The best hiking backpack? The One Planet Strezlecki looks the goods

Recently we posted about 5 features in a hiking backpack we do not want.

The goal was two fold:

  • an exercise to clarify what sort of pack we might purchase one day
  • to inform others of our ideas about what we define as a good hiking pack
Over the weekend we were able to visit our local Mountain Designs store. It is our city's only "pure" hiking goods store and we have been buying gear there for years. We trust the owners and staff. They are people who go hiking and climbing. They have adventures and use the gear they sell. It is like our second home where we can swap yarns about recent trips, or get advice, or borrow stuff sometimes.

We had some spare time and decided to suss out their bushwalking packs....... just to see what was around......

Now, do we really NEED a new pack each? Probably not, as these would be our third new pack in 5 years. Luckily, circumstances have fallen favourably our way and we have the CASH to splash, so purchasing is an option. (especially when we heard a rumour of a sale coming up soon)

We looked at a lot of packs. We played around with a lot of different packs. In the end we easily decided on one brand - One Planet.

In fact, we have decided on the Strezlecki from One Planet. Why you might ask?

It meets all our five criteria (and more)

1) Limited number of straps
Really simple strapping and compression system. Look at the photo. How clean and unpretentious does it look?

2) Pockets
Top, underlid and front. All very spacious, all with great zippers and wonderfully integrated into the pack design. There are also bottle holders built into the harness and some additional attachment points for extra gear. The beauty of these additional points is they are unobtrusive and streamlined. (in other words we won't cut them off to save weight!)

3) Zippers
REALLY strong #10 YKK zippers, with big handles. These zippers are tough and the sewing to hold them there solid.

4) Fabric
Strong, tough and waterproof. It is called Waterloc canvas. This is the One Planet blurb on the fabric . It is worth reading to understand the research and product development that has gone into this pack. The pack is waterproof (under most conditions)

5) Weight
Not the lightest at around 3kg but strong and durable. We want this to be the last pack we buy. We want it to last. The strength and soundness of this pack promises years of hard work and gives us confidence that it will weather anything we throw at it.

But wait.....there's more ......above and beyond the original five criteria.

We assumed all harnesses are much the same, basically shoulder straps and a hip belt. That is until we read the harness sales pitch by One Planet where the opening line is:
We believe the harness is the most important part of a backpack. Without a strong, comfortable harness, you might as well buy a suitcase.

We now know there are about six different hip belt sizes and three different back lengths available.
As One Planet states, this creates precise control over the relationship between back length, shoulder straps and hip belt. Or, in other words, a fancy way of saying we will make it fit you, no matter what!

We were a bit confused about some of the information that was available on-line and in the brochure, (we must be a bit thick here at "Our Hiking Blog" - the brochure and website are fantastic, it's just that we did not understand.....) and decided to telephone One Planet. Lee was on the phones and was, in one word, fantastic.

If her assistance was any gauge of the quality of the product and service from One Planet then I believe we are on a winner. She knew her stuff. She was the first entry to the company and had all information either in her head or online. Very impressive.
Also impressive was the length One Planet are prepared to go to custom build their packs..but that, my friends is a story for another day.

By the way, neither One Planet nor Mountain Designs have ANY commercial relationship with "Our Hiking Blog" (although they are welcome to contact us to discuss a million dollar deal!!)

1 comment:

Mark said...

I have a One Planet McMillan pack, and I can't speak highly enough of it. It has given me many years of outstanding performance. In terms of customer service, last season I pulled the pack out of the garage to discover the day pack was covered in mildew. I emailed One Planet to ask the best way to get it clean, I received a same day response including idiot proof care instructions - unreal.