Our Klattermusen Ull 30L Backpack Review details a lightweight and innovative rucksack from a prestigious Swedish manufacturer. We hope you find it useful.
I always consider 30litres to be a sweet spot capacity for rucksacks. This size offers enough space for a day or lightweight overnight mission. It also offers enough storage for the technical equipment needed for a variety of activities. If I had to choose one size for the majority of activities I undertake, this would be it. So, when Klattermusen asked if we’d review their Ull backpack we thought this a great opportunity to showcase something very different to the usual offerings. Please read my detailed review to find out more.
Who are Klattermusen?
Klättermusen is a Swedish maker of refined mountaineering equipment. Their focus is on producing high quality performance products for mountaineers and outdoor enthusiasts. Of equal importance, Klattermusen are also fully committed to producing the most sustainable equipment available.
Although the brand is growing in popularity in the UK, it may not be a name many outdoor enthusiasts over here are familiar with. That is changing as more product availability and a broadening range offers us more options.
The brand is certainly well known elsewhere and their quality and design is widely recognized. Their products, for example, won three ISPO gold awards in 2020 along with one sustainability achievement award.
Environmental sustainability to Klattermusen’s business ethos. They tackle this in two ways. Firstly, they use sustainable materials. Secondly, they focus on materials and construction methods that offer a long life span.
So, they strive to use materials that minimize environmental damage and aren’t afraid to innovate. For example, they switched to 100% organic cotton in 2006 and introduced nylon from recycled fishing nets to backpack production in 2009. They became the first outdoor brand in history to achieve a 100% fluorocarbon-free collection in 2017.
Alongside that, they understand that a key way to minimise the environmental impact of their clothing is longevity. When clothes last longer they do less harm. The impact is reduced further if clothes are repaired rather than replaced. Then, garments that can be recycled at the end of their useable life. All their products are designed and built to achieve this goal.
Ull Backpack 30L Features
The Ull 30L is designed as a lightweight ski touring backpack and it certainly has some skiing specific features. However, I actually see it as a broader use pack that will suit winter climbers, mountaineers and hillwalkers. It fits into that category of packs that suit a broad range of uses and varied users.
The pack has a single compartment and is made from 210 denier (160 g/m²) 100% recycled PU coated polyamide fabric. This has a hydrostatic head of 1500mm. As mentioned above, this polyamide fabric is made from recycled fishing nets and post consumer waste.
There is also a durable kevlar reinforced fabric used on the base. This is a burly 270 g/m2 material with a 7000mm hydrostatic head. There is a removable stiffened back plate and the lightly padded back panel features ventilation channels.
The lightly padded and ventilated shoulder straps are sculpted for a comfortable fit. They also incorporate a sternum strap with adjustable 4-point attachment. Each strap also has a tension lock to keep the bag close to the body. This is designed to offer increased stability and allows the weight to be lifted slightly off the shoulders if needed.
The lightly padded waistbelt features a quick release safety closure and a small zipped pocket on the right hand side. On the left side to the waistbelt there are two tape loops that can be used as gear loops. Alternatively, the loops make useful attachments for items like cameras. A grab handle sits between the shoulder straps.
The Ull is a top loader that closes with a cinch system designed to offer one handed operation. A strap then closes over the top. This strap can also be used for attaching other items such as a rope.
Side compression straps offer equipment attachment options and allow the pack volume to be reduced. Small reinforcements are sewn into the compression straps. I assume this is to reduce wear from items like skis or ice axes.
Along the left hand side of the pack Klattermusen have added a long access zip. Inside the main compartment there is a further small zipped storage pocket. There is a further large internal storage sleeve designed for storing snow safety equipment. The pack is hydration compatible.
Finally, on the outside of the pack there are a few more storage options. there is a holder for ice axes or trekking poles and an unusual criss cross pattern of cord loops to allow infinite attachment options for other equipment.
The inside of the backpack features a safety pocket for avalanche tools but can also be used for organizing gear. The loop webbing on the outside of the backpack makes equipment attachment easy, like ski poles or an ice axe. Ull backpack allows for maximum movability with its S-shaped shoulder straps.
Klattermusen sent the Burnt Russet (sort of a ruby red colour) colour for testing and it is also available in a dark grey colour (called Raven). The Ull 30L retails for £207 and weighs 805 grams.
For this Klattermusen Ull 30L backpack review I first wanted to comment on the styling. The Ull is deliberately stripped down and I really value this in a mountaineering pack. I am a strong believer that there is no need for its of extras on packs of this type. Less to add weight, less to get in the way and less to fail. The Ull is definitely in this mould.
Having said that, there are stripped down packs on the market. Klattermusen are still able to bring their personal touch to this genre. The innovative sternum strap, the crafted quick release alloy waist belt buckle. The criss cross gear attachment loops on the front.
I also really like the burnt russet colour. It is a sort of ruby red colour that is colourful enough to be fun and yet dark enough to not show marks easily.
Loading the pack is easy. The wide top opening makes it simple to stash items and then sealing the top is as easy as pulling the drawcord. You could leave it like this but I find rolling the top of the lid flap and securing with the strap makes it more compact and neater. It also adds more weatherproofing.
Once loaded up, it is time to consider how well the pack carries. For this Klattermusen Ull 30L Backpack Review I compared this to other similar size packs such as the Rab Renegade 28 (which I reviewed here). I also stacked it against the Arcteryx FL 30. This was included as one of our Top Gear choices here. Both of these are great packs with design features that cross over to the Klattermusen.
All these packs have a very similar feel when worn and fit equally well. The Ull only has very light padding but, combined with the interior frame sheet, it feels comfortable and stable. This also translates into use. I have used the pack for walking and scrambling activities and it feels unrestrictive and comfortable. The frame sheet can be removed to reduce weight, but I have preferred the rigidity it offers.
I haven’t had the chance to use the pack for ski touring yet but the equipment sleeve will stow a shovel and probe and the side straps will hold skis comfortably. For ski specific packs I do like the shovel and probe pocket to have sleeves to separate items and so the probe and shovel handle are kept upright. The Ull doesn’t have this.
The upside of this, though, is that when the pocket isn’t used for these items it is a great extra storage space for general items. It could also hold a hydration bladder (there is no other pocket for bladder storage. I don’t personally use a bladder for skiing and so this isn’t a concern personally. It might be something to consider if your needs are different though.
It took me a while to work out how the ice axe attachment system works, but once over that hurdle it actually works really well. My main criteria for this is that axes can be fitted and removed quickly, are secure when stored and can’t inadvertently come loose. The system ticks all these boxes. Similarly, it can also be used for trekking pole storage.
The shoulder straps and waistbelt contribute to this of course and the unusual sternum strap design is very efficient. It is a cord that attaches in four places and can also be adjusted to sit higher or lower on the chest.
I was surprised that Klattermusen didn’t design in a removable waist belt to the Ull. It can be fastened out of the way, but often I prefer to leave them off completely when on steep to vertical ground. I do find having a pocket on the belt useful. This one is big enough for items like a compass, sunscreen or energy bars. I did manage to fit sunglasses in but that’s a squeeze.
Having a long side zip can be really useful providing you pack with this in mind. I tend to pack so items like a drink bottle or my waterproofs are stored here. It is so much easier to unzip the side and pull them out than to open the main compartment from the top.
There is also a downside though. Although the zip used looks well specced for durability, if the zip does fail then you have a large hole in the side of your pack. Also, the combination of the large top opening and the long non waterproof zip mean there are plenty of entry points for liquid. This may not be such an issue in the cold and drier winter conditions, but is a consideration on a rainy day. I always assume no rucksack is waterproof and so add extra protection inside a pack by storing vulnerable items in small dry bags. If you do the same some water ingress isn’t a problem. Just be aware that this pack, although it will fend off some weather, will definitely not be waterproof.
The interesting gear attachment system on the front of the pack is something that will undoubtedly draw your attention. Some people may want to carry a helmet, crampons or a sleeping mat on the outside. Alternatively, you may need to stash a rope or attach some clothing. I try and avoid attaching items when I can, but sometimes it can be a useful option.
In which case, you probably want flexibility about how it is attached. Well, then, the Ull gives lots of choice. The small cords loops mean you can thread a loop of cord through or use a strap or carabiner. You can basically use your imagination to find the best option. Klattermusen don’t provide anything to make these attachments, but this at least then means you can use whatever suits you best.
I have used this pack for a wide range of activities over the summer. It has performed really well in every role. I haven’t had the chance to use it in winter and for skiing, but I am confident it will perform well in any context. I also can’t say I have used the pack enough to fully test its durability. All I can say so far is that it shows no wear and tear at this point. I can also say the materials look well engineered for a long life.
My Klattermusen Ull 30L backpack review hopefully makes it clear that I really rate this bag. The styling won’t suit some and yet others will love it. Some will want a ski specific pack and some won’t. That’s not a problem as it works for a range of activities. So, you’ll need to decide if it’s for you.
If it is, I can heartily recommend it. This pack is quite expensive and so won’t be everyone’s choice. But, for the money you are getting a pack that will last a long time and become a faithful companion. The design is also really well thought out. The pack has all the features you might need and yet remains simple. It is comfortable and yet won’t limit movement. It is built to very high standards and produced from largely recycled materials. I really rate the Ull 30L. Full details are available on the Klattermusen website here.
If this Klattermusen Ull 30L Backpack Review has been of interest please also check out my review of the Klattermusen Gere 2.0 pants here.