Overall, the Alpkit Pacific Crest 65l is an incredible pack for the price. Alpkit say they’ve designed this pack for the weight-conscious trekker – and although it is the second heaviest pack in this test it does benefit from weight-saving features you might expect from much more expensive models.
Price: $119.99 | £84.99 (available from Alpkit)
Weight: 1,789g (one size) | Capacity: 65l | Materials: Main fabric: 420D nylon. Base: Reinforced 600D polyester. Rain cover: 210D ripstop polyester. DWR: PFC-free C0 | Closure: double drawchord plus floating lid | Back: adjustable back system | Hipbelt: cushioned | Pockets: main compartment with detachable divider, zipped lid, side zipped pocket, two mesh side pockets, two mesh hip pockets, hydration sleeve | Features: durable fabrics, zipped side pocket | Sizes: One size | Men’s version: unisex
There’s a durable and very adjustable back system designed with Velcro and a helpful back length guideline, which enables a personalised fit. There are large air vents that prevented me from overheating on long trail days and sharp ascents. However, I found the shoulder straps less than strong and stable on technical manoeuvres.
The cushioned hip belt is comfortable and offers good adjustability. While the pockets here don’t have a closed zip, the stretch fabric enables quick and easy access to much of what you’d need during the day. They also drain well.
In terms of main storage, the Pacific Crest has an extra trick up its sleeve – a side zipped pocket – much appreciated when easy access to clunkier kit such as the stove was needed for tea breaks along the trail.
The main pack fabric stood up to claims of being water resistant, offering good protection over a few hours of rain. The Alpkit Pacific Crest 65l rain cover doesn’t quite stretch over a full pack, though.
The fastenings and compression straps do feel cheaper and stiffer than the competition, but have proved durable so far. All the usual extra features are present and correct, from a handy hydration port and an internal hydration sleeve for water bladders, as well as loops and elastic cords for attaching walking poles or ice axes.
To read the other pack reviews in this test head to The Great Outdoors’ best backpacking packs.
Tested by Francesca Donovan
Francesca tested these packs on a number of overnight backpacking routes with plenty of ascent and rough terrain in snow, rain and high winds, as well as unseasonably milder days in the Southern Uplands, Eryri (Snowdonia), the Lake District and the Peak District, throughout late winter and spring. She is 5’7 with wide hips and narrow shoulders. All weights were measured on her digital scales.