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Fjällräven Abisko Hike 35 daypack review: large but perfectly balanced

The classy Fjällräven Abisko Hike 35 daypack manages to be highly practical as well as pretty

Fjällräven Abisko Hike 35
(Image: © Fjällräven)

Our Verdict

Well featured, with excellent storage options and great access to the main compartment, the Abisko Hike 35 is a versatile pack, perfect for day walks and quick overnighters.

For

  • Side zipper for easy access to main compartment
  • Rain cover included
  • Emergency whistle on chest strap

Against

  • Only one size
  • Back length not adjustable
  • No pockets on waist belt or harness

Fjällräven Abisko Hike 35: first impressions

When it comes to the best daypacks, the handsome-looking Fjällräven Abisko Hike 35 is sized in that sweet zone where it’s large enough to swallow enough equipment to see you through a quick overnight escapade (especially during summer, when kit requirements are less, or when you’re sleeping in a hut), but isn’t too big to be used for even the most casual day walk. 

It is made with materials that are organic or recycled, and features fluorocarbon-free impregnation, so the eco creds are high. I’s extremely well designed too, with excellent access to the main compartment from the side.

The top lid has a spacious pocket, and there’s a large front-of-pack pocket, with a full-length zip, perfect for a map and/or waterproof outer layers. There are several compression straps that help secure the contents when the pack is not full. 

The sternum strap is easy to adjust, with a double slider, and there is a built-in emergency whistle on the buckle. The waist belt, with pull-forward adjusters, has substantial hip fins, so it sits comfortably and distributes weight nicely when you’re carrying a fuller load. 

There is one side pocket for a water bottle – and the compression straps can be co-opted to secure trekking poles – and an internal pouch takes a hydration bladder, with a port for the hose to exit over the right shoulder. 

There are reflective elements on the rear, for safety when walking on lanes and roads at night, and a UN-blue raincover is included, but it’s not integrated into the pack, so can be lost.

Specifications

• RRP: $155 (US) / £150 (UK)
• Weight (empty): 1400g / 49oz
• Volume: 35L
• Variations available: One size
• Harness sizes: One size
• Colors: Stone Grey / Navy / Green
• Compatibility: Cabin-to-cabin hikes and lightweight day trekking

Fjällräven Abisko Hike 35: on the trails

We trail tested the Abisko Hike 35 on various adventures, from long walks deep down in Cornwall to high ones in the Surrey Hills, and it has proven to be a very good, reliable and practical pack, with plenty of well-considered elements.

Our absolute favourite feature is the side zip, which allows you to access the main compartment and locate whatever you’re looking for (fleece, hat, food, bivvy… all those hiking essentials) without having to dive in from the top and spill the contents of the pack all over the trail.

There are plenty of pockets, so you can arrange your gear however you want to and keep things organized. That said, there is a lack of easy access pockets on the harness, which is a bit annoying, as these are always handy for storing snacks, your best compass, sunglasses and other things you want to reach without stopping and taking your pack off.

Fjällräven Abisko Hike 35

The Fjällräven Abisko Hike 35 is so comfortable to carry, but you might end up with a sweaty back (Image credit: Pat Kinsella)

The rear panel isn’t quite as effective at preventing sweaty back syndrome as some other packs we have tested, but the Abisko Hike 35 is very comfortable to carry, with padded shoulder straps, a substantial hip belt and a lightweight frame that keeps the overall pack weight down. The sternum strap is extremely easy to adjust (being on a parallel pair of sliders), and the waist belt can be tightened by pulling forward, which is a system we like.

Overall, weight distribution is excellent, and the compression straps do a good job of keeping things tight and tidy as you work your way through the contents of the bag.