VauDe Rock Ultralight 25
If you're looking for a near-gossamer day/one night…
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $43.44
If you're looking for a near-gossamer day/one night pack that's built like a tank, stop. I found it for you. The VauDe Rock Ultralight 25 is top-loading, accepts a bladder, and has a removable, molded plastic back plate. Plenty big enough for a warm weather overnight, or a cold weather day pack/peak bag.
It's also got a smart compression system; a thin cord that runs down the sides of the pack, with smooth plastic runners that allow the cord to be removed. You weight weenies oughta like that. The pack comes in red-orange and black. I got the former.
- Very light
- Very roomy
- Very compressible
- Removable back plate
- Hard to access bladder valve
- Could use more pockets
I am a 47-year-old man, 142 lbs and 5' 8" tall. I've been backpacking and hiking for 35 years.
I bought the backpack for two reasons; price and because my fiance needed one. I ordered it from Sierra Trading Post's website on June 9th for $43.44 with tax and before shipping.
The first thing I noticed, beside the color, was the weight. 1 lb 6 oz. Seriously? And that's before the back plate came out. Probably right at one pound, now. The fabric, of apparent quality, is very thin. I have, though, packed it so tight I could read the brand on my compression sack. Never did I suspect it would compromise the seams.
The lid has two pockets, one accessible from the outside. The other is accessible by opening the lid, and the zipper is well positioned for easy opening, and is covered by mesh for easier viewing of the contents.
I haven't worn it with the back plate under load, but I imagine it suits its purpose just fine.
Getting the plate out is a bit of a hassle; there's a strip of hook & loop fastener that runs the length of it. To get it out, you have to slide your arm in between the pack and plate, keep it there, and then work the plate out with your other hand. It ain't going back in. Without the back plate, the pack probably fits another 5-10 liters.
Under a full load, the pack fits well. The back ventilation system is a series of eight padded cushions, raising the back from your back. The straps aren't padded, but wide enough to spread the weight. Being more like a climbing pack, the waist strap isn't padded. Actually, it's just 1" webbing. It does provide stability, though it isn't weight-bearing. Even with a full, 3-liter bladder, it remained comfortable and stable.
That said, the hole that the hydration hose goes through isn't in the best place, making access a to the valve bit difficult. Not a deal breaker for me.
I also tried it under a lighter, day pack load and utilized the compression system. Because it draws from several points, it really snugs down well over an uneven load.
Access to the pockets is simple. Again, the pocket inside the lid is positioned such that the zipper is near you when you open it. The mesh allows for easy viewing of those little bits of gear.
My 50L pack has side pockets, and I like them. I'd like for this pack to have a bit more external storage.
In the end, I'm very satisfied with this purchase. It's a pack that I'm quite sure my fiance and I will use for years.