Chris Townsend reviews a heavier pack with a substantial carrying harness.
This review is part of our mid-size packs gear guide, and was first published in the Spring 2019 issue of The Great Outdoors.
The AirContact Lite has a substantial carrying harness and is made from fairly robust-feeling material so it’s good for quite heavy loads and should prove durable. Despite the name it’s relatively heavy though. The padding on the shoulder straps, back and hipbelt is quite thick. The hipbelt is also wide and one of the bulkiest tested, which is good for supporting the load. It’s reasonably stiff too and will easily support 15+kg. The rigid frame system transfers weight to the hipbelt efficiently. There’s only one size. The shoulder yoke can be moved up and down via Velcro strapping and a series of webbing loops. This is slower to adjust than sliding it up and down the frame but once in place it can’t slip. The pack just fits me but as with most of the fixed length packs tested it would be too short for anyone with a long back.
There are two compartments, the lower one accessed by a curved zip. The floor separating the compartments can be zipped out. The pockets are quite roomy. The front one has stretch panels at the sides.
The AirContact is stable and comfortable. If it fits there’s nothing really wrong with it as a functional backpacking sack as long as you don’t mind the weight.
Pros: hipbelt, pockets
Cons: only one size, quite heavy
- Price: £140
- Weight: 1.77kg
- Capacity: 50 litres
- Materials: PU-coated 600D polyester, 100HT ripstop nylon
- Closures: detachable lid with twin buckles
- Compartments: 1
- Back: adjustable, X frame, framesheet
- Back sizes: 1
- Hipbelt: shaped, stiffened, mesh/foam
- Pockets: 1 outer lid, 1 inner lid, 1 part-stretch front, 2 stretch side, 2 zipped hipbelt, inner hydration
- Features: twin ice axe/trekking pole loops, twin side straps
- Volume to weight ratio: 14.1
- Max. recommended load: not provided