New from Swedish gear company Haglöfs is the Ace, a day sac in three sizes aimed squarely at fast-moving adrenaline sports types and with some very neat touches.
Haglöfs Ace M
Weight: 650 grammes
Lightweight fast movers' 12-litre pack aimed at racers and,
er, fast movers. Floating harness system, contoured shoulder
straps with perforated foam, air ventilating 3D mesh in
shoulder straps and back panel. Sternum strap with
integrated whistle. Stretchy hip-belt with zippered pockets
and elastic waist belt, U-shaped opening. Sleeve for
hydration system, front stretch pocket for small items and
two internal mesh pockets. Side pockets with stretch mesh,
reflective printing, shock corded storage / compression
system on front panel. Also available in 5-litre and
Comfortable, nicely made, body hugging.
The Ace is aimed at all those fast movers out
there. You run around like a mad thing, use lots of fluid - so you
need a hydration system - but don't carry loads. You may run, or
mountain bike, or lightpack and probably sweat lots as well.
The Ace comes in three different capacties - 5, 12 and 20 litres -
and is supposed to interfere with your mobility as little as
possible, so it's designed to sit low and hug your hips.
The Ace gets some neat touches which aren't
necessarily apparent from just picking it up. The elasticated
wrap-around hip belt uses a contoured, non-slip material to help it
stay resolutely in place around your hips and the shoulder straps are
free to slide about four inches through the base of the pack so that
the straps can move with your shoulders, when running or climbing for
It also has various mesh-covered foam bits to help it deal with
all that fast-moving sweat and various handy pockets and compression
We've been using the Ace a lot and we're impressed.
It's sometimes hard to separate genuine benefits from the hype, but
the way the hip belt wraps around then stays rooted on your hips is
great. We really noticed the difference when we swapped to a
'slippier' alternative and were glad to get the Haglofs pack back in
And speaking of harnesses, the sliding shoulder straps do work
well too. The effect isn't as pronounced as with, say, a Berghaus
Bioflex pack, in fact it's similar to the old Craghoppers Freeflow
system, but the extra mobility for your shoulders is a boon for
biking, running, scrambling and climbing - anywhere you need to move
We were a little concerned that the elastic nature of the hip-belt
would make it hard to cinch the Ace down enough to run with it, but
with everything tightened up stability was good and the grippy
hip-belt kept the load low and planted even when striding along.
Having said that, very slim users - sub 30-inch waist - may run out
of adjustment, so try before buying.
Everything else works well. There are pockets aplenty and the
internal hydration sleeve will take a three-litre bladder despite
looking smaller than that. We really like the zipped pockets on the
hip-belt too. They're ideal for snacking on the move or carrying
anything else you need rapid access to.
The foam of the back system is relatively slim, which helps avoid
the giant sponge effect when things get sweaty and there was enough
capacity and sufficient pockets to cope with, say, a waterproof
jacket, some snacks, a digital camera and a little bit more. Quite
sufficient for fast movers or summer walking for that matter.
We're really impressed with the Ace. As with other Haglofs
stuff we've used, both build quality and design are on the button.
It's comfortable, stable, doesn't mess with your mobility and has a
lot of neat touches like those side pockets.
The key to all that though, is the non-slip, wrap-around hip-belt
and the consequent low centre of gravity of the pack. Haglofs may be
harder to find than some brands, but we reckon they're worth the
hassle. The Ace is a winner and at £36 it's great value too.
Pushed for time
Winter-weight feel good fabric that doesn't manage
moisture as well as synthetics, but feels comfortable even
when it's sopping wet. Also has great anti-stink properties
so you can wear it on multi-day trips without your partner
smacking you. Not cheap though.
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