From reading my blog you’ll know that I day-hike all distances; from 6 mile meanders with the dog to 41 mile personal challenges. Every season of the year. I have a lot of great kit but something that was missing from my “must have” list was a compact rucksack.
The people at Trespass contacted me and asked if I would like to review some of their excellent outdoor kit, so it made perfect sense to test out a rucksack that was more suited to my idea of a shorter hike.
Mirror 15 Litre Blue Hydration Backpack
I chose this 15 litre capacity backpack with removable 2 litre water bladder, from Trespass’ excellent range of outdoor equipment because I’ve come to love backpacks with a dedicated water carrier.
Upon arrival I opened the package and checked the backpack over, as you would expect from the Trespass brand the item is well constructed and has several handy features that perhaps you would expect to find on more expensive kit. No complaints at all about the construction and delivery was prompt.
Mirror Backpack – Handy Features
The “BPA free” water bladder has a 2 litre capacity and is easy to remove from its own storage compartment. A simple but sturdy velcro fastening opens and closes the back compartment and a handy sewn in toggle is also provided to hold the full water bladder in place via the loop on the filling cap. The water tube passes through the shoulder area and the mouthpiece is a conventional “pull to open, bite to drink” water valve.
Excellent cleaning instructions are printed on the bladder, something that was very welcome to see.
The water bladder naturally has a totally smooth surface that sits against the padded back section of the rucksack, you genuinely do not notice the water bladder at all once fitted. The bladder is filled once removed from the backpack via the simple screw to remove cap.
On the outside the Mirror 15 Litre Backpack has adjustable waist, shoulder and chest straps and one size does indeed fit all. I am a generous 6’1″ large build and when full or empty the rucksack has plenty of adjustment for a comfy fit. A drawcord compression net can be used to secure additional kit on the outside of the backpack – such as a small ground mat or for the mountain bikers, a cycle helmet.
The padded back panel ensures a comfy fit all day, there are ventilation channels in order to keep heat build up to a minimum but like most rucksacks you will notice a warmer back – great in the colder months mind you.
Mirror 15 Litre Backpack Interior
A long single zip, with two zip-pulls opens the main rucksack compartment, revealing the 15 litre carrying capacity. An additional three smaller zipped compartments are provided internally, one with a waterproof construction. These extra pockets enable you to safely store away important items, like car keys, mobile phone, credit cards etc. There is also a small spring-clip located internally at the top of the backpack to hold your keyring safe, though I actually connected my first aid-kit carrying loop to this.
There is a waterproof grommet that allows you to feed headphone wires from inside to out, allowing you to keep your mobile phone or MP3 player nice and dry inside the rucksack.
For the purpose of this review I decided to see how much of my typical kit I could carry in the compact 15 litres. The results are impressive, without much thought I managed to pack a dry-sack containing a large waterproof jacket, a well filled wallet (not with cash I might add!), my mobile phone, a well stocked personal first-aid kit, my house/car keys, an LED torch and 2 litres of water in the bladder.
This was without utilising the drawstring compression straps on the exterior of the backpack, which could have held my jacket allowing me to carry enough food for a decent lunch on the moors.
For a personal half day-hike or indeed a long evening dog walk, trip out on the mountain bike I do recommend this rucksack. There are enough pockets to keep items safe without feeling like you are carrying too much, I am used to much larger backpacks with metal support frames and 50 litre minimum capacity but they are impractical for shorter walks. The Mirror 15 Litre Backpack by Trespass filled this void in my kit line up very nicely.
Pros and Cons
As with any product review there surely has to be some bad news? Things I don’t like about the reviewed kit. OK to be really picky I don’t like the pull and bite water valve but I will add this is because for several years I have been used to a turn 90 degrees and suck design. I keep biting too high up and the water flows slowly. Not a design fault more me not used to this design.
The water tube does have a retaining clip on the shoulder harness but the water valve itself does still bounce off your body during vigorous activity, other manufacturers of backpacks often have a fitted magnet or clip that attaches to the sternum (chest) strap to prevent this – sadly Trespass do not fit such an item to this model.
I would have liked to have seen wider waist straps, the mesh fabric that sits on your hips could have contained small pockets, again this is something you generally find on more expensive backpacks but those little side pockets can be useful for storing a compass or a few sweets!
I am very impressed with the build quality overall on what it a budget-price hydration backpack but with top quality construction. I will certainly be using this backpack often on my shorter hikes.
I have received no payment or financial incentive for this review. The pictures are of the actual item reviewed.