Alpine pack | Uphill Athlete

Alpine pack

  • Creator
  • #4738
    James H

    Hi guys
    Long term reader of the forums but first post, some great info here ?. Looking for some recommendations for a new alpine pack of around 40-45 litres. Looking for something light but still durable. There is a lot of options out there.

Posted In: Alpinism

  • Participant
    RPM on #4741

    I was on the market for a new pack a couple of years ago and determined the Patagonia Ascensionist 40 was the best compromise between price and weight. Surprisingly weather resistant as well. It’s not perfect but it does carry well, strips down and was not as expensive as other packs in this class. If you’re a member of the AAC, you get a 20% discount at

    Not everyone loves this pack so you might check it out in person if possible.

    James H on #4743

    I’ve looked at that one thanks. Only problem is I don’t live near outdoor stores that contain a wide selection of brands so trying kit in person is always a bit of a problem.

    MagnetarCO on #4940

    I personally like the CiloGear alpine packs, they come in various sizes and they are very customizable based on your various measurements. They are a bit more expensive than most, and the Woven/Non-Woven Dyneema packs are very expensive. I have never had any problems with my packs and they probably get 100+ days per year of use.

    I would also look at Hyperlite and Alpine Luddites.

    Steve House on #4969

    Myself and the Patagonia ambasssador team recently concluded a couple of years updating and upgrading the good old ascentionist clmbing packs. Lots of minor improvements, but the new fabric is the big upgrade (and the lighter weight) I personally feel these are the most refined climbing packs available for the sizes.

    James H on #4986

    Hi Steve
    Thanks for the reply. How durable is the pack? Has durability been reduced due to the weight savings?

    Zach Wahrer on #5110

    Hey everyone!

    I’d just like to bump this thread in regards to the durability question James H asked. I’m also in the market for a new alpine pack and am leaning towards the Ascensionist 30 as per your recommendation, Steve. I climb mostly rock and while I try to go as light as possible, I want to make sure it is going to be durable enough to get a couple seasons out of it. I understand the weight vs. durability trade off, and since I’m not to the point of counting grams just yet, I’d like my new pack to survive at least several rock excursions. 🙂

    Thanks for the help!

    Steve House on #5120

    The new fabric in the Ascentionist Pack line is more durable, and lighter, and more weather resistant than the original Ascentionist pack fabric. I do not know of an applicable objective measure of fabric durability, but subjectively I’ve been using these new packs for over a year and can vouch for the increase in toughness. Especially as the 30L version is $149 at full retail. That’s just a great price. To get better durability that what the Ascentionist pack fabric currently offers you’d have to go to non-woven dynema fabric, which in a 30L pack, would put you north of $500. You can buy 3 of these for less money.

    Zach Wahrer on #5124

    Hey Steve! Thanks for the subjective assessment. It is much appreciated. Gonna go with the Ascentionist pack. 🙂

    Paul Calabro on #5166

    Might be worth checking out Cold Cold World.
    Randy’s out of NH, he does good work. Nothing crazy high-tech, but he makes solid durable packs that are tough to beat at the price. I’ve got his Chernobyl and Valdez packs, and am a big fan of both. You can get modern tool attachments instead of tool loops if you ask.
    Also, his artwork is sweet.

    peterh on #5187

    I’ve used the Ascensionist 30L for over a year. I don’t have a car, so I’ve carried it on my back literally every day either in the mountains or while cycling (in any weather and usually fully stuffed). I don’t have any holes or tears in it yet. Really durable considering the light fabric. The minimalist design is great if you don’t like packs with endless amounts of straps and pockets that usually hide stuff more than organize it. The colors may have faded a bit, but I think the girls still like it.

    mikesurtees77 on #14560

    Anyone looking at this post in 2018 or beyond should seriously consider the Mountain Equipment (UK) Tupilak Pack.

    It’s amazing. It’s not Cheap but, having spent long days in Scottish Mountains earlier this year, it performed amazingly. I genuinely forgot i was wearing it.

    mike on #14563

    Another vote for Cold Cold World packs.

    alpinist75 on #15114

    I’ve been using a couple of Hyperlites for 4 years now. They carry very well, are super durable and of course light. And not cheap

    hafjell on #15175

    Another vote for Cold Cold World and the Ascensionist series. The I’ve been using the 30L Ascensionist for over a year as my only ski pack (not what it was intended for). I am notoriously tough on gear–big and clumsy–and it looks brand new except for some dirt or stains at the bottom (mostly from airports). I jury rig diagonal ski carries across the back where it is not reinforced, with bindings digging into and rubbing against the fabric, and it’s held up fine. I also stuff a sharp avy shovel and loose crampons in it, which it should be able to handle and has. I built a spreadsheet while shopping for packs and it came out in the top five in every category (including the two most important to me: weight and price).
    Wish it had full daisy chains along the sides; otherwise I’m not sure I’d add or subtract a thing.

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