A place to share systematic reviews of bushwalking equipment, services and idea.
This is a place to share fair and systematic reviews of gear. Share the good, bad and ugly as well as including how you tested it and reviewed the gear. This is not the place to carry on about a bit of gear that failed, sometimes good gear has a lemon - this is more about systematic reviews. Although this can be a way to help gear manufactures with feedback, this is not the place to hassle them or ask for money back.
Start each thread with
[tag]Brand, product, RRP in AUD. The tags have two parts the type of gear and type of testing/review. eg
[Sleeping bag | Unboxing] Kmart Summit Hooded $29
[Stove | Field test]Jetboil, flash $150
Suggested review types. Unboxing, field test, 1 year on, stress test, teardown.
If someone else has already reviewed the same product in a similar method then please use the initial thread to include your review. Please note if the gear was provide to you for free, loan, discount or if you paid full RRP.
Tue 09 May, 2017 11:49 pm
Its very early days but on the surface I have to say this pack is loaded with well thought out practical ideas. I bought it sight unseen from Wilderness Equipment as the local gear shops don’t stock, don’t push, and don’t have much to say in regards to WE in my experience.
I can say however I have used a mates 10yo cordura alpine version of this pack on an extended walk, which ended up becoming the deal breaker for me on a replacement One Planet with the exact fit harness. Yes to my surprise I was chucking over my preferred 15yo One Planet McMillan pack for a Wilderness Equipment Lost World pack, with something called a Syncro-form asymmetric cross harness. I found the WE has far better air circulation around the back. The pack sits off the back slightly, where as the OP sits snug. I guess one being made in warmer parts of Aus, and another in colder reflects this design. But I think as subtle this difference is the WE works better in more places. In cold weather you are rugged up so having a pack sit off your back slightly won’t mean much, however it sure allowed heat to dissipate on hill climbs and overall comfort generally. The WE harness was completely different to what I was accustomed to, loading the pack onto the top of the glute muscles. Its very obvious where the padding goes and looks like two big turkey drum sticks that wrap around ones hips. They are pivoted in the middle allowing for movement but also allows for air flow around this padding which seems to work well.
The shoulder straps are durable canvas and chunky looking, but the harness was comfortable and took no getting used to. Carrying the weight evenly in a balanced and predictable way, the harness didn't allow the load to lunge if a leant down to crawl under an obstacle. I suffered no back stain on the 5 day walk, and minimal shoulder tiredness. I was pretty happy give this was a come back walk as I have not walked in a fair while.
Opening the box on my new pack I first noticed attention to detail on strap retention. Yes there is lot going on with this pack with straps everywhere. However they all have a practical use, like for the huge and easy accessible water bottle pockets. My old pack had good water bottle pockets, but they were a snug sleeve that only fitted a couple sized bottles securely. The WE accommodates any size but has adjustable straps to firm in on the body and neck of the bottles, and on both side of the pack as well. Internally there is water bladder sleeve if you prefer bladders, but I find them hard to gauge what water you have left.
My old 80Lt pack struggled on those 15 days walks, bulging sky high and its clean lines meant if it didn’t fit inside then it most likely wasn’t coming. If the main bag was full, this also meant the rear pocket was a tight squeeze to get stuff in and out. This WE pack is 100Lt. Yes it’s huge but its my choice as to how much it gets filled. The rear external sleeve looks to easily allow for a wet rain coat, a muddy ground sheet, or camp shoes to be stowed. Again all adjustable with straps with a neat stitch in the tail to be tensioned then tucked in nicely so to not to flap around.
It has the usual gear loops, ice axe, walking sticks, body compression straps, and hall loop, but also has hand-carry loops on the lower sides that will make it much easier to load into a bus or car, under a vestibule, or grab off the conveyor belt at the air port. Also has gear loops on the front of the hip belt that may well take a carabiner or two if you are doing some rope or tape work.
To tighten the hip belt, no more doing your best pulling to the left and then right. WE have designed a canter leaving pulley type arrangement on the straps that tightens the hip belt effortlessly. And boy you can get it tight if you like.
The bags lid becomes a spacious bum bag if you want to do a reckie, side or day trip perhaps. With a top compartment, inner compartment, and an inner inner compartment which looks as water proof as one could hope for. All generous in there size. The best part of the lid however is it does not interfere with hats. One can easily look up with this rucsac, something that I can say my old One Planet did not do well even though it was meant to.
The neck on this has two draw strings, one at the very top, another at the base of of the neck. But if that doesn’t keep things in place then there is a dry bag roll, twist, clip option. A nice touch when one has to float it across a river, Sth Coat Track for example, but it has been a longtime.
The bag is just one big hole, and an even hole at that. No finding its getting harder to fit stuff in at it builds up because the bag is forming a tighter cavity; rather its just poke it in. I started calling my mates pack the bottomless pit. It seemed to consume everything I chucked at it effortlessly, then still had plenty more to offer. It’s a small thing, but one big even cylinder is really easy compared to a tapered one.
Some will say at 3.5kg for a pack is too heavy, but for me at only .5kg heaver and 20Lt bigger than my old 80lt pack, the options and diversity this pack far exceeds the price to be paid. I fully expect being 8oz corespun canvas, it will survive being used as a battering ram against wait awhile and lantana. Hold up being lowered over rocks or chucked down a water fall. Probably even survive the odd clumsy stack into scarparia. I agree one can find lighter, but for my preferred walking of off track in Australia or New Zealand, a decent canvas works for me. For for what its worth, I still feel keen to support what’s left of Australian manufacturing, even if it is off shore these days. So it was only going be one or the other. Both are around the $600, both will last a good 10 to 15 years of abuse. We have kids now and need to carry a fair bit if stuff, light but bulky stuff, and dry shirts, socks and the like on the move. I have found thus far the Lost World does this really well. I believe there is an 80Lt option coming out in Spring this year, so well worth a visit next time your in the market for a hardy canvas pack.
Fri 07 Jul, 2017 9:01 pm
Finally got some in the bush walking done recently with the new pack, and very very happy with how it sat on the back and handled the laod. Managed to fit a 2-3 person tent, two down jackets, two -7 sleeping bags, two old school thermarests, thermarest chair, trangia, gas, cups, blows, gas, troches, and food for 4, clothes for myself and one child, book, compass, map, glasses bla bla and still had room for more.
As we climbed we encountered climbing up through rocks chocks, steep rock slabs, pushing through scrub, climbing over under logs, jumping gaps in rock slabs, and descending relatively steep rock face. The pack sites securely and evenly on the hips with the hip belt effortlessly tightened to as tight as you like with the counter pull system. The shoulder straps are made from heavy canvas but I found no rubbing or stiffness in them, though they keep the upper pack solid on the shoulders when you lean forward, sides ways, or have to jump. I did find the tension straps slipped as little now and then, but put this down to a new strap still to lean its position. It was not a regular adjustment, twice on the climb was about the extent of it.
pull that lower strap and it effortlessly tightens that upper strap, and it doesn't slip
Water bottle pockets are huge, but can be sinched in to cope with whatever you like. They have a cool fold in the design that works as a drain as well. I did find however I could not reach back high enough to fetch it out of the pocket. I did find with age that my old one planet pack suffered from my lack of flexibility as well.
something small, perhaps trivial, but loosen the lower hip tightening straps and the hip belts fold inward. We found this detail very handy to fit these packs in our small car. Probably also good at the airport or general storage at home.
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