Durable Backpacks Are Designed to Break
Our durable, small backpack that had served for a decade got stolen in Spain. It was made in Finland and available only there. We tried a bunch of other small rucksacks that all broke in 2-4 months and as they were made of polyester fabric, they could not be fixed. Finally in Borneo we received visitors from Finland who brought us a new backpack from Finland, the same Savotta 123 that got stolen in Spain. However, meanwhile the manufacturer, Savotta, had updated their model that was originally introduced in 1950s. Those updates proved to be less than desirable at least for our needs.
This is how the backpack is being promoted:
“The Savotta Pack 123 is the traditional model produced by Savotta since the 1950s. In all its simplicity it is a very durable piece of equipment.”
This is what happened in real life, and how the backpack ended up in the trash bin in less than two years of use:
|Borneo, Malaysia||We got the backpack||Sep 2011||A gift from HS|
|Hua Hin, Thailand||Right shoulder strap snapped||Dec 2011||50 Baht = 1,24 €|
|Penang, Malaysia||Rivets of the pocket strap dropped||Feb 2012||14 RM = 3,5 €|
|Zagora, Morocco||Closing mechanism broke||Dec 2012||10 Dirham = 0,92 €|
|Masatepe, Nicaragua||Left shoulder strap snapped||Apl 2013||20 Cordobas = 0,65 €|
|Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica||Top lid fabric ripped||Jul 2013||Not fixable|
We approached Osprey, Fjällräven, Deuter, Haglöfs, Halti, and Rei only to learn that none of them was interested in making durable, heavy-duty backpacks that are not designed to break. All their backpacks are OK if you go for a short two-week hike once a year. That way the backpack will perhaps last ten years and you are happy. But if you use it all the time, it will break just in a few months´ time because it is not made to last: fancy straps get ripped off in airport luggage handling, fabrics wear out and tear, plastic buckles and rivets break, zippers jam, stitches open, shoulder straps snap, and hip belts become loose.
Savotta answered to our challenge and delivered us two of their crown jewels to see how they can cope with our nomadic ramblings. We got a Savotta LJK and a 0.7 kg lighter Savotta 906. At the first glance they look promising. Savotta has fixed almost all the issues that existed in their previous models we had used almost a decade. We will keep you posted how they will stand the test of time.
See also: Recycling Tricks To Consume More