Berghaus Arete 45
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A slightly larger version of the classic Berghaus Arete 35 which has gained a lot of respect in the mountaineering community. Rock climbers like the Berghaus Arete 45 because it's slim styling doesn't get in the way. Also, there's not much that can go wrong with the minimalist design.
Berghaus Arete 45 Reviews
Reviewed by Rachel (PA, USA) on 2009-01-22:
General comments: One of the first things that you notice about the Berghaus Arete 45 is the great value for money you get. For 40 quid, you get a great climbing pack with a good few features found on the higher price range bags.
The weight of the Arete 45 is good and the back system, although it may appear flimsy, is actually pretty supportive when the bag is full, and it's got good compression to keep the wight close to your body even when you're only carrying a half load.
This bag has those handy pockets on the sides for keeping poles/blades/long things on the side of your bag so they don't keep slipping out. Elasticated tops of these pockets means they're also big enough for a 1.0l Nalgene bottle so they're pretty versatile. Speaking of water, the bag is platypus compatible with the usual pocket inside and the hole for the hose just beside the lid.
Two lightweight elasticated/velcro ice tool holders and an elasticated crampon carrying bit make this a good pack for approching ice as well as rock. The design of the Berghaus Arete 45 is clean for climbing as long as you cinch in those compression straps.
It's got the gear loops on the hip belt too for extra hardware.
A decent sized lid pocket is big enough to accomodate most guidebooks along with all the usual bits and pieces (headtorch, some snacks etc). There's also a key clip inside it.
Sometimes I wish that you could pull the lid in a lttle tighter when you aren't carrying a full pack. It seems to flap about a bit even when it's pulled right in.
Pros: Price, cut for movement (easy to climb in), good alpine features.
Cons: Lid could be a little better designed for carrying a half load.
Reviewed by gethin_allen (sheffield) on 2009-05-12:
General comments: When I bought this bag it was a decision between this and the Lowe alpine crag attack.
I think I chose the wrong one to be honest.
I got this one because it was almost 600 grams lighter than the competition, this is probably it's only real redeeming feature.
The bag is as watertight as a sieve and doesn't have a cover to get over this problem.
the back is fairly comfortable but could do with better padding to assist with breathability and covering up when you have lumpy climbing gear.
The axe holders are a new design with good potential but they do not accommodate technical ice axes very well. The rubber part that is supposed to cover the picks is at the wrong angle and started to come apart the first time i used this bag, also the elastic is flimsy so it doesn't hold the axes very sturdily.
The webbing used on the shoulder straps is very thin and slick so that the straps are uncomfortable when heavily loaded and the webbing slips through the buckles so that you are constantly having to adjust them. Also, seeing as this bag is aimed towards winter climbing it could do with having some straps on the lid to attach crampons.
Pros: it's light and cheap.
Cons: straps, axe holders, lack of waterproofing,
Reviewed by Mark Austen (Carlisle, Cumbria, UK) on 2010-01-09:
General comments: I got this rucksack as to carry climbing kit, go walking and maybe an occasional overnight trip. Whilst it doesn't have as many of the complex features of some more expensive rucksacks, I found it pretty versatile. It easily will carry fifteen kilos and because of the amount of control you have over the straps, and the surprisingly comfortable back piece, this isn't actually too uncomfortable, though perhaps it might be for a person with a taller frame. I really like the rope holders and have found that there's enough straps on the sides to allow me to carry my tent and mat when it is fully loaded by using the compression straps. The ice axe holders are good and are easy to use when wearing gloves.
Pros: Simple yet comfortable back system; rope holders and good ice axe loops; narrow frame good for climbing/scrambling; value.
Cons: Could do with some side pockets, and a cover. Not as robust as some rucksacks.
Reviewed by Ian Bailey (England) on 2010-12-02:
General comments: The Berghaus Arete is aimed at climbers, but has served me well for hill walking as well. The material is really hard wearing, and despite many outings, mine is yet to show any signs of use. The main body of the sack seems to swallow up huge amounts of kit. Somehow, using all the side straps of the bag, I managed to fit in enough equipment for a weekend of climbing in the Peak District, including trad rack and tent. The side compression straps of the bag make it more manageable when not fully loaded with kit, however the main closing strap on the bag still seems a little too long. Using the compression straps and the side pockets, it is possible to stash trekking poles down the side of the rucksack (top tip: put them down the same side, so that you only catch one side of your rucksack on the rock!) There is only one zip compartment on the bag, but this is big enough to store all the items that need to be close at hand Ė head torch, multi tool etc. Iím pretty impressed with the ďberg-buckleĒ on the waist band. Itís easy to adjust and makes the bag easy to take on and off fast. Iíd suggest using a rucksack liner or dry bag with this bag, as I would with any rucksack, just to make sure all your warm kit is kept dry. Itís a fairly basic bag, but has all the features that I need for hill walking and climbing.
Pros: Hard wearing, takes a lot of kit and the price is right
Cons: Perhaps some thought could be given to how its carried when not totally full