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We put the lightweight Zerum 48 + backpack to the test.

Best for...
Fast and light backpackers
Price
£155
Value
8
Quality
9
Performance
8
Comfort
8
Overall Score
8
+
Robust construction for such a light weight
Some comfort compromises
vaude.com

The Zerum 48 is a lightweight pack weighing in at a shade under 1.2kg with a capacity of 56l, an adjustable back, Tergolight suspension system and removeable lid which doubles as a hip bag.

The back system adjusts by sliding up and down the aluminium frame stays and is secured using a strap. The back profile of the Zerum 48 is narrow so is well suited to petite women or slight men, larger people may want to opt for a different pack from Vaude's range.

The pack is made from 70D ripstop with a robust 200D material at the bottom and sides, you wouldn't really know this is a lightweight pack based on the materials and they've proven to be robust in testing so far.

The floating lid clips off easily and turns inside out to make a decent hip bag - there's a zip on both sides to facilitate this. This saves a bit of weight in the main pack if you opt to leave it at home and the basic cover provides ample protection from weather and keeps everything in your bag where it should be.

The drawstring closer gives you access to the main compartment but there's no zipped entry point from the sides or bottom making good gear organisation vital.

There's one good sized hipbelt pocket and a similarly good-sized side stretch pocket on the other side of the pack, along with a tool loop for hiking poles or an ice axe and daisy chains running down the length of the pack for any additional gear carrying needs.

There's a full length front zip pocket, this isn't stretch mesh but it does have breathable mesh inserts so is still good for carrying wet gear.

The Zerum's quoted carrying capacity is 12kg. If the gear that's going in the pack isn't lightweight or ultralight then you're not likely to stay under the quoted weight limit so before you buy ensure that the pack suits your needs and that you have the gear to complement it.

Assuming your pack weight is under 12kg the Zerum carries its load comfortably with the aluminium frame transferring the load down to your hips as it should. The hip belt and shoulder straps have a reasonable amount of padding for such a lightweight pack, similar in heft to Osprey's Exos 48. Ventilation from the back panel isn't the best, Vaude do some great mesh back panels and it's a shame they didn't incorporate one here.

Overall, for fast and light backpacking, hiking and wild camping the Zerum 48 is a good option, there are some compromises in comfort and features but it's a small price to pay for such a light weight.