Haglofs Strive 50 is designed to meet the requirements of lightweight backpackers who can get their kit into 50 litres. This is exactly the type of trip I was planning last year to Scotland, and I was delighted to get hold of a pre production sample to try out. First impressions are good, its a 50 litre pack, with a decent framesheet and weighing in at just 1150grams. There are lighter packs out there at this volume with the same or better carrying capabilities but the Strive 50 sets itself apart with the central access zip giving open access to the main compartment.
The frame sheet sits behind a lightly padded back panel and its purpose is to transfer the load effectively to the hipbelt, which it does, the hipbelt itself is up to the job, but I felt it could be improved with very little additional weight. There's no lumbar pad which to my mind limits the carrying capability of the pack, you can see from the photos it sits quite low on the back, with a lumber support it would probably sit slightly higher.
I loaded the pack with around 12-13kg including water and food for a few days and it handles the volume easily, so its a generous 50 Litres, - this was October so I packed a decent sleeping bag, my Sea to Summit Spark II rated to -4C, the rest of my kit was pretty much ultralight. There are two large triangular pockets on the hipbelt - these take a bit of getting used to, especially as they zip open upwards and you run the risk of the contents spilling on the floor. If they had zipped downwards this would be better but they would be more awkward to use. The two mesh pockets on the sides of the pack are good - they can be accessed while on the move.
The pocket on the lid is truly massive, I was able to load it up with everything I wanted to hand during the day, and it took the contents without a grumble. The lid is a floating type so you can remove it and leave it at home if you wanted to - as the access to the main compartment is via drawcord (or zip of course), this may leave the pack vulnerable to rain. I sometimes think a large front zip is a bit of a gimmick and may represent a weak area of the pack - however it didn't feel weak and when I used it to unpack each night I was really pleased with the ease at which I got the camp set up.
I really enjoyed using the Strive 50 - its the right capacity for a lightweight few days and provides a comfortable carry, the main access zip and copious pockets make keeping organised a doddle.