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planetFear - Rock Climbing, Adventure Racing, Mountain Biking

Macpac Torlesse 60

Review by planetFear
Tuesday 17th July 2007

When reviewing a product you are told to be impartial. You should begin the trial with complete neutrality and show no pre-conceived opinions. Having read several reviews on the Torlesse 60 prior to my test-run, I managed to fail in this simple rule from the start. Once you have formed an opinion, the brain finds it very difficult to be impartial so I decided to use this theory to the benefit of the test.

How do people describe The Torlesse 60?

Complaints invariably begin by saying the sack is too heavy, followed closely by mentioning that there is too much technical paraphanailea in the form of extra pockets, clips, straps, flaps and buckles; it begs the question, ‘is it all necessary’? At £130, some reviewers also say it is a little overpriced for a 60L sack.

The bag is complemented for the adjustable back system and chunky waist strap, which provide a comfortable ride, helping to distribute the wait extremely effectively. The large bulky zips, rugged appearance and top end manufacturing that you would expect from MacPac, make the bag very durable and hard-wearing. You should, in short, have no problems whatsoever with the build quality.

Armed with these pros and cons, I ventured onto Dartmoor, taking everything I would need for the weekend, namely tent, sleeping bag, role-mat etc. Fortunately, I was blessed with beautiful weather and though it didn’t rain continuously, there was more than enough precipitation to test the bag’s water resistance.

Setting up the adjustable back straps was easy. You can either do it the male way and figure it out, of the fairer sex way and use the very simple instructions provided. The rest of the setup is common sense and no different from other bags in its class. The capacity of the sack is perfect for solo weekend hikes and there is more than enough room. A second person, sharing a tent with you could quite comfortably take a smaller bag.

After several hours of walking, the anticipated hot spots from an unfamiliar bag never came. I tried jogging with the pack and even then experienced very little discomfort. The extra pockets on the front are perfect for maps, a compass, books etc., but nothing too bulky. The supposedly superfluous pouches on the side are very useful if you have anything to put in them and provide no hindrance if you do not; but at least you have the option!

I am a big advocate of this bag. Yes, it is slightly heavier than other bags of its class, but only by about 0.7kg at most. Lets be honest, if you are troubled by an extra 0.7kg on a trip where weight isn’t absolutely critical, take out your copy of War and Peace and stop complaining. Is the bag too technical? No, I do not think it is. It may have more pockets and clips than your old faithful, but you will get used to them within 10 minutes of packing the bag; you may even find them useful. In short, if you are looking for a tough, well made, robust sack with slightly more Gucci features than the standard, then this bag certainly fits the bill.


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