I've currently got a Deuter Futura 32, which is great for walking, but not so good when I need to have it one whilst I'm climbing - it's too long to allow me to look up, especially when I'm wearing a helmet (I'm not the tallest bloke in the world), and whilst the mesh in the back is great on hot days, it's not so good for my centre of gravity.
So, I'm looking for something that won't have those problems, and that I can take on a plane with me as hand luggage. The Montane Medusa 32 looks as though it could be the solution.
Any recommendations from the collective wisdom of UKC?
I recently moved to a montane cobra 25 from an osprey 33 ltr pack. I find the slightly more rigid back on the montane makes it more comfortable and it generally seems more hard wearing. I like it a lot more! So far, I haven't found 25 ltr a drawback, I can strap a rope over the top securely using the compression straps and a long QuickDraw over the centre, and I have invented a simple strap to hold my helmet securely on the outside too. I got the 25ltr bag second hand off a mate for a song though, if I was buying new I'd be tempted by the 33 as it's probably just big enough to bivvy out of.
In reply to whenry:
I didn't like the Futura because of its centre of gravity but if it fits you, you can't be that short and simply putting the lid inside the main compartment and closing that via the drawstring should fix the helmet issue. It did for me.
I switched to a Deuter Guide 35+ because I can fit both climbing and camping gear in there with the extension. But the Medusa is 700g lighter and thus probably better if 32l is all you need.
But really, the solution is to head to a shop, with you gear, and try on a couple of packs.
Is this "multipitch climbing" full-on alpine routes or longish valley cragging style rock routes?
For the latter - waterproof, bottle of water, shoes, guidebook - I find the Pod Granite 16 excellent.
For alpine routes - the above plus food, belay jacket, minimal bivvy gear etc. - I like my OMM Villain. It's overkill capacity wise but can be stripped down to very light and frameless, and I find it distributes the weight flatter along my back and therefore climbs better than a smaller pack where the weight sits in one compact lump.
There is a 25 litre version of the Pod which might cover both jobs adequately.
In reply to whenry: It depends on what you want to put in it. When I'm just carrying a pair of shoes for the descent I use a kids gym bag. I've added a chest strap to stop it sliding off the shoulders. If I'm also carrying water and perhaps a warm top, I use a Lowe Alpine Illusionist, the straps are a little more substancial, that packs up small in my main pack. If I dont intend returning to the base of the route I have a Lowe Alpine sack that zips down from 40 litres to 20 litres but as it's a "limited edition" they are probably unavailable now.
In reply to whenry: Thanks for the suggestions... the Warthog and BD Speed are definitely two I'll look at too. I've got a big Camelbak can fit a few essentials for cragging; this isn't quite for alpine, but long walk-ins, 8+ pitches and no return to the bottom of the crag.
Markus- the Futura fits, but only just, so something a bit shorter seems sensible.
Another vote for the Pod Granite 16. I'm quite short and I found this pack really comfortable when climbing and big enough for half of the gear, water, food and a small jacket. Rope and helmet have to be attached on the outside.
In reply to whenry:
Petzl Bug for lightweight days, Montane Cobra when you need a little more space.
For winter i use a Marmot Centaur 38. All three are comfortable, versatile and all round great sacks, but the biggest thing is how they feel on your back. Get to a shop and try a few of the suggestions for fit and make your own mind up.
In reply to simon kimber:
Sorry, should have clarified that i meant lightweight in terms of the climbing rack being carried, not bag weight. The Bug is a great wee sack for single day outings, but it's limited by its own volume. I tend to use mine when i know i won't have to worry about waterproofs or other bulky stuff.
In reply to whenry: Montane Cobra 25 suits me for long days out multi pitching, and not to pricey either, sits secure and comfy on the back when climbing, and plenty of room, rope straps to the outside with the side straps, only down side is the meterial is quite thin, but it is a very light bag.
In reply to whenry: BD Speed 22 is a lovely wee bag, pricey but if you shop around you should be able to get it cheaper. Takes pretty much all i need for a day mutli pitching when the gear is split with my partner. Everything is thinned out and nothing really gets in the way, never noticed when i've been wearing it anyway.
Like others have noted, it really depends on what kind of multi-pitching you mean. I personally use a tiny 12 L Grivel Mago, that's perfect for carrying an extra couple of layers, water, camera, wallet and phone. With my climbing partners we have a rule that the second will carry the pack, but with the Mago I'm happy to keep it on me while leading because it has an extra gear loop at the front that can come in handy at times and it really does not hinder freedom of movement... no wonder... it's 12 L only! You can move it at the front reaching for its content without taking it off your shoulders which is nice so you don't risk dropping it. Grivel's got a 13 L version too, the Lynx, which comes with a detachable gear sling too. I've only ever seen it, so I can't comment on it.
Another pack many people like down here is the Climbing Technology Magic Pack. Packable 16 L backpack that some people carry as an extra emergency pack too... inside a bigger back.
If you mean more adventurous multi-pitching, alpine, winter, ice, etc. then it's a totally different game. You'll need a larger pack and it will be in the way one way or another. Last summer in Freidrichshafen I saw a preview of Climbing Technology's new 2014 climbing packs range. All designed with rock climbing in mind, clean lines and no frills, shaped in order to allow maximum freedom of movement (reversed pear, if that makes sense). Very interesting indeed.
Grivel's got a few already. The 28 L Marmolada is an interesting all-rounder, but evidently shaped for rock climbing. I personally can't see how you can go bigger than that without going into the realm of back packs for hiking and trekking.
But really there is so much out there and the standard is very high nowadays. Unfortunately despite everyone moving the manufacturing to the far east, prices don't seem to ease off at all...
Finally, in cash strapped Italy, people use whatever they have as long as it's small enough. I've literally seen people climbing with their kids old rucksacks. I can hardly go cheaper than that! ;-)