Shimano Hotaka H35 daypack

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Low slung and cavernous
Low slung and cavernous

Are you after a large capacity daypack?

One with an innovative strap system, that sits low on your back for optimal wight distribution? Then yes, caller, you could well be in the market for the magnificently named Shimano Hotaka H32 Accu3d daypack!

As well as a nifty helmet strap/flap thing, This pack is arrayed – nay, festooned – with pockets, zips and little compartments. So many, in fact, that more than once I’ve lost things, only to find them secreted somewhere unobtrusive. It’s brightly coloured inside to help you find things, but as a 32 litre pack, it can hold really quite a startlingly large amount of kit – so much so that it might be worth considering the next size down – the H24 – which holds a still mahoosive (technical term) 24 litres unless you carry large amounts of kit around regularly.

Still, once you’ve packed your tent, sleeping bag, a selection of fine wines and cheeses, a four course meal and the table, chair, candlesticks, cook and butler necessary for fine al-fresco dining (okay, maybe not the cook), the Hotaka (we’re on first name terms now) hoists onto ones back really quite unobtrusively. The harness is adjustable on the pack itself using a velcro strap on the inside, and, properly fiddled with, it sits nice and low to maintain a good centre of gravity. The shoulder straps actually meet across the chest in a sort of ‘X’ shape to aid ventilation – although a quick poll of the ladies in the office didn’t suggest that the merits of the system will translate particularly to anyone with more than one X chromosome, despite being advertised as ‘unisex’  – and there’s a waist strap with pockets to hide even more things in – very handy for keys (less so if, the first time out, you lose them for nearly an hour)…

Very comfy strapping - if you're a chap
Very comfy strapping – if you’re a chap

Even fully loaded, the breathable back panel certainly lets the air circulate wonderfully: it doesn’t feel nearly as sweaty as carrying vast amounts of kit – say for a bivvy – usually feels. The waist strap helps for vertical stability, although when fully loaded, anything ultra-steep and lumpy can still unload a weighted pack and make it move around disconcertingly unless everything is cinched up just so. But to be honest, if you’re riding stuff like that you really wouldn’t be carrying quite as much gear anyway.

Overall – an enormous, but surprisingly comfy backpack – but for chaps only.

Review Info

Brand: Shimano
Product: Hotaka H32 Daypack
From: Madison,
Price: £89.99
Tested: by Barney for 2 months
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