Taller people need small rucksacks too. The problem is getting a small rucksack with an adjustable back. The Vaude Brenta 24 reviewed here looks like an answer to a problem many outdoor companies have yet to solve.
Rucksacks don’t fit everyone. You can’t just choose an adult size and expect it to be comfortable – especially if you are taller. Adjustable back lengths are often only found on more expensive and larger capacity rucksacks. And that’s the problem: How does a taller person get a small rucksack that fits well?
I’ve struggled with this for ages. I did find the Skandika Bogong which I reviewed, but it’s a medium at 45 ltrs. Now while my spare fleece may be larger and I might want to pack an extra energy bar, I really still only need a small rucksack for day hikes in warmer climates.
In an attempt to cut weight I’m packing better and reducing what I take on daily trips. My usual go-to size would be about 35 litres but in this case I dropped to 24 litre. The Vaude Brenta 24 reviewed here is available in both sizes, so I approached them to see what this model had to offer.
There are some excellent parts to this little rucksack and the design is well thought out. The external fabric of the Vaude Brenta 24 feels a little thin but it’s durable and should be fine for most situations (I prefer rougher, heavier fabrics).
The waist belt and shoulder straps are excellent – with the straps cut to fit around shoulders rather than across them. They also have the right amount of cushioning for a small rucksack so you can carry a fair amount of weight (3-8 Kg)
Structurally, it’s a new design for me. Initially it looks unstructured, however there’s a thin, rigid outer frame that curves under the rucksack. Thoughtfully this is shaped and concave, held well away from your body. This might sound like a heavy choice for a little rucksack, yet the weight is just north of one kilo (1090g).
Key, for me, is the adjustable back system. The whole shoulder strap yolk – for a better word – slides up and is locked off with a clamp. It’s an ingenious little system, much of it tucked out of view, accessed from within the Vaude Brenta 24 rucksack. At this point I can see where the money goes, and the quality is evident.
My only issue is: it just doesn’t quite extend far enough. Damn! Close but no cigar in my search for a small rucksack. If you’re up to 183cm 6ft it’s probably going to have that all important fit – from shoulders to waist. But past that it still rides just a touch too high over my hips no matter how far I extend the straps.
Sometimes it’s hard to see what are genuine eco-credentials for ‘greenwashing’ in this industry. In this case Vaude have made the main fabric from 50% recycled polyester and it’s approved with the Green Dot – German state certification for responsible shopping. Interestingly, the company’s own standards were the foundation for this certification… I’m starting to like this company.
The Vaude Brenta 24 reviewed here is ideal for short adventures, especially in mild and hot conditions and is a good choice if you’re shorter than 185cm. At £110 rrp it’s slightly pricey for a small rucksack – for me anyway. But if your budget stretches to this and you consider the quality construction and design, it’s an excellent choice.
The Vaude range is enormous and not one we see enough of in the UK. Full credit here for their environmental credentials and having three sizes of smaller rucksack in this design.
I hope you found this review of the Vaude Brenta 24 useful. If you’d like to know more about their outdoor gear and rucksacks, go to: www.vaude.com