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Macpac Torlesse 60 Pack | Review

Macpac Torlesse 60 Tested

 

Price:
£120
Weight: 2700 grammes
Features: Trekking
pack with 60-litre capacity, front opening access with
integrated pocket, bottom opening for sleeping bag
compartment, zip-in, roll-away bottom compartment divider,
lid pocket and underlid pocket, side-mounted bottle pockets,
bottom and side compression, lid extension and front daisy
chain, elasticated axe keepers, hydration port. Fabrics:
420D Nylon twill/630D Nylon. Airflo harness with Flex-fit
adjustable back system.

What’s It For? The Torlesse is Macpac’s new trekking and
weekend-packing sac and is available in 45, 50, 55 and 60-litre
versions as well as a women’s-specific 50L. Macpac says that the
packs are aimed at users who perhaps only get onto the hills
occasionally but want good quality gear without spending a fortune on
it.

At £120 for the largest 60-litre incarnation, it’s hardly
cheap, but it’s in the ballpark with other top-end pack makers, so
what we’re looking at is the Kiwi company’s shot at a more affordable
pack which doesn’t skimp on the brand’s traditional values of
durability and weather proofing.


The Techy Bits The Torlesse is more a pulling together of
established pack technologies than anything insanely radical. There
are some neat touches though, like the back panel which incorporates
two largish pockets and also unzips for easier access to the
contents of the pack, or at least those in the upper section.

There’s also the adjustable AirFlo harness system which rather
neatly has its lengthening and shortening gubbinses neatly tucked
away inside the pack rather than sandwiched under the back-pads like
many adjustable back systems.


How It Works Macpac has built a strong reputation for
producing bombproof, super-durable packs forged on its original
wax-impregnated poly-cotton AzTec fabric. The new Torlesse series
uses Nylon instead, but still has a reassuringly butch feel.

For starters, the pack weighs a hefty 2.7 kilos, a lot for a
modern 60-litre sac and seems generally overbuilt. The zips, for
example, are seriously large-toothed with chunky metal pulls adding
to the tough feel. Fabrics feel butch too with a double base area,
Hypalon panels in strategic areas and even double fabric water bottle
pockets. No skimping, though we’re not entirely sure that any pack
really needs a double thickness lid…

Loading is straightforward, though the fiddliness of using the
zipped lower compartment with the sac part loaded made us appreciate
Osprey’s curved and stretchy access arrangements.

Once adjusted, a relatively straightforward process helped by the
excellent instructions supplied with the pack – other manufacturers
take note – and with the sort of medium load most users will tote,
the Torlesse is a comfortable, stable carry with enough swing in the
hip-belt not to be restrictive. The shape and foam density on harness
and hip-belt are Macpac’s well proven norm and instantly comfortable,
despite what looks like a narrowing profile for the shoulder straps.
There’s enough adjustment to keep things snug and comfortable as
well.

The back system is a time-proven plate and alloy stave one which
feeds loads into the base of the pack rather than directly into the
hip-belt. That’s fine with medium loads, but we didn’t find it as
effective with heavier weights as those systems that feed loads
directly into the hip-belt using rods or staves.

We like the back panel entry system, which gives easy access to
the innards of the sac via two zips and it’s nice to have a couple of
easy to reach external pockets as part of the same panel. There’s no
hydration pocket, so we’d suggest either laying the bladder across
the top of the pack or, if your outlet tube is long enough using one
of the back panel pockets, which would have the bonus of making
refills easier.

While we’re being fussy, the twin waterbottle pockets are useful,
but not angled back at all, so they’re impossible to use without
either removing the pack or at least slipping it over one shoulder.
And do they really need to be double thickness nylon? It may be
tough, but it also seems a little excessive.


Verdict

It may sounds odd, but the Torlesse reminded us a bit of the
latest Scarpa SL walking boot – it’s a modern take on a classic
design with all the underlying quality you’d expect, but a few neater
modern touches.

It’s a little heavy and the back system isn’t as effective as some
of the latest designs from the likes of Osprey, but it’s fine and
comfortable for the sort of medium loads most users will be
carrying.

Yes, the Torlesse is a little on the heavy side, but ostentatious
overbuilding promises long-term durability and weather resistance.
It’s simply a good, tough, basic pack with no silly gimmicks.


Great build quality, tough materials.

A little heavy – are double thickness lids and waterbottle
pockets really necessary?

 

Performance
Value

 

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