The bag has a roll-top and a compression system that crosses over the front and really holds the load well. Photos: Marcus King
Accessories, Hike and Fly, Reviews

AirDesign Trail 24 rucksack review

Wednesday 11 October, 2023

Charlie King tries out this dedicated run-and-fly rucksack.

During the 2021 Coupe Icare, Mike Kremer took me to the back of the AirDesign stand to show me something he’d been working on. It was a trail running vest you can carry a paraglider in, and something as a runner and UFO owner, I needed in my life.

It was a prototype, hand stitched with bits of tape here and there, but I took it outside and had a little run up the glide-contest field with it and back around. He asked what I thought –  yes, it was good! At the time, there was nothing else like it, and I had genuinely been trying out different (non-flying) rucksacks at home to find something to run with the UFO.

Fast-forward a few months, and after some polishing and tweaking the AirDesign Trail 24-litre rucksack came to market, and Mike sent us one. It is now not alone – we looked at Kortel’s K17, which was released around the same time, in issue 236.

In my view, the main requirements of a run-and-fly a bag are that it should hold the load close so it does not bounce when you run; you need a drink you can access on the go, and maybe somewhere to stow your hiking poles.

The Trail 24 does all these things, and is very versatile. The carry system is a stretchy trail-style vest, with an adjustment system that means it can fit different size people, and work properly for all of them. Marcus and I both used it, and it was comfortable for both.

The bag has a roll-top and a compression system that crosses over the front and really holds the load well. There are softflask holders on both shoulder straps for 500ml flasks. A removable helmet holder attaches to the bag with elastics and toggles. It means it can be adapted to fit different sized helmets. There is a small zipped pocket you can stash the net in when it’s not in use, which is ideal for your keys etc.

The pole attachment system also uses elastics and toggles, and is designed so you can load or unload your hiking poles without removing the vest. The AirDesign logos on the bag are reflective – handy if you have to hike or run in the dark.

In my view, this bag’s real strength is for running, which means carrying minimal kit. In the photos it contains a Dudek Run&Fly 2, a Slip harness, lightweight front-mount reserve, windproof jacket and my helmet. It all fits easily inside, with plenty of space left.

I tried it with my double-surface BGD Kiss 18 as well. It goes inside with a Slip and reserve; I used the stretchy front pocket behind the compression system for my jacket, and used the external helmet holder. Climbing helmets are easier to carry, but I was pleasantly surprised by how stably the holder held my bulkier PG-certified helmet.

I love this bag because it is adaptable, and it does an impressive job of killing the bounce. Running with a wing is getting more comfortable! To the innovators out there, what the run-and-fly world needs next is a foldable airsports-certified helmet. Please!


AirDesign say: “Your UFO (or SuSi), and your Slip in your 24L Trail Rucksack”
What is it? 24-litre rucksack for trail running with a paraglider
Volume: 24 litres
Size (cm): 30 x 15 x 50
Weight (g): 450 including helmet mesh
Price (MSRP): €90


Published in issue 241 (July 2023)

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