Friday, 7 February 2014

High Style: Gelert Rucksack

High Style is my outdoor clothing and accessories review section. Testing out the serious and practical side of outdoor clothing, in High Style I also consider what sometimes is overlooked - how stylish the items of clothing are.
I am working with a range of retailers and manufacturers to bring these reviews to you from well-known brands to less well-known ones and everything from trousers and t-shirts to rucksacks and flasks.
I hope you enjoy the reviews and find them useful. 

Gelert Beyond Rock Hiker 25cl Rucksack

(Reviewed for Silverfox Travel & Outdoors) 

The somewhat inclement weather over the last few months means this rucksack certainly had a thorough test on the mountains of the Lake District!

The basic design is one large main compartment with a pocket inside, a small zipped section in the top of the rucksack and two side pockets with zips. It also has a high visibility rain cover in a separate pocket underneath. 

Having been out in prolonged and heavy rain, I was impressed at how waterproof the rucksack remained with the rain cover on and given how muddy it got on occasions, how easy it was to clean afterwards. It was easy taking waterproof jackets and trousers in and out as there was plenty of room and with a single cord closure and strap, it was quite quick to do that too (perfect for those impromptu rain showers!) 

For me, the shoulder straps and the soft padding it has on the back (part of the air fit breathable system) meant it was very comfortable to wear and it is a very good size for a hiking day.

I was uncertain about only having one large compartment with no divide initially as all my previous rucksacks have had two compartments. It worked well for me though as it was easier taking things in and out and (if I am honest), with two compartments I usually forget which one the item I want is in anyway and invariably it is never in the first one I try so it saved that frustration! The side and top pockets are very useful for keeping things you need easy access to in, such as high energy foods, a compass etc. The only drawback to the zipped pockets is that even with an adjustable strap above each one, it is trickier to store bottled water in. For those using a hydration system rather than bottles however, it is not a problem.
With the colourful rain cover

Beyond the basics though the Gelert Beyond Rock Hiker rucksack has a lot of little accessories that add up to something really quite special. Surprisingly so given its fairly modest retail price of £39.99. These include:

  • Various external hoops and loops for walking poles and an ice axe
  • Velcro and metal hooks inside the pockets to keep track of smaller items
  • A safety panel inside the top of the rucksack with information on international emergency signals and telephone numbers
  • On one of the buckles, there is a orange clip that doubles up as a whistle as well

The whistle
Now for style test. I like the design of the rucksack and the orange details dotted around it. I also quite like the two-tone grey effect but for choice, I would prefer to have the option of the same rucksack in alternative colours. That said the bright orange rain cover with the silver logo, which I love, goes a long way to adding that splash of colour!

Overall Verdict
In terms of practicality, I was very impressed. It had a very robust test and it stood up well, being comfortable and waterproof. It is ideal for a day sack, with the only exception being easy access to bottled water. It is good value for money and if Gelert could introduce a bit more colour it would be even better!

Practicality: 9/10

Style: 7/10

Gelert Beyond Rock Hiker Rucksack
£39.99 (currently on offer at £34.99 from Silverfox Travel & Outdoors)

Capacity - 25 litres
Weight - 1 kilogram
Dimensions - w24 x d20 x h46 cm

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