Custom Rucksacks For Ogwen Valley Mountain Rescue

Custom Rucksacks For Ogwen Valley Mountain Rescue

By Mark Roberts>

After several years of designing, honing and tweaking, we’re very pleased to be handing over 10 custom made rucksacks to Ogwen Valley Mountain Rescue Organisation (Sefydliad Achub Mynydd Dyffryn Ogwen) to carry their medical kits in.

Sally Armond, a paramedic member from Ogwen MRT, got in contact with us a few years ago with a unique proposition. Sally had been streamlining the medical kit the team carry, including the various bags and pouches that everything is carried in. Whilst investigating alternatives, she realised that most bags on the market were either “designed for urban use (bulky and heavy) or for military use (rugged but heavier than needs be for our needs and extremely expensive.)” Having seen several members of the team using Alpkit products, she got in touch to see if we could make them some custom "bags for mountain and wilderness rescue purposes."

Work commenced in our Nottinghamshire factory on the very first designs. The brief was for a functional and hardwearing backpack with removable pouches for different medical equipment. It needed to be quick and easy to access everything inside, both when hanging up or laid flat out on the floor. Once the first prototypes were finished, they were sent back to Sally for thorough testing and feedback. The basic rucksack shape and design was decided fairly early on. Alpkit Factory Supervisor Lily explains the design:

“We created 7 pouches that are held in the backpack with velcro so they can be removed and put back in easily and quickly. They also have clear lid so the team can see exactly what’s inside, and so that they can insert different labels to say what's in each pouch.”

After some extensive prototype testing and refinement — fine-tuning the shoulder straps, zips and how the pockets open — the final backpack design was finished. It was important for Ogwen Valley MRO to thoroughly test each prototype to ensure that the packs would function exactly as required in an emergency situation. Lily explains what makes the bag designs special:

“The bags can be fully zipped open and laid completely flat on the floor or hung up using the handle. This makes it really easy to see what's in the bag and find what you need immediately — this was essential for when the Team are out helping people on a call-out. The bag has side compression straps, which can hold oxygen canisters. The bottom ones can be secured the other way round creating a waist belt — useful if the bag is particularly heavy or if members of the team need a bit of extra support.”

We've always been big supporters of our Mountain Rescue organisations and feel very privileged to be working with one of the busiest teams in the country on such an important project. It's great to know that packs made in our own little factory will soon be heading out into the Snowdonian hills to help people in need of assistance.

Mountain Rescue teams consist entirely of volunteers, giving up their free time to keep us safe in the outdoors — 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. These teams can only function through fundraising and donations, so please do help support your local organisation and take every precaution to stay safe in upland areas.

Support Ogwen Valley Mountain Rescue Organisation (Sefydliad Achub Mynydd Dyffryn Ogwen)

Support Mountain Rescue England and Wales

Support Scottish Mountain Rescue

Rucksacks and backpacks

Ultralight 13-litre day pack, folds away into its own pocket
20-litre waterproof backpack with bungee cords and mesh pockets
25-litre roll-top waterproof dry bag backpack with no fuss
30-litre waterproof rucksack with mesh pockets for extra capacity
6-litre hip pack for carrying riding and running essentials
Hip pack: UK made, weatherproof, 3L
10-litre hyrdation vest giving secure and stable space for essential kit
15-litre multi-activity daypack that's lightweight for high intensity
14-litre mountain bike backpack built for hydration and comfort on the bike
25-litre multi-activity daypack that's lightweight, stable and streamlined
25-litre ultra marathon backpack with space for overnight kit and comfort on the run
35-litre hiking backpack for lightweight 4-season hillwalking and scrambling


  • The MR bags you developed can they be purchased by anyone. I work for a medical company and I do lots of events and ambulance work.

    Fred Taylor

    February 20, 2023

  • Any plan to make some for purchase?

    Adam TC

    February 20, 2023

  • Please make these available for general sale!


    October 01, 2022

  • Would love a civilian version of this for home visits.


    February 14, 2022

  • Hi, yep, concur with comments above. I’m a doctor and would love one of these for home visits in normal civi-practice, but also for expeditions…are these possible to purchase? Great idea to have donation to MRTs with a purchase.

    Laura Mc

    October 14, 2021

  • Would love to see this available to buy…. as the parent of a diabetic kid I carry a lot of supplies / food / equipment around which is made much easier with a fully opening backpack and I hadn’t yet found anything which totally fits the bill. This could be great in a more subtle colour :)


    May 04, 2021

  • Hi, will these be available to buy as they may be suitable for my role as a surf lifeguard.

    Mike Travis

    March 31, 2021

  • Will a ‘civilian’ version of the rucksack be available as an option in the future? Perhaps with a percentage of each purchase going to MRTs?

    Duncan Clark

    February 22, 2021

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