Saturday, September 3, 2016

Swedish military backpacks - Ryggsäck ST and LK35 - pt.3

Through my job I came into contact with a pair (well, actually 2x5) of rucksacks I hadn't seen before; the socalled ruyggsäck St and ST lätt. Thanks to the immeasurable wisdom of the www I learned that the ST, standing for större, meaning larger, and ST lätt, meaning a lighter version of that. Now if my information is correct the ST is the follow up of the (in)famous M/39 and the predecessor of the equally (in)famous LK70. The ST lätt would be the equivalent of the LK35.
Why they would call the ST lätt that way is a mystery to me, since it does in no way resemble the original ST. I also found info suggesting this pack was intended for the flygvapnet or airforce.
The third one actually is a LK35, recently purchased by me as part of a package deal.
I'll do a multi-part review/presentation of the packs, starting with the original ST, then the ST lätt and finally the LK35. Too bad I do not have a LK70 to complete the list.....

The LK35
Technical data:
Height: 60cm
Width: 33cm
Depth: 20cm
Weight: 2,5 kgs
Material: Steel tubular frame. Canvas pack with some form of manmade fibre straps. Polyester? 

Now the only thing that this backpack has in common with the others is that it is Swedish military surplus, has a frame and is green. Oh yeah... and it has about the same size as the ST lätt; 35 liters.
Other than that, a completely different pack yet again.
The model is a very straight forward design; a square frame, a square pack and the necessary straps. That's it. No bells, whistles or gimmicks.

This pack is supposed to be a 3-day assault pack. How that is supposed to happen, I have no idea. I found a packingschedule on the BCUSA-forum in a thread started by a Swedish guy, named sealegs.

source; BCUSA-thread

The shown contents are quite optimistic. I wonder who devised this setup and if they did try it themselves.

The backpack consists of one large compartment and a smaller one in the back. Closing that compartment is done by the simple means of pulling a string and fastening it with that typical Swedish closure. The is one large top flap, covering the entire pack and this has a waterproof lining on the inside.
It has a square tubular steel frame, which is detachable and most of the straps are permanently fastened to the pack with rivets. These straps have metal end caps.
There isn't much else to say about the pack, really. A simple, straight forward design. And that goes for every aspect of this combination, up to and including the straps. All are attached to the pack, but on top you'll find 2 extra loops. I am not quite sure what their function is, since bedrolls or something similar would be fastened under the 2 straps on top. One thing that is missing is, again, the waist belt. However there is an extra loop just below the edge of the main compartment and one extra strap on the lower front of the pack. This was intended to carry an entrenching tool, but a larger axe would fit perfectly as well. Or a stool or camera tripod.
There are 2 broad belts on the back of the frame and these rest on the back of the bearer. The system used to alter the tension of those belts is a showpiece of absolute false cheapness!!! Tying it off with strings between the belt and the frame?? Come on. They could and should have done better. A lot better!!
As an extra there are 2 rectangular loops welded to the frame sides. No idea what their function is, but since the pack is detachable, I'm guessing they are intended as fastening eyelets for other loads. A radio for instance or a jerrycan.

Pros: simple, straight forward construction that appears quite durable. Narrow frame and pack, which does not stick out. The flap covers the whole pack and is waterproof. The straps for the entrenchingtool are a nice bonus. 
Cons: The pack looks and feels cheap and uncomfortable somehow. The adjusting system for the backbelts is hopeless.


  1. They are kind of pretty. Just what a woodsman needs!

  2. The pack costs £ it is cheap, if the only real problem is a two pieces of string and its 50 litre capacity (it can fit a 45 litre moderm pack inside with a bit of extra room) for £20...its worth it IMO.

  3. Please inform me when you find any famous LK70..... I am keen to directly buy one!!!!