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One pack that functions like three.

Go ahead, buy three different packs for different sections of your ascent―good luck carrying them all. If you'd rather not strap packs onto your packs, you can just bring the lightweight Mountain Hardwear South Col 70 Outdry Backpack, which is basically three packs in one. It's got plenty of space for a two-day winter mountaineering trip, and strips down to the basics to help on the summit push—you can pop off the top pocket, slide out the padded Hardwave suspension framesheet and aluminum stay, reduce the padded waist belt to a simple nylon webbing belt, and go fast 'n' light all the way to the top. 

When you're carrying a heavier load, leave the suspension in and walk cross-country in comfort. Along with rugged nylon fabrics, the South Col is kitted out with an OutDry waterproof membrane, which will keep all the gear in the main pocket dry as a bone, and features a front zip pocket that's easily accessible and maintains its volume, even if the bag is stuffed full. There are tons of lash points and straps for carrying skis, ice axes, and poles, an easy-access crampon stash pocket, and a top skirt that extends to give you an extra 300 cubic inches of space. Never bring two packs again.

  • Removable Alpine HardWave suspension, aluminum stay, padded waistbelt, and top pocket
  • Small/Medium fits torsos from 16-19 inches
  • Carries up to 60lbs
  • Top access
  • Durablie nylon fabrics with OutDry waterproof membrane
  • Front gear pocket and easy-access crampon pocket
  • Ski, ice axe, and pole carry
  • Compression straps

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Mountain Hardwear South Col 70 OutDry Backpack - 3975-4275cu in

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Here's what others have to say...

I like the weight, size and the fact that...

Posted on

I like the weight, size and the fact that it is waterproof but no place for a water bladder? What are the options for hauling and accessing water on this bag? From the pictures, it doesn't look like there are easily accessible side pockets but it is hard to tell. Thanks.

Responded on


A reservoir/bladder may be carried in the floating top pocket or in the front zippered pocket (though the latter is not ideal for weight distribution). Water bottles may also be carried in the top pocket, front zippered pocket and/or front crampon stash pocket (presuming you're not carrying crampons).

This is a mountaineering pack so Nalgene water bottles are usually carried inside the pack since they tend to freeze at higher elevations if they are outside the pack. Even though it's a mountaineering pack, the reasons you noted (weight, size and the fact that it's waterproof) make it a great backpacking pack as well!

Alex @ Mountain Hardwear

5 5

Awesome pack!

  • Familiarity: I've used it several times

This is an awesome multi-purpose pack. It's designed for multi-day alpine climbing trips. It would make an awesome pack for Mt. Rainier or Aconcogua. It would also be a good all around backpacking pack. The OutDry membrane keeps everything in the pack nice and dry. Great for the Pac NW and the AT. Really comfortable with around 45-50 lbs. Super durable too. Just a really good pack.