Review of Berghaus Mule 100 Wheeled and Simply Hike

Some weeks ago, the nice people from Simply Hike contacted us to ask if we would like to be a “Mystery Shopper” for one of their Berghaus products.

I readily agreed, and set about selecting an appropriate product from their extensive Berghaus range. With everything from expedition rucksacks to gloves on offer, the choice was not easy, but I eventually settled on the Berghaus Mule 100 Wheeled, a large-capacity holdall/base camp bag with the added convenience of integral wheels/telescopic handle to save on carries.

The Mule was not in stock at the time, but Simply Hike have a useful “Notify Me” feature to advise when an order can be placed and over the next couple of weeks I was kept regularly updated.

When they took delivery of a new batch of Mules, I placed the order. The order process was straightforward and hassle free, and the bag was dispatched the next day. On the day of delivery, I received an email to say that the bag would be delivered between 16.37 and 17.37 that afternoon, and could I please ensure there was someone home to sign. I was initially suspicious that delivery could be guaranteed within such a short window, but sure enough the doorbell rang at 17.00 and my Mule 100 Wheeled had arrived exactly as promised.

Apart from the initial wait for new stock to be delivered, which was a few days longer than originally projected, I couldn’t fault the ordering and delivery process at all – everything was handled promptly and efficiently and the bag arrived in very good order.

Simply Hike offers an impressive range of outdoor clothing and gear from a wide range of manufacturers. In many cases, prices are well below RRP and there are some substantial discounts to be had. Most products have good quality images showing different perspectives and (particularly useful when shopping online and buying “sight unseen”) many products also have demo videos showing their features.

The Berghaus Mule 100 Wheeled

Working at Nature Travels means regular trips to Sweden to participate in and trial the experiences we offer, visiting our existing local partner companies and researching new activities.

These trips often entail a combination of outdoor activities (camping, hiking, canoeing, dog sledding) and more formal settings (meetings, dinners, etc), so it’s frequently necessary to take a range of clothing, especially in winter. With its enormous 100 litre capacity, the Mule 100 seemed the ideal travel companion!

I was able to test the bag on a visit last week to the far north of Swedish and Finnish Lapland, and impressions so far are very positive.

I’ve always found that Berghaus gear is built to last, and the Mule 100 appears to be no exception. Stitching, fabrics, handles and zips are very solid and look like they should withstand many trips to come. The bag itself is sensibly designed with a fair choice of different compartments and options for storage (even a nifty sack to keep your dirty laundry in!) without being overly fiddly or requiring you to spend half an hour searching for which pocket you left something in.

The wheels and handle system work smoothly and the telescopic handle seems tough (a frequent weak point on cheaper rolling luggage). Given that the Mule can take an enormous amount of kit, it can be pretty heavy once fully-loaded, so the wheels are a very useful feature (there is also a non-wheeled version available). The top straps can be shortened to become rucksack shoulder straps and make the bag reasonably comfortable to carry on the back for short distances. The Mule dispenses with the diagonal shoulder strap frequently found on such bags. I personally find these very uncomfortable, and the “convert-to-backpack” feature is a much better solution, I think.

While some might find a 100-litre capacity rather too much for some trips, the size of the bag is still quite manageable and travelling as a couple with the Mule you could probably get away with just one main bag between you for most trips.

You certainly won’t be able to take the Berghaus Mule 100 Wheeled as hand luggage, but for those times when you need to carry a large amount of gear in a convenient package, it’s just the job, and at the current price of £67 from Simply Hike, it’s no donkey!

Best regards

Bob from The Nature Travels Team

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