REVIEW: Wychwood Packsmart Mk2 rucksack

REVIEW: Wychwood Packsmart Mk2 rucksack

The carp rucksack market is a crowded place, but we think this Wychwood offering will go down as one of the best...

RRP: £69.99 | www.wychwoodcarp.co.uk

  • We like: Comfort, practicality
  • We dislike: Lack of double zips

The Wychwood Packsmart Mk2 first caught our eye at the start of the year when we visited Wychwood HQ in Milton Keynes.

It was part of a very impressive luggage range and we couldn’t wait to get our hands on one. Fast forward to the summer and a Packsmart duly arrived in our office.

It has since been crammed with our editor’s kit and has been properly used and abused on a number of sessions.

 Compact and comfortable: the Wychwood Packsmart

Compact and comfortable: the Wychwood Packsmart

The findings? Well, it’s genuinely practical, well built and very comfortable.

In all there are five compartments in the Packsmart, three of which fold up and zip off the main backpack.

 All done up, this rucksack looks great

All done up, this rucksack looks great

The folding nature of the unit means none of the compartments is particularly deep, so don’t be expecting to stuff large items inside. Gas cannisters and stoves, for instance, will have to be of the small variety to find a home in a Packsmart.

That said, for short-session angling and overnighters there’s plenty of room for most tackle items.

 The slimline Packsmart will slide under any bedchair

The slimline Packsmart will slide under any bedchair

Our editor used one of the ‘wing’ compartments for all his pop-ups and bait tools, the opposite wing for his bite alarms and buzzer bars, the bottom zip-off pouch for leads, and the two main compartments for his tackle bag, stove, rig bin and various other tools including spare spools, Spombs and PVA.

The folding design enables the Packsmart to be slid under even the lowest bedchair, and the zips used for the zip-off pouchs are chunky and hard-wearing.

Talking of zips, it’s a shame the pouches themselves are served only by single zips. Double zips would really have helped for speed and when cramming a lot in. This is our only real niggle with the Packsmart.

 Three of the pouches zip off

Three of the pouches zip off

When it comes to use as an actual backpack, Wychwood has excelled. The shoulder straps and the two clip-in braces are supremely comfortable and well made.

The weight of the fully laden unit is evenly distributed and wearing the Packsmart is certainly not a chore.

Another neat touch is the stowaway waterproof cover, which keeps the base of the unit clean and dry when on the ground.

 The stowaway waterproof cover

The stowaway waterproof cover

In short, the Packsmart won’t suit the angler who likes to carry kit for every eventuality, but for mobile and shorter-session carpers it is a very accomplished product indeed.

 The main compartments aren't deep, but still fit a fair amount in

The main compartments aren't deep, but still fit a fair amount in