On review; Berghaus Bioflex 45 Rucksack – Rating; 7 out of 10
A 45 liter backpack is a day pack on an Expedition. You bring it with you if you need to do other things other than the specific expedition. Like I would carry a pack like this, if I needed to climb a peak planning on one day out, not more, because you can´t carry a decent tent, sleeping bag and foam pad and enough food in such a small bag. So, the reader have to have this fact in mind. I have given it a 7 out of 10 based on information I have picked up from friends in the business plus just a few days of testing. 7 is enough to be considered Expedition worthy.
Let me first say that I appreciate the innovative Bioflex system which sees the hip belt pivot with you as you move, allowing you to bend forward and flex without being encumbered by your load. It first it feels odd, but one gets used to it quickly and after awhile it feels very good. I loaded 15 kg:s and it felt reasonably comfortable. However, it is important to say that we human are all very different physically and finding the right rucksack takes time. One of my all time favorites comes from Berghaus, Vulcan.
There´s a lot of detail on this rucksack and it is basically a day pack for an alpinist. For an explorer not involved in climbing it is too many details, like an amazing array of straps which can get stuck into thick bush for example. And the top straps, when loaded heavily like 15 kg:s, well, the top straps cut into the shoulders in a uncomfortable way and the hip belt padding feels thin. So this rucksack is at its best when not loaded more than 10-12 kg:s. I wonder why Berghaus have made the hip belt and top straps so narrow and thin? I doubt it would be much of a weigh difference adding on more comfort.
I also talked to friends within the business and if anyone of them had tried the Bioflex system on demanding expeditions. Some had and one of them, my old partner, Johan Ivarsson, said the he and the whole team who walked the Skeleton Coast 1½ year ago had this system and they carried around 35 kg:s in average and they were not that happy. Especially with the top straps which cut into their shoulders all the time and the pivoting system breaking down for everyone.
Me and my wife Pamela tried the Bioflex 45 over a few days and we came to the same conclusion that it did its job, but doesn´t rate among the best. Especially for a price around 200 Euro and considering that their Rolls Royce of the Backpacks, the Vulcan costs only 50 euro more!
The test is done in cooperation with AdventureSportsHolidays.com