Snugpak Endurance 40L review

Snugpak are renowned for building solid, military grade, shelters and sleeping bags and in this classic offering, the Endurance 40L they keep the military theme present with a tough and heavy duty pack that will stand the test of time. It's not the lightest of packs but it is certainly strong and can pack a lot. A great rucksack for all levels for a multitude of activities. 

What Snugpak say

The Endurance is one of our 40 litre rucksacks, and is well-named! Made of 600D Heavy Duty Nylon, it’s reliable and durable with a waist strap for security and padded, adjustable shoulder straps for extra comfort with over 150 MOLLE attachment points.

Weight includes everything = 1400g
Tough, durable, lightweight and tough.
Compatible with most hydration bladders.
Fully compatible with MOLLE for easy integration into your existing loadout.
Fully padded straps for extra comfort.
Volume = 40 Litres of storage space.

  • Velcro® Strips for Flag & Unit patches as well as for Name and Rank tapes 
  • Padded shoulder straps with an adjustable sternum strap 
  • Hydration System compatible 
  • Over 150 MOLLE attachment points
  • Tough, 600D Heavy Duty Nylon
  • Velcro® Strips for Flag & Unit patches as well as for Name and Rank tapes

Dimensions
48cm(H) x 32cm(W) x 22cm(D)
19"(H) x 13"(W) x 9"(D)

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On review

The Endurance 40L rucksack is an classic rucksack from Snugpak which is styled around the traditional military rucksacks. If you are a fan of "Our Girl" on BBC you will have seen similar rucksacks used by the special forces within the programme.

Let's get the one poor point out the way first. The rucksack doesn't come with a waterproof liner although it has the pocket at the base of the bag. Does it need it however? No, the bag is made from 600D Heavy Duty Nylon material which makes it waterproof, however if you are going to go wading through rivers up to your neck or sit in the rain for 5 days then a cover will be needed which you can buy separately from Snugpak for £15 approx. 

The only other feature the bag doesn't come with is hiking pole or ice axe loops but these are very easy to make yourself on the Mollie webbing on the exterior of the rucksack. For walking poles I used some of my para cord and looped this around the top and bottom on the Molle. This kept the poles very secure and were quick to release when I needed them. 

With the Molle strapping not only is it a statement/style it also makes the bag very adaptable to a lot of scenarios. Attaching a tent, tarp, solar panels, walking poles or whatever you need. The webbing allows a lot of freedom to customise.

I had several comments about the bag regarding its size, generally how good it looked and how much you could fit in to a 40L rucksack. Its surprisingly spacious and you can fit a lot inside! I could fit my three days camping kit and photography equipment inside and still had wiggle room for more .

Typical base weights varied up to 7kg but overall the full pack would weigh 13kg with water, food and camera. The pack has one entry point at the top which is closed off via a draw string , allowing plenty of access and room to pack kit. On the lid was three zipper pockets, two below the lid and one large above. The larger pocket on the outside allowed me to fit a jacket, food and any small items I would need quick access too. 

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The two pockets under the lid could comfortable fit papers, maps and compass in side for safe keeping. One of the pockets has a clear cover so you can see inside, better for electronics and a phone if you need to open the lid and see what is going on but keep the electrics protected from the weather. In addition to the lid its lip would stretch to accommodate the size of the pack and this would stop water from getting inside. Very handy if you're not particularly good at packing and you end up with bulges across the pack. 

At the back of the pack is a universal hydration point so you can use any bladder pack. The hole is a little small but I've found this the case on most packs now so I typically fed the tube through the main access point of the pack and over my shoulder. The side of the pack has two deep pockets, perfect for carrying bottles, tripods or tents and along the side has two straps to tighten and hold the kit in which both side and straps can fit a lot amount inside. However be careful not to over fasten as the bag can tear as I found when I over tightened the tent to the side but this is an easy repair to make and some of stitching gave way on the loop.

You can fit a lot inside this pack and for this reason it is easy to overload. As I test I kept packing and managed to get up to a whopping 24kg! This is not only stupid to go out with a pack weight like this it's also going to be very uncomfortable. So some due care and attention to your kit is needed to ensure you don't overload. Yes the pack was easy to overload and get up to that weight but it was still wearable. The huge padded shoulder straps and hip belt really work a treat and help to reduce rubbing and increase the comfort during wear.

One feature I like about Snugpak rucksacks is the velcro tags on all the straps to reduce the length. It's very annoying with this flapping in the wind so it's nice they've continued this feature.  

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The Endurance 40L is incredible durable and tough. I don't tend to take good care of my kit and throw it on the floor, roll around and not overly fussed if it gets dirty.
At no point during the time with the rucksack did I feel nervous about dropping the pack to the floor with camera kit inside. Yes the kit inside is padded and within it's own insert or dry bag. In poor weather the pack remained dry inside which is what you need from a pack for the outdoors. I few tears here and there but nothing to cause concern about the integrity of the overall pack or safety for the kit inside.

During the heat the pack wouldn't rub on the hip or shoulders and remains taught and fixed in position despite the fairly heavy load, even off centre with a tripod one side and a tent the other. When you lighten the pack to use for a day use you can feel more of the weight. At 1400g it's not a heavy pack but it's not light either and certainly emptying it for a day pack isn't ideal for the pack.

Due to it's size and how much it can carry. The pack sags when emptied and can feel how bottom heavy it becomes when the kit drops - Once you put a camera, lunch, water and a jacket inside you would notice the odd shape and structure the main pack had but by no means was it uncomfortable to wear like this and the padding of the shoulders would take the burden but it's worth keeping a close eye on your lower back if you have particular problems here.

 

The Endurance 40L is a tough and surprisingly large pack that can carry and hold a lot. With Molle webbing it's customisation and you can fix many items to the outside to keep at hand as well as the large lid you can have a lot of items you would need within seconds.

What I particularly liked about the pack was that it is only a 40L but you could continue to use this through the year in any condition or environment as you can pack so much inside for a 40L. It's a rucksack that you can rely on and get the job done! Climbing a mountain, camping, hiking etc you can do it all and know you aren't limited to what you can pack.

Although it lacks a waterproof cover the tough exterior heavy duty nylon really does the job and if you are in need of a cover, Snugpak do sell them. In all for this pack being £85 it's a good price and it's a pack you will certainly get years of use out of.

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Snugpak Journey Duo review

Snugpak are renowned for building solid, military grade, shelters and sleeping bags and in the latest offering, the Journey Duo, they've gone back to basics to produce a value for money, reliable two man tent. It's not lightweight, but to compensate for the extra weight you get a well designed and durable shelter that's ideal as a 3 season step-up from entry level to serious backpacking.

What does Snugpak say?

The Journey Duo is a practical two person tent with a low profile design, excellent in high winds, with ample storage in its generous front porch. It has a large front door with a mosquito net ventilation panel. Constructed with a durable ground sheet in a bathtub style.
Supplied complete with a tailored tent footprint to help protect the ground sheet.

Highlights:

Weight - 3200g.
Windproof.
Fly first.
Footprint - Protects the floors and provides a groundsheet for your porch area.
One door - Mesh/nylon entrance point.
One vent - One scooped mesh vent for increased air flow that can be reduced for less air flow.
Repair Kit included.
Waterproof - Includes a 4000mm hydrostatic head flysheet to help keep you dry. Waterproof taped seams
Two person tent - Suitable for 2 people or 1 person with gear.
Two lightweight alloy poles with press fit connections
Supplied with 18 lightweight Y pegs

My Thoughts:

I got my hands on the new Snugpak Journey Duo for summer to review, trial and take it out in a variety of conditions.
As with any new tent, you should test it before heading out in to the hills. If something is broken or you are not sure how to build it. It's better in your garden you find these snags rather than 800metres above sea level in the cold and wet.

The Journey Duo is however very simple to put together. If you have previously used the Snugpak Scorpion or similar style tents to these, the Journey Duo is the inside out style to put it simply. Building the inner first with colour coded poles, followed by the outer waterproof layer. My first thoughts were okay, this could cause some issues if it you are pitching in bad weather, so I tried experimenting with pitching the tent with the two attached. As you can do with the Scorpion tents.

Yes, you can do it but it's fiddly to be honest and you end up climbing all over the tent in order to do so. After a few more attempts doing this however the joint pitch became a little smoother as opposed to that first attempt.

The Journey Duo is packed with the inner and outer, three poles, dri-sak for storage plus a ground sheet for the doorway, pegs/stakes, repair kit and instructions. All of which are clearly labelled, and the instructions provided are very clear to follow. Taking out and putting away the tent in the dri-sak is very easy and never once have I struggled, even when the tent is wet.

The dri-sak has plenty of give and compression straps on the side to tighten once the tent is inside to reduce pack size.

As a whole this is a very simple tent for anyone to put together and is at home in multiple locations, but I foresee this tent being better use in a basecamp or field pitch scenario over camping on mountains.

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The first proper outing with the Journey Duo was in Snowdonia, North Wales. The week before weather was looking glorious and in for a hot one. This changed very quickly on that Thursday/Friday bank holiday weekend and the rain, wind and storms came rolling in.

I know a few others braved that weekend but all of us abandoned ship because of poor conditions and safety. I attempted to pitch the tent, but it was so windy (gusting of 45mph) up near Llyn Ogwen, Cwm Idwal but I couldn't get the tent up in time without the tent becoming soaked as well as myself. So, I gave up with the tent and slept in the car.
Happy to report from this that the Snugpak Softie Osprey sleeping bag and new Basecamp airmat were very comfortable!

Despite poor weather, I would not be defeated and knew I had a month of solid outings in better conditions to see how this tent really held up.

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Between Snowdonia and the Brecon Beacons I took the Journey Duo out around my local area - The Chilterns, nothing strenuous or difficult but it was a good opportunity to build the tent repeatedly and comfort levels. I found in our recent heatwave the tent does keep the heat in. There are a number of vents to help airflow, but the best means is to open the front door to the tent and allow the breeze to come through. Keeping the flysheet zipped up prevents any bugs from getting inside so if you aren't a fan of creepy crawlies this tent has the means to keep them out.

For the more adventurous campers who like to wild camp or longer treks then the next part will be of interest.
I have been visiting the Brecon Beacons for the past few weekends as it's a good location to get out, have somewhere remote and fairly wild with little people and get the conditions of a dark sky park for astrophotography.

The first night I spent on Pen y Fan, this first night was extremely windy but it wasn't an issue pitching as the wind died down. The lack of rain really helps!
With this tent you pitch the back to face in to the wind to keep the tent more stable and it happy to share it was tough and the style and construction of the tent sheds the wind very well.

During the night however, the wind direction changed from round the back to the front. This didn't cause any issues at all and the tent was stuck to the floor like glue and no pegs, guys or any fabric tears.

The Journey Duo can certainly cope with the means for more wild conditions, but it is heavy, coming in at 3.4kg which is rather heavy for some and having walked 16 miles in 32degrees over 6 mountains with the average of 700metres I could feel the pack on my back but in this heat any heavy work like this is tough!

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The tent is somewhat heavy, but you can reduce the pack weight a small amount by not packing the groundsheet or by split the tent in two. As the tent is made for two people, you could split the inner and outer plus poles and pegs between two. This is something we regularly do with DofE expedition groups. Even with lighter tents, share the load out is the best means to reducing pack weight across teams.
If you are on your own, you could still split the tent in two and have space the weight out around the pack to make it even on the shoulders. As opposed to keeping it inside the dri-sak lashed on to one side of your rucksack.

As the name would obviously give away, the Journey Duo is designed to fit two people and it can very happily and some. It's a very spacious with room inside the main sleeping area to fit two full length roll mats and bags with kit at the top or kept outside in the porch. For one person it's luxury and you can really spread out.
I had heaps of room and could happily sit up inside the tent or stretch out. At no point did I feel like I was squashed in, with the main doors left open it was really lovely with the view out over the lake and mountains.

With regards to the door, it's very simple and easy to use with just a straight old zipper that comes around the whole width of the door. Enabling you to wrap it up to one side to keep out of harm’s way. I did find closing it up it would catch on the tapered seams but nothing that would damage the material or zip. This is likely user error with me being in a rush.

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Now a few will be looking at the colour and thinking why? The bright orange really stands out and you won't be missed that's for sure. I know for some who are trying to be discrete might not favour this new colour and would rather opt for the dark green of the Scorpion. As a whole I would recommend this tent is better suited to lower level conditions and campsites to match the basecamp theme Snugpak is going down. Couple this with the new Basecamp air mats and a few travel sleeping bags and you've got a nice set up.

It's nice to see Snugpak exploring new areas of the market and it's smart in my opinion as traditionally I would know Snugpak to be for the adventurous, expeditions and military background. It's nice to see the brand moving in a new direction and broader market, not alienating others.

The Journey Duo follows the same style and construction as the ever-popular Scorpion tents but at half the price - The Journey Duo is retailed at £170, compared to the Scorpion 2 which is £280. The key difference between the two is the Journey range is constructed inner first. This is my core reasoning behind it's better suited to lower level camping. Not that this tent can't take a bit of rain or wind. It can handle both extremely well, just you'd hope to have it pitched before the rain comes in for ease.

In all a tough tent which is perfect for three season conditions. If you are happy with a heavier tent for hikes, then this is a good tent to bring for summer and certainly a great tent for camping with two people looking to get away for the weekend. It's easy to cool down by opening up the whole tent and allowing airflow but equally it retains heat extremely well.
One last note regarding the orange walls, yes it does block out the light in the mornings, so you won't get rudely awakened by the sun.

You can see the review on the base camp air mat here or the Endurance 40L rucksack. *Both Coming Soon*

MyOutdoors Rating:

Comfort = 19/20
Loads of room for one man and plenty for two with gear, the porch area is plentiful big to fit kit inside and even pitch up a gas stove just outside the doors to cook with.

Ease of set up = 15/15
Everything is colour coded and the instructions are super clear and easy to follow with a few simple steps. It’s difficult to get wrong and can pitch this tent in a matter of minutes.

Weather Resistance = 15/25
Would be higher if it were outer build first, this restricts when you can use it making it more suited to Spring and Summer.

Durability = 19/20
Once pitched its tough and withstands a lot) Weight 9/20 (It’s not the heaviest as tents go but 3.4kg for a two man is heavy and for backpacking it’s not suitable.

Weight 9/20
It’s not the heaviest as tents go but 3.4kg for a two man is heavy and for backpacking it’s not suitable.

Total score = 77/100

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'What does Travel mean to you?' - Millican Travel Journal

"Travel for me is all about getting outdoors, enjoying it no matter the weather and just switching off from the world around me.

I love finding new locations to explore and with a camera in hand I struggle to find anything more enjoyable in life.

It has taught me let go of the world around me and to think less, especially when it comes to photography. It's all too easy to get overwhelmed trying to capture something. It's all about switching off and enjoying the outdoors for what it is and forgetting about the pressures we put on ourselves."

See the full travel journal here.

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Source: https://www.homeofmillican.com/blogs/journal/photolog-millican-travel-collective-br-082#article

84.5mm filters Analog rainbow filters review

Over the past couple of months I have been experimenting with 84.5mm filters new range of Analog Rainbow Filters, in particular the California Sunset with scratches, Light Hippie Rainbow and Spring Meadow but also within the range is Purple Haze and Deep Purple, all of which are available as plain, cracked or scratched in white or black to create whatever abstract look you wish with the filters.

The filters cost anything from £17-24 depending on the style or effect applied and as usual with 84.5mm filters they are produced using the usual material CR-39 material making them tough, durable and highly scratch resistant. Although these filters are for fun they still remain consistant with the range so you can rely on any of the line to not break with ease.

Some might argue this is rather expensive and might not see the idea with these filters as some could argue you can make the effects in post production but where is the fun in that?
These filters are a lot more than just a filter, it's about having fun and getting back to basics. Less is more and all that.

Less time spent on the computer editing, more time out playing in the sun with a camera.

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As I previously mentioned, these filters are produced using CR-39 resin which is tough and durable which is just as well, because my first outing with the filters they were caught in a big storm on a trip to Snowdonia, North Wales. The weather was that severe the trip was cancelled and I abandoned ship before it got any worse.

With heavy rain and strong winds whipping up dust and sand in to the front of the filters it's reassuring that they will last and can survive this. Having gone away and cleaned away the sand off the filters and any watermarks, the filters still remain brand new like they have never been used. So just because the filters are cheaper than most other brands doesn't mean they are not good. Money doesn't mean everything.

Out of the three filters my favourite and easiest to see the results is the California Sunset. It is one of the darkest filters in the range so the colours really show and create some great abstract imagery. Coupled with the X-Stopper or a 3 Stop ND you can create some great colours with so ICM.

 Light Hippie Rainbow

Light Hippie Rainbow

 California Sunset

California Sunset

 Light Hippie Rainbow

Light Hippie Rainbow

The Spring Meadow and Light Hippie Rainbow are both a lot lighter and at times and using the filters on darker backgrounds I found the colour rendition weak. This could also be down to my camera and the white balance in auto correction being to good for itself. As with the California Sunset style, when coupled with the ND to create more abstract pieces the filters really come in to their own element and create some interesting colours, patterns and effects. Better still is this style can result in no post production so you can go straight from camera to whereever with ease, which I find highly refreshing.

In experimenting with the filters on a variety of lens, I found wide angle worked best. Around the 20-24mm mark which could capture the whole length of the filters colour range. Not that you can't use a telephoto/zoom lens. Past 85mm I found it took the centre of the filters and with the scratched effect on the California Sunset I could avoid this area and just keep the rich tones from the filter.

 California Sunset

California Sunset

 Spring Meadow

Spring Meadow

 Light Hippie Rainbow

Light Hippie Rainbow

The weakest of the filters I found was the Spring meadow. The colour range is limiting in where I could use minus the obvious green filters and blue skies, this said this filter worked great for summer days on wonders in the countryside, the green and blues really boosted the vibrancy. Rather than creating abstract colours like the other filters in the line, think of this one as a tobacco filter or warming filter like you could use for strengthening sunsets.

As with the Spring Meadow filter, the Light Hippie Rainbow can be weak at times but both work best in brighter situations. As I found with my recent visit to the Brecon Beacons.
The bright sunrise over Pen y Fan with the cloud inversion was the perfect conditions for both filters and the subtle rainbow colours really came out to make a rather pleasing and happy image.

I've been pleased with the results from the filters and what I have enjoyed most about the filters is the lack of post production required with the range.
They're a lot of fun to play around with and for more abstract pieces coupling it with an ND filter really sets the filters in to their own. I will be interested in using the Purple Haze filter in ICM and seeing what results can be produced.

These filters are all about fun and getting back to basics, whether you use them on a DSLR, CSC or mobile phone. They are your 'Instagram' filters essentially.

 

Buy yours below and use my discount code MIH15D for 15% discount at the checkout.

California Sunset / Hippie Rainbow / Spring Meadow

 Light Hippie Rainbow

Light Hippie Rainbow

 California Sunset

California Sunset

 Spring Meadow

Spring Meadow

 California Sunset

California Sunset