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Aiguille Alpine Midi 40L Backpack | Review

Made in the Lake District, this simple, functional and very retro pack has definitely won over OM editor, Will

Why We Chose The Aiguille Alpine Midi: Extremely durable, no-thrills, lightweight.

“People often ask how we compete with the ‘big brands’ and everything coming in from the Far East,” say Aiguille Alpine on their website, “the answer is simple, we can’t and we don’t.” Isn’t that refreshing to hear. Here, we have a brand that isn’t trying to be something it’s not. You won’t catch them throwing around hyperbole and promises of big breakthroughs in innovation. They just make simple gear that works – stuff that you can rely on when the going gets tough. Like this, the Midi 40L. We don’t really have much to say about it to be honest. What you see is what you get, and we kind of like that.

“I’ve been using this pack with its ultra basic back design and harness, and found it really comfy, even with a medium weight load.”

What we will say though is that it’s tough. It’s made from a 1000D texturised nylon after all. To put that into perspective, the Fjallraven Ulvö pack, which we found to be super tough itself, is only 400D.

This also has a lovely big main opening which closes with a drawcord. You can easily open it right up and have access to your kit straight away without having to dig around awkwardly. For any smaller stuff like your powerpack or compass you can just stick them in the little zipped pocket under the lid.

No hipbelt means that you're not going to want to carry overly-heavy loads. Photo: Chris Johnson
A large opening with a drawcord closure gives simple access to your kit. Photo: Chris Johnson
There's no fancy back system here. We loved the simple, lightweight design to the Aiguille Alpine Midi 40L. Photo: Chris Johnson

With Aiguille, you have the useful option of customisation. Choose between back lengths, colours, with or without a laptop sleeve, chest strap or waist belt or you can even drop them an email and request to have an extra pocket added here or there. Pretty nifty that.

It’s not waterproof but it will still be able to handle a bit of moisture. If you’re expecting to go through heavy rain, you’ll probably want to stick a nice big dry bag on the inside.

As for carrying comfort, Will can fill you in on that…

Tester’s Verdict

Will Renwick, Outdoors Magic Editor

“Back systems have probably got a bit out of hand these days haven’t they? Trampoline mesh, ventilation channels and all that fussy stuff – is it really all that necessary? Aiguille Alpine have got me thinking it’s not. That’s because I’ve been using this pack with its ultra basic back design and harness, and found it comfy, even with a medium heavy load.

Granted, with the lack of hipbelt you’re not going to want to use this for any trips that require really heavy loads, and you’ll need to make sure to organise your kit so that there’s no gas canister poking into your back, but still, it’ll be fine for carrying your summer weekend wild camping kit.

I love its simplicity, especially when it makes for a pack that only weighs 560g. It swallows up kit and, when you don’t need it, it’s so useful that it can be flattened right down to keep it out of the way – unlike Osprey’s trekking packs which are pretty bad for that.

All-in-all this is a great option to use for light hiking, for carrying your ropes to the crag or even just for your commute to work.”

You’ve got a useful amount of customisation on the Midi 40L. Choose between back lengths, colours, with or without laptop sleeve, chest strap or waist belt

Trade Secrets

Chris Moore, Aiguille Staff

“We designed the original Midi – the Midi 28 – over 30 years ago for use by children in outdoor centres. The end use of the sack has developed over the years to be a sack which is also used by enthusiastic outdoor commuters, people who need to use the sack to carry their laptop and lunch to work on the 9-5 but likewise to throw their children’s waterproofs in on the way up Kinder Scout at the weekend. However, the basic design and bombproof functionality of the sack has not changed at all. The Midi 35 and Midi 40 are larger versions of the original concept.”

Aiguille Alpine Midi 40L Backpack

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