Podsacs Granite 25
Best uses: Ultralight camping / rock climbing
Likes: bombproof and lightweight
Dislikes: Can be hard to find in high street shops
Feistiness rating: 5/5
Podsacs are a British company that produce backpacks for rock climbers and mountaineers. As you can imagine they make stuff that is outrageously tough, durable and of course lightweight.
When we were filming a documentary-drama series called I Shouldn’t Be Alive for Discovery, we used their kit. In one episode we told the story of two expert climbers who faced a life threatening situation on Piz Badile Mountain. Naturally I asked the wardrobe department to kit the climbers out in Podsacs because of their great reputation, and I bought myself a small 25 litre Granite Podsac too.
They are great for climbers but could they be even better for light weight campers? What better way to test it than to take it on a weekend ultra light camping trip to Dartmoor. I loaded up all of my kit inside the tapered bag, strapped anything that wouldn’t fit to the compression straps on the side and commenced the test.
The compression straps proved particularly useful as we bounded across fairly rocky terrain following the River Dart upstream. The straps ensured the load didn’t budge and meant balancing was much easier. They also enabvled me to attach my tent (Golite) to the outside of the pack.
Carrying any back pack can be uncomfortable unless it has a few treats for you. Considering the size of this pack I was surprised to see it had both a hip belt and chest strap, obviously it’s a natural overachiever and loves to look after the wearer. If you find you don’t need the hip belt, it folds away into the back panel which is a nice touch.
To keep the pack light weight it uses closed cell foam in the back section. This is comfortable, sheds snow and doesn’t absorb water. If you’re looking for anything more fancy than this you will add weight to the pack besides with a 25 litre capacity it’s not as if you will be carrying that much stuff and require any extra back support.
Unsurprisingly the pack is hydration compatible, has an extra front pocket for storing a map, and has YKK zippers. They have easy to reach plastic grabbers attached to them, making it easier to open the pack whilst wearing gloves and whilst on your back.
Upon reaching our sleeping spot I chucked the pack to the ground. This sturdy beast can take a little man handling. It’s not made from flimsy materials, instead the body is 210 Cordura Ripstop Nylon and the base has been made from 420D Ballistic Cordura. I have to say I don’t know what “Ballistic” Cordura is but I suspect strongly it’s similar to Mithril, a hard as nails material used in Lord Of The Rings to make Frodo’s armour. There can be no other explanation, although I am surprised they can make a bag this cheaply using such durable materials. You won’t go ripping this pack in a hurry.
We made camp and were lucky that we could sleep under the stars that night and weren’t tested by the rain. However should the clouds open up, the Granite pack is lined with a light grey PU coating which should offer reasonable protection from the elements. Of course if you need anything more just put all of your stuff in a black bin liner, surely that’s the lightest weight solution?
Everything on this pack has been thought through, there isn’t a wasted stitch or unnecessary element. It’s also great value compared to other packs of a similar size. This is my go-to-pack when I want to travel lightweight and I expect it to survive a good ten years or more. Podsacs are synonymous with brilliant British design and are perfect for the camping world! If this pack were a movie character it would be Sly Stallone, stocky, tough as hell, and will be around for years to come.