Berghaus has introduced a new series of Fast Hike backpacks for 2018 in three different sizes; 45 litres for multi-day walks and the smaller 32 and 20 litres for shorter trips. The Fast Hike series is inspired by running vests with the primary goal of distributing the weight of the load over the whole body, instead of fixed contact points. The largest of the backpacks (45 litres) weighs 930 grams and is returned to a weight of 350 grams.
In recent months I have been able to use the Berghaus Fast Hike 45 a lot. My review started last October during a Weekend Alpine Adventure with Berghaus.
Led by Berghaus guide Pierre deWit, we went to Chamonix and together with four Belgian prize winners of a competition written by Berghaus during the Belgian Banff film festival.
We were asked to make a film about this mountain adventure (if you want to see the result, I’ve added them to the bottom of this review page). An excellent opportunity to make a start with the review of the Berghaus Fast Hike 45 backpack.
Comfort & Fit
To begin with, the low weight and the backpack ‘attract’ as it were, the first time feels uncomfortable but after a while very pleasant. Because the pack connects I miss the ventilation that a usually more heavy pack offers with a back panel that is further away from the back. In Chamonix where our activities were plodding in colder weather, that was not a problem. When using the backpack in warmer weather, the pack ventilated less, although I did not experience it as annoying.
The hip belt is flexible and soft, which feels very nice. However, if the backpack is heavier loaded it is essential to pay extra attention to the packing of the pack because the soft hip belt the support is less than with a sturdy hip belt.
The Fast Hike backpacks are made of light 100 denier Alkex Aramid fibre. Aramid fibre – also known as Kevlar – is used in many products such as protection material because it is light and strong.
The backpack has a roll-top closure to save weight. This roll-top closure offers easy access to the main compartment.
Furthermore, the Fast Hike features external mesh pockets (stretch), a mesh-covered (perforated) foam back padding and pre-formed wide shoulder straps.
Most backpacks have compartments and zips for putting away small items. Berghaus has omitted this with her Fast Hike series to bring the weight down. However, you have thought of small valuables that you want to take with you. For this, the backpack is equipped with a small pouch with press studs that can be attached to the inside of the pack.
The front of the backpack is provided with two red daisy chain cords so that material such as walking sticks can be attached. There is a space for a hydration system between the back panel and the backpack.
The Fast Hike 45 is a very comfortable carrying backpack. Especially if you want to save weight and at the same time importance to comfort. Despite the lightweight, the pack has all the ‘features’ that you could wish.