A good pack is the one thing I could never be without. I use them for traveling, bringing my camera gear, for grocery shopping and when we go hiking. I have tried many different ones over the years, in search of the perfect one. I don’t think there is one: No one fits every need and all of them has something I love and something I miss.
For the past couple of months I’ve been trying out the new GNEIK 34 RS* from Lundhags and I have to say it’s my new favourite. I immediately fell in love with the model, choice of materials and color. *RS stands for Regular Short. All the hiking packs from Lundhags comes in RS and RL (Regular Long).
A few weeks ago the sports break came around and we’d booked a cabin through Airbnb, just two hours from home. Together with our friends we spent five amazing days up in the Swedish mountains. Our trip really provided me with a good environment to test this pack more thoroughly. Now I like it even more! It’s such a sturdy multi-purpose backpack, perfect for someone like me who likes to use a pack for adventures as well as in my everyday life.
Our second day there started with a slow morning enjoying Kims Russian pancakes, coffee and reading. The weather was lovely and some of us decided to head out on a snowshoe hike in the nearby forest.
Since I’ve tried so many different packs over the years, I have a good idea of what to look for and access when using a backpack, and these are some of the things I thought about during our hike:
- Suspension system
The GNEIK does pretty well in all of these fields, and I am not going to go through all of the specs – but I thought we would break it down and go through some of the things within each category that really makes me like this pack.
Here’s my in depth backpack review of the GNEIK 34 from Lundhags!
This is a very robust backpack made out of good materials. All the buckles are made out of aluminium (except for the ones adjusting the waist belt, don’t know why they’re made out of plastic). This makes them feel sturdy and secure and like they will last a very long time.
“When developing our new range of Lundhags backpacks, we had a couple of core components in mind. First of all, we chose truly hard wearing and durable materials of highest quality.
We also made them as repairable as possible, in the unfortunate event that they would break. And most of all, we wanted them to have as little negative impact on the environment as possible.”
All the packs in the Gneik series are made from their signature fabric LPC (Lundhags PolyCotton), a 65/35 mix of 100% recycled polyester and organic cotton, and all the packs are free from fluorocarbons. Lundhags has also chosen the components carefully, trying to make each pack as repairable as possible. All in all, this makes their new backpack range a more sustainable choice.
This is one of the most important things in a pack for me. I need it to have good compartments that are versatile and can fit a lot of different things. I also need them to be easily accessible.
The side pockets are HUGE and I love it! I’ve had a few packs where you can barely fit a regular bottle in the side pockets and at that point I don’t even see the point of having side pockets. This bag can fit my Klean Kanteen or Nalgene without any trouble. I can also fit a tripod in the side pocket which is great. There’s a strap at the outside of the pocket to use to loosen if you need to fit something bigger, or tighten to really hold something in place.
On the left side of the front of the pack there’s a zipper that runs from top to bottom. Through this you can access the inside of your pack and get to the bottom without opening the whole pack up. This is a great feature and I’ve used it more than once to open the pack to grab a jacket I have further down, or to get a book or my calendar while I’m on a train or bus. It’s so nice to not have to fiddle with the top when I need something. I pack in a way that makes it so that I know that what I might need is within reach if I open that side zipper.
The top lid is floating and there’s a pocket in the top of the lid which is easy to reach and there I keep things that need to be close at hand, like my first aid kit for example. There’s also a pocket on the inside of the lid where I keep different small little things that I don’t want scrambling around in the big compartment – but they’re not that important to have within easy reach. Under the lid there’s a compression strap for fastening a tent which is great, and it means it won’t fall out as soon as you open up the top lid.
It’s very big and spacious inside, and it has a compartment for a magazine, tablet or laptop. It also has a hydro pack reservoir which means staying hydrated during summer will be a breeze! I love drinking water and bring my Nalgene everywhere, but it will be nice to have that extra water with me and to be able to drink while walking.
There are also good pockets on the waist belt where I can keep things like my phone, multitool and compass. There’s a zipper at the bottom of the belt and if you open that you get access to a simple and efficient attachment to a dog leash or sled. As a climber I can see myself hanging climbing shoes there in the summers!
The front has a huge pocket where I usually keep a beanie, extra gloves and gaiters. It also has a really nice front haul handle here which has proved useful on multiple occasions.
The only negative thing I have to say about the compartmentalisation of this pack is that it does not have straps at the bottom of the pack where you can fasten your tent, sleeping bag or a blanket. But I guess they feel you keep that on the top, secured under the lid. I really like carrying things like that at the bottom though so I do miss having that on this backpack.
This is probably one of the most important features of a pack. It can have great compartmentalisation, sturdy materials and look good but if it’s not comfortable or hurts your back or shoulders when you carry it a lot it’s detrimental for your body and not something you should use.
The first time I put the GNEIK on with a heavier load I loudly exclaimed how amazingly comfortable it was! I adjusted all the straps and it’s like it was just floating. My hips carried all the weight and there was absolutely no strain on my back or shoulders.
I now use this pack all the time and I can really recommend it for anyone looking for a versatile day -and travel pack.
This was by far the most magical snowshoe hike I’ve even been too. The snow glistened and it felt like we were in Narnia. Because of our snowshoes we could walk straight into the forest where no one else had been. As we walked we found tracks of foxes and bird of prey. A white hare dashed silently between the trees and the sun warmed our faces.
Near a cliff overlooking a lake we stopped to make a fire, eat our sandwiches and have a cold beer in the sun. I do not know what more one could want in life?
Once back at the cabin we started warming up the sauna which has to be the best possible way to end a day like this? Well, we thought so too but then the sun started to set and it was a wonderful, golden sunset that coloured the trees gold, pink and purple.
Once it was dark out we went outside to watch the stars. The Milky Way shone bright above our heads and a shooting star fell right infront of us.
You do not have to travel far to experience magic.