The Ultrahike is a minimalist pack with a substantial back system. This has a curved frame, shaped, well-padded shoulder straps and a cutaway shaped thick hipbelt that will easily support 18kg. I fi nd it very comfortable. The pack is made from tough fabrics and all the seams bar those attaching the back panel are taped or welded, which makes it virtually waterproof. I’ve used it in heavy rain and had no noticeable leakage. Litre-size water bottles easily fi t in the mesh side pockets and can be accessed while wearing the pack. The lid pocket has a long watertight zip for easy access and is quite roomy. There are no other pockets, though, and I do miss having a large one on the front. The capacity is greater than on most of the packs tested (Lightwave’s litres are on the large side, comparatively). Combined with the supportive harness this makes the Ultrahike suitable for quite bulky heavy loads, such as are needed for winter backpacking. Yet at the same time it’s the second lightest pack tested with an excellent volume-to-weight ratio.
1st August 2012