Vango Firefly 20 Rucksack – Review

This rucksack was given to me free of charge by Silverfox Travel & Outdoors

Silverfox allowed me to choose anything from their daysack range for this review and I spent ages deciding which one to go for.  Should I try something that was different to any pack I’d had before?  An unfamiliar brand?  Something expensive – just to see if it’s worth the money?  In the end, I chose the Vango Firefly 20L Daysack as it looked like a full-featured yet small pack for days when I don’t need to carry much.

Initial opinion

The pack is listed as weighing 600g and was just a couple of grammes more than that on my kitchen scales. The empty weight feels right for the size.

The side net pockets are a good size.   My experience of some smaller rucksacks is that the side pockets can be virtually unusable but these are wide and deep enough to securely hold a 500 or 750ml drinks bottle.

There is a net pocket on the front and an adjustable bungee cord.  This is an important feature for me as – coupled with the compression straps – it will give me somewhere to shove my jumper if the temperature rises during a walk.

The waist strap is removable which seems like a good idea.  I am likely to use this size of pack both for hill-walking and for shopping or overnight stays when a waist belt would be unnecessary and get in the way.

Inside the pack there is a sleeve for a water bladder (although I don’t tend to use these and have not tested how big it is); a key clip, and a flat net zipped pocket.  There are no other compartments but the net pocket should be big enough for my money, phone and anything else I need on a short trip.

There is a sternum strap which can be easily moved up or down its sliding runners.

The build quality is good and the only problem I identified is that the straps don’t slide easily when adjusting their length but they may loosen with use (and at least it’s better than being too loose.)

There is no rain cover, but I always use plastic bags or drybags for anything that I want to protect from the rain.

In use

I’ve used the pack twice; once for a trip to the shops and once, today, for a 22km walk on a mix of roads, tracks and rough moorland.  As it was my first walk since the weather got colder, I took a few extra items of clothing and – including my HUGE lunch – the pack was completely full.  I chose to use the waist belt as, even with a smaller pack, I wanted the extra stability on rough ground.

When I stopped for my lunch I took a few things [sitmat, flask, sandwiches] out of the pack and expected that it would be a tight squeeze getting everything back in afterwards but this was not the case.  On one of my other rucksacks the internal zippable pocket is at the top of the back of the rucksack and, if I’ve put a few things in there, it gets in the way when I am trying to slide my sit map or map into the hydration sleeve.  However, the Firefly has its zippable pocket on the inside of the front of the pack.  This means that by unzipping the pack fully you can fold the front of the pack down and keep the full inner pocket out of the way while you slide things back inside the main body.  (If anyone can’t understand what I mean, let me know and I’ll post a photo.)

On today’s trip I became a little navigationally challenged and ended up walking along the road in the dark.  Anticipating such a situation, I had taken a little clip-on flashing light which fitted nicely on the reflective strip/loop on the bottom of the pack.

Whilst walking along in the dark I was pleased to find that I could retrieve my emergency bar of Fruit and Nut from the front net pocket without removing the pack from my back.  The side pockets are also usable whilst on the move.

Summary

I like the Firefly.  Yes, it’s a small pack but it uses its space well, is well made and comfortable and I suspect it will get a lot of use.  In my opinion it is well worth the £24.99 it is currently retailing for.

Thank to Silverfox who have been very pleasant to deal with.

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One Response to Vango Firefly 20 Rucksack – Review

  1. AlanR says:

    Good consice review Judith. I agree with you that Silver fox are excellent to deal with.

    Like

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