• Osprey Mutant 38

      MSRP: $170.00 BEST FOR: Light and fast alpinism   The new Osprey Mutant 38 lives up to its name: this thing is freakishly good for alpine climbing. We’ve taken it out for long days … Continue reading "First Look: Osprey Mutant 38"
  • Black Diamond Mission 55

    MSRP: $219.00 BEST FOR: alpine and winter climbing   It’s for ice and winter climbing. Winter travel. Alpine cragging, at the very least. But what if you are a plain rock climber who always overloads … Continue reading "Black Diamond Mission 55"
  • Metolius Freerider Pack

      MSRP: $139.00 BEST FOR: Trad or sport cragging   In design, Occam’s Razor encourages us to eliminate unnecessary elements that would decrease a design’s efficiency and the Metolius Freerider crag pack adheres to this … Continue reading "Metolius Freerider Pack"
  • Jack Wolfskin Mountaineer 42L

      MSRP: $315.00 BEST FOR: Mountain travel, alpine climbing    Full disclosure: I like European gear. Euro clothing often fits me better and their pack designs are often svelte rather than burly. Hence my excitement … Continue reading "Jack Wolfskin Mountaineer 42L"
  • Gregory Alpinisto 35L

    This review appeared in Rock and Ice issue 249 (April 2018). The Gregory Alpinisto is a redesign of their venerable alpine pack. The new Alpinisto is for a climber, skier, snowboarder or just plain backcountry … Continue reading "Gregory Alpinisto 35L"
  • The North Face Route Rocket 16

      MSRP: $79.00 BEST FOR: Multi-pitching   “Should we bring a pack with us or just clip things to our harnesses?” It’s a question my partners and I debate virtually every time we rack up … Continue reading "The North Face Route Rocket 16"
  • Osprey Exos and Eja Packs

      MSRP: $180–$220 BEST FOR: Long and/or strenuous approaches, hiking and backpacking   The updated Osprey Exos (men’s) and Eja (women’s) range of backpacks, available in 38, 48 and 58 liter sizes, are excellent-value all-around packs … Continue reading "Osprey Exos and Eja Packs"
  • Mountain Hardwear Multi-Pitch 25 Pack

      MSRP: $110.00 BEST FOR: Multi-pitching   Burly haul-bag materials in a svelte, minimalist multi-pitch backpack—that’s what you get with Mountain Hardwear’s Multi-Pitch 25 Pack. This 1 lb 12 oz top-loader comes with a host … Continue reading "Mountain Hardwear Multi-Pitch 25 Pack"
  • CiloGear W/NW Dyneema 60 WorkSack

    CiloGear W/NW Dyneema 60 WorkSack | $775 + Airbeam Frame $60 | cilogear.com ★★★★ When I heard of a pack so tough that the maker called it an “heirloom pack, something you can hand down to your grandkids,” I … Continue reading "CiloGear W/NW Dyneema 60 WorkSack"
  • Arc’teryx Alpha FL 45

    Arc’teryx Alpha FL 45 | $239 arcteryx.com ★★★ You would have to watch The Full Monty to see strippage equal to that of the new Arc’teryx Alpha FL 45. This pack is so spare it … Continue reading "Arc’teryx Alpha FL 45"
  • Black Diamond Speed 55, 2014 Model

    Black Diamond Speed 55 | $189.95 | bdel.com ★★★★ The old saying, “a rope, a rack and the shirt on your back” sounds pure and glorious. Unless you actually climb. Then the mantra becomes more … Continue reading "Black Diamond Speed 55, 2014 Model"
  • Hyperlite Mountain Gear 3400 Ice Pack

    Hyperlite Mountain Gear  3400 Ice Pack hyperlitemountaingear.com | $295 |  **** I used to pull out a certain rucksack for sport climbing, another for trad and a third for alpine. Last year I received a pack from … Continue reading "Hyperlite Mountain Gear 3400 Ice Pack"