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Backpacker Magazine – April 2009

Gear Guide 2009: Vaude Astra 55+10 Review

You won't find a better pack at a cheaper price than Vaude's Astra 55+10.

by: Steve Howe

Vaude Astra 55+10 (www.sethhughes.com)
Vaude Astra 55+10 (www.sethhughes.com)

Gear Guide 2009: More Weekend Packs
Search through our extensive library for more reviews.

Bargain!
This pack easily won a recent test of affordable load haulers (8/08), in part because every tester achieved a perfect fit from the six full inches of torso-length adjustability. Dense padding in the hips, lumbar, and shoulder areas make for a comfortable ride with 45 pounds. Two contoured aluminum stays transfer weight efficiently to the cushy hipbelt, and the suspension flexes laterally, which helps reduce rubbing. The backpanel vented well, even in Costa Rica's tropical humidity.

After a rain-drenched hike in Washington's San Juan Islands, one tester praised the built-in raincover: "Without even taking the pack off, I could unzip the pouch and pull the cover up." Expandable side pockets are big enough for liter bottles (though tight if the pack is stuffed). The top lid converts to a lumbar pack, with a tough fabric panel that holds gear tightly in place for maximum stability. The coated Cordura packbag fabric is built for abuse. Minor complaint: The top-lid zipper is short, which makes it a struggle to stuff or retrieve bulky items. $160; 3,960 cu. in.; 4 lbs. 15 oz. Vaude.com

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READERS COMMENTS

Nate Oler
Jun 07, 2009

I love this bag!

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