This panel-loading pack has a simple padded back with no frame, backbands or top tension straps but is still comfortable with a 6kg load. The back is quite flexible though so care is needed when packing or it can distort, leading to a bulge that presses on the middle of the back. The pack is close-fitting, which makes it a bit sweaty when you work hard despite the mesh covered back panels and harness.
The two front zips make access to gear easy, as long as you don’t pack everything in one big pack liner. The zips have protective covers and aren’t under that much strain so they should last okay. There’s also a large flat front pocket with a long curved zip. This has pen slots inside it, suggesting that Karrimor are thinking of this as a pack for urban use as well as the hills – and I did indeed take it on a trip to Edinburgh where I lugged round a fairly heavy load of electronic devices and camera gear and found it excellent. The mesh side pockets are roomier than on many packs and easily hold 700ml bottles. I can access a bottle while wearing the pack too. The capacity is less than the other 30-litre packs tested and for me it’s not big enough for a winter load. For the rest of the year it’s fine though.