[Updated July 2021] The Petzl Bug Rucksack has been updated.
Petzl Bug Rucksack Review, by Ken Ode.The Petzl Bug is designed for single day multi-pitch climbing and has a very simple layout - one main zip-open compartment with a couple of mesh pouches inside. There’s also a ‘guide book slot’ between the bags' main compartment and back panel, held closed by neat well hidden magnets. The Bug is styled to be as unobtrusive as possible for climbing and high-riding on the back to allow easy access to the back of the harness and chalk bag. After tying out the Bug on trad multi-pitch routes in the Lake District this summer I found it to be big enough for carrying most of the gear you need for the day. The various webbing straps give you more options for hanging gear on the outside of the pack, should you need to. Having said that, this sack is definitely better suited for those who favour the ‘fast and light’ approach to climbing, without too much excess gear or spare clothing (see photo below to get an idea of how much fits into this pack). What’s nice about this pack are the little details, like the zip only extending half-way so that you can fumble around in your pack mid-route with less chance of dropping the contents. The fit is also great for climbing which is a real plus, although I did find that it wasn’t all that easy to access the back of the harness or chalk bag. To be fair though, I think this is going to be a matter of how tall you are. Obviously, the longer your back the higher the pack will sit. As a test I got a friend (who is 6ft) to try out the Bug and he found it much easier to access his back than myself (at 5ft 5in). Generally there should be enough adjustability, with the various straps, to accommodate most physiques. I’ve also used the Bug for bouldering, finding it to be just the right size for carrying everything, with the added bonus that it fits neatly inside a bouldering pad for the walk-ins. One feature I really liked is the ‘guidebook slot’ which is useful for throwing in items like brushes, tape, and (surprise, surprise) guidebooks when moving between problems. Just don’t store small heavy items like car keys which might fall out. I’ve had the Bug for five months now and it's been used regularly throughout that period and still shows little signs of wear and tear. At £35, the Bug is similar in price to most middle-of-the-road day sacks of comparative size, only it’s far more versatile and constructed in typical bombproof Petzl fashion! Below is an image display actually how much kit can be packed in/on to the Bug.