On test is the 30 litre version with an array of features including a back ventilation system, adjustable torso length, rain cover and a good range of pockets.
On the outside of the pack you'll find a serious looking mesh back panel, Vaude call this its Aeroflex Suspension System and we like it a lot. The tension is adjustable which changes the shape of the mesh in relation to your back allowing you to get a precise fit no matter what your body shape or the load you're carrying. The back panel integrates with a lightweight aluminium frame and this combo works perfectly, creating a stable load lugging platform which efficiently transfers weight down to the hips. The icing on the cake of this lovely carrying and suspension system is the adjustable torso length - a relative rarity in day hiking packs. Adjustments are made using a simple but effective Velcro strip, just release and yank on the shoulder straps to lengthen or alternatively yank on the Velcro to shorten.
The shoulder straps and hip belt are both mesh lined which helps with moisture management, they're also adequately padded and over long term testing we've found them to be comfortable over long hikes. We especially liked the cut outs in the hipbelt which reduce pressure on the hip bones with the pack fully loaded.
So, comfort and fit are high on the agenda but what about storage? The main compartment of the Brenta is accessed from the top through a drawstring closure. The pack is long and thin and the Aeroflex system can give it a bulbous shape on the back making it difficult to get at kit in the dark depths from this opening. To alleviate the problem Vaude have added an L-shaped zipped access panel at the bottom of the bag giving quick and easy access.
The top lid houses a particularly generous pocket which has a further internal mesh lined pocket within. The front stretch pocket easily swallows maps and wet weather kit, two further stretch side pockets are good for water bottles and thermos flasks. The single stretch hip belt pocket could be bigger, it's too small for a phone, think more quick access energy gels and the like. On either side of the front of the pack the drawstring tool loops securely fasten ice axes and walking poles completing a complement of storage options which are more or less bang on for what you might need in a hiking day pack.
The final feature on the Brenta worthy of mention is the integrated removeable rain cover which can be easily pulled over the pack in a heavy downpour, or removed if you want to save weight. Despite all the features the Brenta isn't a heavy pack at a shade over a kilo. The 30 litre capacity pack on test adds a mere 60g Vs the 25 litre version and the extra versatility you gain from the additional storage space is well worth the weight penalty.
Overall the Brenta comes highly recommended. It's a fantastic pack with ergonomics and storage high on the agenda, with the star of the show being the suspension/back panel system. It isn't the cheapest but still represents value for money at £100.