The Boulder 45 is excellent value for money, the best of the sub-£100 packs reviewed, and makes a good year-round day pack. It’s a little small for backpacking though unless your gear is really compact. Vango’s litres aren’t as big as some companies’ (a litre doesn’t seem to be a fixed volume for rucksack makers!) and this pack isn’t as roomy as the other 45-litre ones tested.

If the capacity is adequate for your purposes, this is a good, functional, reasonably lightweight pack. The back system supports the load well and hugs the back for good stability. Mesh-covered foam allows some moisture to disperse but sweaty backs should be expected. The hipbelt is thinner and narrower than on many packs but okay with loads in the 10-12kg range and fine for a pack with this capacity.

The design is that of a winter mountaineering pack. The only sizeable pocket is on the lid. The two wand pockets are very shallow and are really only useful for holding the ends of skis, poles or other long items.

First published: March 2014