The new Vapour 32 pack is designed for stability with a body-hugging back and a compression system that compresses the pack equally all over rather than in a series of bulges like most straps. The last is achieved by two rigid rods on the outside of the pack around which the compression cords are threaded. These rods look like a misplaced internal frame. They work well though, pulling in the load evenly. The pack does have a frame too, made of flexible nylon, plus a removable perforated foam backpad. The latter can be used as a sit mat, though getting it in and out when the pack is full is a hassle. It’s easier just to sit on the pack. The pack is comfortable with a 6kg load and very stable, hugging the back closely and moving with the body, which makes it great for skiing, hill running or scrambling – though you’d need to be careful not to tear the thin fabric during the last activity. There’s mesh on the inside of the shoulder straps and hipbelt and on two vertical back panels to reduce condensation. The centre of the back is smooth nylon though and sweat can build up under this.
The pack is marginally smaller than most of the 35 litre packs but not so much as makes a significant difference. The lid pocket is roomy and has a long curved zip for easy access. The single buckle lid is quite big but doesn’t fully cover the pack when it’s over-stuffed. The side mesh pockets will hold 700ml water bottles but this isn’t necessary unless you’re carrying a great deal of water as there’s a 700ml bottle in a horizontal pocket in the base of the pack, an unusual feature. This can be accessed when wearing the pack though it’s not easy.