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karrimor packs

have any of you Brits tried this pack. I understand it comes from Britain.
it has been the Best fitting and most confortable pack so far, unfortunately it weighs 4 1/2 lbs.
It has stays which makes the weight more on the hips than the shoulders.
most packs that i have seen weigh at least 3 pounds.
Hi Dawn

Karrimor make a range of sacks: they aren't the most sophisticated ones in the world, but they work. I have just bought a 35l one which weighs 1.2kg. It's a bit heavier than my old one (which saw me through 4 weeks trekking in Chile) but it has a good padded waist band, air circulation back padding and outside pockets. I've not given it the full treatment yet, but it seems good and certainly takes the weight off the shoulders.

By the way, I did a two day trial of the Camino last April when I was driven off the Picos by the weather, and I was hooked. I will be starting from StJPdP on 15th May and dream of making it all the way. Hope to meet some of you!

Good walking

have you looked at the berghaus freeflows? they do a 35+8 litres that I'm thinking of buying. the freeflow system looks like it'd be really good on hot days to avoid sweaty back syndrome, they're reasonable light (1.2kg), incredibly comfy, but a bit pricey compared to others on the market.


Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese.
I am a fan of the Aarn packs - small New Zealand company. Completely different to anything else and soooo comfortable. I think they have an outlet in the UK. Have a look at their website:


My only interest is to keep them in enough profits that the company is still around when I buy my next backpack, hopefully not for a few years.


hi Paul, thanks for your comments.
just curious to where you are flying into. I have missed the charter flights into london now looking at air canada. any suggestions, i will have to overnight in stansed if i go to Biarritz.


Maggie Ramsay
Camino(s) past & future
Santiago de Compostela (2005) Via Francigena (2010) Le Puy to St Jean (2014)
Hi Dawn
We have just bought Aarn backpacks on Kanga's advice, tried them out in the mountains outside Sydney last weekend, loved 'em. Very light 1.6 I think, our model is called Featherlite Freedom, that about says it all. Lets your back breathe and is so variable to fit individual torsos that it comes with a dvd. I gather that the designer, a guy called Aarn is an enthusiast about backpacks, lives and breathes them - good for him! (and for us). I'm 5'6" and 60kg and bought the smallest version of that model, 40litres, my husband got the 45 litre. We bought them on sale half price for $AUD175 from a place called Outdoors.com in West Ryde Sydney (it's a shop front but they also have an online called something like hikeonline.com.au). I also saw some new ones on ebay, the brand anyway, but I can't remember what models, at about the same prices. Aarn's idea is to put the weight on the hips, he also uses front mini packs like vertical bumbags to balance the weight better. You will find stacks of info if you Google Aarn backpacks.
I'm learning so much from this forum, and it's already of use to me even though our Camino is still months away!
Hi Dawn

I am flying out from Stanstead to Biarritz, arriving in time (I hope) to get the evening train from Bayonne to StJPdP. If you decide to go that way I may see you on the plane. Better warn you, though - I'm white bearded, bald and old!

Anyway, enjoy the trip.

train times

hi paul,

well i am hoping to catch a flight from stansted to biarritz on the 9th,.
i know i have seen the times, but when is the last bus/train from bayonne to st. jean pied de port.

thanks everyone for your feedback.
Maggie i looked up the Aarn pack. it looks great however for the cost i would want to try it on first. our selection here isn't great in the smaller packs. north face, marmot, solo, lowe,osprey

scribblingdavey, my physio is against the packs with the wicking that allows free flow. sure they can breath, but it is better to have the weight against the back. Also i would "question the stays " in the pack. these are really important when walking a long distance or if you have a really really light pack.
i think i will stay with the karrimor, my great physio is going to set it up for me.
take care


Maggie Ramsay
Camino(s) past & future
Santiago de Compostela (2005) Via Francigena (2010) Le Puy to St Jean (2014)
I'm sure if you have your physio helping you get it right for yu, it will be great. It will be all part of your journey, anyway. After all, if supreme comfort was our highest priority we would choose a car!
taking a car

maggie, you are TOO FUNNY,
well for me i am a postie, so walking is ok. also i usually CARRY 25 - 30 Pounds, so 15 will be a TREAT.
Excited to get on the trail, booking flights, with airlines changing the price has been driving me nuts. I know thou, for me it is a TEST, have faith everything will work out. I was frazzled when air transat, changed the fares from $686 to $1285. thought i missed the boat! Now for accomodation in London, airport bench?????
Bring on the trail, packing is almost done, today is a glorious sunny day in Victoria! B.C.
Interesting stuff - I was looking at Deuter packs, they consistently win the top awards and have all the features i'm looking for at very reasonable prices...but one of the things I like is the Air Contact system which is basically a mesh across the back that pushes the pack away slightly to keep you cool but should still direct the load down through thehips. That said I might reconsider if your physio says otherwise... i have an existing lower back problem and have NO desire to make it worse!!

Thanks for making me think outside my box!


Active Member
Deuter packs

The problem with Deuter packs is that they lack stability.

I've just ordered a new pack as my trusty ol' Karrimor is dead. I looked at more contemporary Karrimors but they didn't really do the trick and the quality seems to have gone to toffee.

It's taken a few months but I've gone for a Mountain Hardwear pack. Looks good, feels beautiful and well worth spending the money on something that's stable, feels right and will (hopefully) last for years...

Buen Camino!
Re: Deuter packs

Minkey said:
The problem with Deuter packs is that they lack stability.

I've just ordered a new pack as my trusty ol' Karrimor is dead. I looked at more contemporary Karrimors but they didn't really do the trick and the quality seems to have gone to toffee.

Buen Camino!
I'm very suprised to hear you say that. As I understand it - both from my limited experience of the Deuter packs and the many many reviews and professionals opinions I've read/heard - Deuter are renowned for their stability. They are after all a specialist manafacturer - rucksacks and other carry bags is basically all they do..and have done for over 100 years. The first ascent of the Eiger, the First ascent of Everest without oxygen - both with Deuter packs. Thats a pretty good pedigree! I tried the Berghaus versions of Deuters AirContact and frankly I wasn't impressed. Not that the Berghaus werent good packs - but the Deuter s hugged me, felt part of me. The Berghaus version felt like a backpack.

Just my two pennorth as usual :D


Active Member
Osprey & Arcteryx packs

Hi there,

Joe ended up with an Osprey Atmos 35L pack. it's very lightweight and has a place for his camelback to hang inside. It's got a nice mesh back so is light and comfortable to wear. Holds "just enough" for him to stay within his 18 pound limit (10% of body weight).

He has a long, tall body and this makes a difference. You NEED to try on a pack! Many of the smaller packs I tried were too long in the body for my torso.

I am smaller - about 5-3" with a small frame. I ended up with an Arcteryx pack and I just love it. It's very comfortable, fits well, and is very lightweight. I plan on carrying around 12 pounds and it carries it quite nicely. Also has straps on the outside to hold my jacket, sleeping pad, and poles if I decide to carry them.

I wouldn't even consider buying a pack that holds more than 25 to 30 L for a woman... more space means you'll pack more weight... why tempt yourself?

Good luck!


Active Member

I hear ya! But having spoken to several people and also having owned one of the smaller Deuter packs, that seems to be the general consensus amongst the people that I know...

It's always going to be a problem when you shift the load away from your centre of gravity...
i picked up an REI UL30 backpack. It has a single stay in the center, a somewhat difficult to use suspuension (but holds your settings) boosts a weight of 1065g and has some very sweet features including daising chains, 4 roomy elastic mesh pockets, all for the low low price of $85. hehe, im taking it for my 3 month camino this year and am very curious to see if it can handle the rigors of walking. Its an easily adjustable backpack. The way it holds its weight is really nice though. The packbag holds the weight closer to your body and more vertical. Its not a wide backpack (shoulder to shoulder.) Is very long (follows the spine.) Between the single stay and the load transfer straps this packs has all the good qualities of a more expedition type bag mixed with an ultra lightweight design. Its a great value. Im only worried about the quality, i hope it doesnt fall apart as im nervous about any REI product.

anyways just thought id chime in on the pack conversation :p

buen camino,
Half a kilo - super lightweight rucksack

I'm going to use my MM32L pack - just over half a kilo and 35L capacity. I used it last summer walking Hadrian's Wall and I loved it (http://www.theomm.com/packs_mm32.html). There are invaluable pockets on the hip belt to keep your glasses, money, tissues, etc and tags on the front straps to fasten your poles, there's a handy side pocket for your water. There are all kinds of other pockets and attachment points within every one of them (for absent minded people like me who have to attach everything or leave it behind) and it's all within easy reach on the move. I like it so much that I've been wearing it to work and back every day since.

My only concern is that without a mesh or airflow back, it's going to feel very hot France and Spain. So far, when it has been hot, I have just loosened the straps to make an air gap. However, Northumberland does not offer much of an opportunity to practise walking in hot weather.

Oh, and I did need to customise a couple of things for carrying a heavy load - I made a kind of frame with coat hangers and some cell foam and I put some extra wide bits of cell foam under the shoulder straps to stop them digging in. This made a lot of difference. I was carrying about 5K/12 lb and can't say I had any problems at all (and I'm old and not particularly fit).
half a kilo for a pack is still on the heavy side - last year I used the Golite Dawn pack (c 400g) for carrying 7kg plus max 2L water - less concerned with airflow but did position towel in rucksack closest to my back

this year I'm very tempted to cut down the weight I carry even more (such as silk bag liner not sleeping bag, flip flops not extra shoes) - and am thinking of MM10L on my back and hip pack to carry fluid and other day-to-day kit
Hi all,

After extensive testing we ended up buying Deuter Futura 26 AC SL (fits womens anatomy) for me and Deuter Futura 42 AC for my husband. They both have the Air comfort system, and it works for both of us. Even with the mesh the pack feels very stable, and specially for me the "hipstraps" seem to fit better than in the other packs. The weigth is evenly distributed for both shoulders and hips. What works for me might not work for someone else, but so far Deuter has been a success for us. Good luck with your search for the perfect match!



New Member
Hello everyone,
I desperately need your help. I am walking the Camino on May 11th. I am not a walker but for some unknown reason this walk is calling me!
Anyway, I went into an outdoor shop and nearly had a panic attack looking at the size of some off the back packs. I am only 5' 1" and also suffer with my back. I need advice on best pack and what weight should I be looking for?
I am going to buy my boots this week. Some people reccommends gortex suede type ones others recommends leather. I want to try and get the best I can. Please, please can you advise me.
I have been walking everyday for the last two weeks, in order to build up my distance and stamina. What distance should I be doing?
Would appreciate any help!

Marie XX


Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016,2017,2018
I made a mistake with my backpack in that I had a small one with no strap around the hips-this was a mistake as it put a lot of strain on my shoulders. Having said that don't take too much-my pack weighed 6kgs.
I took gortex shoes and found them good-although I only had 1 rainy afternoon.
good luck!
Hello Marie

I'm over 60 and not much of a walker either - I only started walking in a small way last year and I found the pack I mention above really nice. It has a hip strap (see Omar's message) and - even better - has pockets in said hip strap (and to the side) so you can get at things easily without having to take it off - or even stop as you are going along. It is very light and although it seems small I found that with care I could get everything I needed for 10 days last summer into it. If you get a bigger pack, you will only put too much in it.

I did find though, that I needed to put some wider bits of foam under the shoulder straps for comfort.

It also has a mesh pocket at the top and when I started out last summer I crossly wondered why it wasn't more waterproof - then I discovered it was the perfect place to stash 'not quite dry from the wash' underwear - and they dry off quickly through the mesh the next day!

Last summer the whole lot weighed about 5 kilos (12 lb ) and I reckon that is enough to carry up steep hills. I might have to take a bit more though on the camino, e.g. a sleeping bag but Ive set myself a maximum load of 6K.

I found the AR32 rucksack just right for me but if it is too long for your back you could try the AR25 - not as big but it seems to suit women - see the discussion here on this runners forum: http://www.theomm.com/forum/index.php?topic=102.0 They are talking about the same rucksack by the way although the name has changed a little.

I'm planning on taking some walking shoes rather than boots (which could be too hot and heavy in Spain) but I haven't bought them yet. I have some already but they are not waterproof and I don't fancy getting very wet if the weather is bad and then and having to walk about for days in wet shoes.

All the best!

Rucksacks can be fitted to suit your back length and shape. This is not as expensive as it sounds as it is built in to certain makes of rucksack. What you need to find is a reputable retailer who will take the time to set up your pack for you and explain the features like air flow to keep your back cool and adjusting the straps for weight and during the day – tighten hip strap and loosen shoulder straps to give your back a rest.
For gear review have a look at http://www.buachaille.com/
This is a fairly comprehensive gear review website but you need to know what you are looking for in terms of search description.
If you have a shop you trust then that is probably as good.

General question. Did I see somewhere a company that hires out specific ‘pilgrim packs’ with all the gear you need? Has anyone tried this and is it any good?

Buen camino


no commercial interests
Camino(s) past & future
Re: Aarn packs in the Karrimore topic

I am a fan of the Aarn packs - small New Zealand company. Completely different to anything else and soooo comfortable. I think they have an outlet in the UK. Have a look at their website:


My only interest is to keep them in enough profits that the company is still around when I buy my next backpack, hopefully not for a few years.

They are still around, and I am readying mine for the next walk. For those who have not looked into the Aarn packs, here is the evolution that I have seen:

1. Pack frame with shelter half held on by a diamond hitch.
2. External frame pack.
3. Tumpline to relieve the weight of the back on shoulders.
4. Waist belt that carries most of the weight.
5. Internal frame pack.
6. Aarn with front pockets that transmit weight to the waist belt.

I will have several GoLite packs listed soon on the equipment topic, all in the large size to fit a 20-22 inch torso. GoLite is a great line of packs, but I have settled permanently on the Aarn. It is just a better mousetrap.

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