The Altai is a lightweight pack at a reasonable price. It’s at the lower end of the capacity range but fine for short backpacking trips with compact gear. The back system is okay with 12-15kg loads but not more as the hipbelt and shoulder straps aren’t that padded. The wire frame is supportive and the mesh-covered back panels comfortable. There’s only one size for men and one for women and the back system isn’t adjustable so it does need to fi t. The men’s model is just long enough for me. The pack is made from robust ripstop materials that should prove durable. There are plenty of pockets but they’re not very big. The front pouch doesn’t stretch, which is a shame as it limits its usefulness. I do like the clip-on compression straps which can easily be extended to cover the front of the pack for reducing the volume or strapping on bulky items. If the capacity is enough and it fi ts, the Altai is a good choice, especially given the weight and cost.
1st August 2012
Kathmandu Altai v2
Pros: Light weight, low cost, configurable compression straps
Cons: Pockets could be larger