Chris Townsend is a world-leading authority on outdoor gear. In his weekly column, he assesses new innovations and tests exclusive early samples of new kit. This week he looks at a new daypack

A small daypack with some unusual features

Small daypacks are often designed for general urban use as much as the hills and the Doughnut Woodland is no exception to this, having a padded laptop sleeve and internal organiser pockets. This doesn’t mean it’s not suitable for the hills however and it performs as well as most small rucksacks. Doughnut don’t give the capacity – the first time I think this hasn’t been so. I estimate it at around 20 litres, fine for summer and short days out but not big enough for a winter summit day. It’s made from polyester with a nylon lining.
The look is retro with buckled pockets and leather accessory patches. The lid fastens with plastic clip buckles however and the buckles on the side pockets aren’t actually necessary. They do work so you can use them but they also hide a magnetic closure. Top closure is via a drawcord. The lid isn’t that big and doesn’t fully cover the top if the pack is stuffed full. There’s also side access to the main compartment via a zip. This has a tiny clip buckle at the top so it can’t be accidentally undone. The lid has no pockets but there’s a zip pocket in the back that could be used for passport, tickets and other documents. Two base and two side patches plus daisy chain webbing on the front could be used to attach external items, though this isn’t a pack really designed for that.

With a light load the Woodland is comfortable to carry. The curved shoulder straps are padded and quite wide and the back has two thickly padded foam pads running down it. Both shoulder straps and back pads are covered with mesh to reduce condensation build-up. There’s no hipbelt or waist strap, which I didn’t miss on a pack this size, but there is an adjustable chest strap.
At 905 grams the Woodland isn’t a lightweight pack. It’s solidly built and should last well though.