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Paul Austin puts one to the test
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I first came across the original Vorn Fox backpack a couple of years back during a stalking trip to the Highlands. The beat keeper escorting our little band was a big fan, had been using one for over two years and was thoroughly impressed with it – as was I after a brief demo.
If you’ve glanced at the RRP, the elephant in the room is obviously the price. The Vorn range is not cheap but the build quality, design and materials are superb and, as with many high-end hunting products, quality does cost.
There are obviously cheaper scabbard style packs out there but put Vorn up against its peers, such as the Blaser Ultimate Expedition backpack or the Shooterking Venator, and you’ll find them pretty comparable.
The Vorn’s USPs are design, build quality and attention to detail – and of course its party trick, the patented QRR (quick rifle release) storage system. There are three packs to choose from, the LT12, EV30 and EV45, with the numbers in each case relating to the maximum litres of storage in each.
I have the Vorn EV45 on test, and it provides plenty of space for an extended trip plus easy access to all the clobber within. The big upgrade in the latest design is a rigid adjustable external frame that allows you to adjust the height of the back support and shoulder straps. There are also load lifters built into the frame that help take the pressure off your shoulders when the pack is heavily loaded, transferring more weight to your hips.
Up top there’s a zipped compartment with further zipped inner compartments plus a key clip. There’s also a large external mesh pocket for water bottles, spotting scopes or a tripod, which can be firmly secured with straps.
The main compartment can be accessed from the top and also from a side zip, so you don’t have to dig down through all your gear VORN EV45 BACKPACK to extract something from the bottom. It’s basically a single, large compartment that also includes a water bladder holder. It’s a relatively simple design, but that makes it much more flexible as a general-purpose storage space.
On top of the main compartment there’s also a separate external zipped pocket for assorted odds and ends. If you’re planning to use it for extraction, the main compartment can be strapped down tight, forming more of a day pack, which can then be expanded to accommodate the meat.
The toggle-release rifle storage system is ingenious and will happily cope with a scoped rifle of any size, although you will need to remove additional torches or bulkier accessories, storing then in the pack itself until you’re in position and ready to shoot. As a stalking tool it’s superb and shows some real enhancements over its predecessors. Highly recommended.
PICTURES: PAUL AUSTIN
Paul Austin decides whether the Leatherman Signal has a place in his backpack
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