Karrimor Cougar 60-70
Backpack, Rucsac or Rucksack
Product Review / Walking Gear Test
Backpack, Rucsac or Rucksack
Weight: 2100 gms
Features to Note:
- Capacity: 60-70 litres
- SA2 (size adjustable) back system
- Hydration System compatible
- Side compression
- Base load straps
- Rope strap
- Expansion side pockets
- 2 lid pockets
- Adjustable chest straps
- Ice axe/walking pole attachment point
- Fabric : 420D 70%polyester, 30% nylon plain weave
- Made in China
I tried out Karrimor's Cougar 60/70 on a recent 2 day trip with one overnight stop in The Glyderau area of Snowdonia, North Wales.
There's one large main compartment, the main access for which is from the top but with additional access from the bottom. The lower part of this section can be separated off via a zip.
There are a varied selection of pockets - 3 good size bellows (side and front), one on the outside of the lid which also has an internal security pocket plus 2 external mesh pockets (handy for the requisite banana, water bottle and/or to stash litter). The lid itself does not extend to accommodate an extra load - this wasn't a problem for me on this trip.
There are a number of other pretty standard features such as a pole attachment point, hydration system compatibility, side and lower load compression straps.
The back is built around Karrimor's well-established, size adjustable system. This is very easy to adjust to suit your particular body length; once adjusted there's plenty of padding in the shoulder and 'rump' areas - so it's comfortable plus the ventilation to your back is very good. The back system certainly kept its shape with the load I was carrying and I thought that the weight was transferred well to the hip belt. The hip belt itself seems well designed - it's very well padded, wide and fits well although, whilst tightening it was very easy, loosening it was less so. The shoulder straps are also very substantially padded.
The fabric - so far unscathed - seems reasonably robust.
My only, relatively minor, gripe so far is the rain cover. This is stowed in the bottom of the pack - but is black. My personal preference is for something more brightly coloured to aid visibility.
Karrimor is a long established manufacturer of backpacks. The Cougar is well worthwhile considering as a well priced, good quality backpack with a proven back system.
Stop Press! If you have an iPhone, iPod Touch, Android, Palm or Blackberry you can now use it to download and see this Karrimor Cougar 60-70 product review and gear test with go4awalk Mobile. Simply enter www.go4awalk.com into your iPhone, iPod Touch, Android, Palm or Blackberry's internet browser (e.g. Safari) and follow the on-screen links.
What do you think?
Have you got/bought Karrimor Cougar 60-70 Backpacks, Rucsacs or Rucksacks?
We would love to hear what you thought of it - good, bad or indifferent. Perhaps you simply disagree with our verdict - or feel we've neglected an important feature.
Let us know by clicking this link - What I think of Karrimor Cougar 60-70 Backpacks, Rucsacs or Rucksacks - so we can publish your important views below.
• KARRIMOR COUGAR 60-70L BACKPACK When I bought this bag I was very much from the 'it looks like it'll do' school of thought and the purchase was largely influenced by price more than anything else. As I was to be carrying this bag around with me for quite a time I find it strange to look back on such flippance now. Thing is, I believe a lot of people do that so perhaps it's to Karrimors good fortune that they'd provided an attractive looking bag right off the bat. It never had all the features that I wanted. There was no zipped side access for instance to the main compartment for instance - just a top or bottom loader, the hood was sewn to the main bag instead of those dead handy compressible straps which I would've preferred and there were no small zipped pockets on the waist belt which, even if I wouldn't have used them for anything particularly useful, I would've liked them all the same. But - and it is a big but - this bag was supremely comfortable and when you're carrying 20kgs for the best part of another year and a half that meant something. That meant a lot, in fact. I found that 60l is just about right for your regular, garden variety worldwide backpacker. The main compartment was ample, had a pouch for a hydration system and a drawcord cinch to separate the upper and lower sections. A draw cord is important if you're in this for the long haul. Zips fail - drawcords well, you just put another piece of cord in, don't you. Rest assured though the zips on the Cougar were of sturdy enough design to withold considerable punishment as I found more and more ingenious ways of stuffing things in. The belt and shoulder harness was fully adjustable and the padding thick enough to allow a smidge of fresh air to pass between body and pack. I wouldn't say that you stayed entirely perspirent free but anything at this level would help. So we know that its a good bag but not a great bag. Apart from the lack of features I found the belt buckle an occasional annoyance. Some days it would clip and hold the weight of the bag admirably and sometimes it would just slip and fail. There didn't seem to be any pattern to this failing and no other travellers I met with this bag complained of the same problem but this particular piece of the bag is paramount. You hold the majority of the bags weight on your hips so if this buckle isn't up to the job you're going to have all that weight on your shoulders and that's not a good thing at all. After about 10 months the problem remedied itself. I think we can put that down to a one-off. The Cougar comes complete with a rain cover which worked splendidly but its typical stowaway position in the zipped compartment on the hood was robbing valuable occasional storage space. I stuffed it in the hydration pouch instead being nicely squashable. The map pocket I found very useful being a good size and easy to get to. I'm not disappointed with this bag at all - I've grown kinda fond of it really but it could've been a great bag - a real keeper. Just shy of a few features and a decent waist buckle (fail or no fail, the design of it was unnecessarily complicated) tarnished an excelled travel companion. TravelGuru
Paul Elverstone, Romford, Essex