Berghaus Munro? Sabre 30? Cuillin 2? So many daypacks...

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jackorion

Member
Sep 8, 2021
15
4
37
Exeter
Hi all,

Sorry for the total newbie question but I'm really struggling to decide on a daypack at the moment... I've just started a Land & Wildlife Management college course (changing career at 37!) and I'm doing lots of volunteering for Woodland Trust, National Trust etc etc, as well as looking to up my days out hiking/walking and camping.

I'm looking for a bag that will work as a day to day bag for college/volunteering (and, eventually, work) and also walking trips and maybe short overnighters when I won't need a tent and lots of gear.

The day to day gear list will be:

Waterproofs (jacket and trousers)
Fleece/jumper
Lunch
Water bottle
Thermos
Small first aid kit
Notebook + pencils
Work Gloves
Hat/Gloves
A couple of small tools (a leatherman/victorinox, maybe some pliers)
Valuables bag (wallet, phone, keys etc)

At the moment I just have a North Face Borealis which was my old work bag for carrying a laptop and a bit of lunch plus a coat and it's just not up to the task - too many compartments so the main pocket isn't really big enough.

The bag will need to be tough, not huge, simple to pack and unpack, ideally waterproof (though I'll be lining it with a drybag), and I'll want it to last as long as possible.

All things seem to be pointing towards the Munro as the tried and tested option, but there's a couple of other bags out there that have caught my eye, namely the Cuillin 2 from Scottish Mountain Gear, which looks like a Munro-style bag, with the benefit of being made in Scotland (as far as I can tell?) which ties in with my desire to buy as much UK-made gear as I can.

Anyway, I hope I'm not boring you all with the same old same old, but I wonder if anyone had any input? I'm also completely open to second-hand bags (in fact would prefer one!) so if anyone has anything going let me know.

Cheers! Ben
 

bigjackbrass

Nomad
Sep 1, 2003
497
30
Leeds
Truly waterproof options are limited and often expensive, the Alpkit Gourdon bags being the exception. I've had one of the smallest size for a few years, mostly used for a long cycle commute, and it's been completely reliable.

A 30 - 35 litre bag looks about right, so your current suggestions are good choices. In that size range I recently picked up a Karrimor SF (not to be mistaken for the shadow-of-its-former-self Karrimor brand) Predator 30 which will probably outlast me whatever I put it through. Might be overkill for you with all of the attachment ladders, but it does allow for the option of adding extra pockets easily if required.
 
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Oliver G

Full Member
Sep 15, 2012
365
249
Melbourne, Derbyshire
My wife did her degree in Countryside and Land Management and has since been a ranger, she's got one of these daysacks, it's lasted since 2011, it does all that's been asked for it. It's in a fetching purple so it's harder to lose as well.

You'll find you quickly pare down what you carry to the essentials and the list you've got there is pretty much bang on what she carries, anything bigger than that and it gets slung in the vehicle.

In terms of overnighters you'll be wanting a separate bag, if you have a big bag for day to day they have a habit of gathering kit to just fill the space.

Good luck on the course hope it all goes well.
 
Apr 8, 2009
1,148
134
Ashdown Forest
I've got a munroe, a sabre 30, sabre 45, and a 5.11 Rush 24 (and had various other similar sized daysacks in the past). To be honest, the sabre 30 seems to be my go-to when i have a few bulky items only to carry e.g. water, warm layer, waterproof, lunch; and the Rush 24, where i have a few other niknaks that i want to carry as well -as its zip based set-up and multitude of pockets make sorting and finding stuff without emptying the bag every time much easier!

Both are excellent options for you, but in way of a 'halfway house' - I might recommend that you look at the sabre 35 - identical to the sabre 30 but with a couple of super useful side pockets for kit segregation.

p.s. I'm not 100% certain that scottish mountain gear packs are all made in the UK - they might well be, but the 'designed and made by scottish mountain gear' claim doesn't necessarily mean that its not them commissioning a far eastern factory to work as their agents. Not that i think that is in any way important - the quality of some stuff made in the far east often matches/is superior to UK manufactured kit (most of which is all made from materials/components made and shipped from the far east anyhow!)
 
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Broch

Full Member
Jan 18, 2009
5,394
4,753
Mid Wales
I have a Predator 30 (Sabre but with Molle webbing all over it), but immediately after buying it decided I needed side pockets, so really I think the Sabre 35 would have been a better choice for me too - it would certainly be tidier. Having said that, the bag is excellent and I can't see myself managing to wear it out.

I think, if you want the same bag for the odd overnight, the 45s may be a wiser choice - just my opinion.
 

jackorion

Member
Sep 8, 2021
15
4
37
Exeter
My wife did her degree in Countryside and Land Management and has since been a ranger, she's got one of these daysacks, it's lasted since 2011, it does all that's been asked for it. It's in a fetching purple so it's harder to lose as well.

You'll find you quickly pare down what you carry to the essentials and the list you've got there is pretty much bang on what she carries, anything bigger than that and it gets slung in the vehicle.

In terms of overnighters you'll be wanting a separate bag, if you have a big bag for day to day they have a habit of gathering kit to just fill the space.

Good luck on the course hope it all goes well.
Which daysack has she got? Glad to know I've got my kit list near the money!
 

Limaed

Full Member
Apr 11, 2006
1,239
42
46
Perth & Anglesey
I’d punt for the Munro it’s hard to beat IMO. SMG are a good brand and I’ve had a few of their bags over the years. One thing to note with SMG is that they don’t generally come with a frame - the bags I’ve had I’ve added one cannibalised off other old packs. The newer SMG packs have slots for a SAM Splint, which also give some rigidity to the back - a nice idea with dual purpose but more money.
 

Erbswurst

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Mar 5, 2018
3,182
1,272
Berlin
Ortlieb makes waterproof rucksacks in Germany. They are the market leader for bicycle and canoe bags here.

The black British army daypack could be another option for you. It's surely too small for a overnighter for a beginner in Britain. You would need to buy the most compact equipment on the market if you want to squeeze a complete equipment into that and use a spartanic selection of items. But otherwise I find it pretty interesting but don't own it.


I also think that the Sabre 45 with side pouches is a very good option if you want to carry a complete equipment in normal British weather conditions.

Made in Vietnam. According to NATO specifications.


In a different price league plays the Savotta Jääkäri L with Särmä XL side pouches.

Made in Estonia, according to Finnish army specifications.



You could copy exactly my own 3 seasons equipment. I managed to squeeze a selection of very modern items into the old 34 litres German army mountain Rucksack. That's mainly currently issued NATO equipment, what means not especially cheap but worth the money because surely long lasting and state of the art.

Made in Germany. Here factory new.
Can still be found sometimes used for half the price.


But in my opinion you should get the Sabre 45 with side pouches or something similar and keep it packed ready to start for hiking and camping with a well selected standard 3 seasons equipment.

And get a second smaller pack for daily life. That's simply far more comfortable.

If you do it like that and put your documents and some long lasting food in a separate shoulder bag, the hiking rucksack doubles as a disaster evacuation bag. I don't assume that your neighbour will burn down your street so soon. But if you own the stuff you also can keep it ready to go. If you suddenly realise that you get a sunny weekend it's no fault anyway to be prepared to start immediately.
 

Erbswurst

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Mar 5, 2018
3,182
1,272
Berlin
If you want something that's made in Britain that's surely worth an own thread.

These here are made in England for example:


I guess these side pouches fit here, I would choose the large ones.


They surely offer every model in every colour.
 

Erbswurst

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Mar 5, 2018
3,182
1,272
Berlin
This here is made in Czechia according to Austrian army specifications.


It's not made of Cordura Nylon like most NATO rucksacks. It's a polyester fabric, that surely will last a bit shorter. But that's very very affordable and outstanding well designed.

This could meet your idea of the one rucksack for all and everything.

It has just a bit more than 40 litres, perhaps 45 litres including the sewn on side pouches. Still not too big as a daypack in daily life, but large enough to serve for a overnighter in usual British 3 seasons weather conditions.

I could tell you which equipment would fit, before you buy it. You need to get a compact packing equipment for that rucksack of course.

Essl is a traditional Austrian rucksack brand. They know exactly what they are doing and sew the series in the own factory in Czechia.

This model is lightweight and very practical, because it has a lot of side pouches and pockets everywhere but also a large main compartment.

The side pouches fit 1,5 litres supermarket bottles easily.
 
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jackorion

Member
Sep 8, 2021
15
4
37
Exeter
Thanks for the detailed response Erbswurst - I realise I make it sound a bit like I'm after the 'goldilocks' bag, but my main need is for the college course/volunteering/future work use - by 'walking trip' I just mean a dayhike and I concede that it might be ambitious for me to use a daypack for an overnighter..

I think a 45L will be too big for my day to day needs so the Sabre is out...
 

Erbswurst

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Mar 5, 2018
3,182
1,272
Berlin
There are used Dutch army Sting rucksacks on the market that are a bit bigger than the Sabre 45 but very similar, rare in green or black, very common in DPM camouflage. The camouflage version can be bought used pretty cheap and that would be a good allround bushcraft, trekking and traveling rucksack for a student.
Should you want a black one you need to search Dutch sites, the camouflage version one can buy in British military surplus internet shops.

We have a thread somewhere here in the forum about it.

The little black British army rucksack that I showed you in the link one also can find used for approximately 30 € or whatever. There is a similar but blue airforce version too.

The Austrian Essl Rucksack that I mentioned above exists also in a 34 litres version.

I used a similar rucksack in school and found it very convincing. You simply get a bit more in there than into such a usual school day pack. Additional sport stuff for example.
That is also the size that you need to haul effectively food from Aldi to your student apartment.
And although I don't own this rucksack I think that I can tell you which 3 season hiking equipment would fit in there, because my own rucksack also has 34 litres capacity. That's why I think I could help you to achieve your initial goal if you get this one.
It's possible, just not easy.
I am unsure if that can be done with a 30 litres rucksack too if you don't spend a horrible amount of money into pretty weak equipment.

In this case we talk about approximatly half the weight but the double price compared to the standard equipment that I would recommend to a poor student who wants to buy a robust equipment.

I am pretty specialised in exactly that, by the way. I thought decades about the question how to buy a high quality outdoor equipment on a pocket money budget.
 
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Erbswurst

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Mar 5, 2018
3,182
1,272
Berlin
You can have a look at the Dutch Sting rucksack in Exeter! The Generation2 of this rucksack is the better choice, because it has compression straps at the sides and the zippers of the side pouch attachment are compatible with the British army side pouches.

Endicotts is a very well assorted pretty cheap shop.

You can get there for 45 £ an outstanding good used all purpose bushcraft and traveling rucksack of approximately 80 litres capacity:



And if you should buy that, you can continue with the matching British military surplus equipment, Bivvy bag, army tarp, and so on, get the best deals that you can find, choose the stuff in the best conditions directly in the shop and it will surely last you for decades, because Army equipment is made to last as long as possible.

Everything will fit into that rucksack and that's the best recommendation one can give to a student who is interested in bushcraft. That's the best quality you can get on a usual student budget.

One could buy more or less the same stuff factory new and pay a few times more.
 
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Erbswurst

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Mar 5, 2018
3,182
1,272
Berlin
There had been side pouches for it on the market, that seem to be rare and out of production.


I recommend to open a seperat thread to ask how to improvise side pouches for the Munro.

There are surely members who can tell you which used military belt or other pouches are long enough that you can sew onto the back of the pouches by hand straps or sleeves to accommodate the compression straps of the Munro.

The system to attach the pouches looks approximately like this.
The makers surely can tell you if their own pouches fit to your rucksack and perhaps would make you some fitting ones in olive green.


Or you go to Endicotts and buy a pair of the last factory new offered old original Berghaus Munro side pouches in red or blue.

I think that it is as good as impossible to buy them anywhere in olive green, because the Munro is issued in the German army without side pouches, sold everywhere as military surplus, and everybody tries to buy the pouches second hand since many years!

But if you go there, and ask which other green pouches could be used to improvise side pouches, perhaps they will have a good idea.

Or you buy something else, like an Austrian Cordura sea sack, and make from the material your own side pouches after the pattern of the Munro pouches that you can see in the Endicotts shop.

Orange and olive green don't seem to match so good in the first view. But a lot of hunting and forest clothing has exactly this combination.

If you wear such a jacket the orange pouches will match indeed better with the green rucksack than the blue ones.



That's not my personal taste but a very professional looking choice.

It is intelligent to store water bottles and rain gear in side pouches.
 
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