For me, the Tragoose 70L backpack from Tufaol ticks off the right boxes. Almost. But there are a few concerns. I have laid it all out in this 7-point review. Take a look.
1. Optimal capacity for longer treks
This is a 70L backpack, suitable for a longer duration of treks. It is ideal for longer treks like Kashmir Great Lakes, Gaumukh Tapovan, Rupin Pass, Buran Ghati etc. Treks that last for around 8 days. It's not ideal for shorter, one-day, weekend or even the 4-day treks in the league of Dayara Bugyal, Deoriatal Chandrashila or Kuari Pass.
It also works for an expedition.
Personally, I feel this backpack is ideal for a Trek Leader. A trek leader carries more gears than a usual trekker. For example, apart from clothes, you'll also find an oxygen cylinder or medical kit with a trek leader. The Tragoose 70L backpack from Tufaol has ample space to accommodate these additional gears. That’s the beauty of this backpack. It allows you to carry everything you need for a long trek.
On the flip side, it’s too big for a one-day or weekend trek.
2. It’s comfortable to wear
It’s crucial that a backpack is comfortable to carry on the back.
While wearing the Tragoose 70L backpack from Tufaol, I noticed that the shoulder pads provided good cushioning. This was good, as it's difficult to carry backpacks with shoulder straps that have less or no cushioning for a long time. But this one felt quite comfortable on the shoulders.
The make of shoulder strap is also such that it's easy to remove and wear the backpack repeatedly. The design of the backpack evenly distributes the weight. At no point did I feel that the weight was unbalanced or difficult to carry. This ease of wearing makes a big difference, especially when on longer treks.
Backpacks without mesh provide no aeration to the back. This makes your back sweaty. But the Tragoose 70L backpack from Tufaol comes with a mesh to keep your back aerated. This adds to the comfort of wearing the backpack.
Having said all that, I do have a concern when it comes to the comfort of wearing this backpack. It's the height. And this is especially for trekkers who are short. If your height is short, say around 5 feet, the top of the backpack could restrict the movement of looking up.
3. A thoughtful design to distribute weight
An empty Tragoose 70L backpack from Tufaol weighs around 1.5 kg. That’s not unusual for a backpack of this size. Once you pack it for a six-day Himalayan trek, the weight easily goes upto 8-9 kg. But the backpack does not look bulky. The weight is evenly distributed and compressed well.
The compression straps, the waist strap and the chest strap give strong support. Along with the padding, the suspension system is designed for better balance and it even distributes the weight across the back.
The concern is that when the backpack is not filled to its capacity, the balance gets affected. So it is not advisable to use it for shorter treks where you’ll have empty spaces in the backpack.
The backpack also has a very short strap to lift it. This makes it difficult to lift the backpack without using shoulder straps.
4. Feels sturdy and durable for rough use
A backpack inevitably goes through the rigours of a trek. Travelling in flight, local transport, trekking through high-altitude where you may rest it on the forest floor, sometimes on rocks. Such circumstances test the material of the backpack.
I reviewed the backpack keeping such rigours in mind and found that the 100% nylon material was good quality and could stand rough use.
I also paid special attention to the quality of the side pockets that hold the water bottles. In some backpacks the mesh on the sides is not strong. They often tear after a few uses. But in Tragoose 70L backpack from Tufaol the mesh in the side pockets felt sturdy and durable.
Overall I felt that this backpack would be able to withstand the wear and treks of long treks.
5. Easy-to-access compartments
It’s evident that a lot of thought has been put into making various compartments accessible in Tragoose 70L backpack from Tufaol.
Right on the top you have two zipped compartments that can be used to keep caps, gloves or a notebook. Then you have two side pockets that work well for water bottles. There is also a spacious hidden side pocket accessible from the inside. You could use it to store your fleece layer.
You can open the bag from the other side to directly access the middle section.
To keep the bottom light in weight, you can easily keep a padded jacket in the roomie bottom section.
Additionally, the backpack has an opening for the hydration bag. It also has two sturdy loops for the trekking poles. Finally, it has a pocket at the waist that can hold your mobile phone.
These well-thought compartments greatly helped in organizing all my trekking gear neatly into the backpack.
6. It’s weather resistant
The backpack did well with respect to the weather. In terms of the rain or the snow, the backpack did not fail. We have the backpack cover at the bottom.
7. Slightly pricey
Presently the Tragoose 70L backpack is priced at Rs 6,336 on the website. Although on the higher side, I would consider buying a 70L backpack at this pricing for the features and comfort that Tragoose 70L is providing.
Please note that the undiscounted price for Tragoose 70L shows as Rs 9,882. I wouldn’t recommend buying it at that steep price.
Although not from a well-known brand, Tragoose 70L backpack from Tufaol is a good choice for outdoor enthusiasts. With its spacious main compartment, multiple pockets for organization, and high-quality materials, I would give it a green signal for longer treks or expedition.