“Excess baggage is a symptom of something we are missing on the inside. A fear that we won’t be accepted for what we are, as if ourselves are not enough. We bring too much of our past experience, the clutter of our emotions. These things get in the way and keep us getting close from others. Then we are left with the task of finding someone else to carry it. Whether it is our luggage or our loneliness…..”
…… I am reminded of, before the beginning of every trip. As I started packing for my latest trip, I realized, that the success of every voyage depended on the size of my baggage, particularly if one is has to conquer mountains!
So when the good folks at Wildcraft sent me their latest rucksack- Women Pandim 45 Rucksack, I thought, my prayers were answered, right in time! I was told that the rucksack was designed, keeping in mind, the needs of women trekkers. Since I have been trekking for quite a bit now, I decided to test it for myself:
Choosing the right rucksack can make or break your trek. A right one will make the trek pleasurable or it will end up burdening you, making even an easy trek difficult. The first factor, therefore, I always, take into consideration, while choosing a right rucksack, is its weight. I won’t lie. When I looked at my new rucksack, I was intimidated. My previous one, was about 40L. So, when I looked at the Wildcraft product, I was a little weary, as it easily added 5L more, making it a 45 Litre rucksack. It also, looked extremely long and bulkier in proportion to my height. However, as I put it on, it sat snugly on my back.
What I liked about the Women’s Pandim 45 Rucksack
The straps, look a lot: But they are not! In fact, it was on the trail, that I realized that all those extra looking straps were thoughtful additions to hold the essential trekking gear, so that the hiker could ascend and descend, with hands-free, easily.
An Infinite Ocean of happiness: A woman’s purse ( or in this case, a Rucksack) is an infinite ocean they say. Well, stereotyping aside, women travelers like us always like it if they are well prepared for any need they have. That is something this backpack helps with for sure. Side zip pockets with gusset for carry access to food or any thing else you need. Side mesh pocket to keep those water bottles to stay hydrated, if you go on treks. In fact during treks, sometimes the most important essentials such as gloves, lip balm or sanitizers or some tissues are regularly needed. The front quick access pockets really help in such cases. And speaking of trekking this backpack also has an external gear loop to hold a walking stick and other accessories.
Not to mention the internal zipper pocket to separate shoes, soiled clothes or store a sleeping bag always helps.
Tweaked for a woman’s comfort: One of the beautiful thing about this backpack is that, it’s truly designed for the woman in you. Like I said before the elasticated waist belt certainly helps cause they fit a woman’s curves better. Also a comfortable fit at the hips. This certainly was a significant win, especially for people like me, who have a lower back injury, but continue to be outdoorsy.
The Airway back system helps prevent back from sweating on treks. Even the adjustable strenum straps are a good fit and most importantly the inbuilt aluminium stay and shaped back to transfer the load to the lumbar helps load management a lot! So it truly helps the ergonomics needs of a woman, especially if the treks are rugged. In addition, the rucksack comes with a pocket for a hydration bladder so you don’t have to haul along water bottles. The hydration pipe is affixed on a loop at the shoulder strap so you can sip as you walk. An internal zippered pocket helps storing your shoes or sleeping bags separately from your clothes.
Price: One of the important factors for my choice of Rucksack, besides the features off-course is also the cost. For any brand, the cost usually depends on size, fabric and its other features. For me, the rucksack also additionally scores as a backpack- which can be used not only for hiking in Himalayas, but also in the streets of Europe, strong and durable. All this, at an attractive price of Rs. 4999.
This has just been my experience from the few journeys I’ve taken, but I’m fairly positive that the roads I take and the miles I cross will have many chronicles to set forth, especially the ones that are of the backpacking nature. And solo or no, this rucksack is going to be my one companion for sure. A companion that evidently helps me conquer my fear and shed the baggage and transform it into this one space that will help me think about nothing other than my journey. One within myself and the other that helps me explore parts of the world.
Disclaimer: This post has been written in collaboration with Wildcraft. All opinion expressed here, though are my own.