Wildcraft is India’s first organised outdoor gear manufacturing brand having a pan India footprint selling through their physical and online stores. Wildcraft sells a variety of products meant for outdoor activities. One of their strong product range is Wildcraft rucksacks and backpacks. They have a variety of hiking/ trekking rucksack & backpacks. I bought one of their popular rucksack Saavan D 45 three years ago and decided to post a review of Wildcraft Saavan D 45 after using it for more than three years.
This product is still being sold with some changes which shows it is one their popular models otherwise brands generally stop selling products which fail to meet customer expectations. I have used this backpack on few Himalayan treks as well as International travel. I decided to write a review to help fellow trekkers/ hikers to make a better choice.
Wildcraft is famous backpack & rucksack brand in India selling quality outdoor products and competes with French sports & outdoor brands from Decathlon. Wildcraft products are sold by Flipkart and Amazon as well as Wildcraft stores across country.
Wildcraft has a strong product range in rucksack and backpacks. It is what Wildcraft excels in. They also sell many other products like apparel, accessories and shoes but I could never convince myself to buy any. On the other hand, I find that their rucksack and backpack range for hiking is quite wide and one of the best available in the market. You can’t go wrong with Wildcraft rucksack/ backpacks. They have started making and selling laptop backpacks for students as well to enhance their market share and presence. I haven’t used any of Wildcraft laptop bags, yet.
Saavan D 45 is a 45 litre rucksack named after Saavandurga trek. Wildcraft uses a system whereby rucksack models are named after famous mountain peaks and rivers like Gangotri, Kailash, Cauvery etc.
Currently, 50/60/70 litre rucksack is the most popular hiking rucksack choice. So 45 litre is an odd choice! I had specific reasons to buy this backpack. I was using this as a secondary bag. Since I had heavy photography equipment to carry with me, I ruled out a smaller daypack because none of them offer good support and cushioning, an important feature for the long Himalayan treks. When you are traversing on a rough terrain for 8-10 hour a day, it’s important to make sure that your backpack/daypack doesn’t cause discomfort. So this was the best alternative beyond a 30 litre daypack.
The product is made out of Nylon. It’s closest competitor Decathlon’s Quechua Forclaz 50L is made out of polyester. In my opinion, the material used by Wildcraft is superior. For those who are interested in Wildcraft vs Quechua Rucksack, please read on……
In case you want more information why Nylon is better than Polyester here is a resource to check out: Nylon vs Polyester
The one sold by Decathlon has a matte type of surface finish which accumulates dirt and it is difficult to clean it off. In contrast, Saavan D has better surface texture. Cleaning is not issue at all. While I have not used Quechua Forclaz 50L rucksack myself, I have used their Quechua 70L rucksack which is made of same material. Wildcraft is using better material across their hiking rucksack range. They now have a premium rucksack range which uses superior material and is more expensive. Wildcraft Saavan D is priced higher than Quechua Forclaz 50 hiking rucksack.
Another advantage is that Saavan D is a top loading with 2 drawstrings which offers flexibility in storage. For example if you just want to stash your hiking fleece on top for an easy access you can store it in a zone between 2 drawstrings.
This may not be relevant for all but for me it was a good feature. Quechua Forclaz 50 hiking rucksack on the other hand allows you to reach storage area from the middle/lower section because of zip system. I never liked this feature but many hikers do look for this option. If you are one of them, Saavan D 45 will disappoint you.
The quality and finish of backpack is great. I have not faced any issues on this front. The zip used are of a good quality.
The hood has an extra storage compartment which is accessible with a zip. Cross strings are provided on the hood to store foam roller or jacket/fleece.
The bag also has a storage in the front with the dual zips on either sides. The company claims that this allows one to get access to it from either sides. In my opinion, this does not translate into any advantage.
I found that the storing things in the hood causes it to flip forward as well as tossing around. This seems to be because of the material used by Wildcraft – Nylon being soft and pliable. In contrast, similar storage in Quechua Forclaz 70 never had this issue because Quechua Forclaz is made out of stiff material- Polyester! While some people may not notice but if you have something heavy in this compartment like batteries, it keeps flipping around!
Another irritating issue was too many straps…. falling all around. I think aesthetics were ignored by the designers. The bag looks messy with too many straps. I feel that this issue can be sorted out with a clever design.
The company has created rain cover storage compartment but did not give any rain cover. I had to buy one by paying extra Rs 295! In my opinion, the cost of such cover is marginal and it should be supplied with bag as the hassle of unwrapping a separate rain cover during a sudden burst of shower is immense. Many international brands offer built-in rain cover which can be pulled out in few seconds, allowing time to pull up rain gear or poncho on yourself. Why Wildcraft omitted this rain cover is beyond my guess. For a bag which cost Rs 3795 paying another Rs 50 or 100 for a built-in rain cover would have offered more value and convenience.
Loops for hiking sticks are missing and I was forced to use mesh side pockets instead! Quechua Forclaz 50 comes with pole loops which enhances its usability. I’m not sure if Wildcraft has incorporated pole loops in the current version of Saavan D.
In terms of quality, I had no issues with Wildcraft Saavan D 45. In my usage, with a load of 5-7 kg hiking for 8-10 hours did not pose any problem at all. The bag has been designed ergonomically.
I feel that there should be more storage compartments which allows easy access to the small stuff. Most of these issues are from design and aesthetic point of view, only. As far as quality and ergonomics are concerned, I’m more than happy with Wildcraft Saavan D 45. To sum it up, I think Wildcraft Saavan D is a good product. However, there are other options within Wildcraft and competition as well. So look around and check which suits your need!
This is not a paid or sponsored review. I bought this rucksack directly from an online portal.
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