Review: Lundhags Kliiv 28Piotr breaks down what sets this bushcraft pack by Lundhags apart from the pack.
I’ve tried a multitude of packs so far: expedition packs, alpine packs, skiing, climbing, hiking, tactical, submersible (yes!), biking, summit, and urban packs too. But never before I’ve tried a dedicated ‘bushcraft’ one… seriously, what could be bushcrafty about a pack? Well, in the case of the Lundhags Kliiv 28 it’s actually more than you think.
On paper it’s a simple pack – just a sack with a roll-top closure and two side pockets. But the more I’ve been using it, the more I’ve been discovering about it. It’s a spacious pack – to me the 28 liters of the main cavity (unrolled) is a rather conservative number.
The simple shape easily swallows all the stuff I drop inside and for a backcountry day hiking that 28L is more than enough: insulating layer, lightweight rain shell, folding stove, 20 oz. pot, some food, two pints of water, camera, basic bushcraft tools, knife, map and compass – plus a small hatchet (more about that later).
As bushcrafters say:
“The more you know, the less you carry”.
One of the side pockets I usually use for a water bottle, the other one for a fixed blade. The small zipper pouch inside is great for a wallet and car keys. And in the deep front pocket I store my multitool, headlamp, spare battery and couple of energy bars.
So far sounds like a standard pack… and here comes bushcraft feature number one, which I completely missed at a first glance – the ingenious front axe pocket!
Just put an axe’s head into the pocket and attach the handle to the daisychain via a bungee loop (two of them are included with the pack). Works great! And most importantly the heavy axe is positioned exactly along the pack’s axis for neutral balance.
Another bushcraft friendly feature is the overall construction with a wide-mouth opening when unrolled. You can even use it as a big harvest sack, after you store your items in a camp area.
The Kliiv is made of a thick and durable poly-cotton fabric (laminated inside), all the stitching lines are protected with nylon webbing and the bottom is a double-layer construction. All that combined makes it a darn tough pack, which I used to carry virtually anything… including firewood collected in the forest!
Obviously it’s not the lightest 28L pack, but the bombproof construction in the backcountry is well worth the extra ounce or two. There is not a single weak point in this pack. And by the way, all the hardware is literally HARDWARE, made of thick metal, not plastic. That also includes the smallest buckles on the side compression straps.
This pack just won’t fail under use (or abuse) which is quite nice, because… have you ever seen a pack repair shop in a forest?!
Ok, but how does it carry? Well, better than expected, actually quite nice. First of all the shoulder straps are padded, wide and comfy, with load lifters on the top and an adjustable sternum strap.
The back panel is lightly padded too, with an internal stiffener sheet, which also protects your back from irregular hard items inside the pack.
The left shoulder strap is equipped with a neat adjustable (and openable) knife attachment loop. It works with most small and mid-sized knives including the Mora Companion, TRC Speed Demon (which seems like it has been made especially for this pack!) and most folders with a pocket clip.
Other features include: hidden hiking poles loops, reinforced lips on the side pockets and main compartment, a small grab handle on top and a substantial front one (for flat carry).
A two-inch thick detachable webbing waist strap completes the package. The Kliiv is hydration ready and works with most of today’s systems. And a small hint if you still prefer old-school water bottles – the bladder pocket inside the pack makes a nice map pocket.
I’ve been using my Kliiv for almost 4 months – late Summer, Fall and also now in Winter. Usually just for walking through the forest, sometimes as a harvest sack and even a small hiking daypack in the Karkonosze Mountains (Poland) to check long haul carry-ability.
I didn’t baby my Kliiv, it’s been used hard and so far I’ve not found a single tear on it – it’s one tough pack, no doubt! Additionally (or rather accidentally) I found it to be quite rain-proof thanks to internal lamination of the fabric and of course a roll-top design.
The stitching precision and overall manufacturing quality is top notch – just as expected from a Swedish company with almost 90 years heritage behind the brand. And even if it’s produced overseas the quality control is really up to the Lundhags name.
Time for a final word. The Kliiv 28 is quite an advanced construction, made of durable materials with some unique features. But it’s still a simple, user friendly and extremely versatile pack. I dare to say it’s a hidden gem in Lundhags’s range, and I don’t know why I didn’t discover it earlier as a perfect solution for my backcountry day trips.
If you’re a bushcrafter at heart (like me), if you enjoy forest life and prefer versatile simplicity in design verses mission specific solutions – you’ll surely like Kliiv 28 a lot. Yep, just like me!