There’s a bit of a story to this pack. In December, I mailed my Mariposa to a friend to convert the top to a drawstring closure with a Y strap. Parcel Force lost it in the Christmas rush so I made a claim in January (it was insured) and ordered the Mo as a replacement. Late February, my Mariposa was returned to me claiming that it hadn’t been collected from the depot, which was a joke as my friend had phoned them to find out what had happened to it and gone through the Parcel Force complaints procedure. What a farce!
Anyway, by the time I got my Mariposa back, my Mo was being made. The 50L has a capacity of 45L in the main body and 5L in the side pockets. I chose VX21 fabric in grey, with two shoulder strap pockets and two hip belt pockets. At the same time I ordered a Roo waist pack. Details on the Atom Packs website.
The quality of the workmanship is superb. Faultless. The VX21 material feels very robust and is waterproof, so there will be no need for a pack cover. The back panel is tough 500D nylon. I’m impressed with the robust feel of the mesh, which feels much more sturdy than most, so hopefully it will be more resistant to snagging. The side pockets are a good size and tents and bottles fit easily.
I like a Y strap at the top as it’s more secure when stowing things on top of the pack. The hip belt has two adjusters on either side, which gives a great fit. Load lifters on the shoulder straps mean the fit can be dialled in and the pack hug your back better. The hip belt pockets are a good size. I’ve added zip pulls as the metal ones are quite small. I love the stretch shoulder pockets.
The frame sheet has a single strut firmly secured on an HDPE sheet with a separate foam spacer. I bent it a little more to give it more curvature. It works very well and the overall carry of the pack seems good (I won’t know for sure until I use it).
As you can imagine, I’ve already made a mod! I’ve sewn a couple of grosgrain loops on the inside and added a glove hook. Together with some thin shock cord, it I can secure a piece of folded thin foam mat inside the pack. I always take some to boost a sleeping mat and as insurance in case of puncturing an air mat.
I packed the Mo and the Mariposa with sleeping bags to make a quick comparison. The Mo is definitely a bit smaller. It’s about 3-4cm narrower and maybe 1-2cm less in depth. Additionally, the Mariposa has more volume in the pockets.
I also bought a Roo waist pack. Again, it’s superbly well made. It’s a little larger than the two Alpinelite belt packs I own. It has a handy organisation sleeve inside. It should be great for a camera and a few bits and pieces. The outer mesh pocket should be handy for a snack bar or two. I added a zip puller as, again, the metal one is a bit small.
Weights are c.950g (inc. pockets) for the Mo and 70g for the Roo. Overall, these are both very good products. The Mo should be great for most trips where bulkiness of gear and food is not an issue. For me, I suspect the Mariposa would still be my choice for something like the TGO Challenge as it has a bit more volume for food and gear. Having said that, the Mo would certainly work with some careful planning. It’s good to see small British companies like Atom Packs and Valley & Peak producing such high quality specialist products.
Disclaimer: I bought these products with my own money and have no relationship with Atom Packs