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Vaude Asymmetric 42+8 Review

vaude asymmetric
  • Comfort
  • Breathability
  • Features
  • Stability
  • Weight
Comments Rating 0 (0 reviews)


Medium-sized backpack with variable volume, ideal for multi-day treks, made with special attention to eco-sustainability and finished really well. Remarkable study for the arrangement of pockets and accessibility to internal compartments as well as the adjustment of the backrest although, since it is an untensioned body-hugging system (without a mesh backrest), breathability is not its main strength.


  • Excellent finish
  • Adjustable backrest
  • Pocket layout
  • Adjustment


  • Backrest breathability can be improved
  • Rain cover can be purchased separately

German manufacturer Vaude revisits one of its dedicated medium-capacity trekking backpacks: the Asymmetric 42+8.

Vaude asymmetric

The backpack was made entirely from recycled PET bottles and has numerous environmental labels. These include Green Shape, Grüner Knopf, Fair Wear, MyClimate Neutral, and Bluesign-approved materials.

The ecological choice made by Vaude is also reflected in the production cycle, in fact it is made with a climate-neutral footprint by going to offset emissions.

crafted with recycled materials

With its variable volume of 42 plus 8 liters, the Vaude Asymmetric has proven to be an excellent companion for multi-day mountain hikes.

testing the vaude asymmetric backpack

Technical features of the Vaude Asymmetric 42+8

  • Weight: 1640 gr.
  • Composition: main fabric 100% recycled polyester 600D polyurethane coated. Secondary fabric 300D recycled polyester coated with polyurethane. Cover material 150D polyester all from 100% recycled PET
  • Dimensions: 70 x 33 x 30 cm
  • Manufacturer link

Test mode

The Vaude Asymmetric 42+8 backpack has been my trekking companion in this hot summer 2022, mainly in the Trentino mountains of Lagorai and Brenta.

I have used it both in “assisted” trekking mode leaning on refuges and for crossings in total autonomy equipped with tent and provisions.

testing the vaude asymmetric on a hike

Vaude Asymmetric 42+8 on-site test

Comfort and breathability

The first feeling I had when I put on the Vaude Asymmetric fully loaded, ready to tackle a three-day trek in Lagorai, was how comfortable it was.

Even though I had my tent, sleeping pad, sleeping bag, provisions and some spare clothes with me, once the right adjustments were made, the weight was abundantly offloaded at the lumbar level, leaving only a minimal amount of load on my shoulders.

The well-padded belt comfortably wraps around the hips and has an ergonomic shape that rests well at the lumbar level, ensuring optimal adjustment thanks to the tensioning straps.

shoulder straps of vaude backpack

Ergo Shape shoulder straps are ergonomically shaped and padded just enough.

They turn out to be very comfortable because of their preformed curve that does not impede movement with the arms, which is particularly useful during long treks where we walk while helping ourselves to telescopic poles.

The Tergolight suspension system has nice soft padding on the back of the shoulders and incorporates a mesh weave that helps improve ventilation and moisture control.

Ventilation is the only real minor flaw in this backpack. In fact, during hot summer treks I noticed how the Tergolight suspension system, by not adopting a curved separation frame between the back and the rear of the backpack, stays in contact with the body preventing most of the sweat from evaporating and leaving that unpleasant damp feeling on the skin.

vaude asymmetric on a multy day trek

Adjustments of the Vaude Asymmetric 42+8

The Vaude Asymmetric 42+8 is a one-size-fits-all, unisex backpack. To meet the needs of different body types, it adopts an innovative adjustable back system called Tergolight. The centerpiece of this system is an aluminum frame that gives the backpack its rigidity and evenly distributes the weight.

Adjustment is made by a system equipped with a buckle strap: by loosening the buckle, it is possible to move the shoulder straps up and down, thus finding the right position for each build.

buckle strap

Load tensioning is also adjustable using the special buckles on the shoulder straps, thus going to adjust the angle at which the load is lifted. When changing the length of the backrest, it is necessary to adjust the tensioning straps in order to maximize comfort while walking.

The load is also adjustable thanks to the side compression straps, while at the sternum level there is a chest strap equipped with a whistle.

compression straps

Compartments and access

The Vaude Asymmetric 42+8 has a 42-liter main compartment that can be accessed both from the top and the front by a zipper.

I found it easy to stow gear inside the backpack because of the wide opening. To access, simply open the top flap and release the drawstring closure. To extend the capacity by an additional 8 liters, you have to loosen a second drawstring present inside the main compartment, thus gaining precious inches.

The top pocket is removable and has an extendable connecting strap; this allows you to either adjust the height at the four corners during full-capacity use or create a small pouch to carry with you.

The top flap does not have a pocket with an internal opening but only an external zipper from which you can access the two internal compartments separated by a net and equipped with a key hook.

I must say that I was particularly impressed by the large capacity of this pocket: you can really stow a lot of material in it to keep on hand. On the inside, on the other hand, all the emergency signs and their contact details are printed.

top flap of vaude asymmetric

The front opening is achieved through a large U-shaped zipper equipped with a durable YKK zipper. This is a feature that I really appreciated because it provides immediate access to the stowed material without necessarily having to turn over all the contents when needed.

There is also a zippered mesh pocket on the outside, which is very convenient for storing wet clothes that will be ventilated during the hike.

front opening

There is a zippered pocket on the lumbar belt in which to store small frequently used items, such as gloves or tissues, so that they are always within reach.

fully loaded backpack

The backpack also has an internal pocket for the hydration bag equipped with the appropriate holder and through-hole for the tube; the latter also finds its attachment loop on the shoulder strap.

U opening


Vaude uses a DWR water-repellent coating in the making of the backpack, which is applied to the outside of the fabric so that water simply runs off. In line with the German company’s corporate policies, the DWR used by Vaude is called Eco Finish and contains no PFCs and is completely environmentally friendly.

On one of my outings in Lagorai I encountered a light drizzle just before bivouacking. When I put my backpack down, I noticed how the droplets had been suspended on the outer fabric without filtering through. However, if it had been a thunderstorm, the backpack would not have had this resistance.

In my opinion, considering the selling price, it would have been good to have had the rain cover (sold separately for €30) included.

detail of the shoulder strap

External storage rack

Externally, the Vaude Asymmetric 42+8 is equipped with two daisy-chains that can be used to attach some carabiners or carry small everyday items such as a cup.

daisy chain

There are four loops on the upper flap to which a helmet can be attached (via a net that does not come with the backpack). It is also possible to attach bulkier items, such as a sleeping pad, by means of straps.

There is only one loop for carrying trekking poles, positioned at the bottom and equipped with a hook with elastic at the top for attachment.

loop for carrying trekking poles

On the side are two convenient elastic mesh pockets, large enough to store water bottles of up to 1 liter capacity.

The two lower webbing straps that close the front access pocket can be adjusted so that larger, bulkier items, such as a tent, can be carried.

elastic mesh pocket

Recommended for

Recommended for all lovers of challenging multi-day treks, where the backpack is the best companion during the long hours spent walking.

I appreciated the modularity of its carrying capacity and the comfort of walking thanks to the structure that allows precise adjustment based on one’s build and the material being carried.

Bottom line: lots of construction quality and a keen eye for environmental impact for a really well-designed backpack.

testing the vaude asymmetric
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