In our series of Product Features, we are going to introduce you to some of Highlander’s favourite products, highlighting their key features and how these can improve your adventures. We thought we’d start with one of our most iconic products, one that has been part of our range for almost as long as we’ve existed: The Ben Nevis Rucksack.
Retaining all the essential Highlander characteristics of excellent value and high-quality construction, this bag is an excellent representation of who we are. Inspired by our own hiking experiences, we’ve modified and improved this classic design to give it all the features we consider essential for backpacking, climbing, and multi-day adventures.
We’ve designed the Ben Nevis to fit everything you will need for a long backpacking or camping trip. The 65l rucksack will easily fit your summer adventuring gear, while the 85l may be more practical if you’re planning a long winter expedition. It can be too easy to lose items in a bag of this size, which is why we’ve given the Ben Nevis plenty of pockets and flexible storage options.
Its main compartment can be opened from the top, front, and base of the bag, so its whole contents are easily accessible, even the spare socks you packed right at the bottom of the bag. It’s easier for you to separate your gear too, with a divider in the main compartment which allows you to organise your pack the way you want it. We recommend using it to separate your dry evening clothes and sleeping gear from your wet or dirty day equipment.
The most important consideration on a hike is whether you can comfortably carry your pack over your chosen distance. There is no point filling your backpack with useful gear if your back starts to ache after one day on the trails. For safe load-bearing, you should be carrying 70-80% of the weight on your hips and only 20-30% on your shoulders. Our Ben Nevis uses a Tri-Active adjustable back system and adjustable shoulder, hip and sternum straps to ensure that you can wear it at the right height and position to remain comfortable over long distances.
You can never have too many pockets, and we always find that having a variety of storage options helps us keep our packing well organised. You often find your smaller items slip to the bottom of the main compartment too easily, no matter how carefully you had placed them. The side bellow and lid pockets are ideal for keeping track of small items like your toothbrush or cutlery, while the stretch front and side pockets and zipped waist belt pockets are best for your daily essentials: water, snacks and navigation equipment. And whether you’re a climber or not, the additional loops at the backpack’s base provide versatile storage for walking poles and ice axes.
We love the flexibility provided by a floating lid – a backpack lid that can be extended to fit items securely above the main compartment. This gives you the option of loading up extra gear without having to choose a larger rucksack which weighs more than your smaller rucksack. It also makes it easier to carry bulky gear like a tent or sleeping mat that you may struggle to fit efficiently inside your backpack. This lid has further loops on top, so you can tie down extra equipment if you’re severely strapped for space.
We want our bags to be hardy enough to take the inevitable scrapes that happen when you’re out trekking and climbing, so we designed the Ben Nevis to withstand some serious punishment. The bag is made of highly durable nylon Ripstop fabric, with XTP panels and Duraflex buckles. Ripstop fabrics are reinforced with thicker threads woven into the material at 5mm intervals, making it resistant to tears and abrasions, and ensuring that any rips cannot spread and widen beyond the next woven thread.
The material is water resistant, but for heavy rain you will need the integrated waterproof rain cover which can be stretched over the backpack for complete rain protection. This cover is also a bright orange colour, improving your visibility in heavy rain and other poor weather conditions.
Our Ben Nevis Rucksack might be the right bag for you if you’re planning a multi-day hike or backpacking trip, and you want to be confident that your gear is safe from everything the outdoors can throw at it. If you’re looking for a daysack or smaller capacity bag, take a look at our 20-40l backpacks here.