Review by Olivia Abbott
I have had my little pink Wynnster daysack for longer than I can remember – I can’t recall where or when I bought it, but pictures of it turn up in Graham’s books, and grace various magazine articles and blog photos.
I’ve always been given to believe that it’s somewhat inferior – not a good make, not really big enough for a ‘proper’ daysack, probably a bit too pink – and have from time to time bought putative replacements or supposed improvements but they’ve never quite been as convenient and have always ended up rejected, while I’ve gone back to my favourite little pink one.
The main thing I like about it is the wide-opening main compartment – the zip goes right round and you can get in and at stuff easily. You can lay the sack on the ground and find the contents without having to pull everything out. It’s also deceptively spacious – I can fit in waterproof trousers, a spare fleece, Sigg bottle, sandwiches and cake, DSLR camera lens in its own bag, plus binoculars, glasses and various odds and sods in the big front compartment. I also like the little zipped ‘secret’ pocket, perfect for lip balm and poo bags, and despite being cheap and cheerful it has good, well-padded straps.
But all things must come to and end, and some time ago the zip started to go, pinging itself open at various inappropriate moments. When I nearly lost the entire contents on Helvellyn one day, I decided I had to get a replacement.
After some shopping around, and having looked at some of the bigger, more expensive brands, I decided to get a Karrimor Urban 30. Like my old Wynnster, it has a zipped, top opening, though it doesn’t open as deeply as the Wynnster; it also has a deep and roomy front compartment with various little pockets for odds and sods, plus another zipped front pocket, and, inside the main compartment, a padded laptop section (well, it is called ‘Urban’).
The zips are thin and plasticky and look rather cheap and cheerful, so I’m not sure how long they’ll last, and the buckles and fixings are definitely not what you’d call heavy duty – but then, it is only a daysack. I was also worried about the shoulder straps, which are not particularly well padded and look a bit thin and light – but then it did only cost £17.99 (half price in the sale), and having used the bag on a couple of winter afternoons out, I’ve found it to be perfectly comfortable on top of a fleece and waterproof.
An advantage that the Karrimor has over my old Wynnster is that it has two outside mesh ‘bottle’ pockets, big enough to get my binoculars in so they’re handy, and I can actually reach a water bottle without having to take the bag off my back. Aesthetically it’s quite pleasing – plain black with grey detail on the outside and a bright blue interior.
The only way to know if it’ll stand the test of time is to give it time – but I’d never have expected the old Wynnster to last as long as it did, so who knows…?