Do you have an old Faithful when it comes to a travel bag or a travel knapsack? Something that you use with every travel – long, short, hike, beach – essentially anywhere. So far, my camera bag is my old faithful for I trudge it along everywhere. However, that does not hold my basic essentials and for long I have been waiting to find that one bag that works for all my travels. I think my wait just ended when I got a Wildcraft rucksack from the Wildcraft team, just before my recent trip to Meghalaya.
Wildcraft has introduced a range of rucksacks, especially suited for women. It is from this new range that they send me the Wildcraft Chogolisa 50L for me to use and review. A bright orange colored Wildcraft rucksack arrived just as I set to pack for my Meghalaya trip. Though I was heading here for just a week, I need to pack a lot of things as the weather at my destination fluctuated from cold to warm to rainy. Also, I had planned a lot of outdoors and adventure.
I scratched my head on which bag would hold my rain jackets, extra shoes, warm clothes etc. I needed something that was easy to carry, flexible enough to hold my all-weather requirements, expandable for I know that I do end up shopping along the way and yet, something that was not too bulky. The Wildcraft knapsack seemed to be God-send for all these.
I used the Wildcraft Chogolisa through my week-long Meghalaya trip, took it for some short hikes, subjected it to extreme changes of weather – from bright sunshine to crazy showers and yet, when I brought it back, it seemed as if it had never traveled with me. Sure enough, I plan to take it along on my next journey and here are my key reasons why –
Structure of the Wildcraft Rucksack
Initially, when I saw the Wildcraft Chogolisa, I felt as it was too strappy. From every corner, there were these huge belts that seem to emerge and it did feel complicated. However, as I sat down to pack I figured that these straps were not without a reason. They were all meant to help hold your belongings – from sleeping bags to shoes to mats, tripods etc. It just takes a little practice to figure out which ones work for what.
I like the fact that the knapsack has a front load as well as a top load option. It was particularly useful when I packed all our rain-gear in and when I needed to retrieve the same, the front load helped get it quickly.
The hood of the Wildcraft Chogolisa has two compartments and the best part about the hood is that it is detachable. If you don’t feel like carrying the entire rucksack around, you can just remove the hood and take it along. (see the picture below where I have detached the hood). The hood also, added the extra protection and cover to the main storage as it fit snug around it when attached. I also, figured that you can insert a rolled up mat or a tripod between the hood and the storage and this can be secured by the straps.
The bottom of the Wildcraft knapsack can be further compartmentalized. The detachable flap helped me store our myriad requirements of footwear for Meghalaya.
There are plenty of zipper pockets and elastic ones around the front, size and inside of the knapsack that can be used for various purposes. Again, you will notice in the picture that there are several loops and straps at the bottom and these can be used to fasten and secure any other backpack equipment that you might need. For this trip, I did not use it but I definitely see a lot of use for my next one.
Perfect for my packing needs
Meghalaya was a family vacation and thus, my packing was into three. With three rain jackets, three sets of warm jackets, varied footwear for all, regular clothes and essential accessories, the Wildcraft Chogolisa seemed perfect. Though I did not stuff all our needs into this one bag, I could see that if it were just me, this bag would be all that I required.
While all my major clothes would have gone into the main compartment of the Wildcraft Rucksack, I would have kept my shoes in the detachable bottom half, used the hood for my accessories, important documents in my inner elastic pocket and well, any other large items like the tripod would be fastened on. The top loading helps pack neatly and ensures that the folded clothes do not crease when stacked. This is all that I need for my next travel and hence, Wildcraft Chogolisa is going to be with me on my next trip.
Carrying Comfort of Wildcraft Rucksacks
I did mention that the Wildcraft Chogolisa was designed for women. I realized this when I wore the bag for the first time. Not only was I able to adjust it to my height, the waist strap helped secure it well. It took off a lot of load from my shoulders and distributed it evenly. It, in fact, felt as if I were not carrying much.
The padded shoulder straps were just a boon for my shoulders. They added a lot of comfort and ease. And since, it was not a pain to carry the bag everywhere, I took it everywhere – on a trek through the little woods of Meghalaya, atop a treehouse, and along a waterfall.
An all-weather resistance of Wildcraft Rucksacks
Meghalaya was perfect to test the all-weather resistance of Wildcraft Chogolisa. The sky just broke down within minutes of sunshine and while I did not wait to dunk the bag in a downpour, it did get exposed to the wet weather. I found that it kept my belongings quite dry in that little dampness. However, I do think that you might need to buy an extra rain cover to ensure that a harsher exposure to rain or snow does affect your possessions.
During my travel, the Wildcraft Chogolisa had to encounter some dusty situations too. I found that it was easy to just dust it off the bag or in the case of any stains, a mild rinse with water also, helped keep clean. On the whole, the bag seemed fairly easy to maintain.
My Verdict of the Wildcraft Chogolisa 50L
Well, it wasn’t just me who loved carrying the Wildcraft rucksack. My little girl loved it herself and as you can see, she was quite comfortable trudging it by herself. We did end up squabbling over who would carry it and who would take the pictures. Incidentally, all my pictures with the Wildcraft Rucksack have been taken by her.
Though after this trip with the Wildcraft Chogolisa, I think, I just signed up a new travel companion. The Wildcraft Chogolisa was perfect for my requirements of a short, adventurous travel. It costs around INR 6999 on the Wildcraft website and comes with a 5-year warranty. Light and easy to carry with little maintenance and enough room for my clothes, accessories, and shoes, this Wildcraft Rucksack has become my new best friend. I wouldn’t be surprised if you too find it ideal for you. Message me below and let me know what you think of this new Wildcraft Rucksack.
P.S: The Wildcraft Chogolisa bag is mine to keep. This has no bearing on the opinions expressed here – which are truly and honestly my own.