Marc's WhiteWater Gear Reviews

Packs and Bags


Vaude Rupal Light Backpacks

These are my two ultra lightweight, minimalistic backpacks, for alpine climbing and sporty mountain tours. I use the 18 liter Rupal Light and the 28 liter Rupal Light version. These have all the functionality I need. Made out of strong material, but yet very lightweight.
Looking for a pack to do dashes onto mountain tops, I found these awesome packs. Light enough to carry as extra load in my bigger pack and functional enough to take all the necessary gear on alpine day trips. I typically carry a hydration system, an ice axe, a ice pick, crampons, a helmet, a PLB, clothing layers, cooking gear and food. During the cold season I carry less clothing layers inside the pack, which enables me to use the smaller pack.
These packs offer superior freedom of movement, even when fully packed.

  • Joint (similar) features
  • Ultralight backpack designed for Alpine Climbing, Mountaineering and Via Ferrata.
  • Molded padding stripes at back.
  • Drawstring flap closes the pack quickly.
  • Outer zip pocket.
  • Side compression straps.
  • Lightweight siliconized fabric.
  • Reflective elements.
  • Opening for hydration system.
  • Back ventilation with large central ventilation channel.
  • Water repellent finish Eco Finish.
  • Load range: 3 – 8 kg.
  • 18 LITER PACK features:
  • Wide,vest-like ErgoShape shoulder harness for a stable fit.
  • Stowable top compression strap / rope holder.
  • Stretch mesh pocket on shoulder belt for a phone/personal location beacon, gels, bars etc.
  • Glove-fixation at shoulder belt.
  • Attachment point for ice tools.
  • Removable webbing hip belt.
  • Weight: 510 g.
  • Volume: 18 l.
  • Dimensions: 52 x 24 x 22 cm.
  • 28 LITER PACK features:
  • ErgoShape shoulder straps for optimal freedom of movement.
  • Pack stability and good carrying comfort with two adjustable aluminum bars.
  • aluminium bars removable to reduce weight.
  • attachment point for ice tools with picksleeve.
  • Wider webbing hip belt.
  • Weight: 610 g.
  • Volume: 28 l.
  • Dimensions: 54 x 26 x 22 cm.

Vaude is a environmentally friendly German company striving for climate-neutrality for all their products.

Magnus 50 by Fenix Protector

My Fenix Protector ‘Magnus 50’ backpack is a 50 litre backpack, originally developed for armed forces. In the balance between weight versus robustness, the robustness and abrasiveness have been given priority at the expence of a mere 200gr (compared to mainstream lightweight backpacks), rewarding the user with a everlasting and reliable pack. Unintended, I did put this pack to some vigorous tests, and it came out as a winner!
At first glance, this seems to be a pretty straight forward and basic backpack. One inner compartment and all the standard features. But, this pack is a modern version of all of those features we have known for years. Yes, it is a top- and front loader, it has a ‘brain’ compartment, belt pockets and all that. But the real gems are in the designed details. Like the hooks on the shockcord making it far easier to stow jackets and raingear. Like sleeves over the full height of the pack sides, for stowing tripods, tentpoles, fishing rods, walking poles, etcetera.
It also comes with three different types of zipper pulls (for glove wearing situations, bush situations and multi purpose ones) and clever fastners to tie loose ends of webbing.

Magnus in his natural environment.

Like most army packs, it is built for personalisation by means of add-ons, using various techniques like Velcro and Molle.
My first add-on is the water bladder pouch, with a 3 liter bladder, which can be hung into the pack with existing attachments and feeding the tube through a dedicated port.
The IFAK (Individual First Aid Kit) is a very practical one. It consists out of two parts: a molle holder attached to the pack, and a detachable snap-buckle pouch.
There are several internal stuff bags as well that velcro onto anyplace inside the pack.
Fenix has hooking straps to mount things like your mat or sleeping bag on the outside of the pack, using special loops.
All in all, this is a pack with hidden modern features providing the extras that can make life easier on the trail.

See how I pack this backpack on my YouTube channel.

Fenix Protector is a European business, developing and manufacturing equipment for extreme conditions for more than 25 years. It’s owner Martin Hanuš, has an extensive knowledge and history as it comes to mountaineering and whitewater sports.

HuckePacks BeiPack Lite & Sacocche Lite

<- BeiPack Lite & Sacocche Lite ->

These two versatile packs are part of the HuckePacks Lite line (ofwhich the Phoenix backpack with Hipbelt+ is number one on my wishlist). Made out of wear-resistant and waterproof Dyneema Composite Fabric, they are ultralight and extremely durable. Their minimalistic, but practical design allows them to be an asset as allround add-ons. Both are feature Dyneema Composite Fabric Woven and YKK Aquaguard zippers. For those who you have the need to tweak these packs, HuckePacks has a ‘Special’ line.
Although not (yet) seam sealed, these packs protect their content well in a medium rain conditions.

The BeiPack Lite is 2 liter sack that can be attached as add-on to all backpacks in an instant, or be worn as fanny pack. I typically use this as a utility pocket carrying a camera, PLB and snacks. It has the absolute ideal practical dimensions for those aiming to go ultralight and only weighs 40 grams. It comes with a 25mm hipbelt that has an strong yet light Aero buckle.

The Sacoche Lite comes with an ultralight shoulder strap and an inner hook for key attachment. It attaches very well both inside as on the outside of backpacks and can even be worn as a utility pocket on it’s own. I use this for my phone, passport, travel documents and maps. The two outer pockets are of different sizes. On the photograph it holds my iPhone 11 for reference. The overall design is very flat, well proportioned (20x20cm) and weighs a mere 33 grams, with durable mesh and 10mm webbing with release buttons.

HuckePacks is a small shop in Germany by Mateusz Szultk. His mission is to provide Ultra Light backpacks and equipment. Or as he says:
‘A necessity became a hobby, a hobby became a passion and a passion became a calling.’
Combine that with German precision and quality and you can’t go wrong!

MiniMeis G4 Children Carrier
& Backpack


The MiniMeis G4 mimicks carrying a child on your shoulders, but does it in a safer and far more comfortable for both you and the child. The MiniMeis Backpack attaches to the carrier, or, it can hold the folded carrier and/or all essentials you need to have with you. The carrier folds into a 30x30cm package, weighing 1 kg.
I use this on rather flat ground. Although it is far safer and comfortable than having a child on your shoulders, it has some of the same disadvantages. The danger of low hanging branches is one you need to be aware of, as is tripping over or falling. Your balance will be influenced by it’s height. As the carrier is rated to suit 6 months – 5 year olds, these disadvantages only seem appearant when nearing the max load of 22 kg.
Most children love this carrier, as they get to see far more than in most other carriers! As you do not carry your child on your back, you can maneuver easily even in the busiest streets, markets, shops and festivals. The last big advantage over other carriers is that it gets far less hot, for you and your child, because it hardly covers your back.


Skandika Bogong

Here’s my second pack, a Skandika Bogong 45+10. A straight forward pack with lots of compression straps and seperate compartments, making it versatile. It’s easily adjustable to your size. It’s a mid-weight pack, at 2kg. Top and front loading, with the option of dividing the maincompartment in two. It has a raincover in a pocket underneath the pack. The option to employ extra space is a plus. It has no belt pockets, but the brains compartment is big! (The amount of zips and straps can be slightly impractical, and some of the zippers don’t run as smooth as you’d want.)
It is tailored slim and high, especially with the hood/brains fully packed, making it very usefull for alpine sports.
Overall, this is a decent versatile pack at a very fair price!

See how I pack this backpack on my YouTube channel.

Dry Bags

.HF Dry Bags

These are the dry bags that I carry behind my kayak seat. Solid, reinforced, dubble sided coating, sonically sealed, heavy duty PVC. These will last and can take the pressure.
I like the loop on the bottom to secure them in the boat, so I can access my stuff without taking the bag out of the boat. Ø 19 cm, H 40 cm.

Supplied by Kanocentrum Arjan Bloem.

Waterproof Waist Pack by Aquapac

This is my every day carry bum bag (fanny pack / belt bag / moon bag / belly bag) Whether inside or outside of the boat, this is where my personal essentials are. Rugged, dry and secure, easy to carry, easy to attach in the kayak and worth seeing. It has a IPx6 internal volume of 3 liters, including the easy access IPx3 frontpocket. There is a small zippered mash pocket and carabiner inside of the main compartment. The features:

  • Tough 500D polyester-reinforced PVC tarpaulin
  • Velcro strip roll closure
  • Splashproof quick-access pocket
  • Internal zippered pocket
  • The comfortable, breathable mesh padding
  • Matt black, with reflective strip
  • Weight: 370g

Drybags by Aquapac

Simple, heavyweight drybags with shoulder strap . These bags are of a super-rugged construction. Made out of 500D polyester-reinforced PVC tarpaulin, they can take a beating and will not easily damage.
To secure your stuff, roll the top down 3 times and lock the closure.
In the event this IPx6 dry bag gets punctured are otherwise damaged, they are easy to patch (PVC). These bags come in 4 sizes and 2 colours.

Waterproof Duffle Bag by Aquapac

My 70 liter heavyweight IPx6 waterproof duffle bag . Either to keep water out and protect my dry gear in wet conditions, or to keep water in under dry conditions (to protect the car interior, f.i.). With their Velcro and double strap/buckle closure these duffle bags will do their job. I throw these around whilst loaded to the brim. Being made out of the same 500D polyester-reinforced PVC tarpaulin as my dry bags, the are equally strong and durable. These too are easy to patch (PVC) if needed. The neon colour limits the amount of sun-heat they catch.

Aquapac is a European business specialising in innovative waterproof cases, bags and packs.

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