The initial impression gained of Podsacs Alpine 30 is of something a bit special, ticking all the boxes that those seeking a lightweight alpine-style sac could name, ranging from multiple tool attachments and exit for a hydration system hose to a robust haul loop system. The look of the sac is sleek and, in the understated orange and grey colour combination supplied, it is most definitely an eye-catcher either on the shop display rack or out on the hill.
Watch a video about the new Podsacs Alpine and Granite ranges
What is undoubtedly most striking about the Alpine 30 when you actually get your hands on one is its weight, or lack of it. It is extremely light and yet incorporates a well padded waist belt, well sculptured shoulder straps as well as a very impressive foam back panel, which has a removable internal stiffener if even more weight needs to be shed.
However I would give a word of warning to those who do remove the stiffener. I have made this mistake on a number of occasions over the years with various sized rucksacks and have always regretted the sacrifice of a few grams, as after a couple of hours plodding the inevitably overloaded sac has become misshapen and very uncomfortable. Note to self - the stiffener is there for a reason.
The shape of the main body of the sac is tapered from top to bottom, placing the load high on the back and allowing relatively quick and easy loading, although the ample extendable drawcord closure does tend to get in the way when trying to gain entry to the main void space of the sac.
However, the up side of the extension and the removable floating lid is that extra capacity can be added to the 30 litres if needed (other sizes of this pac are available - 40 and 50 litres). This adds a useful few litres if the sac is to be used as a cragging sac where a large rack and extra clothing are to be carried. The seams and stress points are well engineered and the Cordura 210D ripstop fabric is flexible and light but also looks like it will go the distance for heavy users.
As a viable purchase for any Alpinist and or those wanting a sac for multi-pitch climbing then The Alpine 30 comes in as a state-of-the-art front runner and I would expect to see a few of these about when I head for the Bregaglia with mine.
Mark is a climbing writer and photographer who has travelled to crags near and far for 35+ years. Mark started out climbing at school with friends on the sea cliffs and inland crags of Devon. At 18 he packed up his flares and Whillans harness, tied back his long black hair (where did it go!) and headed for the North, living between the Peak and Dales before moving on to the Lakes for work where he was based for around 20 years. During the 90's, Mark with his then partner Emma traveled extensively spending 1995 to 2000 in a van in the States, Canada, Europe, OZ and New Zealand. The last decade has been a transient one hopping between the Lakes, North Wales, Devon and Lancs, with trips away mainly on guidebook (Rockfax) work or for articles to places such as Sardinia, Finale, Ceuse, El Chorro, Lofoten, Mallorca and Turkey.