The Vaude Astrum 60+10 backpack provides great organizational features for weekend backpackers and extended mountaineering expeditions. This pack performed well, especially for alpinists wanting comfort teamed with functionality.
Storage The Vaude Astrum 60+10 reminded me of an old school backpack as it lacks all the pockets that have become so popular on many modern backpacks. Instead, the Astrum offers “just the basics.” This includes a top storm flap access and bottom sleeping bag compartment, both providing access to a large main compartment. The Astrum also provides a large zippered lid, which also contains an inner pocket, two large mesh side pockets and a large hip belt pocket.
For some, these fewer pockets might encumber their packing and organization but I found the large main compartment able to swallow whatever I wished to store inside. The lid is also big enough to store items for easy access and the side stretch pockets easily held a 1-liter water bottle, or other items that I might want to access easily. The Astrum utilizes the normal internal hydration sleeve to store up to a 3-liter hydration bladder.
Comfort Hip Belt The Vaude Astrum 60+10 hipbelt has a thick and comfortable padding that easily wrapped around my waist to get just the correct fit. The hipbelt moved well with my body and continued to be comfortable even after long days in the mountains. The zippered hipbelt pocket is large enough to accommodate a small camera, iPhone, snacks, gloves, or a beanie, but I do wish the hipbelt had a second zippered pocket.
Back panel/Shoulder Straps The Astrum has an individually supported, adjustable back panel that was easy to adjust and helped me find the perfect fit. This added to the packs overall comfort and while the back panel provided adequate ventilation, it was not quite as good as some of the other packs in this category. The shoulder straps had excellent padding, which also added to the pack’s overall comfort.
Stability The Astrum proved to be very stable and comfortable carrying loads in the 40 to 45 pound range. The Astrum did not move around or float on steep ascents or descents, during scrambling, or even during soft climbing. The Astrum continued to perform well and was comfortable when carrying loads in the 50-55 pound range.
Overall Comfort The Vaude Astrum 60+10 provides very good overall comfort while carrying loads up to 55 pounds in a variety of conditions. The pack’s stability, good padding and easy adjustments contribute to it competing well in this class of packs in terms of comfort.
Durability The Vaude Astrum 60+10 proved durable and tough in a variety of conditions. The zippers, pockets and fabrics all performed well and despite weeks of rugged use. The Astrum did sustain a small rip to the fabric of one of the side mesh pockets, but this was due to me dragging the pack through a slot canyon over rocks and debris.