Alpkit’s lightweight waterproof Gourdon day-pack has been around for a while now and evolved slightly from the original minimalist ‘drybag with straps’ concept to become a ‘drybag with straps and extra trimmings’ and we thought it was about time we tested it.
These are our first impressions, after which Gourdon is heading down to the big smoke for a mixture of winter bike commuting and general abuse with full report to follow.
There are very few genuinely waterproof packs out there. Why? Pack seams are difficult to seal and that means extra expense, so while fabrics are waterproof, most packs aren’t. the Gourdon however, is basically a sealed dry bag complete with roll-over closure with added straps, which means – hurrah – that it’s genuinely waterproof. The fabric should be tough too, being TPU-coated Nylon.
We’ve used an original Gourdon and that was basic, the latest version has been upgraded somewhat. There’s a thin removable foam pad in the back system to add a little comfort and the sleeve it sits in doubles as a hydration reservoir holder – we fitted a 3-litre Camelbak okay. You may want to underfill to prevent barelling however, both with pack and reservoir.
Closure is by standard dry-bag roll-over and clips and feels fine – its a proven system and should remain waterproof and while there’s no external zipped pocket, there are side mesh stash pockets that take a waterbottle or lightweight waterproof just fine and an adjuable bungee cord fixing that should cope with anything from clothing to roadkill.
Even though at just £22.50, Gourdon is a bit cheap, you still get proper, ergo-shaped shoulder straps, a sliding sternum strap and waist belt. It all feels solid and properly put together.
We added a velcro strap to route a hydration tube using slots on the shoulder strap reinforcement. Finally, if the worst comes to the worst, a mattress-type patch kit is supplied.
If you’re being fussy you might miss some sort of small valuables pocket and a key-ring clip, but it’s hardly the end of the world as we know it.
If you’re after an affordable, basic, waterproof, daypack, the Gourdon 20 and its siblings, the 25 and 30 are proper no-brainers. It’s surprisingly not basic and while there are no frills and airs to it and you’ll still need to pack carefully to keep hard angular things from pressing into your back, it’s surprisigly versatile with both hydration system compatibility and added external storage upping its usefulness.
The absolute shizzle on days when the clouds open and you want to keep your pack contents dry and a bargain buy with it.