My travel gear is an important aspect of all my travels. It has to be simple, ready for mountain weather and durable, apart from being resourceful. Whether it be a rucksack, a pair of shoes, walking stick, jackets, travel towel or even my headlight, I invest time and money in it.
I have been using the Wildcraft Amphibia Escape hiking boots for more than two years now. I broke into them during the Valley of Flowers and Hemkund Sahib trek in Uttarakhand. Thereafter, I have hiked with them in India and internationally—the most recent was the Bedni and Ali Bugyal trek in Uttarakhand.
My favourite feature is its supreme water resistance. They are mid-ankle high and unless water slips down from above the pair, there is absolutely no chance of getting my feet wet. I’m petrified of crossing rivers and waterfalls when outdoors and this pair has not failed me till now.
Read: Valley of Flowers and Hemkund Trek: Things to Know Before You Go
Hence it is no surprise, when Wildcraft got in touch with me to review a product I could not refuse. Before I went off for a weekend hike around Kolkata, I chose the Dris 35L (in red) from a Wildcraft store near my house.
I was immediately drawn to the ample storage that this rucksack is equipped with. The two main sections further have compartments within and on the outside, there are four more. Among these four, the big one is towards the front of the rucksack; a padded one by the lower corner (easy-access to your DSLR); and two smaller pockets on the waist belt. There is also an elastic pocket for my water bottle. Adding to this are the numerous loops and bands for additional accessories and gear.
My favourite feature? The rain cover. The more I travel, the more I’m preparing for precipitated and condensed weather. And even though the 35L storage doesn’t suffice for long treks, it is a perfect one for weekend hikes in and around the Western Ghats as well as any of the Himalayan towns.
Wildcraft’s Dris 35L is an ideal rucksack for short hikes. I can easily pack my personal belongings along with my laptop for a two-three day travel. The loops and the two hooks on the front are especially helpful. All small accessories (like pens, bandana, headlight) can be hooked on to these. I can hang a rain-soaked jacket too!
The perforated shoulder straps are another comfort feature of this rucksack. I travelled to a very humid and warm village of Bengal with this one. And even with the constant rub against my bare upper arm, I did not develop any rashes. The perforation on back and waist belt are equally helpful. No perspiration from the day’s walk irritated me.
I’m very particular of the zips on any of my gear. I am a proud owner of a Wildcraft waist pouch, which has been with me for years and I have to say the zips have pleased me the most. The zips on the Dris 35L are the same. They are smooth and easily fastened.
Read: The Bedni and Ali Bugyal Trek, Uttarakhand
The iron rod supporting the back of the bag makes it a little bulky. The rucksack has almost no weight in itself if I were to remove the rod. However, it is essential for back support and ease of posture. That is a priority for me.
Good to know
-There is a lifetime warranty on this product.
-Wildcraft’s Dris 35L is currently priced at ₹5499 only.
-It is available in black+red, blue+yellow and red+yellow+black (the one I have).
-If your lower back is delicate, this may not be the perfect one for you. The weight rests on the waist and can make the rucksack protrude outwards.
-The Dris 35L has long straps. This is not a bother at all, thanks to the elastic rubber bands at each end. I can fold the extra length and tie it up with these bands.
Read: Itinerary: Sandakphu Trek, Bengal
Note: The Wildcraft Dris 35L was given to me for a review.
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