Trekking pole carry solution was the best I’ve ever tested
Easily adjustable torso length
Flexible design limited carry-capacity
Poor ventilation at back panel
The Bergans of Norway Rondane 38L felt purpose-built for hut-to-hut hikers, which left it somewhat lacking in more general functionality. For light overnight loads that stayed in the pack and on the back all day long, the Rondane 38 really shone. For more technical uses, however, it was a less-than-ideal choice.
Comfort/Adjustability This trekking pack had a very flexible fit that most users found comfortable while carrying up to 30 lbs. I always appreciate the ability to customize a pack’s fit, and the Rondane scored extra points here for its adjustable harness.
Weight I found this to be a pleasantly lightweight pack for the size. Especially considering its adjustability, the Rondane’s 2.2 pound weight was its best feature.
Capacity 38 liters seemed at first like big volume for a daypack, but I found it to be a spot-on size for superlight overnighting. The slim padding and light structure of the pack felt overloaded and noticeably less comfy if stuffed with more than 30 pounds, but it wasn’t hard to stay below that weight if I left the technical gear at home.
Organization/Access While it did offer a second entry-point to the pack, I felt that the tiny lower compartment of the main bag provided little in the way of additional organizational capacity. For users keeping all of their gear inside the bag for the entire day, access was adequate and straightforward.
Features The devil was truly in the details with this pack: I had small issues with the unforgiving clips on most straps; I regularly wished for a higher-visibility interior; and the relative dearth of exterior-carry options proved to be a complication during testing.
Value This Bergans bag seemed to be a more specialized tool than most large daypacks, and as such its relative value was tough to determine. Dedicated hut-to-hut hikers, at least, will likely find the Rondane to be a very good value.