Part of its new System Select range, the Rover from Wychwood is a great looking bag from the off.
Designed specifically for the mobile angler, it has four easily accessible pockets at the top, the back and either side of the main compartment for you to position the gear you need to get quick and easy access to when you’re hopping through multiple swims. The main compartment offers enough space for the basic kit the roving carper’s going to need, with the access hole positioned over two planes of the bag’s construction, giving you a much bigger aperture to get your hands in and on to the kit you’re looking for.
As with the other rucksacks here, the Rover is well made – solid canvas, bulky zips, quality stitching on the seams and so on. Plus, you’re looking at a piece of luggage that should last several seasons if you look after it – a point emphasised by Wychwood’s lifetime warranty on the product.
There are some nice little touches as well, such as the separate mesh section in the top compartment, the two space dividers and another mesh section in the rear pocket, and especially the pull-out rain cover that sits in a zip pocket under the bag itself – very handy to keep your bag dry. This is also a comfy bag on the move. The rear section where your back makes contact has plenty of padding, but what makes the difference is the addition of a stiff board that fits into a zipped section in the rear wall. This stiffens the shape of the bag, stopping things moving around, protecting your back from lumps and bumps in the main compartment.
As rucksacks go, this one is well thought out and well delivered.
THE NUMBERS Capacity: Around 30 litres Dimensions: 45 x 45 x 28cm
Pros Some very nice touches and high-quality finish.
Cons With a lifetime warranty, we can’t think of any.
Although storage and capacity are huge things when it comes to the right rucksack, for most of us in a live fishing situation, it’s the comfort factor of a bag that really makes a difference. A 20kg load can feel twice that when your rucksack’s slopping all over your back and your spine feels like a herd of buffalo are playing a game of bulldogs on it.
A good rucksack makes lugging loads on your back and shoulders as easy as possible and that’s what we’re looking for in the ones we’re getting to grips with.
To be fair, there are no specific, calculable measurements of comfort that you can record, so this bit is less scientific than usual. The test was to load the rucksack with 20kg of weight, strap it on and walk for half a mile – a bit more than many anglers would travel by foot to a swim, but we’re all about putting the leg work in here at ACF.
The comfort ratings we gave each bag are then based on how we felt after the walk.
Test Result The back board combined with the rear padding made all the difference to the comfort here, and the sternum strap also helped to create a nice, snug fit when walking.