The original original - a classic

Availability: Out of stock

NZD $202.53NZD $239.00




The Vacuole was the first backpack ever made by Cactus. The fact that some of the originals are still around is testimony to its pedigree. The classic design lends itself towards versatility and this had ensured its enduring popularity. Over the years (25 and counting) we’ve updated it with new materials and ideas to maintain its relevance. If you are only going to own one pack, the vacuole is a strong contender. Designed for heavier day loads the harness sports our c-aircell fabric, and a 38mm webbing waist belt.

  • C-aircell harness and a 38mm webbing hip belt all contribute comfort and stability be it lugging books to university or ski touring
  • Internal hydro sleeve to keep you on the go
  • Compression straps stabilise the load, take the stress off the zip, and allow awkward items
    (camera tripod, perhaps?) to be carried externally
  • Ice axe loop and shock cord for crampons keep the winter options open, and can be used
    for other things – axe loop for your flashing bike light, shock cord for – well – anything…
  • ‘Road kill’ front pocket for those wee items – keys, wallet, phone etc
  • Includes No Worries 5yr Guarantee
  • Covered by Cactus-Tough Lifetime Warranty


  • Volume: 37 Litres
  • Weight: 825 Grams
  • Measurements: 500 x 280 x 190mm
  • Fabrics : C-1000n6, C-Aircell


  • For increased longevity we do not recommend machine washing
  • Brush dirt from the product while still dry
  • Hand wash in cold or warm water using mild detergent or pure soap - preferably one that's nice to the earth
  • Close zips while washing (they'll last longer), you can also lightly oil or wax zips periodically to increase their lifespan
  • Drip dry without creases


Small but perfectly formedReview by Groomer
If you're reading this to see how darn well made these things are, look at the other reviews. They just are.
One thing I hadn't found on the review or able to easily see on the small photos, is just how well designed they are! If you're thinking of buying a sweatshop mass produced badly made bag because it has trinkets and baubles because you think a Cactus bag is No Frills, think again! This has a concealed side pocket you won't see in the photo because it's um, concealed. And a bladder pocket and slit for you to poke the tube through- or your headphone cable if you want to put your Walkman in there (yep, big enough to take that, and the rest of the bag is strong enough to carry a years supply or AA batteries, Or D batteries for that matter.
The only complaint I have is with the Cactus website- be nice to click on a photo and see the big picture- not just a magnified picture in the same square keyhole- OK for peeping Toms, but not for the rest of us ;) (Posted on 23/09/19)
10 years now with the VacuoleReview by yash
Was my first ever Cactus product purchased and has been used almost every day for nearly ten years. the polyurethane coating inside is starting to thin a bit, but the fabric is still intact and going strong.if i replace this bag ever will for sure be with another Vacuole.
Over the years have added a lot more Cactus gear onto my collection and nothing is wearing out.( tool roll, messenger bag, laptop bag,travel bag with a addon small day pack., laptop sleeve , and a few more). (Posted on 15/10/18)
An Absolutely Extraordinary Bag!!! Review by Matt
From rain, snow, earthquakes and high school, this bag has yet to fail on me, not a single zip or buckle has failed me, I've been using this bag almost everyday for the last 4 years of high school and it's been fantastic. This bag seems to be indestructible, it is comfortable and is the perfect size for lugging round heavy books with, it's extremely versatile, as I've used it as a day pack for many short tramps, and also for mountain biking, my Vacuole has literally been dragged (which explains some of the rips on my bag) but other than that I will continue to use this bag until it finally breaks (probably another 20 odd years that is) :) (Posted on 29/02/16)
i've been using mine for 20 yearsReview by kane
Guess i had one of the original ones too. Mine is black. Been all over the world with me. Up volcanoes, down holes in the ground. Looks a bit rugged now but it's still used daily. If they sell a black version again i might replace mine. (Posted on 24/04/15)
the most rugged, comfortable, and well built packReview by brenthoare
I was privileged to acquire one of the Vacuole prototypes in 1994, after 15 years of hard and regular use it was showing a few signs of wear and tear, so in April 2009, I got another one. Simply put, this is absolutely the most rugged, comfortable, and well built pack I've ever come across. If you care about durability, functionality, ethics, and design, the Vacuole is the best love or money can buy! (Posted on 20/10/14)
best zip-up packReview by smithybj
Probably the best zip-up pack I ever owned (apart from my Moon Unit). Went everywhere with me in Aussie swallowing everything I needed for travelling. And then coped with over night tramps when I got home. Great pack!! (Posted on 20/10/14)
Six years and still going strongReview by Juno
With over six years of hard use including 2 years of rugged abuse in Norway working at an Outdoor Centre; it only required a lick of waterproofing spray a year ago - it was still going strong. I loved my Vacuole and still would if only my house hadn't been burgled and the b@Stard who did hadn't decided to use it to carry all my computer gear away. Saying that I am glad that he did empty out my climbing gear out on the floor. Long live my Vacoule where ever you may be. I just wish I could afford to purchase another one. (Posted on 20/10/14)
Awesome piece of a bagReview by fatmanyash
Awesome piece of a bag, goes everywhere with me, use it to lug around groceries, to work, its fantastic. (Posted on 20/10/14)

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