REVIEW: Exped Core 35

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 UKC/UKH Gear 31 Oct 2023

Aimed at those looking for a minimalist yet durable pack for mountain and alpine trips, the Core 35 prioritises functionality over unnecessary features. We tested the bag over summer and autumn, both here in the UK and on a trip to the Ecrins, and were suitably impressed.

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 phizz4 31 Oct 2023
In reply to UKC/UKH Gear:

Does anyone actually use the ice axe attachments on the back of sacs? I haven’t used them for years, I just use the compression straps. Much less faff and much quicker access.

 Doug 31 Oct 2023
In reply to phizz4:

If I'm ski touring & have an ice axe it usually goes on the attachments so I can use the compression straps for skis if they need to be carried.

 AliRLee 31 Oct 2023
In reply to UKC/UKH Gear:

Great review!

 ScraggyGoat 31 Oct 2023
In reply to phizz4:

If you are lugging a closed cell foam bivi mat, or maybe a tent along with poles on the side compression straps having the attachments at the back can be useful. 

In reply to phizz4:

Yes, I almost exclusively use the attachments on all bags I've owned with them.

I can understand the ease of access, but for me this hasn't ever really been a problem and allows me to use the compression straps either to hold other gear or to more effectively reduce the volume of the pack.

 spenser 31 Oct 2023
In reply to phizz4:

Usually yes, I might use the side straps if I am going to need easy access to the axe somewhere I won't want to take the rucksack off.

 olddirtydoggy 01 Nov 2023

900 grams for a minimalist, hardwearing pack?

I own an older Montane Ultra Alpine 38 + 5 at 610 grams made of a very tough fabric that has been hauled over all sorts of trips. It's pretty much a plain sack with 2 shoulder straps. Takes practice to pack it but it works.

Great write up but a minimal alpine pack should be a minimal alpine pack.

In reply to olddirtydoggy:

Both are minimal alpine packs in my view. Yes, the Ultra Alpine is more minimalist in it's feature set, but I think both still occupy that category, whilst prioritising different characteristics. The Core 35 prioritises minimal and strippable features with durability. One of my partners has the Montane Ultra Alpine 38, it's design seems to prioritise weight and a minimal feature set. Both are durable yes, but in my experience the Core 35 will outlast the Ultra Alpine, whilst the Ultra Alpine is a great streamlined light pack for climbing.

One pack being lighter than the other doesn't in my eyes mean a pack is not minimalist. I'd argue that minimalist and ultralight are not the same if that's what you are getting at?

 olddirtydoggy 02 Nov 2023
In reply to John McKenna - Rockfax:

You're quite right, both sit in the category of minimal. I'd say a minimal pack should be light as it lacks the bells and whistles that bring the weight up. Perhaps Exped are pitching this pack for those wanting something that will last 30 years of heavy use, I doubt my old Montane will be still going in 10. Choice is a great thing.

In reply to olddirtydoggy:

I think that’s exactly what they are doing

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