Breaking the limit of 12 liters
Published on 22/09/2016 00:00
#salomon #trailrunning #runnerinn #trekkinn #backp
A new model of one of the best trail running’s brand, which offers a much higher capacity without sacrificing the benefits we’re used to see in its trail running bags.
Until a few years ago, 12l backpacks seemed to mark the limit of trailrunning capacity. From here, we could find more liters’ backpacks, but they didn’t seem prepared for running. However, the growing demand for more capacity backpacks to run more kilometers, in worse weather conditions or self-sufficiency, are the context that Salomon used to design the Slab Peak 20, a high-end backpack with an actual capacity of 22 liters.
Having the backpack in our hands for the first time, we can quickly observe small details that confirm that we are in front of a high-end backpack. Let’s get to the analysis.
Despite being a much larger backpack, Slab Peak 20 follows the line of her younger sisters with the motion system and vest structure. This system offers a great fit to the body with up to 3 shooters (one more than the less-liter models), furthermore they improved it by 2 tensioners on each side (one in the chest and other on the side).
It also has a tightening at the top to reduce the load capacity and minimize the rebound. The wide range of size, guarantees the adaptation to each body.
How hydration system works
In this aspect, the backpack follows the pattern that Salomon used in their latest models; it has two pockets to carry the soft flask (not included) at the chest. However, we haven’t had troubles to manage two bottles of 750 ml in each pocket, although it is true that then the upper racks are slightly obscured.
In addition, on each side of the backpack, there is a pocket where we can put another water bottle if we want to increase the capacity of liquid charge. The backpack is not prepared to carry hydration packs inside, and it doesn’t have a hole for the pipe either. You could put it on the mat (outside the main compartment) but wouldn’t be easy to fill it without disassembly.
Compartments and extras
In addition to the already mentioned soft flask pockets, at the front we could find two zipper pockets on each side. In the back, in addition to the elastic side pockets, there is the main compartment. It has a dual zipper to open, one above and another below. If we wish, we could move the division where we prefer, to get two different spaces. On the other hand, to reduce the object movement, we can also compress the already mentioned main tensor.
In the backpack we could find some extras: whistle, thermal blanket and a mat to isolate backpack sweat that can be taken out to sit on it. It also has the 4D system to carry the poles.
The backpack works perfect while running, a fact that we can confirm after testing it for more than 15 hours on a trail by the western Pyrenees of Catalonia, across Tuc de Molières, Besiberri Sud and Comaloformo summits.
Strength and durability
The strength of the pack is favored by a more reinforced fabric than the other models with less capacity, and offers a 500mm waterproof protection.
Salomon has always been a guarantee of durability, although zippers of some other models were very sensitive. In this case they are very strong.
As we mentioned earlier, it’s a backpack for runners who need an extra capacity to do their favorite activity without losing conformability: Running.
We think that it is the ideal backpack for self-sufficiency ultra-trails, climbing approaches, adventure raids, or via ferrata.
List aspects for
*High load capacity
List aspects against
We have seen that it’s an almost perfect backpack, but we will discuss its few flaws. The main drawback of Peak Slab 20 is inside the main compartment. It can be divided into two, but it’s still very large. It would be a perfect backpack if it had a small pocket inside to store things that we don’t need easily access to, but we don’t want to wear loose (e.g. spare batteries or mobile). Another aspect to improve is the possibility to carry a hydration pack (like camelbak) for runners who choose this hydration system in their challenges.