Disclaimer: As always, all reviews found on our website from Drew Wylie, the rest of our team, or our customers are always purchased at the price they are shown on the website by the person doing the review. No incentives, discounts, or freebies have been given. The contents of the review are honest and an accurate representation of our findings by using the product that we have paid for with our own money.
About the Author: Drew Wylie
Drew's the man you probably already know. He is the frontman and owner of Wylies Outdoor World. He is also our chief product tester, out on an average of 4 nights a week testing items from our shelves in as many different conditions as possible. If you have any questions regarding gear, sales, delivery, recommendations for your camping/bushcraft kit, or anything else he will always deal with you directly!
What is the Snugpak Bergen?
The Snukpak Bergen is a 100-liter pack, with two 15-liter rocket style, detachable pockets, and a 70-liter main compartment, available in two colours, black and a very attractive shade of olive green. The Snugpak Bergen features an array of well thought out fixing points, loops, and adjustment points for securing your essential camping kit, and balancing the weight of the Snugpak Bergen on your back.
Snugpack Bergen Product Review on YouTube
How did we test the Snugpak Bergen?
At Wylies Outdoor World we have a standard test for all packs we test, we do this so we can compare packs of the same and varying classes and offer you the right advice so we can help you find a pack that is right for you.
The standard test is a 25-mile hike, across an array of terrains. Through woodlands, grassy fields, gravel, and rocky trails, up the steepest inclines, we have in our local areas of Fife, Scotland. With the pack loaded with as much weight as it is capable of carrying. We make a point of doing this in a simulated "long hike" situation when we are cold, a little bit sore, hungry, and tired as you would expect to be in these situations. We also make a point of doing these tests when we can expect to see varying weather conditions and will always do our best to either be arriving or leaving camp under cover of darkness.
From experience, we have found this gives us the best possible "all-round" picture of a pack's characteristics, its strengths, and its weaknesses. This standard test lets us compare packs in the same class in a way no other retailer in the UK will.
How well did the Snugpak Bergen perform in our tests?
Generally speaking, the Snugpak Bergen performed surprisingly well. I had high expectations for this pack, and happy to say I wasn't disappointed! However, there are a few things I would improve on, some of these are personal taste, or features I would like to see to increase the flexibility of the Snugpak Bergen for my own adventures.
Build Quality, and Materials
But as far as to build quality, materials, etc. I can't fault it. It's surprisingly light for a 100-litre pack, in many cases this can mean its made from inferior material, making it prone to snagging or ripping when caught on underbrush for example. You will often find that lightweight material is less effective in wet conditions. However, the Snugpak Bergen is made from 600D Heavy Duty Nylon. It's tough, but as all packs do, will benefit from a coat of "sealing" compound such as Nikwax to help increase the material's life span and water-resistance of the pack.
Weight Distribution, Load Carrying, and Comfort
Firstly your own experience and ability to properly pack and balance a Bergen will serve you well here, you are in for a tough time if you get it wrong but that is true of all packs. But, once balanced correctly the Snugpak Bergen is comfortable in my own experience, the straps are well padded, with adjustment straps at the top to help "pull" the Bergen into your shoulders, and upper back.
For a pack of this size, the Snugpak Bergen also offers excellent ventilation in the form of a well-padded back panel with an included "air channel" which really does help to reduce that sticky, sensation when you perspire. The hip and sternum straps are of excellent quality, and when using the pack they all do work well to transfer the weight down your center of gravity, collectively helping to reduce unnecessary pain or fatigue.
When you are carrying a heavy load over long distances and crossing multiple different types of terrain, in varying weather conditions, you are always going to be in pain or at the very least experience some discomfort. It's simply unavoidable but the question you really want me to answer here is it a good option? and is it better than many of the packs in its price and size range? The answer to these is simply yes!