Wednesday, 10 April 2013

First impressions of my new pack - Osprey Mutant 38L

Not bad for a freebie, eh?
So, Ive been thinking about subscribing to an 'outdoor' magazine for a while. Mainly so that I have something to read when I go wild camping. In recent months, most have been offering free gifts to try persuade people to go for their magazine in particular. A Jetboil 'Zip' and a Paramo 'Fuera' smock were offered quite recently, but I already have a cooking set up that I am happy with and a windproof smock that suits me to the ground. I noticed the other day, that 'The Great Outdoors' magazine had begun to offer a free Osprey pack - and I knew that it'd be worth a punt...

So this brings me to today. The pack turned up this morning, although the magazine still hasn't, and I was eager to get hold of it and have a good look. I've read enough about it over the last few days to know that it is intended to be a climbing/mountaineering/scrambling pack more than anything else. Consequently, it has a couple of features that dont really bother me too much, such as the loops on the hip belt that are apparently designed to attach climbing gear. There are a few sturdy handles in places you may regard as odd on a hiking pack, but they are intended for use when lifting the pack with ropes. That said, they're useful to use in just grabbing hold of the pack without worrying about accidently adjusting anything, or putting the pack under strain in an area that it isnt designed to be lifted from.

I decided a while ago that I want to downsize my pack from the current 65L that I use at the minute, and I've done some tinkering with my gear, and bought a new sleeping bag in order to try lighten the weight I carry and the capacity it envelopes. I think I may be pushing it with 38L for winter, but it seems spot on for summer/warmer weather. I have unloaded my 65L and tranferred my gear to the Mutant, and it fits fine. It seems bigger than 38L to me. I used to have a 35L and things seem to fit a lot more comfortably in this one. One feature that helps the capacity, is the floating lid. There is a buckle that goes over the top of the drawstring closure, which will help to hold anything excessive on/in the pack and allow the lid to close alot easier as things won't be sliding around.

A very useful addition, to help keep gear from sliding around when you've got a fuller load to carry.

There seems to be a lot of adjustable straps flapping around on this pack, but im sure they all have their uses. I set the pack up after a bit of messing around; and it fits really nicely. It's a very nice and supportive fit. The shoulder straps make the pack hug quite well without much movement. I'ts a vast improvement on the Karrimor 65L's fit, but then I expected nothing less. After having carried it for about 45 minutes, it was still as comfortable as when I'd put it on.

I know that Osprey is a good brand of rucksack. I've been told countless times, and I've read coutless reviews. The step up in quality from the Karrimor rucksack to the Osprey is unbelievable. I would have been happy to pay the rrp for this pack, which is approximately £100. The fact that it was free makes me that much more happy with it, though.

Here is a link to the Osprey website, and the specs for the Mustant 38L; Osprey Mutant 38L.

After I have had, and used this pack for a while; I may do a more in depth review. But for now, that's all I can say! I may do some more reviews on other gear that I've bought recently.