The bag’s concept champions access to contents by allowing users to bring the pack around to their front, without removing the shoulder straps, in order to access their kit.
In practice, the mechanism works well, although it does take a couple of tries to get used to it. Before long you will be able to swing your valuables securely from your back to your front in one fluid movement.
Loading the pack with kit was a doddle, with handy pockets for essential bits of kit. The 16 litres accommodated all of our essential items for a day on the hill. There has obviously been great consideration taken for the needs to snow sports enthusiasts when creating the pack with a fleece lined goggle pocket and a separate pocket for phones, cameras and other valuables suspended in the main cavity. Waterproof zips keep the snow out while the chunky zip handles make opening and closing the bag a simple operation even with gloves on.
Backcountry riders will be pleased to find a pouch that houses a shovel, although the lack of specific sleeves for probe and shovel handles may leave filing fanatics wanting. Usefully, the compartment doubles as a laptop sleeve for when you are back in the real world.
The straps are well padded and breathable, and the addition of hip and chest straps keep the pack secure on the move, particularly useful for snowsports. We also tested the bag when cycling and running and were surprised by the stability of the bag across all activities. Commuters will appreciate the reflective tabs scattered over the bag.
The only downside of the extra straps is that when they are hanging undone they have a habit of getting in the way of the orbital system. However, there are different bags in the Wolffepack range that are aimed at more urban applications which do not have the additional straps. When wearing thinner clothes, the zip of the valuables/hydration pocket pressed into our shoulder blades and the more padding on the hip belt would improve comfort – something which we hadn’t noticed when wearing winter jackets.