Vango Contour 50+10s
Backpack, Rucsac or Rucksack
Product Review / Walking Gear Test
Backpack, Rucsac or Rucksack
Guarantee: Life of the Backpack
Colours: Marine/Black, Light Grey/Black
Weight: 2.20 kgms
Vango says:"An entry level, large capacity rucsac with all the attributes of established Vango models. The simple QA - Quick Adjust back system allows a neat fit across a range of back sizes. This is the ideal all-activity pack for Scouts and Guides and for those new to trekking and travel.""
Features to Note:
- Body: Excel 420D Diamond Ripstop and 600D Polyester
- Base: Excel 600D Polyester
- Back System: QA - Quick Adjust
- Hip/Waist Belt: Air Mesh
- Capacity (litres): 50+10
- Shorter (S) back lengths to accommodate women and/or anyone who require a shorter torso fit. A regular back length version is also available.
- QA - Quick Adjust back system that allows you to fit the pack to your back size fast.
- Ergonomic hipbelt which is shaped for comfort.
- Body contact points which are made of Air Mesh to keep you cool and comfortable.
- Flexi-Adjust sternum strap which is easy to adjust
- Top and front opening with zipped base compartment allows flexibility in packing and use.
- Hydration compatible, so you can have liquid on the move.
- Extension sleeve with a drawcord and top compression strap that gives extra space, keeps out the rain and helps secure the load.
- Expansion side pockets with dual compression straps.
- Twin attachment points to help you carry walking poles or ice axes with ease.<
- Shockcord accessory web down front.
- 1 Haul handle - for carrying on/off trains or around airports
This is from Vango's Adventure range so its intended use is for weekends away in the hills, festivals, camping with the kids and travelling. Fit and comfort are the most important criteria when selecting a rucksack or backpack. I tested this with a load I would have on a typical single winter day in the high mountains.
The Vango Contour 50 + 10s rucsac has a shorter back length which can be adjusted by moving the harness up and down via a webbed ladder arrangement. I found this extremely fiddly and difficult to adjust. Having said that, it is something you only need to do once - and in any event you could get a member of the shop staff to adjust it for you to make sure you have it set correctly.
The shoulder straps can also be used for a finer adjustment and it was possible to get a very good fit indeed. (I'm female and my bottom-of-neck to hipbone measurement is approximately 54cms).
There's a well padded hip belt which sat comfortably on my hips once I'd loaded the rucksack and it was very easy to open and close - even wearing thick gloves.
There's also an effective lumbar support feature plus raised foam ribs which helped the airflow between my back and the pack.
The shoulder straps are adjustable and well padded. The sternum strap opened and closed easily and can be tightened and loosened laterally (across the chest). You can also adjust the sternum strap vertically but this is quite fiddly. However it is probably something you would only do once during the initial fitting. The right-hand shoulder strap also includes a clip for the drinking tube from a hydration system.
The lid of the Vango Contour 50 + 10s Rucsac has a good sized pocket large enough for an OS map and includes a plastic karabiner (for eg keys, penknife). The lid also has loops for attaching a bed roll or insulation mat.
Both of the two external, side pockets are large enough for a water bottle though surprisingly, neither include any means to hold the bottles in place.
There are also two external zipped side pockets, each large enough for several OS maps and for stowing all those items you need regularly or quickly.
There are two base loops with accompanying elasticated attachment points for carrying walking poles and/or ice-axes.
Two further adjustable straps are available for attaching a one or two man tent to the outside of the bag.
The main bag body of the Vango Contour 50 + 10s Rucsac can be divided into two compartments by a toggled drawcord and you can access both compartments from the outside - via the lid for the top one and a zipped opening for the bottom, sleeping bag, compartment.
This means you can erect your tent, roll out your insulation mat and deploy your sleeping bag (or pack it all up) without having to open your rucksack, exposing all your belongings to the elements - essential during inclement weather.
All the external zips were nice and substantial and had toggles to help when operated with gloved hands.
There is no rain cover and the fabric is only water resistant so you will need to make sure all your belongings are stowed in robust plastic bags to keep them dry - but this is good practice anyway.
Apart from the shoulder straps, there is also a handle at the top for easy carrying on and off public transport/airport check-in.
As is often case, the women specificity seems to come from the shorter back length rather than any other design changes such as larger, more cupped hip belt or shoulder straps that are shaped away at the front - features which might make the backpack more comfortable for the curvier figure. However, as someone with a less curvy figure(!) I was quite comfortable wearing the Contour.
Leaving that aside, if you are seeking a good sized backpack for trekking between mountain huts or youth hostels and enjoy the occasional night under canvas - then this could be your bag. For single day walking in all weather and seasons the Vango Contour 50 + 10s Rucsac is everything you need and more.
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What do you think?
Have you got/bought Vango Contour 50+10s 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 Vango Contour 50+10s Backpacks, Rucsacs or Rucksacks - so we can publish your important views below.
• Perfect fit and adjustment but and it's a big but. Bought for d of e. 1. The inside clip at the top came un stitched. 2. The sternum strap is a groove type clip and one side has come unclipped and 3. The waterproof cover fixing came off. The pack hasn't even left the house and it's d of e tomorrow. #disappointed
Jan Peters, Christchurch
• I've only just bought this backpack so haven't taken it out yet, but I just wanted to correct something on the previous review - the Contour does have a rain cover, inside its own zip pocket in the lid of the backpack. I'm pleased that it's in a pocket like this on its own, so that both of the other pockets in the lid can be used. My last backpack had the rain cover in the outer pocket of the lid (attached to the bag with an elasticated strap) which meant that if you used the raincover, you couldn't zip that pocket closed and therefore couldn't put anything in it.