Clandestine Media Group

High Angle Solutions – Brigantes Presents – UK issue Bergan compared to Snigel Designs Rucksack

All light role troops understand the pain and discomfort associated with carrying your own body weight on your back.  It is something that you just have to get used to.  However, with recent high injury rates from nerve damage due to carrying heavy loads we wanted to look at what we choose to carry on our backs.

The UK issue Personal Load Carrying Equipment (PLCE) Bergan has been around for decades in various forms. Originally derived from the Berghaus Cyclops Roc it has moved further and further away from its high-quality ancestor.  The current version follows the same design format and uses 1000 denier MTP fabric.  The back system is simple, in the extreme, and has more in common with what you would find on a daysack not something that you would use to carry 100+lbs.  It is functional from the point of view of its pockets and layout and has become integrated into the way that the UK troops operate in the field.

The Snigel 90Ltr shows many similarities with its pocket structure and style.  Other than that they could not be further apart.  Now used by a number of specialist units the pack has a full modern back system that you would expect to see on the best civilian rucksacks.  The foam used in the shoulder straps is of the highest possible standard and addresses the nerve damage issue associated with the issue Bergan. This is also helped by a very substantial waist belt. The rucksack uses a 500 denier Multicam fabric which is lighter and more flexible than the 1000 denier but does not compromise on robustness.

If you are required to carry all your kit on your back, then it is absolutely paramount that the piece of equipment you use to hold it is comfortable and reliable.  The issue Bergan falls well short of what can now be achieved.  Time for a change we feel. What do you think?

For more information get in touch by email on [email protected] or for UK customers [email protected].

6 Responses to “High Angle Solutions – Brigantes Presents – UK issue Bergan compared to Snigel Designs Rucksack”

  1. Mac says:

    Not exactly a fair comparison.

    The PLCE bergen is a legacy item and the other is more aligned to the new Virtus issues pack.

    That said, there are massive problems with the Virtus 90L pack. As its ‘zip’ access guys have been struggling to ‘top-flap’ equipment such as LAWs etc. Also the fantastic idea of clipping the daysack to the front rather than the top is rubbish. The very basics of load carrying is to keep the load as close to the body and the weight as high as possible. We wanted the ability to top-flap the daysack, and other kit, as we have done for decades. Failing that why not clip it to the lid as per the USMC FILBE?

    V3 of the virtus is already in production – top flap…. FINALLY!

    • Bobby davro says:

      The only issue with modular daysacks is they’re always a compromise, they aren’t comfortable for long periods, lack capacity and complicated attachment systems and more clips and straps gives you more failure points, then throw in other types of pack like med packs and Coms packs you’re back to top flapping,

    • Mac,

      Thanks for your comments. Interestingly the Snigel pack has more in common with PLCE than VIRTUS. The Snigel Bergan is a conventional rucksack design as you would expect any high end rucksack manufacturer to produce. The VIRTUS system is designed to integrate into your belt kit, on the assumption that you are wearing it. This could be problematic if you were wearing things like a climbing harness etc. At this moment in time it is yet to be seen if VIRTUS offers enough flexibility across all environments and operational areas.



  2. Bobby davro says:

    Simplicity is the key with kit that is required not to fail when miles from support, yes the PLCE Bergman isn’t the most comfortable, but it’s robust, heavy duty, and simple, there are many things that can be improved (and there are company’s that make a good living off it Dixie’s Jay jays ect) but it’s still well made, many are in service for 15-20 years, testament to design. (Also it interfaces with belt kit which many modern Bergans don’t because of hip belts and long backs)

    • Boddy,

      Completely agree that it is a long standing and well know pack. I would suggest that guys who use it don’t go for the shorter back as they are more likely to have back and shoulder issues. The advice from pack manufacturers around the world is that load is spread between your hips and shoulders. This is difficult to achieve with PLCE Bergan and Webbing and has attempted to be addressed by VIRTUS. It will be interesting to see how this develops over the coming years. Certainly for mountain troops there are lots of questions about load carriage which VIRTUS hasn’t yet addressed.



  3. Orvar says:

    The snigel offering while very promising has proven to fall way short both in design and quality, with several issued packs breaking while on mission, causing severe discomfort (like carrying a full sustainment load with only one shoulder strap).

    In my humble “light”-fighter opinion, external frame packs is the way to go for military users.