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Karrimor Peak Airspace 30-35

rated 5.0 of 5 stars

The Peak Airspace 30-35 has been discontinued. It was replaced by the Karrimor Air Space 35+5.

This is the latest daysack from Karrimor—and it's clearly a product that's evolved from customer feedback. It's possibly the nearest thing to a perfect rucksack you can buy today—for any money.

First off, the back system: This is adjustable for back length, to ensure a perfect fit, but the first thing you'll notice is the "airspace" design. The pack frame is a grid or web that holds the pack away from the body, leaving just a fabric mesh in actual contact with the back. A clear space is created—big enough to insert your hand into—allowing unbeatable ventilation, which has a dramatic effect on back comfort.

I thought that forcing the load away from the back might effect the stability, but this is not the case. The pack as a low load height, and feels very stable when worn. I'd pretty much given up on wearing a rucksack on hot days due to back comfort, but this bag has made me reconsider.

A generous hip belt helps take the load and increases stability, and a chest strap is included. Side and top compression straps ensure that everything remains stable, and the top, under-lid compression strap could easily do double duty as a rope strap.

A unique feature for a pack of this size is the bottom-entry flap, and the drawstring divider that splits the main compartment into two. This is a great piece of design, allowing the storage of wet clothes away from dry ones, low down in the pack where they provide stability, or quick access to the waterproof that you stuffed at the bottom of the bag.

Twin expanding side pockets have zip-access and a compression strap, and the large top pocket contains a waterproof sack cover in a special pocket. The rear panel has flat pocket that—unlike US-designed rucksacks—is the right size to comfortably take a UK OS map.

Twin ice axes and/or walking poles can be carried externally using a clever bungie and toggle system that's easy to operate even with gloves on. Finally, a pair of mesh waterbottle pockets will take anything from a 1 litre Sigg bottle or smaller, with a bungie loop securing the bottle neck. These pockets keep waterbottles stable and low down on the back, yet again increasing the overall feeling of stability this pack provides.

In a typical bit of design detail, all straps have holdbacks to prevent the loose ends whipping around in the wind, and all zips have long fabric toggles to help you grip them with gloves.

Despite being loaded to the gills with features, this pack is light at 1.8 kilos. In use I was impressed with the packs comfort and stability, even in crosswinds strong enough to make walking difficult, the rucksack felt solid and secure.

I bought the rucksack for hillwalking and scrambing, and it is more than stable enough for even challenging scrambles. The attention to detail is astonishing, and it's clear that this is a rucksack that has been designed by people who really understand the demands of the walker.

This rucksack puts Karrimor so far ahead of the game that other manufacturers will have to do something radical to compete: 5 stars, highly recommended.

Design: Top entry rucksack
Size: 30-35 litres
Number of Pockets: 4/5
Max. Load Carried: Not known
Height of Owner: 6'2"
Price Paid: £65 UKP

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