We both like moving fast and freely over the mountains, so any pack we use has to be light, fit well and have a good weight balance. Like most people we’ve tried out plenty of different makes and models of backpacks, the market is so big it’s hard to know which to choose, but we’ve settled on a couple of reasonably priced models that serve every purpose for our adventures.
We take the minimum equipment we need to enjoy our adventures safely and have loads of fun on the trails. If it’s not essential, it doesn’t go in the pack. Over many adventures we’ve narrowed all the accessories and gadgets etc down to a small selection of items, many that serve multiple functions and cover us for a range of eventualities.
Carry on reading to learn about our favourite back packs for running, hiking, scrambling & climbing, and what we pack for our wanderlust adventures.
Packs We Use
Vango Swift 10
The Vango Swift 10 is the back pack of choice for both of us on the vast majority of our day trip adventures.
- hugs the body
- hydration pack
This relatively cheap small pack is the comfiest thing ever, the shoulder straps, pack itself and waist straps all flow seamlessly and hug the body incredibly well. Design & ergonomics on point.
The pack is divided into two sections, the front has an inner zip pocket and an elasticated stash pocket. The rear has the hydration bag pocket and storage space.
For running, mountain hiking, scrambling and climbing there’s no other pack either of us prefer to use.
Lowe Alpine Altus 32
We rarely use this enormous Lowe Alpine back pack, although it’s the best specced and most expensive in our cupboard.
- massive storage space
- air flow across the back
- well balanced weight
The storage space is incredible; we can get the tent, blow up mattresses, Biolite stove, all our cooking stuff and some clothes in with ease.
Comfort wise it’s very well designed and the weight is well balanced. The air flow through the open back straps makes a huge difference to body heat on long hikes.
On a normal adventure basis this pack is simply too big for our requirements, we rarely need the space it offers and the pack alone is loads heavier than both the Vango and the Osprey.
The Lowe Alpine Altus 32 is best suited to hiking rather than running, scrambling or climbing. We’ve found this size back pack roughly seems to be the breakpoint where crawling through tight gullies or extended climbs become awkward and clumsy. The Osprey at 20L in comparison is still neat enough to scramble and climb freely.
Our Osprey Daylite is the most commonly used when one of us needs a bit more space than the Vango.
- loads of storage room for day trips
- external attachments
- hydration pack
If we’re intending on hanging out at a location for a few hours and want extra food, coffee or such like, this is the bag we grab.
It’s quite not as comfy as the Vango, lacking the waist padding, but the weighting sits well on the back and we can get a huge amount of equipment in this bag.
It’s got extra straps on the sides we use for attaching hoodies/waterproof jackets, as well as the twin mesh pockets to save our Nimbo Bottles taking up room in the internal storage space.
Inside there’s a half size front pocket with two mesh elasticated pockets and a key fob clip. Plenty enough room for a phone, keys, wallet and a few small items.
The rear zipper opens to a huge storage space that also has a waterproof elasticated pocket. We can get loads in here.
The hydration pack is housed between the rear pocket and the exterior of the back pack.
Fully packed it can become a burden when running solidly for extended periods, but it’s perfect for repeated running a bit/walking a bit.
Stuff We Always Take
Whether we’re on a blast both wearing the small 10 litre back packs or an overnight adventure, there’s a few accessories we can’t leave without.
Foil body wrap, brand new strong shoe laces and a box of paracetamol. If it’s less serious than a repair with those items, it can wait till the end. If it’s more serious then external help from a third party is required.
Our favourite speaker to blast tunes in the outdoors, this tiny little box links to phone via bluetooth with zero hassle and is plenty loud enough for most days out.
We’ve been using a couple of Goodmans 8000ma USB powerbanks for quite some time. They hold enough to charge an iPhone four times and seem to be pretty reliable in most temperatures.
We’ve got a little Karrimor micro fibre towel we’ve had for ages that works both to dry hands and as a seat to take the edge off cold rocks.
Buy Canvas Prints
We sell limited edition canvas prints from our adventures, these don’t make us much money but everything received helps us to adventure even more.