When I tested the fi rst version of the Biofl ex system many years ago I was surprised to fi nd that it was more comfortable on rough, steep ground than on level paths. This was because the hipbelt, which pivots upwards and sideways, enabled the pack to move with me, which was great when scrambling, but which made the shoulder straps roll off my shoulders when walking on the flat. In the latest version Berghaus has provided locking straps so you have the choice of a pivoting or fi xed belt. The new Bioflex system is neater and lighter too, though the pack is still heavy. I found it comfortable with 15kg loads as the hipbelt is wide and well-padded. Part of the weight comes from the tough fabrics and the many features. There’s no front pouch but there is a fl at-zipped pocket plus two mesh pockets on each side. The Bioflex looks well-made but I was surprised to fi nd some of the buckles and webbing a little stiff and hard to adjust. Maybe they’ll become easier with use but this doesn’t give a good initial impression, especially as it occurs with the hipbelt buckles.
Pros: Pivoting hipbelt, pockets
Cons: Heavy, expensive, only one size
CAPACITY: 50 litres + 10 litres extension RECOMMENDED MAX.LOAD: not given MATERIALS: 210D Ardura nylon/840D Ballistic nylon CLOSURES: lid with 2 buckles, side zip COMPARTMENTS: 2 BACK: adjustable, internal frame, moulded foam panel SIZES: 1 HIPBELT: pivoting, moulded foam POCKETS: 1 external lid, 1 internal lid, 4 mesh side,1 front, 1 hipbelt, internal hydration FEATURES: rain cover, side compression straps, 2 trekking pole loops, 2 ice axe loops STATED WEIGHT: 1930g TGO WEIGHT: 2010g VOLUME-TO-WEIGHT RATIO: 12/500 PRICE: Ј160 WEBSITE: www.berghaus.com