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planetFear - Rock Climbing, Adventure Racing, Mountain Biking

Berghaus Mule 100l

Review by planetFear
Monday 27th November 2006

Berghaus Mule Bag 100 Litres (Wheeled)
Dimensions – 83x38x39(cm)

The 100 Litre Mule Bag is the largest bag in the Berghaus range aimed at adventure travellers who expect their luggage to take a bit of a beating.  It is available in a wheeled and non wheeled version – the wheeled version has two sturdy castor wheels at one end which is useful considering the potential weight of 100 Litres worth of outdoor kit.  The other sizes available in the range are 40L (standard hand luggage dimensions), 60L and 80L.

It’s made from hard wearing Ardura and T2Dura fabrics and all the seams and straps appear very robust and should cope with the treatment of baggage handlers the world over, the only potential point of weakness could be the plastic LoadLink clips that I will come onto later.  

The cavernous main inner compartment is easily big enough to store all your kit for a big climbing trip; ropes, rack, sleeping bag, sleep mat, clothing etc. and you’d still even have space to spare on the return trip for that Himalayan yak wool carpet that you’d picked up at a bargain price!

Items can be secured in the main compartment using compression straps/panel which is useful for such a large bag.  The panel is actually a detachable wash bag with several zipped pockets that is threaded onto the compression straps.

One of the main problems in my opinion with large bags of this nature is keeping important items separate and accessible and Berghaus has addressed this with the inclusion of two internal mesh pockets (a small end pocket and a pocket under the lid).  There is also an external zipped end pocket that I have used for keeping dirty items separate – it’s large enough for a couple of pairs of approach shoes for example. 

It comes in a functional ‘gunmetal’ or ‘thunder’ which aren’t the most glamorous colours but considering that you maybe travelling in poor regions of the world this understated nature seems appropriate.

There is an end Velcro pocket that contains a hefty single shoulder strap that can be unclipped and hidden away - very useful when travelling by plane so that the strap doesn’t get caught in baggage carousels.  However carrying such a large bag with a single shoulder strap can be very awkward and recognising this Berghaus have also added an innovative system that turns the two main handles into rucksack shoulder straps termed the ‘LoadLink’ system.  Despite having the rather cheesy strap-line “for the traveller who doesn’t always want a rucksack strapped to their back” this system works well and is fast to set up with two small plastic hooks on each handle hooking onto some D rings at the top of the bag.  As mentioned above however both the hooks and D rings appear somewhat flimsy but I maybe proved wrong over the test of time.

All the zips have strong lockable rings (locks not included) which are a useful security feature.  The bag also has a strong grab handle at each end which could be used for hauling onto the top of buses and tying onto roof racks.

Berghaus’ marketing material pretty much sums up this excellent bag – “when you’re travelling hard you want to keep the packing simple”.


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