With them making up one part of my blogs title, it’s only right that on occasions I take a look at some of the latest backpacks around, and then give you guys the low down on them.  I know that for the most part a lot of backpacks are the same, and that ultimately they all serve the same purpose – i.e. carry all you gear, but some factors such as comfort, security and of course price do vary.  So here’s a look of one of the latest backpacks to hit the market, the Vango Freedom 60+20L Travel Backpack.

Vango Freedom Backpack

Vango Freedom 60+20L Travel Backpack Key Features:

  • Quick adjust strap system allowing for comfort and durability, no matter how tall or small the wearer.
  • Ergonomic Padded Hip Belt, shaped for comfort and load carrying
  • Sternum Strap – for a secure fit
  • 600D textured polyester – Strong and resistant material
  • Zip off 20 litre daypack
  • Daypack clips on front of straps for added security
  • Flight cover to protect straps from being damaged during transit
  • Lockable Kissing Zips – added security when travelling




Vango Freedom 60+20L Travel Backpack Specifications

Total Capacity (litres) 80
Rain Cover No
Lockable Zips Yes
Internal Organiser Pockets Yes
Adjustable Back System Yes
Dimensions L40.0 x H65.0 x W35.0cm
Weight (kg) 2.9
Opening Style Side Entry
Removable Daypack Yes
Wheels No
Chest Strap Yes
Waist Strap Yes
Internal Divider Yes
Shoulder Strap Yes
Hydration Compatible Yes
Back System Fit Unisex

Price

OK so the recommended retail price for the Vango Freedom 60+20L Travel Backpack £85.00.  However if you hop on over to gapyeartravelstore.com they’re currently offering it at £69.99, an 18% saving.

*Prices correct at time of writing – May 2015.

Vango_freedom_backpack_2

What I liked

OK so in short I liked the ango Freedom 60+20L Travel Backpack.  It was very similar to my old one, just a bit more sturdy and of better quality.

Specifically I liked …

  • The wet bag section at the base of the rucksack.  This came in especially handy for transporting wet towels and board shorts, and not having the damp contaminate the rest of my clothes.
  • The zip off day pack at the front of the pack made for a great day bag.
  • The quick adjust back system was easy to operate and allowed for more comfortable wearing.
  • Side opening! … top loading rucksacks are a nightmare.
  • Flight cover.  This might seem a minor thing, but my old rucksack didn’t have one of these, and I was forever sent to the other side of airports to find the ‘oversized luggage’ desk, all because of a couple of loose straps.
  • Lockable zips and security straps.

Room for improvement?

It’s tough to find a fault with the ango Freedom 60+20L Travel Backpack really.  There’s a slight learning curve in working out how to adjust all the straps to fit your particular body shape, but it’s not something that takes very long.  The day pack and wet bag area can both also be a bit fiddly, to either zip up or to re-attach to the main pack, but that’s really a minor issue.

Discussion points

As with my rucksacks, even though a padlock can be used to lock the kissing zips, these can often be cut off my airport personnel if they want to look inside of your rucksack.  Not a lot we or backpack makers can do about it, but a way around this would be cool.  My girlfriend also said it would be nice if (somehow) there was a way to clip wheels onto the backpack.  Now I’m not a wheely case kinda guy, but she’s only mini, so I can understand how it’d just be much easier if she could wheel her mountains of belongings along behind her.  Whether or not Vango could produce a bag which would facilitate such a clip on wheel set I have no idea, but it appears that if they could, there would be a market for it.  They definitely do wheeled backpacks, I’ve checked, so maybe a backpack that allows wheeled to be attached/detached is feasible.

Verdict

All in all though, the Vango Freedom 60+20L is a pretty great backpack.  The price is more than reasonable and it does a very good job at allowing you to pack a LOT of gear, and keeping it secure.  I would happily use this backpack on another trip … I just need to book one.

Thumbs up from me.


Disclaimer

Bag supplied by the good people at gapyeartravelstore.com for this review.  As always though, the opinions contained within this review are very much my own.