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gear review

Sandugo Extreme 35 Backpack

Aug 1, 2010

Sandugo Extreme 35 Backpack

Overall Rating: star star star star star (5 out of 5 stars as of Aug 1, 2010 - this may change as I continue to use it)

Maker: Sandugo
Tagline: Hardcore equipment for hardcore outdoorsmen
Model: Extreme 35 Backpack
MSRP: Ph P2,550.00
Date Acquired: July 21, 2010
Frequency of Use: almost daily
Head Office: Khumbu Enterprises, Inc., El Inventor Cmpd., 1251 Amang Rodriguez Ave., Brgy. De la Paz, Pasig City, Philippines
Website: www.sandugo.ph
Email: sales@sandugo.ph

Function over Hype
For sponsoring the ABS Showdown, I had a choice to pick any backpack in Sandugo's swank Ali Mall outlet - the high-capacity expensive pack, the latest hyped model, etc. But I had to go with current need. My very reliable Mountain Coop daypack was literally fallig apart after nearly 10 years of abuse. I needed a mountain bike daypack that was big enough to carry all my stuff. I found just the right model - Extreme 35. This 35-liter model has been around for years so it tells me it's been tweaked to perfection. I choose function over hype.

    Product Info: (company claim)
  • Aero Vent back for increased ventilation
    Product Features: (my up-close and personal scrutiny)
  • generous mesh helmet compartment
  • built-in backpack cover
  • bladder compartment
  • single aluminum spine
  • lots of utility compartments and loops

Comfort: star star star star star
I had to pull out the aluminum spine and bend it according to my spinal shape and it felt much much better. I haven't loaded anything heavy on it but so far, so good. The hip-strap does a fine job of putting the weight on my hips and the sternum strap is great for keeping the harness together. I've carried it all day long and didn't notice any discomfort or soreness on my back or shoulders.

Construction: (materials used and craftmanship) star star star star star
Construction is rugged and designed for being Out There! I didn't find any loose stitching or frayed fabric edge. Attention was given to details in manufacturing this pack. The straps used are standard grade - the reliable type. I don't know what you call it, but I won't mind using them for hammock straps.

wish listWish List
  • an online feature list: I have no beef whatsoever with the product, but maybe Sandugo can take an extra effort explaining what certain features are supposed to do. The website would be a good vehicle to do this (read: no paper, no trees cut down).

    Example: I found straps in the most unusual places. I know it was put there for a reason, but I don't know what, and I'm too lazy to make another trip to the store to ask. Some features are obvious what for, but others are not intuitive.
  • customize the backpack adjustments: If Sandugo can custom fit a pack for their customers, they even beat the industry in terms of customer service by a knowledgeable staff. The sales person can bend the aluminum spine to comply with the backbone contour of the customer, adjust the harness, adjust the load-lifter, etc. Staff should do more than tell the customer the array of colors the pack comes in.

    Example: My North Face Badlands 65 had 3 sizes - small, medium and large, for both male and female (for that 65 Liter capacity). Which one to take? Apparently, every size is based on the customer's spinal length. And having chosen the size, the pack still had to be customized for harness length, again, based on the customer's anatomy. The store manager didn't even know that. I had to figure it out myself by reading the instructions. It wasn't simple, but when it got dialed-in, it was nirvana! I could carry heavy loads without killing my back.

    Fact is, it's easier to carry a heavy load on a good fitting backpack than to carry a lighter load on an ill fitting backpack. If every Sandugo customer leaves the store with a custom fitted backpack, his user experience is greatly enhanced and will most likely buy another Sandugo on his next purchase. When he talks gear, he'll tell his buddies how comfortable Sandugo packs are.

Verdict
(Aug 1, 2010) I've only used this daypack for a few weeks without a heavy load. But so far, it delivers comfort, reliability and great utility. Stay tuned as I update this review. For now, I give it 5 stars.

--- TheLoneRider

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Reader Comments:

Job 'Dodoy' FaminialagaoJob 'Dodoy' Faminialagao (Sandugo founder and president)
(Aug 2, 2010) Maganda review mo, I got some insights specially our in-store customer service on product features. Keep on coming for more reviews.


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