/ New climbing pack
I am looking at getting a new pack for climbing (sport and trad). So I guess the requirements are that it needs to be able to hold full sport/trad rack, food & water for the day and be able to attach my rope, plus hold any other small extras.
I tried the Osprey Mutant (M/L) as it is marketed as a climbing pack but it felt really uncomfortable against my back. I then tried the Osprey Exos which was really comfy, but reading the review on UKC it says its not a pack for climbing.
Can anyone offer any advice on the Exos or any other pack to try? budget is circa £100
I've got a lowe alpine half dome (35). The harness/back system is pretty comfortable to wear when it's full and it's got an axe loop which is great - if I were to replace it right now I'd get something similar but a little bigger, maybe 40L, because with a full trad rack, food, water and a flask, waterproof and a helmet, with a rope slung over the top, it's crammed to the brim. Perhaps I should encourage my climbing partners to start carrying some of the gear...
Anyway, they don't do the half dome any more but they have this for £100 on the nose: https://lowealpine.com/uk/alpine-ascent-40-50
Ive just bought Patagonia cragsmith 32L, brilliant design.
I use a Blue Ice 40l pack, its around 4 years old, can't remember the model but its bomb proof!!
The Blue Ice Warthogs are half price at SportPursuit currently.
I have a more technical pack for mountain days and winter, but for a general trad and sport pack, or general climbing pack so to speak I love the Alpkit Burro.. It’s bloody perfect.
If you're just looking for something to haul a load of gear on non-technical approaches, you don't really need something that's specifically marketed as a "climbing pack". That generally marks out features that make the pack better for actually climbing with, which you don't seem to be interested in based on your post. You probably just want a rucksack around about 40 litres that's up to holding a decent bit of weight and sits comfortably and stably on your back. Lots of packs will meet that criteria well and, in my opinion, how well it fits you is the most crucial aspect.
For what it's worth, my general cragging pack for years now has been an Osprey Talon 42. It's a good size and shape to swallow all sorts of gear well, compresses different size loads easily, carries comfortably and has been pretty bombproof for me for about a decade. I also find the external stretch pockets really handy for gear I've run out of space for, am chucking in at the last minute, or want quickly accessible. You won't find useful external pockets like that on packs aimed at climbing but they're dead handy for a cragging pack.
Some manufacturers like DMM or Black Diamond now make cragging packs specifically designed for hauling your gear to crags with extra features aimed at organising your gear and accessing it easily. Can't comment on those because I haven't tried them but if you want something with a specialist label attached, that might be more relevant to your needs than packs like the Mutant that are designed for being on your back while you climb.
Edit: And I forgot that a top compression strap under the lid for attaching a rope is invaluable. You can normally use the lid to hold a rope on but an adjustable strap is easier and more secure.
> Can anyone offer any advice on the Exos or any other pack to try? budget is circa £100
Exos are designed and marketed for lightweight backpacking. They wont stand constant abrasion etc. Great sacks of their type, but you may want something more robust.
You only need a 'climbing' pack if you plan to wear it while climbing.
For carrying your stuff during the approach buy a comfortable, not to small pack (40L?) (if you can, just take everything with you to the store and try it there), robust (not super light weight) hiking backpack that you may use for other things as well.
100GBP isn't much, but there are lots of deals at the moment.
The Talon was something I was also looking at but they only had the 22 (I think) in store. Do you find the back well vented and not too sweaty?
As you said, the pack will primarily be used for carrying gear for the approach, and probably be used for the odd trip abroad. I may also use it for some mountain multi pitch routes but that's not high on the priority list.
I got one of these a few months ago. Feels robust and the right size for overhead lockers on the plane. Seem to be able to get loads of gear in it too.
If you're just looking to carry your gear to the crag then the DMM flight is great. Not sure I'd want to climb a multi-pitch with it on though.
Or the decathlon simond one, £65 and a decent size and design for cragging. Passable for climbing with
I've got the DMM Flight. Fits a rope, gear, lunch, clothing and has a flap for your helmet then folds out suitcase style so you don't have to spread everything out on the floor, can't fault it and would buy it again...
> The Talon was something I was also looking at but they only had the 22 (I think) in store. Do you find the back well vented and not too sweaty?
I mean, it's not a suspended back system like the Exos so it sits close to your back rather than imposing a gap. Personally, I think that's what you want for a crag pack because the bend in suspended back systems makes them harder to pack and moves the weight further away from you.
I've never found it problematic. Sometimes I get a little sweaty but the back system isn't too spongelike.
I use a BD speed 30 (which extends to a little over 40L with the collar up) as a winter pack and as an on-route pack for the second to carry in a team of 3 on big days out, and a BD stone 45L for cragging. Both will fit a rack, water, food, rope, but you have to be smarter about how you pack with the speed, versus the stone which I can just toss everything in, then zip open the side to get at all of it.
if you're looking for something to shuttle gear to the crag and then be able to climb with the pack, the speed 30 or the Patagonia ascensionist packs are the most versatile packs I've used .
I have a Deuter Guide 45+ and really like it because...
It's generally above your budget but Outside have it on sale: https://www.outside.co.uk/climbing-gear/climbing-rucksacks-bags/climbing-alpine-rucksacks/deuter-guide-45-rucksack-mens-bay-midnight.html
I have the deuter gide 45 and I just can't fault it, at all as max said have look at in go out doors it think you will be pleased with it well worth spending the extra on
I had the Moon Aerial a few years back. Nice enough pack but found that it was very tricky to pack. Was okay for summer sport climbing but I found it a right pain for trad climbing.
The roll top meant that attaching a rope to the outside was a pain - you could use the main compression straps but it tended to loll about a lot. Trying to fit a rope and everything else inside just led to straining, and eventually breaking, the zip on the front. Everyone always commented that it looked like a great pack, but personally I couldn't wait for it to break so I could justify replacing it.
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