The Explorer is very much the budget option in this test as it costs just half that of the next cheapest models and a third that of the most expensive packs. The Explorer is heavy and only comes in one size but if it fi ts (it’s just long enough for me) and cost is a factor then it’s an okay choice. The back system is supportive of loads in the 12-15kg range. The foam used for the shoulder straps, back panel and hipbelt is very thick and soft but does compress when loaded. The bulk of the foam makes the shoulder straps feel rather cumbersome. The hipbelt is very wide but doesn’t wrap round the hips as far as I’d like, barely reaching my hip bones. This is the biggest drawback in the design. The pockets are adequate, though there isn’t one on the back. The textured fabric is quite tough and I can’t see why this pack shouldn’t last pretty well. It’s not the best design or the most comfortable carry but the price has to be set against that.
1st August 2012