Backpacks 30-45 L: tips and product review. Summer 2022
If we were to define in one word what the charm of summer hiking is all about, we would say its simplicity. Excluding multi-day treks through glaciers or outings to higher elevations, during which we must be ready for a wide range of scenarios, summer is, after all, the time of year that generously turns a blind eye to shortcomings in equipment and favors devotees of minimalism. Higher temperatures will forgive the lack of an extra layer of clothing, longer days will encourage you to cover a few more kilometers, and sunny nights will allow you to sleep comfortably under a cloud. So, if you, like us, opt for lightweight and small-volume luggage in the summer, put the heavier hiking backpacks in the closet and reach for a compact model that will enable practical organization of your equipment and take care of your back. What to look for and what to consider when choosing a backpack? We have prepared for you some tips and an overview of the most interesting products for the Summer 2022 season.
From the general to the detail
Also, in the case of proposals of smaller liters, it is worthwhile to define in advance the intended use of the backpack. Do you need a more versatile model or do you decide to buy mainly because you are planning a longer hike in the mountains? Do we want it to be able to also serve as hand luggage on the plane? The answers to such questions will narrow down the search field and point you in the right direction in a sea of products. The larger the capacity of the backpack, the better it should be able to carry heavier loads, and therefore distribute the weight appropriately: while in urban models the carrying system is often limited to adjustable shoulder straps, those with a more trekking character also have adjustable hip and chest straps, and it is not uncommon to modify the panel at the back as well. What’s more, brands specializing in backpacks offer their best models in dedicated versions stricte For women, because they take into account fundamental differences in body structure, such as the usual lower height, narrower shoulders and waist, or wider hips and pelvis. Thus, these backpacks are distinguished by a more elliptical shape, a shorter back panel, more narrowly spaced shoulder straps, a conically shaped hip belt and, of course, a height-adjustable chest strap.
SALEWA Alp Trainer 30+3L WS
- Hiking / Trekking
- Price: 629,90 PLN
Specializing in mountain sports, the South Tyrolean brand has for several seasons included in its collections proposals for lovers of outdoor activities. One of them is the Alp Trainer with a Dry Back Air carrying system with a design tailored precisely to the female body. What strikes the eye immediately is the heavily cut back panel, shoulder and hip belts – the designers have reduced the contact area by 25%, so the system is supposed to provide better airflow next to the body. We don’t hide the fact that the promise of a less sweaty back sounds encouraging, especially when juxtaposed with long approaches in the mountains. Spacious main compartment with a pocket for a reservoir, elastic side pockets, trekking pole attachment, practical separate compartment on the bottom of the backpack, rain cover are just some of the integrated solutions. Height adjustment of the flap allows to increase the capacity of the backpack by an additional 3 liters.
Deuter Aircontact Ultra 45+5 SL
- Hiking / Trekking
- Price: 1199,00 PLN
Deuter is an experienced mountain backpack expert with a wide range of models for women. The brand will not disappoint its female fans also in this summer season. Its latest offering, the Aircontact Ultra 45+5 SL, was created to successfully meet the challenge of multi-day excursions. The fine-tuned, fully adjustable carrying system of the women’s SL version combines a mesh spacer back panel, trapezoidal foam at lumbar level and comfortable straps to relieve your back and shoulders over longer distances. Wide straps on the front are used to compress the volume and as a system to attach a mat or tent. Additional 5 liters of capacity can be gained thanks to a long chimney and a detachable height-adjustable flap. In addition, the backpack has an emergency whistle integrated into the chest strap and printed instructions for summoning help in mountainous terrain. The whole bag is enclosed in 1200 grams, which, considering the liters and solutions used, deserves recognition.
After the initial selection, we can look at the details. For urban-tourist backpacks that would work well for airplane travel or a day’s sightseeing, it’s worth noting:
- The dimensions of the backpack (does it meet the requirements of hand luggage?)
- organization of the space inside (separate pocket for laptop, secure pocket for phone, hook for keys)
- Closure (security of contents when moving around in urban areas, additional protection against pickpockets)
- Stabilization straps (chest, hip), which may prove crucial, e.g. while cycling
- the material used (whether adequately durable, easy to clean, waterproof) and ew. Integration of rain cover
- back ventilation
Black Diamond Street Creek 30 RT
- Hiking / Travel / Everyday
- Price: 499,99 PLN
An urban model that draws handfuls from the climbing roots of the Black Diamond brand. The haulbag-inspired design seems to be both easy to use and highly functional: the backpack is equipped m.in. The bag is equipped with a roll-top closure secured with anodized metal buckle and daisy chain straps for attaching accessories, and the whole thing is made of strong ballistic nylon, characterized by a dense, tear-resistant weave. Inside you will also find a secure pocket for your wallet, keys and phone, and a separate compartment for your laptop. A stable position on the back will be taken care of not only by the shoulder straps, but also by the hip belt and chest strap. The model also features easy-to-carry additional handles on top and a handle on the side.
The North Face Base Camp Fuse Box
- Travel / Everyday
- Price: 549,00 PLN
As the manufacturer itself says, the 30-liter Base Camp Fuse Box is a backpack for people who do not wear backpacks. And there’s something about. Being an obvious variation on the theme of the iconic Duffel Bags of TNF brand, the model with its shape differs from the classic proposals on the market. However, if you like how it looks from the outside, the rest should not disappoint you either. After opening the flap in the main compartment we see numerous padded compartments for books, documents or laptop and a pocket for a bottle. A small zippered phone pocket is integrated at the back, while a tablet compartment is located at the front. We will attach additional accessories to the daisy chain strap or with the help of straps on the sides. The whole is complemented by a height-adjustable chest strap and the material used – the same as in the aforementioned and reputedly indestructible The North Face carry bags.
On the other hand, when we plan longer trips out of town or an outing in the mountains, the functionality of the model will consist of many more details:
- advanced adjustment of the carrying system,
- back ventilation,
- additional pockets in the flap, on the waist belt, on the sides, inside,
- direct access to the main compartment from the side or front,
- two-way zippers,
- external equipment attachments, such as. trekking poles or a carrimata,
- Compression straps and other volume reduction systems,
- the possibility to increase the capacity of the backpack (high chimney and adjustable flap, attachable pockets),
- The possibility to reduce the weight of the backpack (detachable hip belt, detachable flap, removable ISB or other type of frame),
- compatibility with hydration systems (pocket for a hydration reservoir + tube exit),
- Reflective elements, integrated emergency whistle, printed instructions for transmitting SOS signals,
- durability of material, resistance to abrasion and tearing,
- Waterproofing of the product (waterproof zippers and/or material, water repellent impregnation, rain cover included).
These are just some of the suggestions offered by modern backpacks. The greater the degree of specialization of the model for a particular activity, the more specific solutions, of course.
Mammut Lithium 40
- Hiking / Trekking
- Price:849,90 PLN
We don’t know if it’s a matter of our previous positive experience with the Mammut brand or perhaps a deliberate effort by the designers, but the Lithium 40’s design, while rather minimalist, at the same time seems to promise great functionality. It only takes a moment to realize that this impression has a lot to do with reality. In the carrying system, both the individual straps and the length of the panel at the back are adjustable. Numerous compartments and pockets, including a separate compartment on the bottom of the backpack and a roll-out phone pocket on the waist belt allow for practical organization of your gear. You’ll easily attach trekking poles and checks on the outside, and a sleeping mat on the underside as well. The waist belt itself, as well as the included rain cover, can be easily detached. The icing on the cake will be the eco-friendly nature of the model: more than 89% of the product is made from recycled materials, and the water repellent treatment used is PFC-free.
Ortovox Traverse 30
- Price: 679,99 PLN
The Ortovox brand once again proves that it is only interested in products of the highest level. And indeed, the multitude of solutions integrated in the Traverse 30 is impressive: a retractable mesh helmet attachment, rain cover, trekking pole attachment, sunglasses clip, front zipper for direct access to the main compartment, retractable loops for attaching small gear on the shoulder straps, SOS instructions, emergency whistle on the chest strap… and that’s not all! The 210 D ROBIC material used is both extremely resistant to abrasion and tearing, and more environmentally friendly – as it is made of 72% recycled polyamide. It is worth noting that the Traverse 30 is also available in a waterproof version (50,000 mm water column, taped seams).
Style is, of course, a matter of taste, and there will probably be as many design preferences as there are consumers currently looking for the next perfect backpack. Here we would just like to point out that the adjective “technical” does not always have to go hand in hand with mottled colors. Take a peek at the following two suggestions straight from Scandinavia, more precisely from Swedish brands Thule and Fjällräven.
Thule AllTrail X 35L
- Price: 699,00 PLN
A backpack that at first glance does not look like a classic tourist model. Of course, the matte material attracts attention – because the designers replaced the popular polyamide with a strong tarp made from 50% recycled polyester. The material has been waxed, giving it water repellent properties. In case of heavier rain you can always use the included rain cover, too. The breathable panel at the back is adjustable in height, as is the chest belt. The backpack gives you the option of attaching hiking poles or an axe-check, as well as volume compression. The pocket in the flap has been equipped with a key holder, and a separate compartment for a reservoir in the main compartment will also safely transport a 15-inch laptop when you return to the city. It was this versatility – of solutions and design – that captured the judges of ISPO 2019, who awarded the model in the Trekking category & Touring Backpacks.
Fjällräven Bergtagen 38
- Price: 1219,99 PLN
Another technical backpack that offers much more than you might think. The model is made of Bergshell, which is a brand-developed, waterproof material based on recycled nylon (Global Recycled Standard certified) with perfluorocarbon-free DWR impregnation. The special flat ripstop construction minimizes the risk of damage while giving the material a unique look – matte from a distance and subtly patterned up close. During long approaches, a stable fit is taken care of by a carrying system based on a wooden frame – a Fjällräven trademark. However, when you need a slightly lighter and more flexible companion, the backpack can be “slimmed down” by removing the frame and detaching the hip belt and flap. The spacers at the back are not height adjustable, but the model is available in two sizes – S/M and M/L – to ensure the best possible fit for consumers.
Finally, two tips. First of all, any backpack unpacked will be comfortable. So before deciding to buy, it’s worth throwing on a few pounds and doing a final fitting. In some stationary stores, special weight bags are available, so you can get a feel for the actual weight you’ll be marching with afterwards. Second, if, for example, you are going on a via ferrata, see if a backpack can become a source of discomfort when moving in a harness. The same applies to possible restrictions on access to the most important pockets in your favorite rain jacket. After all, the backpack was created to make it easier for us to spend time in nature!