on 29 May 2013
I have had two of these backpacks in the last few years (replaced twice by Berghaus) - their warranty is excellent!
As others have said the pack has lots of clever compartments, wheeled and backpack and generally built to an OK standard.
However if you plan to use the wheels on this pack, you will start to have problems
1) The fabric around the wheels are not protected, so the fabric often snags and then splits
2) The pack isn't quite solid enough, so the rivets on the bottom sometime pop off due to the flex/weight
3) The fabric covering the straps at the back is too thin (and different to the rest of the back), thus in airports it can snag, catch and rip
4) The zips on mine also froze as they seemed to corrode (as the paint wears on the metal zipper) and I needed quite a bit of force to free them
5) As above, it is quite difficult to pull behind you, often you have to stoop a little and then it wobbles about on the small wheels (until you get the nack).
I liked the pack but following the above problems, and having received my latest replacement from Berghaus I have since sold it. Great service but a few more improvements could really make a difference with this pack, especially at the price asked!
This is a really well made bag, but it's just too big, and retrospectively I'm not sure about the value of the attached day sack.
I bought it for a three month backpacking trip. I really wanted a smaller main bag but with a day sack of 15L, and the next size down Berghaus only came with 10L. So I went for this one on the basis of the day sack and the idea that I didn't have to fill it. And it's a really great bag, but I don't think it's a great choice for a trip like this or any other, really, and here's why.
First, the positives: I've never spent this much money on a backpack before, and I thoroughly recommend buying one from the top end of the market. It's comfortable, and full of useful things, from extra pockets inside, to a great zip all the way round the main pack, to frames in useful places, especially the bottom compartment, to a cover for the straps when you're putting it into a luggage compartment, to extra clips. It's clearly well made, and that makes such a difference when carrying it. So total thumbs up for Berghaus generally.
Then, a few little negatives: the wheels don't really do anything. The problem with this is that the only reason a wheely suitcase works is because you have the adjustable handle to pull it along with. This doesn't have that, so unless you're the perfect height (I suspect about 5'8") you have to contort your body. One of the clips for compressing the case broke on my trip; not the end of the world, but a bit annoying. The cover for the straps is a great idea, but it can't really be put away, only with one press-stud, which quite often comes undone, so the cover now has some damage from coming open at an awkward time. Also, the zip on the cover gave so that I can't quite shut it over the straps (it still does the job, but a bit annoying).
On the detachable day bag: this is good, and I certainly wouldn't want a smaller one. Once you've got a book, a bottle of water, your coat in case the rainy season decides to rain, and a couple of souvenirs you've bought that day, it's soon getting full. So as detachable day bags go, this is probably a decent one. However, my suggestion is in fact to buy a smaller main pack and a slightly bigger and better day pack which can double as an overnight bag for if you want to leave your main bag somewhere for a couple of days. Once you want to put your swimming stuff, toiletries and a change of clothes in here, this bag just isn't big enough. Plus, it has no padding at all on the back, so although the straps are decent, you have to pack it carefully to make sure it is comfortable. Also, at no point did I actually zip it back on to the main bag: it tended to have my valuables (tablet etc) in it, so if I was carrying everything I strapped it onto my front. In fact, given it was quite full, it was actually quite difficult to zip it back on. Finally, when it's not zipped on, the main bag doesn't have any small pockets on the outside: this is good for security, but a bit annoying.
Lastly, size: this is a difficult one. On my trip, this is one of the biggest bags I saw, probably the biggest. In some ways I overpacked, and the bag was too big. Because it's so well made and I'm quite strong (and enjoy some exercise) I never had a problem carrying it, but I had to put up with a lot of people saying 'woah, this is massive' etc. I could definitely have taken less stuff, and I still had space to pack in a load of souvenirs at the end. So my suggestion would be that for this sort of trip, the bag is bigger than necessary, and also that there's no situation for a shorter or longer trip where you would need a bag this big.
So, my overall verdict is: if you really want a 70+15 bag, this is a good one. But, I really don't think you do!
My suggestion for a backpacking trip is to find a smaller main pack (60L max, possibly smaller) by a similar standard of manufacturer (and I'm really impressed with Berghaus on the way the bag is made, so I'd recommend them), and supplement this with a possibly bigger and definitely more purpose-built day/overnight bag. If you're going for a bag for more general holidays, then the bag is still too big, and the size of the day bag doesn't matter as much, so go for 65+10 or smaller.
Hope that helps!
on 3 March 2015
I bought this pack to visit Costa Rica for 2 weeks. I was looking for a hybrid between a Bergen styled backpack with the benefit of wheels. I cannot praise this bag more, its of brilliant build quality and has many great features, such as hidden pocket, large "dirty-boot" section at the bottom and sideways opening main flap. I am new to backpacking and this backpack was a perfect size, accommodating lots of clothes, shoes, boots etc. The last part to review is the external 15L daysack which proved extremely useful, i often left it unclipped from the bag due to fear of it breaking away from the zip that holds it in place. Both bags are extremely comfortable with the Bio-fit system. This is for sure a Backpack for life. Recommended for all, men and women.
on 28 August 2013
I've seen some right shocker designs in this category, but this one (not sold in Australia - thus me importing it) outperformed in design the locally sold products (sourced from overseas).
As this is a hybrid bag, you do expect some limitations (ie you aren't wearing it to walk the mountains - only to use from airport, train station or bus which might be the other side of town).
No longer being a "young chap", having it on your back and not dragging or lifting a suitcase is a LOT easier. You leave everyone else behind as you get the last seat on the bus as you got there first!!
Well built bag, lots of hiding spaces, still has wheels for short dragging (say in a slow moving queue).
Would be nice if there was some reflective tape on it for evening/night walking.
on 29 August 2012
After ten years' of intensive use, my previous Berghaus backpack needed replacing. This bag instantly grabbed me - as it has wheels, as well as the "marsupial" additional rucksack. Compared to earlier models, the system for attaching the additional bag is much more secure with both a zip and strapping. The whole backpack is light considering it has wheels. Perhaps the only downside to having the wheels is that there is no strap or handle for pulling the bag. As someone not too tall, I still manage just about - but for taller folk it could be an issue. However, the straps for hip/shoulder carrying are fully adjustable, making light work of any load.
The appearance of the bag is plain, but the design is highly functional and highly recommended by this regular traveller.