Wisport zipperfox review

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Dec 25, 2019
I thought I'd write a review on the wisport zipperfox 25L rucksack, seeing as I've owned it for a year or two and I've put it through many day trips to the woods and hills, and through plenty of foul weather along the way.

For those who aren't familiar with it, it is a 25L clam shell opening pack, with molle on the sides, front and top (and a bit on the inside), and straps that allow fixing of items to the underside. It has compression side straps too. Inside the pack are a handful of zipped pockets for organisation of smaller items, as well as a patch of molle. It is made of Cordura 500 nylon and weighs in at 1.75 kg - this is without any additional pouches. In contrast a similar sized osprey pack comes in at 1.25 kg.

I bought this because I wanted a day pack that was different to the usual 'hiking' packs that I have owned in the past, and I wanted in particular to try out a clamshell opener and the molle system. I don't have much to say about the clam shell aspect other than that it works fine, but isn't all that useful to me. But let me get this first point out of the way: it is without doubt the most robust pack I've ever owned. I just can't conceive of ever damaging it. The zip is solid - I've never feared it popping open even when over stuffed. There's not a stitch out of place. The material will withstand any amount of thorns, rock scrapes and the like. I've taken it out in heavy, prolonged rain and the inside has remained dry, with no water penetrating the zips. Zips could be waterproofed with bees wax, but I've not had to. Nor have I felt the need to use the rain cover.

The price you pay for all this is the weight. From a practical point of view this maybe doesn't matter, simply because a pack of its size will never be that heavy when fully loaded. Additionally, it has a very comfortable load carrying system. I've had it loaded full of gear - fishing gear, stove and pan, water etc. - and the hip belt just takes the weight away. It is very comfortable. But somehow, it just feels like it shouldn't be that heavy. I would have preferred a lighter nylon. The quality of stitching is what I worry about in a product, and as I said, in the zipperfox, it is spot on.

So what about the molle? I had a bit of trouble finding decent pouches that fitted well and looked sensible. In the end I've settled for a miltec pouch that comfortably holds a 1L bottle on one side, and a 2.5L brandit pocket on the other side that holds a kettle and alcohol stove setup. You could comfortably take the pack to 30 L, possibly a bit more. The problem is that all of this takes it to 2 kg, and the pouches come at a cost too, making it an expensive setup overall. The pouches as a system work well, and having a dirty pot and methanol outside the main pack is great. The good thing about molle side pockets is that they don't take up any interior space when fully loaded, i.e. they don't push into the pack itself. But I do find myself wishing for an elasticated mesh side pocket for easier access to the water bottle. It is also all a bit on the fussy side.

Overall verdict? It is undoubtedly a high quality, comfortable rucksack, fit for bushcraft, hiking or any other outdoor activity. I really, really like it, and I almost love it. Almost. Perhaps I will love it if I find the perfect set of side pouches. If I had to choose again, would I go for something like an osprey? Probably, but there's really not much in it.
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