Ferrino Backpacks Review

The Ferrino brand is well known only to equipment connoisseurs and “old-timers”. The company’s products were presented in domestic outdoor stores in the early – mid-2000s, but then disappeared from their shelves. In Europe, this Italian brand needs no introduction and there is no doubt about its reputation. Suffice it to say that the company has been around since 1870, making it one of the world’s oldest outdoor equipment manufacturers.

The Ferrino tents (you can find more tents here) have gained the greatest fame, but the backpacks and sleeping bags of the brand deserve no less close attention of tourists and climbers. We have already reviewed sleeping bags, and now it’s the turn of the Italians’ backpacks.

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Features of Ferrino backpacks

By the standards of the global outdoor industry, the Italians from Ferrino are definitely not the main innovators. The company’s team is quite conservative in its approach to equipment design. Perhaps only in backpacks do they allow themselves very daring experiments, skillfully combining classic details and designs with ultra-modern materials and production technologies. To test and develop the most advanced solutions, the company even set up a test laboratory at the Quintino Sella mountain shelter at an altitude of 3,385 meters. The equipment created in its depths is part of the High Lab series and is focused on sports use, including in extreme conditions.

Ferrino backpack harness systems

The discomfort and pain of wearing a backpack can negate all of its benefits. When the straps dig into the shoulders, the belt rubs, and the backpack itself dangles, it doesn’t matter that it has well-thought-out pockets, many compartments and a cool flap. Ferrino understands this, and therefore most of the company’s backpacks have a developed and sometimes even excessively powerful harness system, which allows you to comfortably carry the load. Therefore, we will dwell on the types of designs for the backs of Ferrino backpacks in a little more detail. There are four of them.

DEA – Double Ergo Adjustment

The most powerful backrest: it is used only in backpacks of medium and large volume, designed for long-term movement along a route with a large load.

It is stiffened by a molded polyethylene sheet and a pair of slightly curved aluminum struts. The latter rest directly on the belt of the backpack in the lumbar region, which effectively relieves most of the load from the shoulders and transfers it to the belt and hips. Backpacks with this system are suitable for tourists with a torso length of 39-54 cm. DEA can be adjusted to the height very simply – the straps slide freely directly over the aluminum racks. The system does not have a discrete step, so it can be tuned very precisely.

ACT – Air Convector Tech

Classic, non-height adjustable backpack back with air channels between the padded elements. It is not suitable for all users, but if it sits down, then as a glove. It is used in cases when you need to carry fairly heavy loads, but the backpack itself needs to be made relatively light.

Weight gain is achieved by eliminating the height adjustment system. Therefore, the load is located closer to the back, which is why the weight puts less pressure on the shoulders, and the backpack itself sits on the back more stable. The latter quality is especially important in backpacks for technical mountaineering and alpine skiing. The ACT backrest is based on a removable frame made of molded polyethylene plate, which in large backpacks is complemented by an aluminum plate for greater rigidity.

Note: You can find more backpacks on Nacelley.com.

HBS – Hollow Back System

A lighter and better ventilated version of the ACT harness. It is used in those backpacks where high breathability, low weight and a comfortable stable fit on the back are required from the harness.
The Hollow Back System uses less dense perforated straps and a waistband, lined with maximum breathable air-mesh with large meshes. The back is covered with mesh, and there are no pronounced padding on it – just wide and thin inserts with the same air-mesh as on the belt and shoulder straps. The frame is made of a molded polyethylene plate, but unlike the ACT, it is covered with a sheet of foam with perforations and air channels for better ventilation. In medium-sized backpacks, it is complemented by a removable aluminum stand for greater rigidity and more comfortable carrying of the load.

DNS – Dry Net System

Curved back with stretched mesh for maximum ventilation. The frame of two longitudinal and a pair of transverse aluminum plates is responsible for the redistribution of weight. DNS backpacks are great for day trips, walks and travel in hot and humid climates when you don’t need to carry a lot of gear. Used in small backpacks.

All Ferrino backpacks in our review are divided into groups according to their main purpose:

  • Ferrino backpacks for multi-day hikes
  • Ferrino backpacks for mountaineering and ski mountaineering
  • Ferrino backpacks for short hikes and hiking
  • Multisport Backpacks
  • Urban backpacks
  • Running Backpacks

Of course, within each group there are fairly universal models that can be used in several formats of outdoor activities at once. For example, Alpine-style backpacks are also suitable for multi-day trekking, and some mountaineering models can be safely used on short hikes.

To avoid confusion, we did not separate the High Lab backpacks into a separate category, as it was done in the Ferrino catalog, but divided them into groups, also based on their purpose.

Note: Swivetry.com also recommends reading an interesting article about the best survival backpacks.

Best Ferrino backpacks for multi-day hikes

We have included medium and large volume backpacks with a developed harness system in this category. They are comfortable to carry a load for many days, whether it is a long trek in the mountains or climbing in an alpine style.

#1 Ferrino XMT

Large and medium-sized backpacks from the High Lab series for mountain tourism, long approaches to the mountaineering route and alpine-style ascents. The series is represented by three backpacks, which have particularly durable materials and relatively light weight for their volume. Structurally, all versions of the XMT are united by “mining” purpose. All models have holders for a variety of climbing hardware and avalanche equipment, quick access to the main compartment for large models, gripping and sturdy fittings that are comfortable to work with in mittens. All XMT backpacks can be used to attach skiing skis to the sides and a helmet or snowshoes on the front.

The rest of the models in this line are very different both in design and in purpose.

#1.1 Ferrino XMT 40+5

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The XMT 40 + 5 is the smallest and lightest backpack in the line, but despite its size, it provides enough comfortable cargo carrying due to the hard HBS back, padded shoulder straps and a belt. This feature determines its purpose – short mountaineering and ski-mountaineering routes for 2-3 days, which require camping equipment. The most bulky items of equipment such as a tent, foam mat or snowshoes on the XMT 40 + 5 can be secured from the outside using the long anchorage straps included.

Also, nothing prevents you from using the XMT 40 + 5 as an assault or backpack for one-day technically difficult ascents. Its belt and flap can be detached to reduce weight and the backpack can be twisted. And all loops and equipment holders are hidden in special pockets so that they do not cling to the relief.

An original part of the backpack – a pocket in the back for the tail of a safety rope, which can now be suspended over the shoulder and not attached to the side or under the valve of the backpack when climbing or moving on a glacier.

#1.2 Ferrino XMT 60 + 10

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Large backpack for light mountain hikes and fast alpine-style ascents. It can be used all along the route – from short approaches to ascent and assault. You can gradually squeeze the released volume as the supplies are spent, and before the assault on the summit, unfasten the valve and remove the frame plate from the back in order to lighten the backpack as much as possible. Due to the back of the ACT, the backpack sits very tightly and stably on the back, which makes it easier to climb technically difficult areas, as well as downhill skiing after ski-touring.

The model will especially appeal to lovers of mountain hikes of high categories, which are full of traverses and movement on difficult glaciers. On the belt of the backpack there is a convenient shelf for borax or other “iron”, which is rarely found in backpacks of this volume. Additional zip ties allow you to carry mats or snowshoes outside on the front of the backpack. Just what you want on your May hikes in the mountains.

#1.3 Ferrino XMT 80 + 10

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A heavyweight backpack designed for high-grade mountain hikes and multi-day alpine-style ascents that can be followed by long walks. Also, the XMT 80 + 10 is suitable for technically simple but long hiking trails or ski trips when you need to carry a large amount of food and equipment. Therefore, this modification has more features inherent in classic trekking backpacks. The XMT 80 + 10 uses a powerful and adjustable DEA harness, adds a lower “basement” compartment and a removable floating flap that converts into a belt bag for radial exits from the base camp.

#2 Ferrino Radical 80 + 10 Backpack

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Radical 80 + 10 is a unique ultralight expeditionary backpack weighing 1110 grams, 1.3-1.8 kg lighter than analogues! Where does this weight come from?

  • Dyneema fabric. Most of the weight gain comes from the composite fabric from which the backpack is sewn. Dyneema consists of thin polyethylene fibers that are thermally bonded to form a non-uniform web. Outwardly, the material looks like a crumpled plastic bag, but it is a thousand times stronger. The fabric is very lightweight, but does not allow water to pass through, is UV resistant and does not cut on the sharp edges of stones and branches. Only the bottom of the backpack is lined with nylon, as the Dyneema is less puncture and abrasion resistant.
  • Suspension system ACT. The back is quite comfortable, but lightweight and unregulated, with a frame made of polyethylene plate. At the same time, it can be removed and replaced with a rolled-up karemat packed in a backpack. In comfort, you will lose, but then the Radical 80 + 10 will weigh only 780 grams!
  • A minimum of details. For example, there is no front zip for quick “luggage” access to the main compartment like the XMT series.

Otherwise, we have a classic backpack for a multi-day hike. A variety of attachments for hanging equipment, a large volume, pockets on the belt and even a floating flap that transforms into a belt bag have been preserved. And the Dyneema fabric adds a couple of other beneficial benefits. The material does not get wet, and only zippers and seams from a heavy shower or under a very long rain can leak. The material is translucent, and the contents of the backpack are clearly visible from the outside, which allows you to quickly find the right thing in its depths.

The Ferrino Radical 80 + 10 is perfect for experienced sports tourism and alpine-style climbers who are willing to sacrifice a little comfort in carrying a load in order to gain almost 2 kilograms of weight on a single backpack.

#3 Ferrino Overland Backpack

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The Ferrino Overland is a modern classic in a versatile trekking backpack that’s great for mountain hikes and simple hiking trails up to two weeks. The difference between the models is only in the backrest design – ACT in modification 50 + 10 and powerful adjustable DEA in Overland 65 + 10, and other details are completely identical:

  • Volume 60-70 liters. Suitable for a very wide range of routes – from weekend hikes and trekking with overnight stays in shelters to 2-week autonomous hikes.
  • Low weight. Both Overland versions weigh about 2 kg.
  • Quick access to the backpack. Through the top, “basement” and wide “luggage” opening of the main compartment due to the U-shaped zipper.

Mounts for hanging equipment. Includes a pair of ice ax holders, belt pockets, and a detachable flap bag for short radial hikes from camp.

As you can see from the description, Ferrino Overland analogues are not difficult to find from other manufacturers. But the Italians still have a couple of weighty trump cards up their sleeve. The first of them is a powerful harness with dense straps and a wide belt, which is not typical for backpacks of this class. It makes carrying 15-25 kg, standard for such a volume, more than comfortable, provided that the backpack fits well on you. And the second trump card of the Overland series is its quite affordable price.

#4 Backpacks Ferrino Transalp

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The Transalp series are robust and roomy backpacks for multi-day hikes and weekend trails with the comfort of carrying additional gear such as a camping chair, large sleeping bag or spacious tent. All models are equipped with a powerful DEA harness system to make it comfortable to carry a large load. And thanks to the durable fabric and fittings, they can easily withstand rough handling, for example, if you like to sit on your backpack during breaks.

So that the large volume of the Transalp does not become a problem, they added more pockets for organizing equipment: a pair on the sides, a pair on the belt, one large on the front. Add to this the valve, and then everything that may be needed on the route will be in quick access. And you will need to climb inside the main compartment only when setting up the camp – through the top, bottom and “luggage” opening. There are also additional removable loops for attaching equipment to the bottom of the backpack – most often a rolled up mat is sent there. A nice addition, which will save a significant amount, is the rain cape included in the kit, which today can not be seen in all large-volume backpacks.

Ferrino backpacks for mountaineering and ski mountaineering

Here we have collected a variety of company backpacks designed for mountain climbers of all stripes. The line includes models for the first mountaineering, one- and multi-day ascents, technical routes and even for ski mountaineering.

#5 Ferrino Ultimate 38 Backpack

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Model from the High Lab line. A capacious waterproof backpack for one-two-day technical ascents in rainy and wet snow conditions, as well as for climbing ice cascades.

The Ultimate 38 is sealed by the unique OutDry membrane application technology. A special machine laminates a breathable waterproof film to the inside of an already finished backpack, sealing both the fabric and the seams at once. The main compartment of the Ultimate 38 is made in the form of a sealed bag with a twist fastener that allows you to unhook the waterproof removable flap. If you unfasten the detachable belt, then the weight of the backpack can be reduced to only 1 kg.

The well-defined shoulder straps and waistband, combined with a snug fit, provide ample freedom of movement for climbing on technical terrain. The design of the backpack is minimalistic, but it has everything a climber needs: holders for ice tools and rope bays, loops for hanging equipment on the belt and a daisy chain on the front panel. The side compression straps can be used as ski holders for normal ski widths – up to approx. 80-90 mm at the waist.

Besides Ferrino, only Mountain Hardwear uses OutDry membrane technology in backpacks.

#6 Ferrino Triolet Backpack

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A laconic mountaineering backpack with a powerful back, belt and straps almost like a trekking model. It is surprisingly comfortable to carry a large load in it, if the Triolet fits your height. The backpack is large enough that it can be used for short ascents for 2-3 days with camp equipment or for long approaches under the route.

In its purpose, the Ferrino Triolet is similar to the XMT 40 + 5, but it has a higher fit, which makes the backpack more comfortable to use in conjunction with a harness and when climbing on terrain. And for even more convenience, the belt can be removed. The differences between the models do not end there. The main compartment of the Triolet is equipped with a vertical zip with two sliders, which allows you to quickly open the backpack from any side and see all its contents, even while sitting on a narrow rock ledge.

Triolet backpacks cannot be called light, but their weight is quite adequate, given the durable materials, large volume, massive shoulder straps and a belt. And before the assault on the summit, you can lighten the backpack by removing the flap and taking out the belt with the frame. Then it will weigh less than a kilogram.

Triolet backpacks are suitable for early climbers and experienced climbers looking for a versatile backpack for a wide range of ascents – from one-day to multi-day long approaches.

Backpacks Ferrino Triolet – the choice of experts “Sport-Marathon”! We’ve included this series in our roundup of the best mountaineering backpacks alongside the Ferrino Radical range.

#7 Ferrino Sierra Alfa Backpack

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Sierra Alfa is a professional backpack for mountain rescuers. It is based on the Ferrino Triolet backpack of the previous generation, and it has several important differences from the modern regular version, dictated by the nature of rescue operations:

  • Increased volume. 50 liters allow you to accommodate individual and part of the group equipment.
  • Backrest ACT. More lifting, comfortable and practical than the HBS.
  • Durable fabric. The Sierra Alfa uses an indestructible Cordura 500D in a signal bright orange color with additional reinforcement along the bottom.
  • Minimum mesh. Unlike the standard Triolet, the Sierra Alfa’s shoulder straps, waistband and back do not have a large mesh air-mesh that can be stuffed with snow and debris.
  • Extended side braces. For attaching bulky equipment.
  • Crotch strap. Precisely positions the backpack and facilitates ascents and descents during helicopter rescue rope evacuation.
  • Aluminum self-resetting buckle on the belt. Durable, convenient to use with gloves and mittens, allows you to quickly remove the backpack.
  • Powerful load loop. It is stitched to the middle of the back of the backpack and withstands a fall from 1 meter with a load of 20 kg.
  • Velcro for a personalized patch on the flap. To quickly identify your backpack among others, and so that it does not “lose” the owner.

A pair of very light High Lab climbing backpacks made from Dyneema fabric. Hundreds of grams saved on material have been invested in comfort and ergonomic details. The Radical has surprisingly comfortable backs, straps and belts for their weight, as well as an abundance of pockets and attachment points for equipment. At the same time, they are made reliably and with an understanding of the characteristics of the materials. So, the power loops are sewn into nylon, and not into Dyneema, since under very heavy loads the threads can stretch the polyethylene sheet.

Both backpacks are very similar in appearance, but noticeably different in volume, design and purpose.

#8 Ferrino Radical 30

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The backpack has a built-in flap, a diagonal ski mount, a softer back, and thinner shoulder straps and a belt. And this is justified, given that the weight of the backpack itself does not exceed 500 grams and its volume significantly limits the possible load. The original part of the Radical 30 is a quick-tightening system made of elastic cord that allows you to compress the volume of the backpack on the go. A great option for high-speed ascents and ski mountaineering, when every gram of equipment is important.

#8.1 Ferrino Radical 45 + 10

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Structurally, we have before us a classic mountaineering backpack for technical ascents requiring bivy equipment, the model copies the details and layout of Triolet backpacks. But the Radical 45 + 10 is 500-600 grams lighter than its competing counterparts. At the same time, the backpack has a rather powerful HBS back, almost like the Triolet models, which makes it relatively comfortable to carry loads up to 15 kg in it. The valve is floating, which allows you to increase the volume by another 10 liters or fix a rope under it. Before storming the summit, the weight of the Radical 45 + 10 can be reduced to 670 grams – just remove the belt, flap and take out the plastic back frame.

#9 Ferrino Lynx Backpacks

Ferrino Lynx – backpacks for competitive ski mountaineering. This is a very popular sports discipline in Europe, in which athletes overcome the prepared and marked distance at speed in three stages: skiing on foot, downhill skiing and hiking with skis strapped to the backpack. Since speed is at the forefront, it is required from backpacks for ski mountaineering to be light and provide quick access to all equipment. There is no question of the comfort of carrying a load – athletes use very light equipment and are ready to endure the straps that are stuck in their shoulders for a high result.

All Lynx backpacks are distinguished by a very low weight and a back made of perforated foam – it breathes perfectly, helps the backpack to keep its shape, but also does not redistribute the weight from the shoulders to the belt. All models have bindings for narrow cross country skis, compartments for avalanche equipment, pockets for cats with quick side access, a pair of ice ax holders and compartments for a drinking system. There are three backpacks in the line.

#9.1 Backpacks Ferrino Lynx and Mezzalama

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Classic competition models, very lightweight and with a diagonal ski mount. Their avalanche equipment pocket is located inside, is very minimalistic and requires fitting – not every shovel will fit into it. This decision is dictated by the fact that at such competitions athletes often use ultra-light equipment that is unsuitable for full-fledged rescue operations. For maximum relief, the belt-sling can be removed from the backpacks. The Lynx 20 is also available in Dyneema fabric, which is part of the High Lab range. We are talking about the Mezzamala 20 model, which was also further facilitated by shortening the zipper, eliminating the foam back and the padding in the straps. The backpack does not get wet under wet snow and a short rain, weighs some 260 grams and at the same time is almost more durable than the regular version of the Lynx 20.

#10 Ferrino Lynx 30 Backpack

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A more versatile model that will interest not only competitive ski climbers, but also climbers who prefer light skiing ascents. In this backpack, the avalanche equipment compartment is already adequate in size, while all the components are located in quick access. The probe and shovel handle are in the side sleeve pocket, and the scoop fits in the kangaroo pocket. Skis in the Lynx 30 can be strapped to the sides, making them harder to remove on the route, but also more comfortable to carry.

Ferrino is the official supplier of the Ultimate and Lynx series of backpacks for the French National Ski and Mountaineering School (ENSA) based in Chamonix.

Ferrino backpacks for short hikes and hiking

The backpacks in this range are designed for simple weekend hikes and multi-day routes along marked trails with overnight stays in mountain shelters. All models combine a small volume and a perfectly ventilated Dry Net System backrest.

#11 Ferrino Agile Backpacks

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Agile is a series of versatile backpacks for Fast & Light hikes, high-speed mountain tourism and climbing routes of low difficulty categories. For example, the Via Alpina route in the Alps, which combines difficult mountainous terrain, via ferrata and overnight stays in shelters.

Structurally, Agile is a classic, easy-to-move model of small volume with a rigid, well-ventilated HBS back, enough comfortable shoulder straps and a belt, as well as small fittings and thin slings to reduce weight. At the same time, the backpacks are very roomy, and the developers were clearly modest, indicating their volume of 35 and 33 liters. In fact, it is even 15-20% more. And what is especially pleasing, the weight of the Agile backpacks is still a little less than 1 kg.

Despite the spaciousness, both backpacks have many points for external attachment of equipment. The most bulky equipment, such as snowshoes or thick foam, can be secured using the Ferrino branded long lines included in the kit.

Another tribute to easy-going traditions – roomy mesh pockets on the sides of the backpack for flasks with a volume of 0.5-0.7 liters, belt pockets and a kangaroo pocket on the front panel. On them you can scatter clothes and equipment that you need on hand on the route: water, pocket food, a map, a puff and a membrane jacket. For climbing equipment, there are poles and ice ax loops, as well as wide side ties.

Agile is new for 2020, but it is already clear that they are a worthy competitor to the popular Osprey Talon, especially when adjusted for a more affordable price.

#12 Ferrino Dry-Hike Backpacks

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A range of sturdy waterproof backpacks made with OutDry technology. With Dry-Hike, you can move in pouring rain and sleet without worrying about a rain cover. This makes it an excellent choice for any short hiking trail, but especially in regions with humid climates and unstable weather. The backpacks are distinguished by a perfectly ventilated rigid back, as well as fleshy shoulder straps and a belt, which are necessary for comfortable carrying of the load. The straps themselves and the belt also breathe perfectly, due to the perforation of the inner foam and the air-mesh with a large mesh – a solution that will be especially in demand on routes in hot climates. There are two backpacks in the line:

  • The Dry-Hike 32 with a built-in flap is designed for short hikes with overnight lodges and a minimum of gear.
  • Dry-Hike 48 + 5 has a removable floating valve that allows you to increase the volume of the backpack by 5 liters. The model is focused on multi-day routes along marked trails with overnight stays in lodges, such as the trek to Everest Base Camp. Also, the backpack can be used on classic hikes lasting 2-5 days.

#13 Ferrino Finisterre Backpack

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Before the Dry-Hike line, the Finisterre was the most advanced hiking backpack in the Ferrino collection. There are no bright innovative solutions in them, but they are made very soundly and with attention to detail. The most interesting features of the series:

  • Convenient pockets for quick access to things you need on the route: on the belt, in the valve, a pair of side pockets for maps, gloves and thermoses, as well as a convenient kangaroo pocket where you can fold a membrane jacket or a puff. The latter, being empty, pulls very well and does not puff up.
  • Detachable straps for securing bulky equipment from the outside. There are fixation points at the bottom and on the front of the backpack.
  • The most critical points and places subject to wear are reinforced with Hypalon material, which is generally uncharacteristic for hiking backpacks, which are often inferior in strength to expedition models.
  • The backpacks are also designed for glacier routes. They provide mounts for a pair of ice axes and ice tools, as well as a built-in Recco beacon, which increases the likelihood of detection by rescuers in case of an accident.
  • Rain cover included.

Ferrino Multisport Backpacks

Here we have included the models from the Ferrino Active series. Like most multisport backpacks, they don’t have a clear purpose: each can be used for cycling, day hikes, rogaining, nature walks and city walks.

#14 Ferrino Spark 23 Backpack

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The Spark 23 is a classic multisport backpack for cycling, orienteering and throwing marches, day hikes and mountain walks. But it has several features that make Spark stand out from its peers:

  • Flat back. The backpack fits very tightly to the back. Due to this, the load puts less pressure on the shoulders, and the backpack sits very stable and does not interfere with movement, for example, while running or cycling.
  • Good ventilation. The back, waist and shoulder straps are covered in mesh and are made from sheets of perforated and molded foam, which allows for excellent ventilation, given how tight the backpack is on the back.
  • Anti-rollback slings with shoulder straps. Rarely found on multisport models and allows you to pull a loaded backpack closer to your back so that it sits more stable, dangles less and puts pressure on your shoulders.
  • Large mesh kangaroo pocket. You can put a rolled down puff or membrane jacket in it, dry washed socks or a T-shirt in it on the run or while cycling.
  • Low weight. Only 750 grams – even lighter than the popular Osprey Talon 22. And this is a very good result for a fairly roomy backpack with a lot of useful options and a rain cover in the kit.

#15 Ferrino Zephyr 22+3 Backpack

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Multisport backpacks that are great for speedhiking when the hiking trail is literally running through. Zephyr is also good for radial hiking trails with an overnight stay at a shelter, cycling or rogaining. Zephyr features a highly ventilated backrest and a highly developed harness with a powerful, form-fitting waistband and a rigid frame. For their volume, it is perhaps even redundant, but this made the backpacks as comfortable as possible for carrying cargo, which favorably distinguishes them from competitors.

The most charged model is Zephyr 22 + 3. The backpack is roomy enough on its own, but a significant part of the equipment can be fastened outside: for this, there are large mesh pockets for bottles with a volume of 0.5-0.7 liters, large pockets on the belt. There are mounts for a helmet or bicycle helmet, as well as for an ice ax or trekking poles, which can be hidden in storage pockets so that they do not dangle in the wind, do not cling to bushes or terrain. The unused volume is well pulled by side ties and an elastic cord in front of the backpack – so even on the run and with an incomplete load, the equipment will not dangle inside.

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