The North Face has been manufacturing outdoor gear for over 40 years and its equipment ranges from the highly technical Summit Series designed for the most extreme environments to leisure wear. The Casimir 27 is aimed at the hiker or climber who wants a rugged pack that is exceedingly light (it weighs just 880g), but at £100 it’s a pretty expensive daysack.
At 27 litres some minimalist hikers might even use this rucksack on a fast-paced multi-day hike, but it will also serve you well on a day hike, easily allowing you to carry a couple of spare layers and all the essentials. The bag is made from a robust 70-denier ripstop nylon that is DWR treated so it will repel light showers. There’s no rain cover though, in keeping with the pack’s minimalist theme, although you can buy one from The North Face for just £15. And either way it’s best to keep your gear in dry bags when the weather is bad.
The Casimir 27 uses The North Face’s adjustable Opti-Fit back system so you can get the pack’s fit right – it fixes in the right place with strong Velcro – making this one of only two packs on test that have adjustable back systems. The hip belt and shoulder straps are gender specific which is why there is one version of the pack for men and one for women. Once properly adjusted the pack is comfortable, with weight supported on the hips by a wide padded waist belt. The sternum strap has plenty of adjustment even for the larger chest and it has an emergency whistle in the fastener.
The lid has a large external pocket for snacks and other kit you want to keep easy to reach. There’s a large stretch pocket on the front of the pack where you could stuff a waterproof jacket or similar, and the side pockets will each take a one-litre drinks bottle. There are loops for trekking poles and four further loops that can have other gear clipped to them. There are also compression straps to stabilise the contents of the pack. Inside there’s a sleeve for a hydration bladder.
So is the Casimir 27 worth the money? There are other packs here that do the same job for less but the Casimir does the job well. It’s lightweight, robust, comfortable all day and if money isn’t a concern then it’s worth consideration.