This is a super simple bag, but has an innovative feature. the side straps are designed to hold skis. Why does no one state this?
Because the side straps have buckles, you could conceivably attach snow shoes to these as well.
These are not side compression straps, and I sincerely hope people will stop referring to them as such.
The Berghaus 30 is a tad too small, about the size of a school backpack.
If you have a decent 30 degree sleeping bag, and a 3-4lb tent, you can fit everything into the main compartment including the tent poles, stakes, ground sheet, and even a spare tarp. Then you can stack a little more. I add a folding bucket, and a towel.
This really necessitates the side pockets to carry extra gear, like a small jet boil stove, a spare canister, first aid kit, tiny lamp, water filter, etc. etc.
Interestingly, when you get the MMPS, you’ll find that they have the same ski straps as the main Centurio 45. This is great if you want to take the MMPS pockets off and do a day hike, but want to leave the skis or snow shoes behind and properly attached to the main bag. Also good if you want to take the skis or snow shoes with you.
I do have one small complaint, The front width of the Centurio 45 is narrower than the rear. I don’t know why as I’d prefer the front to be just as wide to get a little extra space. As it is, when attaching the side pockets, they lean a little forward.
The molle webbing is nice. I recently purchased a 5.11 6×10 vertical pouch which makes full use of the webbing for maximum pocket size. It’s just a pouch with no padding, so it’s basically a third pocket.
The hood main pocket is much smaller than the pockets of other hoods, which seems a little strange to me. They could have made this hood pocket particularly useful by making it bigger. As it is, I stuff a poncho and rain pants in there and it is really maxed out. I don’t use the smaller inner pocket.
Another great thing is that even though the shoulder straps and back padding is said to be thicker than previous models, it’s still rather small and thin compared to modern straps. That’s a GOOD thing. modern day straps are much too thick, and understandably so, since many of the packs they support need to hold up to 30KG or so of stuff, so the straps become pretty critical.
Even better (from my perspective, the waist strap is thin). It’s more like a 2″ belt than a waist strap. The reason I like this is because it’s a great compromise for me. Most of the time, I will have this pack on an external frame, so the thin straps get around the frame easily without impeding the external frame’s carry system. And since this has an internal frame and padding, the weight is transferred to the hips and the waist belt can help keep things in place for the most part when it’s not on the external frame. in these situations, I have to lighten my carry load a little, but that’s okay, it’s still better than having the pack swing all over the place.
But the Berghaus is designed more for about 10-15KG at most, so they don’t need thicker straps and therefore the straps aren’t as cumbersome.
Same for the waist strap. Modern waist straps are way too thick, but really, you shouldn’t need such a thick waist belt if you’re not hold a ton of gear. What’s more, for those of you who might wear a tac vest, I imagine that a thick strap would get in the way. This is more of a simple 2″ strap belt. just perfect for lighter gear that’s still heavy enough to require some strapping at the waist.
All in all, I’m superbly happy with this pack and hope to get many many years of use out of it.
For now, it is attached to my Tatonka Lastenkraxe, and set very high, so that I have plenty of space between the Berghaus Centurio 45 and the shelf. This is important to add a bear canister onto the shelf.
But when necessary, I can remove the Centurio 45 from the Lastenkraxe for a nice lighter pack that can still hold plenty of gear.
Also, there are other similar packs out there, like the Snugpak Rocket Pack and the Karrimor of roughly equivalent size. They also have removable side pockets, but those pockets don’t zip together as nicely and instead require a separate yoke system to combine the pockets together for a day pack. I didn’t want to have a separate yoke system as it might get lost, so having the side pockets already have a built in strap system was perfect for me. Also, the Snugpak Rocket uses shock cords instead of molle webbing, which slightly limits attachment options.
Wisport has some packs that zip together, but they are not available in the States and it appears no one ships internationally.
If you’re looking for a fairly light backpacking pack that is tough enough for years of abuse, get this pack.