/ Which 45-55l Alpine climbing pack would you choose?
Lowe Alpine, Montane, Macpac, Crux, Gregory, Grivel, Mountain hardwear
you're choosing quite a big size is that whats recommended? manufacturers sizes vary too, rucsacs are not like beer or fuel and not under weights and measures rules
best advice is go to shop, try on with weight in (best method is to take the stuff you are carrying and pack it, then its real weight, not fake sand bags etc. plus you know it fits)
I've tried the Deuter Guide 45+ (sold) and the Osprey Variant 52 (still have) - I ended up going back to my old Lowe Alpine 'Alpine Attack 40', which I've found plenty big for winter climbing days and overnights where I'm not carrying a tent. The Osprey is a great bag fro carrying a load, but once you've emptied most of it onto yourself at the base of the climb, it feels a bit strange having this massive empty flappy encumbrance on your back for the rest of the day.
My pack of that size is a POD Thin Ice with some bits like the ice axe loops and hydration sleeve cut off.
I'd recommend an Aiguille Alpine Zephur. http://www.aiguillealpine.co.uk/cgi-bin/trolleyed_public.cgi?action=showprod_R048
It's a simple, hard wearing, UK made sack with all the features you need and non the you don't. At 1.1kg It weights a fraction of most of the sacks currently on the market and is much more durable.
Made to order in the UK, so it can be customized to an extent.
I've had one of these sacks since 2005 and used it alot. Apart from a bit of fabric fading it still looks like new.
Clio if you have the cash, MHW if you don't. Both do 35L strippable to under a kilo yet still with the suspension for real loads.
> Clio if you have the cash, MHW if you don't. Both do 35L strippable to under a kilo yet still with the suspension for real loads.
Are the Cilo sacks really worth money? I've had one of these for 6 years and put it through all sort of abuse. http://www.aiguillealpine.co.uk/cgi-bin/trolleyed_public.cgi?action=showprod_R033
It is now looking pretty tatty, with fadded fabric and a few running repairs, but it still has a fair wack of life left in it. It weighs 800g.
How is a heavier Cilo pack, made of less durable materials, which costs three times as much better?
after using four sacks over six years i've finally found the one that feels right and does the job, 'crux ak47x'. really comfortable, light, simple, durable - works for me. expandable 10lts if needed but i've yet to use it.
Haven't tried aiguille packs so can't comment on them.
Not all Cilo packs are super expensive, and they are comparable weight to yours, much less if stripped.
I'd be surprised if other fabrics were tougher but cilos def look tattier faster because of the color
Personally I prefer MHW packs as I find them more user friendly, but the cilos carry a bit nicer till you hit about 25kg
Another one for the BD Speed series (though I use a 40 normally) - functional, simple and light. Perfect for summer alpine use. Prior to that I used a North Face Prophet 40, which I also thought was a great sack.
If I were to point out one problem with the BD speed it would be the axe attachment. If you try and use it with any sort of axe without a circular hole in the head (like many of the lightweight ski mountaineering axes) you'll fail, and because of its partially welded nature, it's surprisingly difficult to modify!
I've got an Osprey Mutant 38 and find that plenty packable, lid is extendable if you're wanting to shove things in the top like helmet or jackets for a short time.
Really body hugging too so no swinging about once loaded.
On the route, I take the lid/padded waist off, and use the straps to shrink it down, and its really not an issue. The 'swing arm' function works a dream (the arm straps move independently of the sack) and makes the bag a beauty to climb with.
Thank you to everyone for their advice and recommendations. In the end I went for the Lowe Alpine XL Alpine Attack 45/55. What swung it for me was the fitting advice I got in Snow & Rock in Aviemore. A really helpful assistant who gave great advice. Unfortunately they did not stock the XL size so I had to buy it online. I have used it a couple of times and the fit is far superior to my old Berghaus pack. I am so glad I sought advice from this forum and from an experienced shop assistant who new how to fit a pack properly.
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