The largest of the packs tested, the Crest 36 is a unisex pack but the narrow, body hugging design felt fine even though I am slim (its also worth noting that the smaller volume 26 and 22 litre versions are available in short back lengths). Salewa say that it is designed for via ferratas and general hiking, and the close, supple fit of this pack is well suited to moving about on rocky, steep terrain. Thanks to the Air-fit back system, a flexible combo of mesh padding and lightweight stays, it’s also very comfortable even when fully loaded. I tested the comfort value of this model more than I liked to, when an admin error in my guiding work left me using it as a camping mat on a cold night. The myriad features include raincover, zipped front and side mesh pockets, side compression straps and a roomy lid pocket plus hip belt pocket. Weight 1.2kg.
VERDICT: A general-purpose hiking and scrambling pack.
BEST FOR: Mountain adventures (but ideally not for sleeping on).
Review by Lucy Wallace @