/ Which 45-55l Alpine climbing pack would you choose?

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Inspironator - on 10 May 2013
I need an Alpine climbing pack and it has to be between 45-55 litres. The short list I have come up with are 1. Deuter Guide 45+ 2. Osprey Varient 52. 3. Pod Black Ice 4. Black Diamond Speed 55. I need it for a ISM 6 day classic Alpine summits course. Any advice would be appreciated.
GridNorth - on 10 May 2013
In reply to Inspironator: Personally I think that's a bit big for what I consider to be an "Alpine climbing pack". I have done things like the Walker with a bivi with a 35 litre pack. Remember when you are climbing most of the gear is spread about you and your partners bodies and ideally the pack should be almost empty. Having said all that I have a Deuter Guide 45 +10, it's the most comfortable pack I have ever owned and I would consider using it on an alpine climb these days even though it is quite heavy.
gear boy - on 10 May 2013
In reply to Inspironator: All will be good, there are others out there too

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)

HTH
Neil Pratt - on 10 May 2013
In reply to Inspironator:

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.
The Ex-Engineer - on 10 May 2013
In reply to Inspironator: FWIW I replaced a POD Black Ice which I used for over a decade including numerous Alpine trips with their newer Alpine 50 pack and have been very happy so far.
JayPee630 - on 10 May 2013
In reply to Inspironator:

My pack of that size is a POD Thin Ice with some bits like the ice axe loops and hydration sleeve cut off.
jshields - on 10 May 2013
In reply to Inspironator: Consider the Osprey Mutant 38.
Jon
Chay - on 10 May 2013
In reply to Inspironator: Black Diamond Speed sacks are my choice.
TRip - on 10 May 2013
In reply to Inspironator:

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.

HTH
Jasonic - on 10 May 2013
In reply to Inspironator: The Deuter 35 guide has a good reputation if it fits- you really need to try on sacs to establish this. Another plan might be to pack it with your alpine kit sans axe/crampons & do some UK scrambling/easy climbs- the more prepared you are the more you will get from your course.
Siward on 10 May 2013
In reply to TRip: Yep. Have a look at the Aiguille triolet. It has become my do everything sack.
Inspironator - on 10 May 2013
In reply to Inspironator: Thank you to everyone who has helped. Lots more options than I realised. I think I will double check the volume with ISM to understand why it needs to be so large. I won't be camping so if I can get away with a smaller size that would be best.
aldo56 - on 10 May 2013
ice.solo - on 10 May 2013
In reply to Inspironator:

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.
TRip - on 10 May 2013
In reply to ice.solo:
> (In reply to Inspironator)
>
> 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?
libation - on 10 May 2013
In reply to Inspironator:

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.
ice.solo - on 10 May 2013
In reply to TRip:

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
AlH - on 11 May 2013
In reply to Inspironator: Have only tried the Pod Alpine (broke every Buckle twice and fabric wore through on lid and face) Crux AK (shoulder strap tore off with heavy load but light and simple) and Lowe Attak (used for 80 days this winter comfortably compresses for day climbs but carries kit for overnight and winter climbs on Knoydart, shows almost no sign of wear, the axe attachment has grown on me, not the absolute lightest but pretty good stripped down and very comfortable).
alexm198 - on 11 May 2013
In reply to Inspironator: Another vote for the BD Speed - I have a speed 30 and it's brilliant. Pretty cavernous too with the floating lid. I definitely fit more than 30l of kit in it.
tjhare1 - on 11 May 2013
In reply to Inspironator:
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!
tomwalton - on 11 May 2013
In reply to Inspironator:

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.
terrarob on 12 May 2013
In reply to Inspironator: I use a Millet Peuterey, brilliant pack, check it out at Adventure Peak.

http://www.adventurepeaks.com/product/millet_peuterey_45_10_rucksack
Nath93 - on 12 May 2013
In reply to Inspironator: Lowe Alpine Alpine Attack 45:55 is a great pack, good durable materials and nothing fancy to it. Just well thought out and functional !
ianstevens - on 12 May 2013
In reply to Nath93: The BD speed is awesome. Yes, its a little large to climb with, but this extra size s really useful if you plan on spending a few days biving on the glacier as you can lug up some 'fine' wine and other luxuries to stash.

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.
Inspironator - on 04 Jun 2013
In reply to Inspironator:
> I need an Alpine climbing pack and it has to be between 45-55 litres. The short list I have come up with are 1. Deuter Guide 45+ 2. Osprey Varient 52. 3. Pod Black Ice 4. Black Diamond Speed 55. I need it for a ISM 6 day classic Alpine summits course. Any advice would be appreciated.

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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