Berghaus Freeflow 35+8
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With a longer back system than the Freeflow III 25, this rucksack boasts expandable side pockets which deflate to nothingness when alpine climbing or moving in close country.
Official Berghaus Freeflow 35+8 specification from Berghaus
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Berghaus Freeflow 35+8 Reviews
Reviewed by Marty Schoo (Australia) on 2005-09-30:
General comments: I manage an adventure company in Australia and I have had my freeflow 35+8 for around 2.5 years now and is still performs as new. It goes to work with me everyday and spends its time carrying first aid, harnesses, helmet, 2L water bladder, rock climbing hardware and a rope as well as the usual suncream and so on. The pack is tough and still only shows minimal signs of wear. The pack won't keep my back dry but it sure stays cool even on hot days. I'm tall and the pack seems to fit my back perfectly by my wife finds it too long. I have only good things to say about this pack and now 4 more of my staff also use the freeflow system.
Reviewed by Paul Fassam (UK) on 2005-09-30:
General comments: This very small pack has an extrodinary amount of space within. I can fit the entire 10 tors kit list and my on extras inside without hassel.
Pros: The ridged back means that even if packed badely the shape remains perfect and the fit incredible.
Cons: My only concern is that the straps do not hold your role mat on very well. However I have used bungees to solve this problem. Your back does get very cold thought.
Reviewed by Josh Conway (UK) on 2005-09-30:
General comments: I used this when mountaineering in Austria, and it is without a doubt the pinnacle of rucksacks!! The only down side to this rucksack is the lid buckles are hard to get to when Ice Axes/Walking Poles are attached, however with the new design it looks as if this has been remedied. Overall one of the best purchases I've made all year.
Reviewed by Graeme Lawson (UK) on 2005-09-30:
General comments: Excellent rucksack.
Cons: Only a couple of little niggles. - location of walking pole straps. i feek if the sack had a small wand loop at the side / bottom for these to go into using the side straps it would be better as you cant use the waterproof cover when these are on the back - I dont like the location of the pocket for the hydration pouch. Again i feel this would have been a good side pocket thing. Other than that a great sack
Reviewed by Bernard Lee (UK) on 2005-09-30:
General comments: I previously had a Berghaus Munro rucksack with which I was entirely happy. I am equally pleased with my replacement, a Freeflow II 35+8. This seems to have all the advantages of the Munro & more. The Freeflow back system is excellent.
Cons: The only niggle I have noted is that when tightening the rucksack closure buckles, the adjustment straps pull the buckles straight down over the upper ice axe loops (these, incidentally, are a brilliant example of flexible simplicity, which I can genuinely envisage being able to use whilst wearing thick winter gloves). I would suggest that the adjustment straps are set such that they run just to one side or the other of the ice axe loops (or move the ice axe loops).
Reviewed by Osian Roberts (UK) on 2005-09-30:
General comments: I use the freeflow 35+8 for search and rescue to carry my personal gear, radio, and basic survival equipment. It is by far the most comfortable sack in its range that I have worn and the freeflow system is excillent. The side pockets can be tucked away when not in use, but have ample room for flasks etc.Combined with excillent build quality and great looks, you would have to look far and wide for a better product in this price range.
Reviewed by Steve Taylor (UK) on 2005-09-30:
General comments: The Berghaus Freeflow 35 + 8 is an excellent pack from the perspective of a 6'4" bushwalker! I appreciate the longer harness and the consequent effecicy of load/weight distribution on the hips. Like the volume of the pack - is more than just a day pack.
Pros: Overall a great pack. Well done!
Cons: Would like to suggest a wider zipper on the top pocket - especially for us bigger blokes with neanderthal width hands! Maybe a couple of wand pockets on the base below the compression straps? And, if possible, less bend in the back plate - could it not be just as effecient if it was a little straighter?
Reviewed by Jack Pearsall (UK) on 2005-09-30:
General comments: I found the Berghaus Freeflow 35 + 8 really excellent on walks in and around my area,although the weight distribution is a problem somtimes and you have to pack the sac really carefully.i really am impressed with the practicality and performance of the sac because the freeflow system really works and the side pockets really add extra space for socks and torches
Reviewed by Steve Charlesworth (UK) on 2005-09-30:
General comments: Very Impressed by the free flow system - keeps my back nice and dry. Have to be more carefull in packing it than conventional sacks as the weight distribution can give you the feeling of pulling you back.
Cons: Very high quality build although I was a bit disappointed to learn it was manufactured in China. Was under the impression when I bought it, it was manufactured in the UK or Germany.
Reviewed by Gunilla Gustafsson (UK) on 2005-09-30:
General comments: I could use a bit more fabric at the opening. Sometimes I am afraid that things will fall out if I pack the backpack(too) full. I also would like to prevent water from entering in the backpack. (I use it when Ice skating and then the backpack works as a floating aid) Side pockets are great. Ventilation on back perfect! It is a hard work to ice skate all day, and to have a wet back makes you cold. So the backpack works really well for that purpose. Clever smaller pockets. It is difficult to get the sack on and off. To make it fit properly I must have the backpack really tight on my back and I tithten all the straps I can find. But I still find it difficult to make the sack fit properly or rather comfortabely. The bottom of the sack is very hard and hits my bottom when walking. Not comfortable! The sack will not stand by it self. Keeps falling all the time, but you know that already. Sometimes if I carry very heavy things and probably not pack the sack right it feels like I am going to fall backwards. This backpack seems extra sensetive for that. The backpack works really well to keep your back dry, but it still needs some work to make it more comfortable to wear.
Reviewed by Phil Rhymes (Devon) on 2006-01-03:
General comments: For many years I have used a Karimoor Cougar and have been happy with it. However a few years ago I damaged my back, and found carrying my sack very uncomfortable and painful. I tried many of my friend's rucksacks, all of which were uncomfortable until I tried this sack.
The Berghaus Freeflow back system is a mesh system that covers the whole of the back but keeps the main sack away from you. Not only does this allow for the air to circulate around your back, keeping you cool, it also helps to distribute the weight across your back. With the help of the chest strap (which features a strap for your hydration tube) and the waist strap (which features the study Berg Buckle) it reduces the pressure put on your shoulders and back. This is one of the most comfortable rucksacks I have carried in a long time, especially now I have back problems.
The actually rucksack, packing-wise, is also excellent. Despite the sack only being 35+8 litres, I can (somehow) manage to fit in all of the stuff into this as I did with a larger sack. The only problem with this rucksack is that the lid and the fabric around the draw cord seems to be too small when the sack is full. When full the lid does not cover the opening of the bag fully, this reduces waterproofness. I am not sure how waterproof the bag itself is as I always use a separate waterproof liner.
The sack doesn't have side pockets like a lot of other rucksacks on the market; however it does have large pockets within the inside and the outside of the lid. The bag comes with a detectable rain cover, when removed I find the pocket which it was in (at the rear of the lid) becomes a useful storage space for your GPS. In place of the side pockets there are double straps either side designed for attaching roll mats etc, however these do work loose when carrying the sack. The bungee on the front of the bag is useful for carrying climbing gear, or muddy boots or shoes when wearing alternatives.
Pros: Back System lets air circulate around your back, keeping it cool, and also dispributes the weight.
Cons: Lid seems a little small when sack is full.
Side straps work loose.
Reviewed by Gordon McIntosh (Glasgow) on 2006-02-07:
General comments: After borrowing the larger size frre flow pack from a friend for the day I decided to get one. For anyone who hates sticky back syndrome this sack is a must, as it sit off you back thanks to cleverly shaped shell it lets air circulate and keeps stikieness to a minimum. Apart from the main chamber ther are two side pouches and a small zip pocket on the inside of the lid. Ther is also a stow away attached rain cover along with webbing on the front. To get maximum storage space in the sack you have to open the compression straps right up as I feel the freeflow arc system can limit space unless the sack is properly packed
Pros: freeflow system.
Cons: compression straps could be better placed
Reviewed by Nick Strada (London, UK) on 2006-03-18:
General comments: I bought the Berghaus Freeflow 35 + 8 pack when I saw how overpriced North Face packs were. The manager at Black's suggested that the freeflow back system would make up for any worries I had about a brand I didn't know much about. (I was new to England then) But after a week on the trail all my concerns were gone. This is a very comfortable pack, and can hold tons of kit. At the same time it compresses down to a compact package due to very nice compression straps. The top cover has a big, volumiinous compartment on the outside and a smller one on the inside (I carry my keys, wallet money and passport on the inside, It's very secure. I find that the camelbak/hydration system pocket is a bit tight for a standard 2 litre bottle, but that's not too much of a worry. One thing you shold consider if you haven't ever used a Freeflow pack before is that on windy hilltops it can get pretty chilly. I'm used to a normal, flat backed pack. When the wind whips the sweat off you, it's a real eye opener!
Pros: Light, volume adaptable. good side pockets. Very very comfortable.
Cons: I don't like the location of the shoulder-strap mounted hydration tube holder. It's too high up the strap for me and my drinking tube can stick out if too much hose is showing. But then if you slide the hose back into the pack so that it doesn't wave around, it's tough for another person (ie, my wife) to get a drink. Also, a mesh bottle pocket on the outside would be nice.
Reviewed by Berger (West Yorkshire) on 2006-04-11:
General comments: I use my Berghaus Freeflow 35 + 8 rucksack pretty much all the time, from filling it with my gym gear to taking it out on the hills with it full of walking gear. When I first saw this rucksack I was a little put off with the freeflow back system as it made it look small but the pack is deceivingly big and you can fit lots of your stuff inside. I donít find the pack keeps your back dry though like it makes out but one good thing about it unlike some other packs is that your drink doesnít get warm as itís kept off your back. It has plenty of good features i.e. shower cover, bladder holder, walking pole holders, compression straps. If the pack is full or half empty I find it very comfy on your back, with it having adjustable straps it is easy to fit to either myself or the girlfriend (usually ends up been me carrying it all the time though!) The only major problem I have found is that when full it feels to put you a bit off balance and makes you feel as though you will fall over backwards.
Pros: Extremely comfortable, pretty light, good features
Cons: Seems to put me a bit off balance when full
Reviewed by Sam (South West) on 2006-06-01:
General comments: The Berghaus Freeflow 35 plus 8 rucksack is quite robust and is of sturdy construction. Overall it is a cool (temperature) sack for climbing and walking with enough versatile features to suit most needs. The padding and back length could do with a bit of work though.
Pros: Back system leaves your back feeling very cool; it is quite a lightweight bag but still retains many features that make it highly versatile. It has compression straps on both sides and long straps from the hood to the base of the bag that allows good compression when needed. The side bellow pockets are surprisingly large and can fit about 1.7litres of a 2ltr platypus in. There is also a hydration pocket in the bag, which I am not so much of a fan of. There is good provision on the back of the bag for safely stowing ice tools, or walking poles if you wish, The top external pocket of the bag is under rated-ly large and useful for immediate access items. (It can also be accessed without taking your bag off if you are of reasonable flexibility)
Cons: The hydration pocket is hindered by the angular back plate and in my experience, not practical if you are packing a lot into the bag as it means that a large pressure is on the platypus/camelbac which can be another thing to worry about. It also makes the water rather warm. I find the extent of the curve in the back plate, too much, and reduced the amount you can fit in, it is also harder to pack to all the corners I find. The back is also rather short for me, I admittedly have a rather long back but even so, I thought id mention it.
Reviewed by Carl Spiers (Devon, UK) on 2006-07-10:
General comments: I bought this Berghaus Freeflow 35 ruck sack with the intention of using it for days out in the hills, but also weekends away (not camping, visiting friends).
My criteria was that it had enough space for this, was comfortable, and had a number of pockets to store my travel documents in.
I certainly found the ruck sack large enough, although from the outside it does appear bigger than than it actually is. this is because the Freeflow system is arched, away from your back. In front of this arch is mesh webbing, to provide a gap between your back and the sack to try and reduce sweating and getting uncomfortable. The Freeflow system does mean you lose a little internal space and make the ruck sack look bigger than it is.
But I do like this ruck sack. It has plenty of pockets, including a hidden security one inside the lid for important items. There's also a small hole near the lid for your Platypus or Camelback hydration system hose to go through, with a small compartment for the bladder inside the ruck sack.
The waist belt is comfortable and the clip has so far proved to be durable enough. The shoulder straps feature a mesh material which aims to keep perspiration to a minimum.
Also included is a waterproof cover, in bright silver. Can make you look like a snail if you ever have to use it!
A good ruck sack overall, but could be considered a little expensive
Pros: Freeflow system does keep back cooler
Well made and good features
Waterproof cover included
Cons: A little on the pricey side
Freeflow system seems to reduce internal space
Reviewed by Andrew (Glasgow) on 2007-03-12:
General comments: The Berghaus Freeflow 35+8 is a nice looking rucksack and general build quality appears good. Freeflow back system is very comfortable and overall, the pack is a good fit.
However, it continually topples over, even when leaning against something. Complete pain when you see your last pork pie rolling down the hill because your rucksack fell over...AGAIN. Side pockets look good, but not much use when the main sack is full. Gear tends to get trapped round the back of the pockets, cut off by the bulge of the main sack. Zipper on the top pocket came undone from the wrong end after a few uses. Bit of brute force to put the zipper back on and it seems to be OK now. Rucksack cover stored in top pocket is a neat touch but appears to be about 5 sizes to big. Billows in the wind gets really noisy and frankly annoying after a while.
Pros: Very comfortable, even when fully loaded. General build quality appears good.
Cons: Tendancy to fall over and parachute sized cover.
|This review has 3 comment(s):
Jim Crosthwaite responded : Same Comment on zips, two of the main zips failed, have been unable to get them back working . (2007-03-24)
John Rayner responded : Although i have not had trouble with the zips. I completely agree with your review. I get sick to death of it falling over and emptying my gear out. I almost lost my flask recently on Coniston Old Man when the sack, which i thought was balanced ok, fell over and my flask rolled away. I think the gap between the rucksack and your back is too much. Although the support of the frame is great it doesn't keep you dry. I also think its a little heavy even with nothing in it. (2007-08-13)
Jason, Callander responded : I agree about the zips. I'm amazed that nobody has mentioned these as much. Within a month of buying my sack the side pocket zipper went. I should've taken it back but had bought it in Cumbria and couldn't be bothered messing around. Both zips have now gone and the lid zipper plays up at the worst of moments when it's really cold. I gave up along time ago with the side zips and ended up sowing them up three quarters of the way and leaving a hand space so I can put handy stuff in.
It's a shame because the sack is good but the poor quality zips put me off buying another. If you compare these with the zips on a Karrimor there's a massive difference. (2009-11-09)
Reviewed by m.kilshaw (liverpool) on 2008-07-04:
General comments: I bought this day sack for the air flow across the back and the airflow straps great idea.material it is made of is solid i have had hardly any ware and tear had the bag roughly 2 years. the only problem i've had with it is the sweat build up on the waist band the two side pockets are like the tardis you could probily get most of your day ware in them.
Pros: solid and hard waring ruck sack great shoulder straps don't realise you've got it on
Cons: Waist band could do with being the same as the shoulder straps.
Reviewed by m.ferrill (arkansas,usa) on 2009-02-27:
General comments: EXCELLENT. I bought the Berghaus Freeflow 35 + 8 pack in 2003 in London, after my luggage got lost, thinking that it would make a great short-trip/day-hike pack. But after my luggage arrived i boxed up my older/larger kelty backpack and mailed it back home. I spent 2 months traveling around the UK and Europe using only this pack. I have nothing but good things to say about this bag.
Pros: (1) The webbing and the curve in the bag, keep airflowing behind you, and keep you cooler than any other bag I have owned. (2) The hip belt seems to be a good size, not too small or too large. (3) I like the way the hipbelt clasps together also. (4) There is a built-in pack fly to keep most of the rain.
Cons: (1) The internal bladder pouch pocket is a bit small, i usually store extra maps there, instead of the water pouch, b/c it tends to offset the inside space. (2) After running for any long distance, the frame tends to rub into your hip, the key is just to slow down/and take er' easy.... (3)No real complaints.
That's it............ I have loved this pack since day 1, and am still hiking with it...
Reviewed by John Bolland (Northants) on 2009-03-15:
General comments: A really good comfortable day sack. I like the frame - no discomfort at all even when fully laden. The construction is strong & the sack feels like it will last forever! The size is very flexible with a large central cavity & very useaful side pockets which are large enough to comfortably hold a water bottle in each.
Pros: Size, comfort, construction, versatility.
Cons: Frame makes it difficult to fit into a confined space eg luggage rack or locker.
Reviewed by Andy Quin (North East) on 2009-04-14:
General comments: I recently bought this to haul climbing gear up to difficult access crags and haven't been disappointed. No more sticky sweaty back even when fully laden and enjoying our unseasonably nice weather of late. Although its at the small end of the size range I find I can fit plenty in it, especially with clever use of the gear loops. the free flow curved back also gives you somewhere to stash things briefly, although it does defeat the purpose of it! I'm not a huge fan of the camelbak type bladders as they always end up tepid but hopefully this one won't The small side pockets at the bottom of the bag are useful for putting the ends of objects in that are held by the straps, very good for tent poles etc. I suspect I have the new version of this, which doesn't have the elastics on the front, which is a shame as it would be good for a helmet. The exposed zips are reasonably waterproff and the deep side pockets are good for flasks etc. I'm yet to need the rain cover though I'd imagine it would be more use when not actually wearing the bag. Overall an excellent bit of kit and worth the price tag.
Pros: Deceptively large, excellent ventilation, very comfortable, a few clever features.
Cons: The previous entries about the "collar" of the main section are true; when fully loaded it doesn't quite extend high enough into the lid.
Reviewed by Mike M (Taiwan) on 2009-06-07:
General comments: I tried the berghaus in Taiwan, but the length of the back was too short (I'm 186cm). From the top of the shoulder strap to the bottom of the hip strap down the back was 50cm.
It seems they importyed a load of small size bags for the smaller asian body. However, I want to buy this bag due to the heat to prevent sticky backs on long day-walks.
Can someone please measure your men's sized 30+8 or 35/40+10 bags to see if they reach 57-58cm?
Then I might buy online
Reviewed by Alan Robertson (Scotland) on 2009-06-12:
General comments: I've used my free flow for 3 years now. A mixture of day walks and general days out. I'm 6 ft tal and find the sack a great fit for my back, it sits nice and high. It has taken waterproofs, picnick etc for all four folk in my family (two under tens) meaning that only I have to take a pack. It has been just as at home walking in the countryside or Legoland! If you pack it well it will take a tonne of stuff, The compression straps keep everything nice and tidy when only half full too. It seeems well made,my other berghaus 65 litre sac has lasted 25years, hopefully this will see as much service.
Cons: I'm not a fan of black, it looks a bit dustbin liner like.
Reviewed by Matthew Kuo (Cambridge) on 2009-10-15:
General comments: I purchased this backpack in July and it has been the perfect piece of equipment for short hikes or overnighters. The freeflow system keeps my back dry and though the load tends to therefore sit away from my back, it is still very comfortable when fully-packed. Packing requires some practice to overcome the significant curvature of the freeflow system, but I still manage to get everything in.
Pros: Freeflow system, great size, fantastic Berghaus buckle
Cons: tends to fall over forwards when placed on ground, when cycling with a helmet and a fully-laden pack, top compartment tends to get in the way
Reviewed by Antony (LB) on 2011-07-20:
General comments: Bought this bag for 1 day climbing trips. I was a bit concerned that it would be a bit small but it manages ok and could put the rope outside if more space is needed. I like pockets for organization and this doesnt let down at all. Along with the main pocket, 2 in the lid and the 2 mesh pockets which are supplied on most packs you get the base pocket which is great for keeping items free from dirt and chalk, it can also be opened to expand the main pocket size, 3 front pockets which are great for stuffing in extra layers, maps, guidebooks etc. The back panel is very comfy and the freeflow is great to keep away the sweaty back problems.
Pros: Loads of pockets
Cons: Not the biggest for a trad crag sack