I tend to favour a rucksack liner over a rain cover. I make no apologies for this. I want the contents of my rucksack to be dry at all times, and rain covers just don’t work that well (for one thing they can’t cover the part of the sack that’s against your back, so rain eventually finds its way in, and for another, they turn into crazed kites in windy weather, carrying the rucksack wearer well off her/his chosen route – this can be fun to watch, but is not that great if you are the one being blown around like a limp tissue).
Rucksack liners tend to be either purpose-made, or are just a big plastic sack. Both work, but do tend to end up becoming a sack full of a mad jumble of contents which refuse to be found when you most need them.
Last summer I started getting myself a bit more organised. I got a set of Pack Dividers from Aquapac. These retail at around £44 for a set of 4, which gives you individual drysacks in different sizes: 2l, 4l, 8l & 13l.
These, after daily use for 6 months, including a very busy winter season, are still waterproof, and just live permanantly in my rucksack. Being colour-coded, it’s easy organise your gear, and to have a system that works for you, so I tend to use the 13l pack divider for my spare warmth layers – belay jacket, hats, gloves, etc. The 8l sack takes a 30m x 9mm rope, sling and karabiner for winter walking, and the 4l is just the right size for my emergency kit such as group shelter, first aid kit, head torch, spare compass, and whistle. And finally the 2l pack divider lives in the top pocket of my rucksack and contains my hat and gloves, camera, and any other bits and pieces that I might need to get at quickly.
They are very lightweight, but tough, which is important. Being white in colour, and translucent, it’s very easy to see the contents, which is nigh on impossible with a black sack. And what’s more, the closing system is the same roll-over drybag wrap that Aquapac have been using successfull for years now. What’s not to like?
The Aquapac Pack Dividers are available as a pack or 4, or individually. Go to the Aquapac website: here