Haglöfs Matrix 60

I don’t have much in the way of big packs these days, so with the thought of longer trips now that Holly is a little older, along with the associated unenthusiastic repeated re-packing and space for extra food, I had a look about at what was available. I’d tried on a Haglöfs Matrix 40 a while back, and I liked the harness although it seemed a little robust for the capacity, so I asked for one of the larger capacity Matrix packs to test, and here we have the Matrix 60.

Its looks conceal that common Haglöfs secret, this is very much an external framed pack disguised as a regular internal frame pack. The frame is 6061-T8 Aluminium, and is the dividing line between the harness and the load. I like this arrangement, there’s a real feeling of freedom for the wearer, and I hope this translates to the Matrix through the thickly padded shoulder straps and hip-fins, both of these components incidentally are very well-shaped indeed.

I’ll talk more about this after some proper use, but the features are all there for winter backpacking. I can get all my snow gear on the outside, there’s stretch pockets for on-the-move handiness, there’s a zipped lower compartment (with a removable inner divider) for bulky or damp gear, big lid pockets and the rather nice “reverse-pull” waist belt adjustment.
At 1650g it’s no heavier than the OMM Mountain Mover I used on the Creag Meagaidh trip a couple weeks ago, so I’m not afraid of the weight.
More later.

7 thoughts on “Haglöfs Matrix 60”

  1. Haglofs rucksacks are a hidden gem. The carry on my Ascent 38 is simply brilliant, I just never notice I have it on even when fully loaded up. Some quirky features (no clip to hang my widepac from? – weird ice axe attachment), but these can be worked around, and the the bombproof fabric and amazing, superlative carry make up for any minor incoveniences ten times over. I might well be after more. These Matrix packs look like solid lightweight load haulers (this one their answer to Osprey’s Aether, maybe?).

  2. Blimey Peter you’ve been busy today! Get the kettle on and fetch me the biscuits.

    I agree Haglofs packs are hidden little gems… They don’t seem to get the credit due on the web, because they aren’t always the lightest. I have the LIM 45, purchased just before the last ones disappeared for good and I’m glad. The extra weight of the pack seems to create an overall lighter sack when full. Like you’ve said before Peter, lighter isn’t always better.

  3. Aggravation of an ancient calf injury meant I was catching up on first-looks rather than heading to the snow line…

    It’s an interesting one this, on the face of it it’s a traditional big backpacking sack like a Karrimor Jaguar, but there’s a lot more to it than that, and about a kilo less weight.
    I’m hoping for sustained plush comfort over the miles, we’ll see!

  4. I tried on the 50 litre Matrix in Mountain Spirit earlier in the week.

    Very nice. I got some weight put in and couldn’t really detect it, which is always a good sign (and compensates for the extra 500g it carries over other packs). The hip belt seems to mould itself to the contours of the body and the sleeping bag compartment isn’t going to intrude if you want to use it in single compartment mode.

    Drawbacks? The ‘beamier’ gentleman might be happier with an extra inch or so of padding on the hipbelt, and those side pockets are going to lose a few water bottles. Those who can’t remember life before hipbelt pockets will also be disappointed.

    Nevertheless, a definite contender. Have you tried the 60L in anger yet?

  5. Only locally so far, either the Matrix or the Karrimor X-Lite is going on the next overnighter (which is as soon as there’s no cloud on Beinn Fhada).
    I know what you mean about the pockets, the best fit is a Sigg oval, a regular bottle will be rolling down the hillside soon enough like you say.
    A chest pouch will save the day too :o)

  6. I’m on the verge of getting a new sack and am keen to get your feedback on Matrix v Karrimor X-Lite. I haven’t tried either but I’m favouring the X-Lite I think but also wonder if you’ve had any experience of the Mountain Hardware Super Scrambler 50-55 Litre Alpine Pack?

    1. Haven’t tried The Mountain Hardwear pack, but I’ve use the other two a couple of times.

      They’re actually pretty different packs, the X-lite 45+10 is pretty minimal with a brilliant harness and good shape, but there’s an annoying pack of external storage, no crampons straps, bungees or pockets you can access while you’re wearing the pack. The Matrix is 600g heavier, but with features to suit, plenty of accessible storage options and again a brilliant harness.

      Both packs have zipped bottom compartments, are comfy with a full load and allow good body movement on steep and rough ground.
      For shorter overnight trips the X-Lite is great, for longer trips the Matrix is more user friendly and I suspect more enduringly comfy.

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