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Ferrino Hikemaster 26 Review

ferrino hikemaster
Overall
4.4
  • Breathability
    (4.5)
  • Comfort
    (5)
  • Features
    (4)
  • Stability
    (4.5)
  • Weight
    (4)
Comments Rating 0 (0 reviews)

Summary

A day pack with a modern design and high performance in terms of comfort, stability and functionality. The research carried out to improve the breathability of the shoulder straps, together with the light weight and quality of the materials, make it a very attractive solution for those looking for an advanced and durable product.

Pros

  • Breathability
  • Ergonomics
  • Lightness
  • Quality materials and stitching
  • Comfortable structure

Cons

  • Poor cap structure at full load

The Ferrino Hikemaster 26 backpack was designed by the Turin-based company for day hikers with medium-light loads, therefore for the fast-hiking / lightweight backpacking segment. The 26-litre capacity is ideal for this purpose, and the studies carried out to improve the breathability of the back and shoulder straps make it an interesting backpack for those who are used to considerable elevation gain with high expenditure of energy.

ferrino hikemaster on test

Technical features of the Ferrino Hikemaster 26

  • 210D Nylon Hexagonal main fabric
  • Back constructed with Dry Net System and steel frame.
  • Patented auxetic material shoulder straps.
  • Mesh side pockets
  • Accessories: 2 pole / ice axe holders
  • Front equipment rack (with additional removable straps)
  • Backpack cover included and stored in a pocket on the bottom of the backpack
  • Compatible with helmet holder (not included)
  • Compatible with H2 Bag hydration system (not included)
  • Rear loop for safety light
  • Chest strap with whistle
  • Weight 0.93 kg
  • Capacity 26 litres
  • Dimensions 48x29x19 cm
  • Manufacturer link
the back of the hikemaster

Test mode

The Ferrino Hikemaster 26 was used on day or half-day hikes in the Maira Valley for a total of 8 outings, some of which were in fast hiking mode with elevation gains of around 1000 metres at a fast pace and with a good load, others at a more leisurely pace but with a full load, and a couple of short hikes with a half load. The period in which the backpack was tested was between March and May, with variable conditions: from good weather with pleasant temperatures to bad weather at altitude with temperatures just above 0° degrees.

Ferrino Hikemaster 26 on-site test

General impressions

The Ferrino Hikemaster 26 is definitely a professional and highly technical product, and this shows in the details as well as in the main features. I found it very comfortable right from the start. The 26-litre capacity is excellent for day trips, the “tube” shape of the main compartment makes it easy to load the backpack, and the accessories are well thought out and made from robust, well-placed materials.

This is the men’s version: for women, Ferrino offers a special 24-litre version. I was surprised by the fit and stability once it was on and adjusted, which is really remarkable. In addition, the ventilation system in the back and shoulder straps is functional and you notice it when you are facing important climbs. Finally, I really appreciated the lightness of this backpack when empty: less than 1kg is very little for such a structured product. But let’s get down to the details.

ferrino hikemaster

Materials used in the Ferrino Hikemaster 26

The main fabric is nylon 210D, a high tenacity fabric that gives this backpack durability and resistance to traction and abrasion. The back has a steel frame and a ventilated padded mesh panel, while the lumbar belt is padded and lined with mesh on the inside and synthetic fabric on the outside. The same goes for the shoulder straps, but here we have the new ‘auxetic’ padding, which we discuss in a separate section below.

The backrest and lumbar belt
The backrest and lumbar belt

Shoulder straps in auxetic material

Ferrino has tried to increase the breathability of this backpack by working on the shoulder straps and creating an innovative material called “auxetic“. This is an open-cell padding that has the characteristic of increasing the passage of air between the cells when the material is loaded, when the backpack is worn. This allows a better ventilation factor for the body, less sweating, and therefore less energy expenditure. I recommend this short video made by the company presenting this innovative patented material.

Trying out the backpack in conditions of intense activity gave me a good feeling in this respect, so the impression is positive. Of course, we cannot expect to arrive at the end of the climb cool and dry, but with this backpack the sensation of heat and sweating does seem to be reduced.

Shoulder straps in auxetic material
Shoulder straps in auxetic material

Backrest and lumbar belt

backrest
Detail of the backrest

Very well structured and robust, it has a lightweight steel frame that creates the ventilation chamber between the backpack and your back. It is often the case that this system affects the load-bearing capacity of the backpack, but this is not the case with this backpack. The ventilation system works well and the materials are distributed to give an excellent feeling of stability and comfort.

The lumbar belt is padded with a layer of foam that feels almost like memory, which is very comfortable, and it has the classic adjustable straps.

There is one small flaw with the belt pockets: they are large, but not large enough to quickly insert a medium-sized smartphone. You have to stop and use both hands.

Compartments and accessories

Mesh water bottle holder
Mesh water bottle holder

There are two elastic mesh pockets on the sides of the backpack for water bottles, maps or other items. The mesh is very elastic and even when the backpack is quite full, a 1 litre water bottle will fit well.

On either side are elastic bands with hooks for carrying poles, and at the bottom we have two small adjustable straps that are very useful if your stick doesn’t stay closed; you can just tuck the tip in and tighten it until it’s secured against the backpack.

Load belt
Load belt

Above the shoulder straps are load straps that are useful for adjusting and stabilising the backpack on the shoulders. Not an obvious accessory on a backpack of this capacity.

testing the ferrino hikemaster

The chest and lumbar straps allow precise adjustment and make the backpack very stable.

In particular, the chest strap can be removed and repositioned higher or lower in the various buckles. There is also a whistle integrated into the hook that folds back on itself, which is useful for acoustic emergency signals.

ferrino hikemaster

The main closure, or compression strap, is a webbing strap with an adjustable hook. Under normal load conditions, the hood covers the entire top of the backpack (as you can see above). However, when we need to add something extra and go for a full load (see picture below), the strap is not long enough and the hood struggles to cover the body of the backpack properly. A small limitation due to the fact that the hood cannot be adjusted in height and is sewn onto the back.

Hood with fully loaded backpack
Hood with fully loaded backpack

The system for adjusting the upper drawstring of the backpack is excellent. Simply grasp it with two fingers and with a slight squeeze the strap is released, easily opening the main compartment.

closing system
Closing system

There is a hole at the back for the hydration tube to pass through.

The same tube then passes through the space between the hood seam and the shoulder strap, so that it can be conveniently attached to a front buckle on the shoulder strap itself.

The hood is equipped with a spacious storage compartment including a hook for keys. The whole thing is very detailed, including the very smooth-running zips.

upper pocket
Upper pocket

Inside the backpack we find a convenient compartment to divide the material.

inner compartment
The inner compartment

Other very useful small accessories are the front material holder with removable webbing and the safety light loop.

Small details that put together make all the difference. This is definitely a full-featured backpack.

testing the ferrino hikemaster

Rain cover

The Hikemaster 26 is also equipped with the waterproof backpack cover bag. It is inserted as usual in the double bottom of the backpack, zipped up, and is anchored with a small hook that will allow you to have the bag attached at all times, in order to avoid unpleasant inconveniences in case of wind.

rain cover detail
Rain cover with the clip

As you can see, the rain cover covers the body of the backpack perfectly and is totally waterproof.

Recommended for

The Ferrino Hikemaster 26 backpack is an innovative, quality product, ideal for the demanding hiker who doesn’t want to miss out on anything. Equipped with all the necessary comforts to undertake even complex excursions, it is capable of satisfying every need related to day trekking.

I believe it can be an excellent choice both for the beginner who wants a quality and versatile product, and for the more trained and experienced enthusiast who is looking for a highly functional product.

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