As anyone knows I like a decent rucsac and I’ve just sold my Berghaus. What a load of shit that was. Much like their clothes too. Anyway, as I was buying new I decided to get one that would be useful for photography too, so I made up a list of great aspects of my ideal rucsac. This is it:
Must be fully adjustable.
Must be water resistant and have a built in cover.
Must have high quality waist straps – it’s your hips that take all the weight.
Must have a single front buckle – nothing worse than fannying about, specially in the dark with 2 buckles. Plus, they always interfere with the poles if you have them attached.
Must have loops etc for poles – which I’d probably use for the monopod. I’ve never used my poles in erm…9 years of owning them?
Must have 2 side pockets, preferably one closable.
Must have a pouch for a bladder and a waterproof exit for the mouthpiece.
Must be able to open from the bottom as well as the top.
Must have some spare loops and D rings to attach stuff to.
So I set off with my list and spent about 3 weeks looking at drudge after drudge. I was surprised in fact at how many shop assistants knew so little about buying a decent rucsac. I finally ended up in Cotswolds in Keswick. Not by any stretch the cheapest place to end up, hence it wasn’t my first choice but I did find this in there…
It’s a Deuter as you can see, and again as you can see it has a single front buckle. *Tick!* It has tons of d rings and places to connect carabiners *Tick!* It’s got two side pockets, one which is zippable and will hold a flask *Tick!* It’s water resistant ripstop with a built in waterproof cover in the base *Tick!* The loops for walking poles is perfect for the monopod although at a push it could also take 2 poles too. *Tick!* You can access the main compartment from a bottom zip *Tick!* and it has a ‘flap’ on the back, adjustable, which perfectly holds my pac a mac and pac a trousers. *Tick!* The amount of adjustability is amazing, and I got this filled with some weight and fully comfortable in about 15 minutes. *Tick!* I love that it’s got a small zip pocket on the waist strap, and 2 zipped pockets in the lid. Looking inside, it also has a pouch for my 2 litre bladder and a little rain proof exit flap *Tick!* It has of course the great name of Deuter. Not that I go by names as you know, that way is folly.
Perfect. How much? £55!!! “Bugger me” I hear you say “is that all?” Yep, that’s all. I found it on the web cheaper than they were selling so they price matched it. Nice one Cotswolds. Now my camera weighs about 3 pounds and the zoom weighs about the same. Add a flash, 2 triggers, some spare batteries, 2 Kgs of water, first aid kit and a load of other sundries and you have one heavy bag. But wearing this is a doddle. It is SO comfortable. Probably the most comfortable bag I’ve ever had in fact.
I did go one day without using the waist strap and what a difference. I had aching back and shoulders and they ached a little for 2 days. Yet I can be out an entire day with it tied properly and not even feel it’s there. It’s official: I LOVE this rucsac!