I don’t know why, but I have always felt a tad sorry for mules. For starters, they are the offspring of a male donkey and a female horse. Then they are lumbered with an odd number of chromosomes, so are not able to reproduce. And yet, they are extremely useful. Bred primarily as a pack animal, they are strong, are able to tackle rough terrain, and pack a punch when it comes to endurance. Little wonder, then, that Berghaus has chosen to name its latest bag iteration, the Mule.
Tough and practical it may well be like its namesake, and lightweight, unlike its namesake. The Expedition Mules are available in three sizes, and have been deliberately constructed to withstand rough usage, combining a durable weather resistant ripstop fabric with an assortment of carrying, storage and adjustment options, depending on your needs.
Should you be packing for the long haul, then either the Expedition Mule 100L or the 60L will be ideally placed, with a great deal of room for your kit in each main compartment. Also included is an internal zipped pocket, side compression straps and detachable shoulder straps, so the pack will easily convert as a rucksack. I have been checking out the smallest option, the Expedition Mule 40, which, despite its size, also packs a surprising punch. Complete with an internal zipped pocket, the 40L can also be carried as a rucksack. What’s more, you can use it as a carry-on for your next flight. If you prefer to send your 40L through to the hold, then you can be comforted by the fact that its robustness will withstand the roughest of treatment by the baggage handlers.
What I particularly like about the Mule is the storage option. Whether you have decided on the 100, 60 or 40L versions, each packs away into its own zipped pocket. Brilliant. Berghaus Expedition Mule 100L – £90, 60L – £70, 40L – £60, www.berghaus.com