Question: I am on a budget and I am looking for a good backpack with a capacity of 70+10 or more. I have recently looked at the Vango Sherpa 70+10L and I have also seen the Berghaus C7 Pro 70 Plus 10 Rucksack, which costs a bit more but i would be willing to spend that for a good quality bag which I could use again. Which one would be the better option as I am trekking round Vietnam for 5 weeks in February next year. Is there any other bags that you could recommend upto about £130, and out of those two bags which would be the best option?
Answer: Hi there,
The name is Gear, Richard 'Backpacking on a Budget' Gear. Your budget
is actually quite reasonable and you should be able to land a very
decent pack for that price. It's really worth getting packs right
because, put simply, a pack that doesn't suit you will ruin your day,
Don't rush into buying a
pack. Find a good outdoors shop with competent staff, make sure the
pack you're trying is adjusted properly to fit you - you'll probably
need to adjust the back length, tensioner straps and so on - then ask
the shop to load it up with the same sort of weight you're likely to be
carrying on your trip. Ropes work well for this.
Then try the pack for size, watch out for tight spots, discomfort,
instability and so on. A well-fitting pack should sit comfortably on
your back and hips and transfer load effectively onto your hips.
As far as individual packs go, the Vango Sherpa is a good budget pack
and excellent value for money even at the full RRP of £65,
but the Berghaus C7 Pro 70+10 is really in a different class - you're
not comparing apples with apples here, the Berghaus is a more
sopisticated pack with a far superior back system, but is actually out
of your price range at around £150 or more. I like the
Bioflex back system, but if it does fail, though I've not heard of that
happening, it's not going to be easy to fix, whereas a more
conventional back system can usually be stitched back together if
It might be worth looking at the Berghaus Verden 65+10 as an
alternative - it retails for £100 -
One option you haven't mentioned is Lowe Alpine, have a look at the TFX
series of packs and in particular the TFX
Appalachian 65+15 which you can pick up for
around £120. Lowe's packs carry really well, but are also
extremely well put together with triple-stitched seams and high spec
The other top brand I'd consider is Osprey,
who make excellent packs. You should be able to find an Aether 70 for under
£130 and it's a really well-designed pack and a great carry.
I do think it's worth investing in a well-fitting pack, uncomfortable
packs are like uncomfortable boots, they really will cause discomfort
in a very direct and unmistakeable way.