[GEAR REVIEW] Berghaus Hyper 37

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The overloaded Hyper 37

Back in 2013, Berghaus athlete Philippe Gatta, had a mission to run 1700 km on the high route of the Great Himalayan Trail in 40 days and Hyper 37 was on the Philippe’s back while he was running at one of the toughest places on Earth. Although Philippe didn’t finish the trail because of the Cyclone Phailin made the trail impassable in day 23, he took a detour to Island Peak and several places in Nepal and ran for a total distance of 1200 km. Nevertheless, the Great Himalayan Trail expedition by Philippe and Berghaus in 2013 spawned some of the best ultralight gears available in the market the following year, one of them is Hyper 37.

The pack is impressively light for a technical 37-litre backpack, the design is pretty straightforward with lighter materials and no unnecessary accessories. It’s a top opening pack with three compartments on the inside: main space, water bladder sleeve, and removable pad slot.  It weighs 550 grams, and if the 50 grams foam pad is removed, the pack is lighter than my inflatable sleeping pad!

The removable pad made from a thin foam is the pack’s “backsystem”, its function is to hold items on the inside so it would be relatively flat against your back. For a pack designed to haul a 10 kg load or less, I don’t think Hyper 37 need a sophisticated backsystem.

The pack’s main material is waterproof, it could withstand light rain, but not a torrential rain or a storm. And Hyper 37 doesn’t come with a rain cover (fortunately I can put my Kestrel 38 raincover to Hyper 37 and it fits perfectly). It has no compression strap on the each side of the pack, but has a bungee cord looping from one side to the front and then to the other side, creating a single loop compression system. I have to be creative when using the thin cord to attach a sleeping pad, my collapsible trekking poles, or other items on each side of the pack.

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Single loop compression system

I have two favourite parts from this pack: The first one is the oversized shoulder strap. The straps are thin but wide enough to reduce the pressure over the shoulder areas by 20%, I tested it with a 12 kg load on a 3-day hike and it felt great.

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Extra wide shoulder strap

My second favourite part is the hipbelt, which is slightly elasticated to accomodate active movement (it’s a running pack anyway). During my hikes I didn’t feel like I was wearing a hipbelt. It has two pockets large enough to stuff a footprint, a rain cover, or even a compact camera.

Hyper 37 is originally designed as an adventure race pack, but you can use it as an ultralight pack for a day hike or multiple days hike. Ultralight hiking is about optimizing gear with different uses. For example, I could utilize the thin foam as a cushion mat and when I’ve unloaded all the gears outside, I could wear the pack inside the sleeping bag as an insulation sack for my feet when the temperature is dropping. Also, it’s a perfect summit pack because it weighs almost nothing, so you don’t have to carry additional pack, no more extra weight!

I’m really satisfied with Hyper 37, which I bought as a replacement for Osprey Kestrel 38. It’s lighter, thinner, but strong enough to accept agony abuse on the trail. After several uses, I lost one of the sternum straps, it seems that the clamp on the shoulder strap’s webbing isn’t firm enough to hold the strap, one slight mistake then it’s gone forever.

And like any other ultralight backpack, it has a durability issue. After a few months, the fabric in a shoulder area began to deteriorate, well I guess I can just SeamGrip it and abuse the pack over and over again.

Overall, Berghaus Hyper 37 is a great pack for ultralight aficionados and it will be on top of my “frequently-used gear” list for a very long time.

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Pros:

  • Ultra light
  • Comfortable oversized shoulder straps
  • Elasticated hipbelt
  • Waterproof material
  • Multifunction

Cons:

  • Slightly poor durability
  • Sternum strap can be easily detached
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