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We take the Bergans Helium 55 hiking and wild camping in the hills of South Wales to see how well it copes with multi-day loads.

bergans helium
Overall Score
Almost unbelievably light weight for capacity
Hip belt can cause grief

The Bergans Helium is a pared down backpack aimed at weight obsessed ultralighters who like to travel fast and light on multi-day adventures.

The suspension system transfers the load to the anatomically shaped hip belt straps surprisingly well for such a minimalist pack but this is then let down by the strap material and padding which aren't particularly comfortable when faced with a 15kg load, the same can be said for the shoulder straps which can feel a little abrasive in use at times.

Getting gear in and out of the bag is particularly hassle free thanks to the large top opening and full length zip running down the centre of the bag. The classic stormflap top closure is topped off by a removable and height adjustable lid which either provides extra storage options and a little extra protection from the elements or can be removed to save an extra 70g off the already impressive 1kg weight. The two mesh, stretch side pockets are particularly cavernous, easily swallowing a sit pad or even a small tent.

The compression system utilises thin cord which can be set up to run down the sides or across the front of the bag. This can be a little fiddly to set up and the cord can easily become tangled but on balance is a worthwhile feature.

The attachment points for skis, ice axe and poles give the Helium ski touring credibility although the pack isn't waterproof and doesn't come with a rain cover so it would be worth investing in one if the Helium is going to be your go to bag for the backcountry.

The QuickAdjust system allows you to fine tune the pack fit to your torso length, this is a pretty basic system with hook and loop Velcro to secure once you've made your adjustments but it works well enough to give most a decent, comfortable fit.

At around £145 this bag isn't cheap and Bergans have definitely scrimped on the features to achieve such a low weight but if shaving the grams off your multi-day load is your main concern then this could well be the pack for you.

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