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Tough and comfortable 40-litre backpack. Has multiple…
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: £85 sterling
Tough and comfortable 40-litre backpack. Has multiple compartments and an adjustable back system.
- Adjustable back system
- Fairly lightweight
- Multiple compartments
- Only one hipbelt pocket
- External carry options are limited
The Berghaus Freeflow 40 is a 40-litre backpack with adjustable shoulder straps. I have had mine for three and a half years but I did not make much use of it until very recently. This is why I’ve only gotten round to reviewing it now. Berghaus has introduced a revised model, so this review does not describe the current version.
The Berghaus Freeflow 40 is a traditional top-loading backpack. It has an internal pocket for a water bladder and a removable zippered divider which creates a separate lower compartment. This is accessible through a zippered flap at the bottom of the pack.
There is an additional compartment with its own zipper on the front of the pack. On the outside of this compartment there is a looped bungee cord which can be used to hold items such as wet raingear. There are compression straps on the sides, as well as attachment points and loops for a pair of walking poles. There are no compression straps on the bottom, so you cannot attach items such as a sleeping mat to the bottom of the pack.
A pocket at the bottom of the pack contains a raincover. The pocket seals with Velcro, so it is easily accessible, and the raincover offers effective protection against the rain. The raincover can be tightened around the pack with a pull cord to stop the wind blowing it off.
The lid has a spacious compartment of its own which is accessible via an external zipper. There is a zippered pocket under the lid which can be used to store small items such as a passport.
The pack has two fairly deep mesh pockets on the sides. Each is capable of taking a one-litre water bottle. There is one hipbelt pocket with a mesh exterior, so you can remind yourself with a glance what you have in there.
The pack has an adjustable shoulder harness. The adjustment works by means of a strap that extends from the back on the right side. A tab locks the adjustment strap effectively so the shoulder straps stay in place.
The back is curved for ventilation, but not so much as to reduce the space in the pack. The back is stiffened by means of a board of some kind (there is no metal frame, as far as I can tell) and transfers weight effectively to the hips. The pack weighs around 1.4 kilogrammes (3.1 lbs).
In May 2018 I went on a six-day walking expedition in Ireland. I did not camp, otherwise I would have used a 65-litre rucksack, so I was able to carry everything I needed for the expedition in the Freeflow 40. My load came to between 8.5 and 9 kilogrammes (19 to 20 lbs). The backpack felt comfortable with this weight and much of the time I forgot I had it on my back. The terrain was rough in places and the backpack got a bit muddy, but otherwise it came through none the worse for the wear. I wish it had a second hipbelt pocket, but apart from this I am very happy with it.