Recommendations: Durable, shoulder friendly pack

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 maxf 02 Mar 2022

Dear UKC,

I am looking for recommendations for a mid size, durable, and shoulder friendly pack. I broke my clavicle some years ago and find my current pack (BD speed 30) no longer transfers weight to my hips and any walking even with a moderate weight leaves my right shoulder (trapezius and pec minor) incredibly tight which then flares up a recurring anterior shoulder pain. 


- around 40ish litres. 

- suitable for summer and winter (ice axe straps etc)

- preferably something that will last more than a few years 

- decent hip belt and comfy shoulder straps with light to moderate loads

- willing to have not the lightest pack in order to have more durability and better carry support

I have been thinking to get an Aiguille Alpine pack but open to suggestions.

Many thanks

 HomerTheFat 02 Mar 2022
In reply to maxf:

Osprey Mutant?

 elnombremike 08 Mar 2022
In reply to maxf:

I have had the Ortovox trad 35 for a few years now, I love it. Unfortunately I don't get out climbing much these days due to work, but when I do, it handles everything I need nicely, no holes or broken straps or buckles so far. I find it super comfy on the shoulders and they do loads of variations if you want something more climbing/skiing focused etc. Im slim built but find the shoulder straps sit nicely with no pressure points, and hip belt is small enough not to annoy me, but big enough to give some support. I got mine on discount as they can be a bit pricey. Hope this helps, good luck.

In reply to maxf:

Have a look at Deuter Sacks. I have two, a 30 litre and a 35+. Not the lightest but very comfortable. bought to replace a Mutant, which I found had poor back support.

In reply to maxf:

+1 for Deuter I have had an older Deuter Guide 35 + that I use as my crag bag and winter day bag. Really comfy carrying my trad gear, rope etc. 

 barbeg 09 Mar 2022
In reply to maxf:

Hi, give Adrian a call at Aiguille Alpine.  He'll sort you out...custom made, bombproof sacs.


In reply to maxf:

I've been pretty happy with the Montane Fast Alpine 40. Paid about 90quid in Go Outdoors. Big comfy hip strap that still gets out of the way when you need it to.

 Ben More 09 Mar 2022
In reply to maxf:

Can't go wrong with Aiguille Alpine packs. I've the MidiSP 35L and the Midi 28L. Comfortable and tough. Great value.

As barbeg suggests - give them a ring and they'll customise for you. 

 Siward 09 Mar 2022
In reply to Ben More:

Sounds like the op needs a smallish pack but with a proper weight bearing and shaped hip belt that might ordinarily live on a larger pack, thus taking the weight off the shoulders.

Not sure what that pack IS though... 

Post edited at 14:22
 Ben More 10 Mar 2022
In reply to Siward:

The hip belts on the Aiguille Alpine packs are robust and will do the job in weight bearing. They are readily available extras for the 28L Midi packs and upwards. 

 scotthldr 10 Mar 2022
In reply to maxf:

Mammut Trion(not the Spine version), got one last year to replace Lowe Alpine AZ pro. Probably the comfiest pack I’ve worn.

 Basemetal 10 Mar 2022
In reply to maxf:

I broke my collar bone last year and it healed with quite an overlap and a lump, shortening my shoulder span by about an inc on that sideh. My usual  winter rucksack is a 2nd gen Blue Ice Warthog 40 that had a minimalist webbing hip strap.

First couple of times I went out with it afterwards I was aching quite a bit at the end of a day's walking, though climbing. was fine.  Trawling around I found a Granite Gear aftermarket hip belt that I could use with the Warthog -I had to sew some 50mm Velcro to the Hip belt, but I can now  wear it with one shoulder strap slackened off whenever I need to.

Wearing it like that reminded me of the old Karrimor Jaguars (Models 1, 5 and 7 IIRC, or any similar internal framed pack) that you could wear completely slackened off thanks to the padded hip belt and rigidity of the pack. So Ebay may well be worth searching . 

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