Showing posts with label Vaude Astra II. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Vaude Astra II. Show all posts

Monday, 25 February 2013

My Tramping Gear:Vaude Astra 65ltr + 10 Hiking Pack

The Vaude Astra Pack: 65 liters of fun!

When you go out into the outdoors you need to carry a certain amount of gear with you. This is to keep you warm, dry and safe. You need a backpack to carry this gear in, it needs to be strong, comfortable and fit for the task you set it.

My Astra II on the bunks in Magdalen Hut, 2013

I use a variety of packs depending on the type of trip: small sub 35 liter for walking, a 45l day pack, a 55 liter bag for overnight trips and a larger 65 liter version for multi day trips of 3-7 days. 
My Vaude Astra 65+10 multi-day pack

The thing that really determines what pack I use is the amount of food and extra gear I need to carry on the longer trips. 

The Vaude Astra II...

My current multi-day pack is a Vaude Astra 65ltr + 10. It is slim, almost like a mountaineers style pack but still large enough to carry 3-7 days worth of gear in. This pack is made by Vaude, a well regarded German company who produce a range of excellent outdoor goods.

Detail of the Vaude Astra design, frontal view

Its a touch heavy at 1.9 kg, but the harness set-up is excellent, so far I have had no trouble with it at all.The material of the pack is heavy duty nylon to provide durability. I especially like the expandable pockets on the side of the pack which are large enough to hold a 1.5 litre water bottle.

Harness set-up on the Vaude Astra II

I have an ongoing project to get my base gear weight down to 10-12 kg without water and food, I'm currently around 14 kg's (2018 Update: now at 9.5 kgs!). When I get my base weight down I may look at buying a lighter pack for shorter overnight trips.

The Vaude Astra II on the Casey-Binser Circuit, 2012
Wearing the Vaude pack on the Wharfedale Track 2014

I brought this pack from Complete Outdoors, a Christchurch outdoor retailer. The pack cost me $275 NZ dollars, a fair price for a pack of this size/type.  

Me and the Vaude Astra up the East Hawdon Valley, Arthurs Pass NP in 2014

My Vaude Astra leaning against the Anne Saddle Sign, St James Walkway

Jon and the Astra at Wharfedale Hut back in 2015

The Astra at Boyle Flat Hut, St James Walkway on a 2015 visit

I see a few people out and about with Vaude day packs but very few using the larger sizes. I would imagine they are far more prevalent in Europe because they are more widely available there. 

UPDATE: Feb 2016

I've been using this pack for nearly 6 years now and it has proven to be one of the best pieces of kit I have invested in. It is very comfortable even with a moderate-heavy load and over distance.

The Astra on the Queen Charlotte Track, 2016

 There are plenty of options for strapping gear like ice axes and crampons to the pack and the expandable collar means you can pack more food into the bag if required.  

Wearing the Astra on the Queen Charlotte Track in 2016

It has worn well, hardly any wear at all really, it almost looks like a brand new pack. 

At the Marahau Shelter end of the Abel Tasman Coastal Track

The Astra II on the Abel Tasman Coast Walk, Sept 2017

The Astra also served me well on a recent (2017) walk of the Abel Tasman Coastal Walk. 

Update 2018: 

I am really attached to this Vaude pack as we have shared many an adventure over the years. I expect the Vaude Astra will be with me for years to come although it has recently been superseded by my new Osprey Volt pack.  

Wearing the Vaude Astra while acting as a hut warden, Packhorse Hut, 2018

This pack is no longer available as it has been replaced by other types in the Vaude catalogue. If one appears second hand on Trade Me or the like and you are in the market buy it immediately.