Golite Ion, which is a cracking little pack. The hipbelt is fairly narrow though and its a small pack so you can't put much in it but I do find the hipbelt useful nonetheless. Unfortunately mine is blue and now covering in reflective stickers as I use it when cycling. If I could source a black one I'd love it!

I haven't seen the OMM packs in person, if I saw one in a shop I'd try it on

Same for the sacks with more breathable back panels, like the berghaus freeflow series. Rarely do you find one that fits, I tried a variable back length one (Berghaus I think...) and it just about fitted but still wasn't great
17/02/2012 at 11:50

Certainly them being too short bothers me - if I've got a slightly heavier pack that does have a perfectly fitting belt and compresses down fine, then why? Day loads not totally trivial with water, food, books etc....

Its only the classic 32 (and upwards) which is a little longer than usual from the OMM sacs. The others are shorter.

Fancier back panels + length options? The odd thing - this from Osprey say (or the smaller Atmos/Exos packs) most likely to be around to have a look at. 3 sizes should mean a good chance, although a proper fit still not certain.

Must be others, if nothing directly obvious right now.

17/02/2012 at 12:07
I wonder what the Haglofs Ace packs or the slightly niche Wingnut bike packs would be like for taller users. They're designed to sit low down anyway, so as long as there's enough lenght in the straps, they should work as placement is relative to hips rather than shoulders, sort of. Maybe worth a look.

OutdoorsMagic Editor | jon@outdoorsmagic.com 

17/02/2012 at 12:09
Hi Jon, you can send them to me and I'll happily test them for you and let you know
17/02/2012 at 12:18

The ace's never quite worked for me, but that really doesn't mean anything much!

Dead now of course, so suppose will have to see if the Gram stuff does. Looks pretty conventional from the pictures though so not especially hopeful.

17/02/2012 at 12:34
Actually the stratos is on my list of days pack I like. I've got two osprey packs (aether and eclipse) and they both fit great. Just a little heavy for what I'd like. I really like the stratos
17/02/2012 at 15:50
TP wrote (see)
One more thing... at this capacity a belt is really not for load transfer IMHO but to help keep it close to the body when moving. I think that is what Nick said and certainly what I meant by part of what I said above.

Yes. However at 5'10 the 20l gourdon belt is ideally placed for my hips, and it can take some weight - cf my comment of reducing the sweaty back problem by fully extending the shoulder straps and chest belt.

17/02/2012 at 17:14
Thanks a big fat bunch

Thanks to this thread I've just bought a Stratos 26
17/02/2012 at 21:20

IMHO the great thing about the gourdon pack is the simplicity. All the other packs I've had, I wonder about "is this right?", "could I adjust this a bit more?", "is that a bit tight?", "would it work better if....?".

You just fill it with what you need, put it on your back and off you go. You forget it's even there. And at £20 (what I paid for it), I had left over cash to spend on other kit to fiddle with .

Life's too short to ar*e about what after all is just a bag. 

PS I do have an Osprey Kestral too but only use it for multi-day trips (non-camping). And constantly fiddle with it - because I can.

18/02/2012 at 18:34
I've had my Gourdon for a three years now - carry-on bag for flying, general carry bag everywhere about town whether on foot or bike (wife refers to it as my "manbag" ), lightweight day sack on walks and it's never let me down - can't really fault it if you remember the lightweight waterproof general purpose bag it's meant to be!

Getting a bit scruffy now but wouldn't hesitate to replace it with another one. Cheers ALPKIT!
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