I am giving this a spring to autumn, or 3 season review,…
Design: Top loading with side access, extendible.
Size: The 40 seems larger.
Number of Pockets: Enough
Max. Load Carried: 3 season, so far
Height of Owner: 5'11"
Price Paid: 100 GBP (?)
I am giving this a spring to autumn, or 3 season review, and will return to it when I have used it this winter.
The rucksack I have is the Peutery 40 and because I have lost reviews whenever I tried to add a new item to the categories, I am going to leave it in the pre-existing Peutery 50 section. Besides, the 40 is just the same except for a longer zip which reaches around the crampon pouch, IIRC, and the greater volume obviously.
Firstly, it feels more like 50 litres, not the stated 40, so a generous daysack. This leads to the question of whether or not it is suited to summer use, for the rucksack overall does not carry as well when it is only half full; there is a tendency to pull the shoulders back and down, as if only the bottom of the sack had any weight in it. The shoulder straps are also quite wide and square fitting, as if the wearer was expected to have matching shoulders, that is to say, square and without any trapezii or neck and shoulder muscles. The shoulder and waist straps have tensioners that are useful when the load varies. The chest strap works well and solves a lot of the shoulder fitting issue caused by their square form.
The torso, shoulder and waist range is also quite large. There is a women's version of this rucksack, which may account for the exaggerated fit that distinguishes it.
The back system comprises a soft/hard foam with a removable plastic, pre-shaped (in the usual 'S') hard insert. This can be removed, I presume for either comfort, load-lightening or to enable the sack to be folded and packed in something like a pannier. The back also has an inner bladder compartment (not used) with accompanying holes and elastic straps for drinking tubes.
Loading/unloading and accessing the rucksack is easy enough. The top closure has two stepped, quick release cord-locks, so you can extend the top of the sack and the lid (which floats), should you have to carry extra. The inside lid has a zip pocket and the lid itself has a key clasp inside its pocket. One side of the main compartment has a zip, which will be covered with a velcro flap (the earlier model has no velcro cover). This would only be useful when you are carrying a full and complex load, as it is much quicker to access from the top than go through the side compression strap layout.
The material seems durable and comfortable enough, though it wets out quickly. The material for the lumbar pad is inappropriate, being too abrasive; it almost destroyed a merino wool base layer and causes other knitted tops to pill very quickly.
Accessories such as the hip pocket and the large patch-pocket for crampons, gaiters, wet gear etc, are useful. Other accessories, such as the gear loop on the hip belt and the ski holders, are really for the specialist. Together with the extra straps here and there, the rucksack seems to appear like something out of the nineteen eighties, other manufacturers having simplified and lightened their designs in the last few decades. Sometimes in high winds the straps around the shoulders can give your face a good slap, which is something to watch out for (try threading the top tensioners into the hydration elastics). Extraneous stuff can always be cut off anyway.
Thinking on, the rucksack should really come with a manual of some sort. I have found a use for what might be the top ice axe fasteners: I thread the lid buckles through the elastic fastener loops and this keeps the lid buckles within easy reach for closing.
All in all a good solid rucksack with some sensible design, if not a few too many bells and whistles (if you are not ski-touring or ice-climbing with it). The volume and carry belie a winter, rather than year-round, rucksack. Fit is good and secure, though not perfect but your mileage may vary etc.