Keep in mind that I'm a relatively small guy; 1,71 meters tall (short), between 75 and 78kg and with a 1 meter chest.
I'll start with my oldest backpack; The Corin Trail 60L, made of synthetics.
I bought this pack back in 1997, when out motorcyclevacation in Sweden turned into a hikingvacation, because the motorcycle broke down. I was completely inexperienced in hiking or carrying large backpacks, yet this pack performed very good and never was a burden. It remained comfortable all through the vacation. No backpains or exhaustion from carrying it.
It had 2 attached sidepockets, a pocket in the topflap, several straps for attaching sleepingbags, foammats, etc. It's maincompartment is closed by a string, over which the top is closed with plastic clips. It's main drawback was it's limited size back than. And I never liked it's colours, but that is just nitpicking. All in all it was a good backpack and it served us well for many years, where it also got used and abused on airports and such. Nothing broke and even the colours didn't fade!
Than there was my biggest backpack; the Berghaus Vulcan II, made of synthetics, with foam padding in the back.
On BCUK I read that British troops even enlarged this pack even more by adding a third daypack to the front! I tried this too, but found it to be just too much. When ever would I need, or even want to, haul a fully poaded 110L-pack. It'd ruin my back!..... And the fun in hiking...
It is a comfortable backpack to wear, but the size makes it easy for the user to overload it, which will wear you down. I humped this pack fully loaded through marches in the Ardennes, the Eifel and across several Dutch military traininggrounds, ruining my knees and ankles in the proces..... They simply were too heavy!
The pack is semi-indestructible. It's only let down would be the closingzippers of the daypacks and topcompartment.
|Not my pack, but a picture I found on the net, with the original y-strap.|
|I even strapped a 4,5kg winter bedroll on top of it!|
Apart from the Berghaus sidepacks, which I quickly replaced by one piece packs, I used the small Dutch army daypack. It's made of synthetics and has a capacity of 20L. It comes in a very bright camouflagepattern, which I absolutely do not like. So it was quickly replaced by the Dutch airforce-version, being in green.
|Here it is, strapped to a dummy|
The main drawback is its size. It really is small! I found that it just fits me comfortably, but only if I do not clip the cheststrap together! Doing that makes me feel claustrofobic!
I also have a Swedish M39 backpack; canvas with a steel frame and leather straps.
On my first walk with it, I was not overly impressed by it and its wearingcomfort. The steelframe really takes some getting used too and your backdimensions should not exceed mine or it will cause you some serious discomfort, I think!
The pack is a simple non-nonsence pack; one large compartment, closed off with a leather strap, which is a bit of a hassle to use. There are some leather fasteningstraps on one side. I guess for ski's or something. The thing that puzzled me the most in this pack are the 2 hooks on the frame, both left and right at wastelevel. After a while I figured these must be used for towing the Swedish army sled in winter, since these have 2 loops on the end on the towing poles.
There are also two carryingstraps at the bottom of the pack. These could hold a shelterhalf or a blankett, but not much more. I tried and had to struggle....
|Picture from the internet|
|with a larger bedroll|
Another backpack I have, is one I bought out of nostalgia, but also because it represents my no-manmade-material-filosophy.
It is my 1944 Swiss army backpack, affectionately know by the troops back then as "Affe", monkey....
Basically a sort of wooden box, covered with horseskin+hair and leather straps. The interior is canvas and the soppurt holding the pack and the straps together is nothing but a small wooden pole! Apart from a small amount of steel fastenings, there wouldn't be a trace left, when left in the woods for a couple of years!
I tried this pack for real too, but found it too small, to rigid and a bit uncomfortable, too, with the pads pressing down into my kidneyarea quite hard!
It'll be great for small summerwalks, but nothing too heavy!
And finally there's my backup pack; a Fjällräven.
I do not know the exact name for it nor do I have any other specifications. It's synthetic, it's blue, I guess about 30-40L and I found it to be not too comfortable. Hauling it one whole day made my back and shoulders age and feel very tired. I probably didn't adjust it properly and my one day tryout doesn't do it too much justice, I believe. It is an older backpack, given to me for my daughter, but it turned out to be too large for her right now.
It has padded shoulderstraps, a metal frame and some sheet of netting, where it rests against the back.
If anyone recognises the type of bag, please let me know!