Chris Townsend reviews a pack with a good frame and hipbelt.

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

Quite light and quite roomy, the Asymmetric is a good pack for loads in the 12–14kg range. The frame gives it a stiff back for good weight transfer to the hipbelt. The latter is quite wide and reasonably padded but not very stiff. There’s only size. The shoulder yoke slides up and down the frame for fine- tuning the fit. It has a wider range of length than similar packs but at its longest it’s right up by the top tension straps so these aren’t as effective. The frame length is just long enough for me so this is another pack that’s not for those with long backs.

There’s a very roomy long front pocket and a zip-around panel that gives good access to the contents without having to open the lid. Two sliders mean the panel can be opened at any point. The lid has a roomy pocket too and this has a U-shaped zip that gives better access to the contents than the straight ones found on most lid pockets. There’s no pocket inside the lid. Instead there’s a zipped mesh one with a key clip inside the lid pocket. I prefer this design. It’s a small point but being able to retrieve car keys, wallet and other items without opening the pack is nice at the end of a long and tiring day.

The Asymmetric is comfortable and stable. It’s quite light too. If you like the design and it fits it makes a good backpacking sack for light loads.

vaude.com

Overview

  • Overall: 4 out of 5

Pros: pockets, front panel

Cons: only one size

  • Price: £140
  • Weight: 1.46kg
  • Capacity: 50 litres
  • Materials: 79% polyamide, 21% polyester
  • Closures: detachable lid with four buckles, zipped front panel
  • Compartments: 1
  • Back: adjustable, tubular frame, mesh/foam
  • Back sizes: 1
  • Hipbelt: shaped mesh/foam
  • Pockets: 1 outer lid, 1 zipped front, 2 stretch mesh side, 1 zipped hipbelt, hydration sleeve
  • Features: twin ice axe/trekking pole loops, single side straps, daisychain loops
  • Volume to weight ratio: 17.0
  • Max. recommended load: not provided
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