The Expedition Light is the most capacious pack tested and an ideal size for big winter trips or really bulky gear. However it’s designed for mountaineering rather than backpacking, which perhaps explains the minimalist hipbelt, which isn’t even as thick as the one on the Mountain Laurel Designs Exodus. Climbers generally don’t like big hipbelts as they can interfere with harnesses and some climbing movements. For most backpackers though the hipbelt is the key to supporting the weight and a heavy load needs a big thick stiffened belt. Given the capacity the Expedition Light is hardly going to be anyone’s choice for sub-15kg loads yet that’s what I reckon the hipbelt handles comfortably. The stiff framesheet does transfer the weight to the belt. It’s just that the belt doesn’t support it well.

Apart from the belt the pack is excellent as long as you don’t like lots of pockets. The lid extends and can be removed. Under it is a long extension sleeve that can be used as a roll-top – it has two buckles. Fully open the extension sleeve comes above my waist. Berghaus says it can be used as a half bivi bag.

It would good to see Berghaus make a backpacking version of the Expedition Light with a decent hipbelt. As it, Berghaus’s backpacking packs are all much heavier than the Expedition Light. Even the 50 litre Bioflex Light, described as ‘ideal for faster paced hikes where weight management is essential’, weighs 1.66kg, which gives a volume to weight ratio of 15. That’s not lightweight.