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Gourdon 20 Used and Abused
By Jay Oram
17, Jan, 2014
Used for very muddy off road commuting, all year, plus a few canoe trips and the odd walk - a bit dirty but still working!
With the new batch of Gourdon 20s about to arrive at Alpkit HQ I thought I'd write down a few words for this very reliable old friend that has come on every trip with me for the last three years.
Day to Day
I don't have a car so I cycle or take public transport everywhere. My commute to work is along singletrack, canal towpath, some old bridleway and a bit of road - every day no matter the weather Gourdon has accompanied me with a change of clothes. Throughout all this it has not leaked or got any damage. I regularly travel to see my parents or my partner down south - for a weekend the Gourdon 20 is perfect, fits overhead on the train, can slide between my legs on the tube and even in a taxi or on the bus can sit on my lap out of the way.
My main passion is open canoe trips - the wilder the better and as a versatile dry bag Gourdon comes along carrying all sorts. It's often my 'day' bag with spare clothes, food, camera and drinks. Simply clipped to a part of the boat it can't float away and if as often happens in the UK the weather is a little damp but everything stays dry.
The versatility of the bag means if I fancy leaving the boat and going into town or off on a walk up a hill, the proper rucksack straps means a comfy carry and enough space for a weekend of shopping or a bag full of kit for a day on the hill.
I've managed to squeeze enough stuff in for a bivvy weekend and also use it for an overnight offroad marathon, even with the added mud it still weighs very little. It's also easily adapted - a bladder can fit down the pocket where the removable back pad sits and the attachments mean I can put my soaking waterproof on the outside.
Well my keys always sink to the bottom or I lose my phone in there - but with better packing it's fine i.e. don't just throw everything in...
Apart from that it is the go to bag for everything which means all those old rucksacks (10 at last count!!) just sit in the cupboard not seeing the light of day and because it only costs £20 you look at every other bag and think "really that much???"
Hopefully it will last me another few years - but the way I treat it I'm surprised it has lasted this long...
The Gourdon 25 has been used as a lightweight multi-day bivvy trip pack, comfortably carried a mountain bike guides kit for a long weekend of trail riding and even survived some multi-discipline events.
Gourdon 30 as the bigger brother has been used on many rafting and open canoe trips as well as offering itself as a lightweight rucksack for someone who wants to take a few creature comforts on a backpacking trip. We have also been told it can fit a packraft inside and most of the kit you need!
Some Staff feeback -
"I've been using the Gourdon 25 for over a year to commute to work every day, in all weathers. It's even survived a few crashes... you know the big slow motion ones! Not too comfy to land on when it has your tin of soup in for lunch! Still plodding on though..." Ed - Warehouse Guru
"I got my Gourdon 30 back in 2012 and she's still going strong. Mine is used as my climbing pack, from bouldering at the centre to trad climbing in North Wales. Its best as a pack for bouldering outside. Fits well in your pads and of course because its waterproof you don't have to worry about things getting wet from the ground or rain " Ben - Factory SuperStar
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