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For alpine climbers who want a few more features than your average stripped-to-nothing pack, Arc'teryx created the Khamsin 50 Backpack. Two aluminum stays and a dual-density frame sheet help support your load, and they can be removed to shave weight. Arc'teryx also added an emergency bivy pad for those unexpected nights in the open. The Khamsin 50 Backpack includes a collapsible kangaroo pocket that holds you crampons, screws, or extra layers then tucks out of the way for the climbing. When you need to get to something buried deep in this bag, just unzip the waterproof side access instead of going in through the top and risking a spill from 15 pitches up a route. *Only available for US shipment.

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Great Pack.

    But be careful loading it too full with things that can puncture the side. One of the first times I took this out I put my crampons in the pack on the side (in a puncture-proof sack). I had the pack so loaded that the pressure forced the side (not any of the points) of the crampon to puncture the side. Definitely more user error than anything wrong with the pack- just something to be cognizant of.
    Overall, a great pack. Can carry skis, crampons, tools, tent, sleeping bag, stove, clothes, screws, slings. Great for a winter overnight technical climb like Triple Couliors on Dragontail. Just load her up and forget about it. Strips down to a nice manageable day pack that allows you to climb technical terrain effortlessly (almost).

    Great Pack

      Used many times from campground camping to backpacking. Feels great, durable, awesome kangaroo pouch. Backpad can be used as emergency sleeping pad. Lots of room. The side zipper is super useful in grabbing something quick out of the main compartment. DO IT!

      If you need something this tough!!

        Great pack used it this season ice climbing in CT, and Vermont. Easily held puffy coat,hardshell,helmet,water bottle in parka, rope,screws,harness,snacks,binocs,heavy gloves, ice gloves,thermos,slings,camera,carabiners,axes(danglers a little wierd but work fine),and crampons(in kangaroo pocket).The wieght was fine, even traverseing up the side of smuggs.I have also used this pack for a couple overnighters, and can fit my tent,sleeping back,stove,thermarest,EZlite,water,food and extra clothing. Mind you this is a little overloaded,but worked fine.If your wondering about durability, I had to carry my girlfriends pack down about 200 feet of near vertical snow, and chucked this pack down it!! you would never even know. So if you need something this tough its worth the money.


          This back pack is sick, super comfortable and has a ton of room for a full rack, rope, gear and other random shit you drag to the crag with you. I thought the pack had a camel back pocket in it which it doesn't but the kangaroo pouch on the outside of the pack makes a great camel back pouch. I went with the steazy Bluebird cause everyday in Tahoe is a Bluebird day. you can't carry skis but I'm sure you could ghetto rig something up, but if you're a snowboarder like myself you could carry the board sideways behind your back. All in all killer pack and an affordable quality Arc"teryx product with a warranty as Bomber as the pack itself. Look for a bright blue pack up on Donner summit and chances are it's yours truly.

          Fits like a glove

            This packs is fantastic!!!!! The light weight material makes for a very light backpack. The moldable back piece can easily be adjusted to fit most any back and the added gear loops on the belt make for a great climbing pack. You can tell Arc'teryx has done their homework because this pack has great weight distribution and suspension. If it's an all day or weekend excursion this pack will hold most everything you need.

            Great Fit

              This backpack rocks (so far). I'm fairly short 5'6" and the regular fit me perfectly. I had littl- to-no adjustment of the back support poles for it to fit my back like a glove. The gearloops on the belt are a great feature as well, especially when trad climbing. Lightweight and sturdy, would recommend it to anyone who climbs or backcountry skis as it would work great for either.

              What is the waist sizes for this pack. I...

              What is the waist sizes for this pack. I need to know it my 44" waist is too big for the pack?

              Best Answer

              Hey Troy,

              The max recommended waist for the Khamsin in a large is 42". That doesn't necessarily mean it won't fit you, just that you'll have less tail on the adjustment straps, and that the padding will not line up quite right on your hip bones.

              Here's the hip belt fitting chart and instructions for all of Arcteryx's men's packs.


              **Another thing to consider is that Osprey's hip belts can be changed out, regardless of pack size. For example: even if you needed say a medium pack, they would be able to exchange the medium hip belt for an XL, which will accommodate you perfectly.

              Good for Back country riding? Do you think...

              Good for Back country riding?
              Do you think you could comfortably strap a snowboard to the back of this pack?

              Do anyone think that this would be a good...

              Do anyone think that this would be a good pack for a backpacking trip to east asia or is it mainly made for climbing?

              Best Answer

              Brandon Carlile is the gear expert when it comes to this pack, but I'll give some feedback until he is able to respond..

              This pack will work great for your backpacking trip. Although it is geared more for climbing and mountaineering, it still has the high quality and comfortable suspension, which is key when you are trying to enjoy the scenery and not worry about sore shoulders and back.

              If I could make a recommendation though, check out the Arc'teryx Axios 50 Backpack. It has a little more volume, is $75 cheaper, and is a bit more suitable for your trip.

              Another suggestion for a more suitable pack, for lots of reasons, not the least of which is helping keep you cooler with high humidity conditions because of the Spacermesh suspension system, and being more appropriate for backpacking/trekking would be the Arcteryx Altra 65 (item# ARC 0953).

              Unanswered Question

              My pack came with a small, sewn, circular...

              My pack came with a small, sewn, circular strap reinforced with a piece of plastic inside. Does anyone know what this is used for?

              Is there difference in build quality/materials...

              Is there difference in build quality/materials and design between the current Khamsin 50 and the now discontinued 2009 Khamsin 70l?

              I am looking for a pack that can double as a alpine assault and base camp trek pack that can load 50 pounds for a week. The Khamsin 50L I am thinking may be a bit small, although I do pack light.

              Perhaps the BD Quantumn 65 would be a good alternative?

              Any thoughts?

              Does the 50L volume also include the...

              Does the 50L volume also include the kangaroo pocket or is that an extra 5 or 10 liters, making this a 50+10L pack?

              Has anyone compare it with mammut trion...

              Has anyone compare it with mammut trion pro 50 l. ? It´s an alpine lighter masterpiece.
              See at
              Where do you attached trekking polesat Khamsin?

              Hi, I lost the little black strap on my...

              I lost the little black strap on my Khamsin-the one which snaps into the one on the left after wearing it, over the chest, to reduce the wobble. Anybody know where and how I could get a replacement? Absolutely love my Khamsin 50!

              how do you owners put your ropes in? under...

              how do you owners put your ropes in? under the lid like on most other packs, or is there a creative way to do it?

              I've carried my rope under the lid of the Arc'teryx Khamsin, and also, vertically, under the compression staps that go over the crampon pocket. This works when the pocket is empty, but not when you have crampons in there. If you're carrying a skinny rope, it will fit in the pocket and just hang out the top a bit.

              pack too heavy for alpine climbing @ 4.5...

              pack too heavy for alpine climbing @ 4.5 lbs? too small for alpine traverses for 2-3 days? Too big for 1 day alpine/winter cragging?

              The Arc'teryx Khamsin 50 can be lightened up a touch by removing the stays, and back panel foam (I'd say fit precedes weight, in that a good carrying pack lightens the overall load feel). For 3 day climbs, if you pack right, a 50 liter should be plenty (I did a 3 day Grand Teton ascent with a 45L Arc'teryx Naos; and that included 3 liter of Cabernet)For day trips, this pack can be compressed from the sides, removing the lid, and by closing down the front pocket. So, No.
              You do have another good option in the Khazri 55- 5oz lighter, 5 liters bigger, and still compressible; the trade off is features and harness plush.

              Most websites say this backpack is hydration...

              Most websites say this backpack is hydration compatible. They also say it has a hose port. Where is the port located?

              Can this pack carry skis even though its...

              Can this pack carry skis even though its not built in? and if so would you recomend this for a backcountry skiing pack?

              this Arc'teryx Khamsin 50 pack is great for year-round use, including backcountry skiing! the fabric under the side straps is durable and will be fine to carry skis. you can also use the front straps for a vertical carry, and the flaps will help stabilize them. You can even rig your own straps to the anchor points for axes, and do a diagonal carry.

              is the kangaroo pocket big enough to hold...

              is the kangaroo pocket big enough to hold a shovel and avalanche probe?

              It says there is a side pocket. is this...

              It says there is a side pocket. is this the kangaroo pouch? is the kangaroo pouch detachable?

              I want to use this for international backpacking even though it is not necessarily designed for that. Good idea / bad idea?

              It has a side access zipper, that accesses the internal chamber. the "kangaroo pocket" on the front is not removable, but the lid is, but doesn't have a belt to use a a small pack. This pack would be great for travel, but it isn't the toughest fabric Arc'teryx uses (but stronger than anyone else in this weight category) for that, check the Naos.

              What are the short tent pole looking...

              What are the short tent pole looking segments at the bottom of the pack attached to the ice ax loops for?

              On this pack you hang the ice axe(s) upside down so the head is below the bottom loop. You use the shaft to loop through the hole in the axe head from the bottom up (and from rear to front) and then use the bottom strap to tighten the axe and shaft together. That way your axe doesn't slip out of the loops.