Chris Townsend reviews an ultralight pack ideal for light loads.

This review is part of our mid-size packs gear guide, and was first published in the Spring 2019 issue of The Great Outdoors.

Berghaus’s new Fast Hike 45 is the second lightest pack in the review and one of only two weighing less than 1kg. To make the pack ultralight Berghaus have used very light but hard- wearing Robic nylon plus the lightest components such as narrow webbing. At the same time the pack has a wire frame and a padded back. The frame transfers the weight to the hipbelt quite well. However the latter, although quite wide, is rather soft and quite thin. I found it comfortable with loads up to 8kg but wouldn’t recommend carrying much more than that. Such an ultralight pack is designed for ultralight loads of course. The shoulder straps are quite thin too but also much wider than usual and this width helps distribute the weight well. There’s only one size and it is a little short for me so this isn’t a pack for tall people.

The pack just has a roll top rather than a lid so there are no pockets here. However there are two stretch pockets on each side and a huge one on the front so there’s still plenty of storage space outside the main compartment. After a wet camp I found I could stuff a bulky two-person tent into the front pocket.

For light loads the Fast Hike is excellent. I like the pockets and the comfort. Don’t overload it though as then it sags and isn’t very comfy. The price is very good.

Read Chris’s Column on the Berghaus Fast Hike 45 here

berghaus.com

Overview

  • Overall: 4 out of 5

Pros: ultralight, cost, pockets

Cons: soft hipbelt, only one size

  • Price: £95
  • Weight: 930g
  • Capacity: 45 litres
  • Materials: Robic nylon
  • Closures: roll top
  • Compartments: 1
  • Back: alloy frame, mesh/foam backpad
  • Back sizes: 1
  • Hipbelt: mesh/foam
  • Pockets: 1 stretch mesh front, 4 stretch mesh side, 1 stretch hipbelt, 1 zipped hipbelt, 2 stretch mesh shoulder strap, 1 zipped inner
  • Features: twin ice axe/trekking pole loops, twin front/side straps, daisychain loops
  • Volume to weight ratio: 24.2
  • Max. recommended load: not provided
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