Testng out Tatonka’s versatile, travel-friendly Storm hiking rucksack (£110) in the Mexican mountains.
Product description: Top-loader for long hiking trips. Thanks to the perfectly ventilated X Vent Zero carrying system, Storm will never leave you with a perspiring back even on steep ascents, and the 30-litre version is suitable for trips lasting several days or for carrying the family’s equipment.
New to Tatonka? They do a fine line in no-nonsense, strong and sturdy outdoor gear, designed and tested in the mountains of Bavaria. They sell an array of hiking packs in primary colours and with very similar specs, but the 30l Storm stands out from their line-up as a great all-rounder for travelling hikers. It’s the perfect size to use as carry-on and for weekends away – you can fit a surprising amount of clothing and gear into its cavernous depths and top pocket. If all you’re carrying is a day’s worth of gear it doesn’t feel too cumbersome, either, as drawstrings let you reduce the main pack’s size. A padded computer pocket and zipped upper compartment are great for securing laptops and cameras, and myriad stash pockets store travel documents and other loose bits and bobs. And the tan colour hides the mud, dirt and sweat any good adventure tends to cover you in.
The Storm’s outer material isn’t waterproof, which is frustrating on the hills in changeable weather, but there is an effective rain cover which works well providing you whip it out in time. The padded shoulder and hip straps are comfortable and the bag molds well to your body, proving pretty breathable even on all-day hikes. If you’re off on a walking holiday in Scotland I’d opt for something hardier, but if you need a bag which can deal with everything from Heathrow and youth hostels to an impromptu jungle hike, the Storm is a great choice.
Ideal for round-the-world adventures or if you’re off on an active gap year, the Storm is a brilliant travel rucksack and a decent basic hiking bag. £110 doesn’t seem a bad price for something well made, versatile and easy to wear.