Berghaus Arete Tour 40 Extrem Review

Update: We are no longer stocking the Arete Tour 40 Extrem and instead recommend The North Face Prophet 40, which is part of the Summit Series that is designed for specifically for mountaineering.

Berghaus 40 litre rucksack back system
The Fusion 2 back system is comfortable and well ventilated.

The Berghaus Arete Tour 40 Extrem rucksack is a high end, medium sized backpack suitable for climbing, scrambling, mountaineering, ski mountaineering and ski touring. It is made from durable fabric, has a solid construction and is packed with features.

It has a Fusion 2 back system, which comprises of non-absorbent thermo-moulded back panels with a large air gap in the middle. It is surprisingly comfortable and the air gap provides ventilation, helping to stop you getting too hot and sweaty.

Both the shoulder and chest straps are height adjustable. The shoulder straps are not uncomfortable, but could do with a little more padding. However it is worth bearing in mind that too much padding on rucksack shoulder straps could restrict your arm movement. The length of the hip belt is adjustable from both sides so that the buckle remains in the middle.

The Berghaus Arete rucksack opened up
The Berghaus Arete opens up like a suitcase.

Rucksack Features

The feature that struck me as being different for a rucksack of this size is that it is entirely “unzippable” allowing you to open it up like a small suitcase, for quick and easy access to all your equipment. This feature is typical of rucksacks designed for ski touring. However, being able to get to any piece of your gear without having to empty the entire content of your rucksack is a benefit on any walk, climb or expedition. Let’s face it, no matter how well you pack your rucksack there will always be something that you’ll need in a hurry and you can guarantee that it will have found its way to the bottom of your rucksack!

Inside the rucksack, underneath the lid there is a bivi draw cord to seal in all your outdoor gear and a Y-shaped rope compression strap for securely storing climbing rope. The lid is fastened down with a single buckle, although personally I prefer rucksacks to have two buckle attachments on the lid. The buckle is mounted on an adjustable strap so that it can be used to compress your gear, increasing the stability of your pack. It also has side compression straps to help stop your gear moving around sideways.

The Berghaus Arete 40 Rucksack with the lid open
Opening the lid reveals more features: bivi draw cord, rope compression strap, mesh pocket and safety instructions.

A very versatile rucksack big enough for hut to hut routes, designed for cragging and rock routes where you plan to be out for the day. Berghaus

The Berghaus Arete Tour 40 Extrem rucksack has more pockets than you can shake your walking pole at, which is great for organising your gear. There are large external pockets both on the lid and at the bottom of the pack, ideal for getting quick access to your waterproofs. The hip belt (waist belt) has small pockets on both sides and there are elasticated pockets at the bottom on either side on the rucksack. Inside the rucksack there are also many pockets and compartments: a large internal pocket, a mesh pocket on the lid and two elasticated pouches, one of which is for holding a hydration pack. There are also two long thin internal pockets which are “shovel and probe storage solutions”. If you’re not going out in the snow you won’t need your avalanche probe, in which case these pockets are ideal for stowing sticks of seaside rock.

The large outer pocket has two zips fasteners. One is red and one is grey, which I assume is to help stop you from accidentally moving both zip fasteners at once, thus opening and closing the pocket in one movement.

40 litre Rucksack
Berghaus Arete Tour 40 Extrem Mountaineering Rucksack

Outside the rucksack

On the outside of the rucksack there is a grab handle at the top and there are plenty of straps to hold gear, such as walking poles and ice axes. On each side of the rucksack there are straps designed to hold your skis which have removable, anti-slip pads. The only outer feature that it does not have is an elastic bungy that can be used for holding a climbing helmet or wet clothing.

There are built in safety features such as a small whistle in the chest strap, reflective lettering and safety instructions inside the lid. The whistle is not very loud so it would be best to take along a proper whistle, especially if you are skiing or mountaineering.

The Berghaus Arete Tour 40 Extrem has a capacity of 40 litres, its dimensions are approximately 65cm (H) x 32cm (W) x 25cm (D) and its weight is 1.41 kg.

Arete Tour 40 Extrem

The Berghaus Arete Tour 40 Extrem is a solidly constructed, well thought out rucksack. It is comfortable, adjustable and offers easy access to your gear. With plenty of pockets you can stay organised. It is highly suitable for climbing and mountaineering and, in particular, for ski mountaineering and ski touring. Definitely recommended!


Have you got a Berghaus Arete Tour 40 Extrem or similar rucksack? What do you think of it? Click on “comments” and let us know!

Why not write a review about your outdoor kit?


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.