It's been a while since I've been wild camping so there was much faffing about with gear and I hoped that I'd chucked everything into the crate before we headed north.
It was the first outing for the Haglofs Matrix 60. I'd bought it for winter backpacking but needed to test run it. I'd pondered long and hard before buying this pack. At 1650g its not the lightest one around nor the heaviest. The features that sold it to me were the twin compartment for separating the gear, the quality of the build and the way it carried and that was before I took it out to play. Yes there are a couple of features that I would have preferred, like hip fin pockets and slightly deeper wand pockets but these ended up not being an issue in the end.
Onto how it performed. Packing it was actually a pleasure as you could easily stash in the lower compartment practically all the camp stuff. The only thing I couldn't squish in was the Jetboil. It has a rather nifty internal compression set up too as well as the internal divider that can be removed. That left loads of space in the main compartment for the warm clothes and grub which was able to be well compressed too with its side and top compression straps. The closure on the main compartment is nice and bombproof too. The floating lid is easy enough to shoogle about to where you want it. It's got an internal zipped pocket as well as the cavernous top pocket. I "pimped the pack" by adding some Radlight Endurance Pouches which worked a treat.
|All packed & ready to go|
Next, the carry. The shoulder straps and hip fins are nicely padded as well being very easy to adjust. Back length for me was perfect so no need to adjust anything. First impressions when you put it on fully loaded (approx 11kg) is nice and comfy and you're not conscious of any significant weight. That feeling continued as we trundled along for the 6km and 400m of ascent to the camp spot. Result. I didn't take it up with us for our summit trip the next morning but going with how it carried on the way in I would have been happy to take this over more rugged terrain than the path out from Mamore Lodge to Sgurr Eildhe Mor. The journey back was also a pleasure. Definitely a very nice carry.
All in all I was impressed with the Matrix 60. It's going to do what I need it to do. It's made of pretty rugged material and the quality of build is good so should last a long time. Let's hope I get enough opportunities to use it.