The Verden is heaviest pack tested. It’s also the best pack for  really heavy loads due to the massive, thickly-padded hipbelt. If you want a pack for loads in the 20+kg range, it is excellent. The scapular and lumbar pads (shoulder blades and lower back) are also well-padded. There is a space between them that allows some airflow to reduce condensation build-up. This gap isn’t enough to stop the pack being stable and it does hug the back well. There are men’s and women’s versions but only one back length in each. The harness is adjustable by simply sliding the shoulder straps up and down the frame and then locking them off.

The pack has plenty of pockets plus a lower compartment and zip access to the main compartment, making this a good design for those who like to organise their gear carefully. However access isn’t that good to some of the features. The front pocket, the zip access to the main compartment and the two zipped side pockets all have straps running over them.

The Verden is good value for money as it’s much less expensive than many much simpler packs.

First published: March 2014