Time for a change from me raving on, here’s a wee guest review. Having played with this sack for a while and liked it a lot, I thought it might be wise for a proper mountain professional to look at it instead of a bumbling amateur such as myself, so I passed it on to my good friend Jon from Trossachs Mountain Guides. Here’s what he had to say about it:
After a summer of playing out wherever and whenever possible (and usually in the rain) I now feel able to write a more detailed review of the Edelrid Helix 25. The first impressions I had of this rucksack were that it was lightweight (apparently only 750g), that it looked extremely comfortable and that it was also obviously lime green! First impressions do count but I am also really pleased to say that after using the rucksack lots in the Scottish mountains this summer that these first impressions have stayed with me and that for me this rucksack has been a real pleasure to use, has been comfortable on every trip and almost unbelievably considering the number of bogs it’s been through this summer is still lime green!
I have tested this rucksack on a variety of trips this summer, have used it to walk into mountain crags and have climbed in it on big easy multi pitch rock climbs, I have worn it for long days on the Cuillin and for short days nearer home and have even used it for a couple of overnight trips. It’s been well tested.
Here are a few observations from using it over the summer. Firstly this has been really comfortable all summer. Personally I really like the 3D mesh back padding and it seems to fit me really well and be extremely comfortable for my back. I’m quite long in the back so it might be that it’s just the perfect size for me but I suspect that it would also be comfortable for most other folk. The back plate is removable in the rucksack allowing the Helix 25 to be worn closer to the body but for everything I have used it for I left the back plate in and it worked great!
The next observation is that the Helix 25 seems to be bigger than other 25 litre bags I have used. This is not a criticism, just an observation. I am not sure if the size rating is rated for the bag without the lid (easily removable) and with side compression straps tight, but with the lid on and the compression straps opened I easily managed to get full mountain kit including ropes and climbing gear into the bag. I also managed to pack my entire overnight kit including tent into it at a push.
For me it feels like a large 25 litre bag but I quite like this and it works great as long as you can stay disciplined enough not to have to fill it if you don’t need to! I didn’t really use the removable lid feature, but if this is an important asset to you it’s worth mentioning that the lid is very easily removable without over complications that I have seen elsewhere. In fact much on this sack seems to have been designed to be lightweight and easily removable (lid,back plate, waist belt), and these are all removed with the minimum of fuss and faff. It seems like it’s been well thought through. I especially appreciated the two durable, integrated gear loops on the waist belt that seem to my mind very similar to those on an Edelrid harness and seem to be well positioned and are extremely useful. The waist belt and shoulder straps are lightweight and perhaps because of this there was one other observation. The lightweight waist belt seemed to twist in a little when the gear loops were fully loaded because of the weight of the climbing gear on the lightweight waist belt. Not painful or a reason not to buy it but just a cause of minor annoyance on a couple of occasions.
In general the Helix 25 is a superb rucksack that has been a joy to use in a variety of climbing and mountaineering environments over the summer. I am looking forward to using it in the snow when it arrives and I would definitely recommend that you take a look at it for all kinds of general mountaineering activities.