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  • Patagonia - Ascensionist Pack 45L - 2746cu in - Drifter Grey

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  • Patagonia - Ascensionist Pack 45L - 2746cu in - Drifter Grey

Patagonia Ascensionist Pack 45L - 2746cu in

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    • Drifter Grey

    12 Reviews


    A stripped-down pack for day climbs and alpine ascents.

    Patagonia made the 45L Ascensionist Pack with just the features you need most when you're pushing hard on an ascent. This ultralight pack loves the idea of ice-climbing in Ouray, ascending Aconcagua, or hiking for a week through Glacier National Park. Aluminum offers some structure but can come out when you don't want to fight both your pack and the terrain. Since this high-minded pack only has 1 point of access—the top—you'll want to put less-used items in the bottom. An internal flap draws up over the top and slips under the main collar to create a weather-resistant seal. The center sheath wants to hold your ice axe, no matter the size. Lots of daisy chain lash points give you external storage options when you don't want filthy ropes or mud-crusted crampons inside your bag. If you're only out for the day, use the compression straps to minimize bulk and maximize mobility.

    • Padded shoulder straps
    • Hip belt, removable padding
    • Removable aluminum framesheet suspension
    • Top spindrift collar access, drawstring closure
    • Secondary spindrift collar, weather and gear protection
    • 210D nylon double-ripstop and 400D nylon ripstop exterior
    • 40D nylon double-ripstop with PU coating and silicone finish lining
    • Center ice axe sheath
    • Front and side panel daisy chains
    • Compression straps
    • S/M: 16-19in torso, 28-36in waist
    • L/XL: 19-22in torso, 32-42in waist
    • Item #PAT007A

    Tech Specs

    210D nylon double ripstop, 400D nylon ripstop
    2746 cu in
    removable aluminum stays
    Waist Belt
    Hydration Compatible
    top drawstring
    1 zippered lid
    Gear Loops
    Ice Axe Carry
    yes, side straps
    Claimed Weight
    2 lb 3.2 oz
    Recommended Use
    Manufacturer Warranty

    Tech Specs

    • Reviews
    • Q & A

    What do you think about this product?

    Have questions about this product?

    Great Pack For Climbing

    • Familiarity: I've used it several times

    This pack is a wonderful addition to my quiver. It serves it's purpose as an alpine pack that totes your useful needed gear up and down your objectives. It is comfortable and insofar very durable.

    Though if you are looking for a 'crag' pack I suggest looking elsewhere. It is difficult to get to the bottom due to it's opening. But it serves that function well being easy to pack quickly and keeping what you have dry. The top zipper pocket seems just a little short but if you keep just snacks or a headlamp in there it has no issues.

    Love the Unique Design

    • Familiarity: I've used it several times

    I like this pack because of the unique, functional way this pack was designed. I got to borrow a 35L pack for ice climbing last winter, and was certainly intrigued by the closure system. I picked up a 45L this spring, and although I haven't been able to use it in the winter yet, I've used it to carry rock climbing gear, and hiking.

    The top opens plenty wide, so its not too hard to access gear when the pack has a day's worth of items in it. For just a day's worth of climbing gear, there was plenty of room.

    I find the pack comfortable when packed gear. My biggest pet peeve with most packs is a lacking hip strap, but this pack had plenty of padding and rested comfortable all day. I also like how it was tall, and fits well the entire height of my back; there were no spots of excess pressure or friction for me.

    Lastly, I love the closure system. I find it incredibly simple to use, yet it still does a great job securing gear and keeping it covered. Its unique, yet I still think it is more functional and versatile than zippers and buckles, especially with gloves.

    In short, this pack is comfortable, simple, and functional, and will try to remember to update this in the winter with more feedback.

    Love the Unique Design

    blue/white ascensionist at Cogne

    using a 45L ascensionist at Cogne, with two sets of ice axes (one set for my wife) and 60m rope, at Gran Paradiso. Pack wasn't very full, mainly puffy jackets, crampons, helmets, water bottles, first aid kit etc. Climbed Pattinaggio artistico that day.

    blue/white ascensionist at Cogne

    It helps to be creative with this design

    • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

    I bought this pack for the feather weight and ability to pack a heavy load with surprising comfort. I was NOT disappointed with the design.

    In looking at some other review criticisms, I noticed that people are having trouble with the rope attachments. My solution makes for an excellent attachment with the available straps. The trad climber's solution is to use an alpine draw to clip the handle with one carabiner, wrap the middle of the rope around once with the draw, and then clip the other carabiner around the attachment webbing that holds down the pack lid. This--in combination with the four side-attachments--makes for a very secure rope attachment that has made it possible for me to load this baby down with nearly 50 lb loads and yet have the balance to perform highly technical fourth-class approaches with great confidence.

    I did not use the alpine draw to secure the rope in the included photo--so please don't be confused by that. When heavily packed, it is less important, I have found to secure the rope at the top in that manner--because the bulging upward of the pack forces the rope forward. I DO usually use the draw and carabiners now though for the added security they afford when I'm doing a hard approach. This photo was taken before I figured out the aforementioned method.

    I don't know what more could be expected of a pack--but it DOES take some creativity to find the solution. The photo shows a 46 lb packing job with full bolting kit--18 volt electric rotary hammer--and complete heavy rack including Big Bros, 8 bolts and hangers, and two alpine chain anchors. You can see the 4, 5, and 6 camalots hanging on the outside--but I usually leave them behind. :-)

    Thanks Patagonia!

    It helps to be creative with this design

    Great pack, lightweight and roomy

    • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

    After reading some of the other reviews here, I can agree with some of the cons and a lot of the pros are on point. I have this pack in the 35L as well and wanted to replace my Marmot 45L with something light. This is definitely light. I removed the frame sheet which doesn't save that much weight, but I found it helpful for stuffing as much in it as you can. At 45L, it can be quite cavernous, similar to their black hole bags, which can be annoying at times when what you need is at the bottom of your pack. I also have a BD Mission pack and the side zip is awesome for getting into the bottom of the pack without emptying everything out. I found there was just enough room for a 3 day mountaineering trip. I can say that I wish the straps were more comfortable for heavier loads, but then again it is designed with fast and light in mind.

    I had -
    Thermarest neo air xtherm regular
    First aid kit
    MH Phantom 0 bag
    Marmot Hammer tent
    Patagonia Fitz Roy parka
    Extra base layers
    Food for 3 days
    pot and stove
    Helmet (inside)
    other small essentials

    I attached crampons to the daisy chain with ski straps similar to how you would with a BD pack. The ice tool pick pocket was very functional and I had a 40m rope as well. I never had an issue with loosing my rope, or having it come loose. Gear loops were great for slings and other alpine gear. Feel free to reach out if you want a better idea of how I got it on there.

    Great pack, lightweight and roomy

    What's the Hype About?

    • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

    I'm not quite sure why the reviews are so positive for this pack. I've definitely put this thing through the wringer and there are some problems that need to be addressed. My main application was alpine and ice climbing (what it was specifically designed for).
    -'Pick pockets' are very convenient and the top tool strap is an extension of the side compression strap. (weight savings)
    -Gear loops are nice on the hip belt
    -Sewn daisy chain on the back make it convenient for lashing random gear onto
    -It's light!
    -There is no good way to attach a rope to the top because there is no dedicated rope strap. Due to the sloppy rope carrying method intended for this pack, I've had my rope fall off my pack...not something you want on committing terrain.
    -Compared to some of it's rivals, this pack is not that comfortable
    -The inner nylon sheet, that contacts the aluminum wire frame, is actually being worn through after only 3 months! This is not an area of high abrasion, it's just a design flaw. This is the reason I'm returning it to Patagonia.

    This pack needs to go back to the drawing boards. Yeah, it's light but at what expense? It doesn't accomplish it's job as an alpine/ice climbing pack very well. I really wanted to like this pack but it just didn't serve it's function.

    i can agree that the lack or specific rope carry is a pretty serious Con, and I've attached some spare <2mm cordellete to the center daisy chains to aid with external crampon carry. According to Steve House's video of him packing, he stuffs his rope in the pack, and as far as I can tell, the pack is designed specifically to have that overstuffed look/feeling when on the approach, so that it can be shrunk down on the ascent. Unfortunately I have to concur with this rating and wish some more "traditional" designs could have remained, but I can respect the attempt to reinvent and simplify the system. last note, the lack of extra zipper pockets for food makes it a throw up style pack when looking for other essentials

    Sweet pack!

    • Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions

    Whether you are hiking the Oregon trail or are spending the day st your local crag, this pack will get it done. I also love the way the pack fits. The shoulder straps are also very comfortable. If you are considering buying this pack, dont hesitate.

    Ascenionist Packs Just Rock

    • Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions

    I was looking for a bare bones 50Lish mountaineering pack. I have the Ascentionist 35L, but was thinking of a more traditional style pack at this size. I originally considered the Gregory Alpinisto 50, Osprey Variant 52, and the Lowe Alpine Mountain Attack 45:55. A combination of fit and features I wasn't stoked about had me still searching, so I gave the Ascensionist 45L a try. Once i weighted it and tried it on, I was sold. For me the Ascensionist series just fits like a glove. What I love the most with this series is the range of capacity and how minimalist it is. When blown up, it carries a ton, but better yet when it's not filled all the way, there's no other pack that shrinks down better. No extra long straps hanging around. I spent two days with it on Mount Mitchell where we hiked the Old Mount Mitchell Trail and Black Mountain Crest Trail. I had about 30 lbs and barely noticed it. I also used Steve House's tip in his YouTube review and utilized my sleeping pad in place of the frame. I folded up my Thermarest Neoair Xtherm and helped save some space, weight with no real impact to form and function. The only slight negative is the top pouch can be a bit tight to get into when it's loaded up. Can't wait to get it out in some alpine environments this winter!

    Ascenionist Packs Just Rock

    super light!

    • Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions

    Love the weight of this backpack, sits really high which gives me a good range of motion. Straps dig in a bit for my shoulder, but thats the cost of not having extra padding (weight). Great alpine pack!

    LOVE it.

    • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

    I absolutely love this bag. I use it for pretty much everything! I have used this guy from backpacking to being a daily hiking pack to carrying all my climbing gear.

    I mainly bought this guy to hold all my climbing gear and it holds everything nice and tight. Right now I carry a 70m rope, about 20 draws, a trad rack, my helmet, snacks and drinks, and a bunch of various other things!

    I absolutely love it. It is nice and sturdy and have had it loaded with about 40 pounds of gear and hiked about 10 miles in it and my shoulders, back and hips never got tired. Super adjustable!

    I would recommend this pack to anyone :)

    Can't go wrong with this pack!

    • Familiarity: I've used it several times

    I purchased this pack for my daughter to use on a multi-day backpacking trip in the high sierras. I specifically selected it because I wanted a solid frame but also a bag that was lightweight and comfortable. This fit the bill perfectly! It's easy to adjust the bag to different shapes and styles and I was able to secure a really close fit for my daughter. She was all smiles from trailhead to summit and I'm convinced this pack was a big contributor!

    I'm falling in love with it

    • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

    I drooled over this pack for several months before i finally picked it up. The major decision factor was the rigid frame. I need something that will stand up and hold my kit a little bit better. I had a sack before that had a soft frame and I routinely found the pack folding in the middle, putting all the pressure on my shoulders and belly button (e.g., no weight on my hips where it should be).
    The Ascensionist is the right size pack for a day of cragging. I fit rope, draws, biners, cams, nuts, helmet, lunch and water in here with no problem. There's just barely room to spare for another layer and removing the rope increases the available space dramatically - a better option for an overnight bivy.
    The hood is awesome. Lots of flexibility and expansion room (for that bivy kit).
    Ice tools fit nicely on the pack, though there's no magic interface that lets me reach back and pull one off one handed (no pack does that as far as i know).
    The hip suspension is nice, though I haven't found a use for the gear loops just yet (only used for day trips).
    I've been carrying the pack heavily laden for alpine training, too. It holds up ok with 30lbs of random stuff. Tried to get it close to volume full at 30lbs and it was pretty comfortable for 2 hrs (uninterrupted).

    [update] Thrilled with the pack. Used it in Ecuador for a couple of summits. Loaded far less than full volume and training weights for the actual summits. I think I ran 20 lbs. and barely noticed the pack.
    [updated to 5-stars] thanks to Scott's observation that my rating and my review didn't match.

    I'm falling in love with it

    Bravo Patagonia

    • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

    If I could marry this pack, I just might. To note; I used this pack for a multi-day (3 days, 3 nights) trip this past week up in the Sawtooths in Idaho. I was carrying a load that had a base weight of around 20-22 ish lbs and adding food /water pushed the weight to 25-30 lbs. I had discomfort at my waist due to the thin hip belt but overall, I was nothing but impressed and in love with this pack.

    Compartment Access:

    Most packs have a "Brain" and typically annoy the crap out of me since there are multiple attachment points, Velcro, buckles, etc. This pack has a single entry that has one strap (fully adjustable in two positions) and two draw strings. You don't need to tighten the inner draw string unless your sporting a full load at which point, you gain a bit of extra space due to the expansion and then the inner draw cord is money. The real benefit to the simplified entry is that it is so much quicker and less flimsy.


    So the only pockets on this are either the main compartment which is where you'll store 99% of your gear or the one zippered pocket on the top of the pack. I love, love, love that Patagonia ran the zipper on this pocket from front to back rather than side to side like most packs. This makes it so if you're stopped and unzip this pocket and the pack is sitting upright, your goods don't fall out. Try that with a side to side zipper, your stuff will be everywhere. There are no side pockets for water bottles or collecting shit. Nothing to snag on stuff. Minimal and awesome.


    This is a 210D nylon pack, so far it's held up great. No signs of abrasion damage or anything. There is slight staining from setting the pack in the dirt, but hey shit happens. Party hard and get after it. (I have the "Tailored Grey" color.

    Removable Stays:

    I pulled this out right off the bat. This was weight in the pack (not a lot) but I was looking to cut any weight were ever I could to get my base weight down. Since returning, I've put it back in the pack, and on winter trips, there is a good chance I?ll be using this in there.

    Shoulder Straps:

    I can't complain about these, there was a tad bit of rawness on my shoulders but I was probably carrying a heavier load for a longer period of time than was intended for this pack. I think the padding is sufficient for an alpine pack. The load straps are also great. Nothing really to say other than it's done well.

    Chest Strap:

    So I'm really digging Patagonia's style of adjustability on the straps on these packs and the low profile daisy chain spots. The chest strap is adjustable in terms of its position relative to the shoulder straps as well as the ability to tighten it across the chest. Nicely build.

    Waist Belt:

    So I'm pretty excited to use the gear loops on the removable waist belt this coming winter. They've got me excited. But in terms of the waist belt, I kept the padded waist belt on since I was sporting a slightly heavier load. I actually ended up getting rubbed raw and had two spots, one on each hip the size of a penny that rubbed through the first few layers of skin. A few scabs later and all is good. It was pretty unpleasant for the 2nd and 3rd day since these were pretty much just getting reopened each day but it?s not enough to make me want to never use the pack again. After playing around the straps, I found the plastic piece and this was the part that was causing the severe rubbing.

    Attachment Points:

    The low profile daisy chains are kick ass! But there are also two straps that buckle in on each side for holding the handles of your ice tools. I used these for holding my trekking poles in place and had zero problems with them. Bomber.


    With everything in life, I?m always in the middle of sizing. My torso measurement (C7 to the top of the Iliac Crest) is 19 inches and my waist is 32-33 inches. I purchased the S/M since I needed that for my waist but a slightly longer bag for my torso would have been nice. But the L/XL would have been too large for my waist and a tad long for my torso. Overall though, great adjustability on this pack, I wish they did three sizes instead of two but such is life.

    Ice Tool Attachments/Winter Use:

    Sadly I can?t comment here due to me having only owned and used this pack during the summer. But based on the videos, I?d expect this to be nothing short of perfect for cradling a pair of mighty ice tools. I?m excited to push the limits of this pack for this coming winter.

    All in all?well done Patagonia; well done.

    Jared D.


    800.409.4502 ext 4055


    How does this pack handle heavy load? I'm on my last with my Mountain Hardwear SummitRocket. Granted, it is not designed for heavy loads, but the thing folds like politician under load. I even pulled an aluminum from from a like-sized bag to put in and got the same thing 90% weight on my shoulders a large gap betwen my spine and the bag, and a sagging diaper bottom. I did a 2-hour training hike yesterday and wanted to kill myself 15 minutes into it. 40lbs. was 20lbs. too much for this pack. Am looking at the Ascensionist as a replacement. Granted 45lbs. should be too much for any technical ascent, but it's a great training load. So i am looking for a pack that can at least stand up to that kind of load should i need to do it.

    After extensive testing, what say you?


    So when I've used this pack, the heaviest loads I've carried were around 30ish pounds. My base weight was 20 pounds and then adding in food and water I got to around 30 ish pounds. Other times I've used this I've had a full rack and a 70m rope with stuff for an over night. So that trip the pack might have approached 30 pounds again. Both times I used the pack for heavier loads I removed the stay in the pack.

    I'd say a 45 pound load will be pushing it for this pack but is probably doable. I'd be hesitant about that load for more than 3 or so hours as I used the pack for 3 days/4 nights with the 30 pound load and the waist best rubbed the skin on my hips raw. This was from the plastic inserts in the waist belt that help keep it rigid and a low profile for putting gear on.

    At the 45 pound range, what exactly are you carrying? Are you looking for at this for training or for just alpine trips? Or a combination? I ask that just to get an idea of the volume of space that the items with take up.

    Feel free to call in to at 800.409.4502 ext 4055

    Jared D.


    800.409.4502 ext 4055


    I removed the frame to reduce weight and increase space. For my needs, I put my sleeping pad inside the pack and that provides enough rigidity for my needs.

    If I were hauling a truly heavy load, I'd for sure want it in. But I never really get about 20 pounds in the pack.

    Shoot me an email anytime you have questions!

    Jared D.
    Expert Gearhead

    My waist/torso sizes are 34" and 19.5" respectively. I want to purchase this pack for my wife who is definitely smaller.

    I know I'll end up using the pack a lot myself as a secondary climbing pack. I'm leaning towards the S/M size for her sake, but wondering if it's going to be too uncomfortable for me? The sizing chart looks generic, so maybe those measurements are just "general guidelines" from Patagonia. Any thoughts on the S/M for my measurements above?

    Best Answer


    I've got this pack in the S/M and I'm 6'0'' tall with an 18.5" ish torso. I went S/M on this pack because I have a 33" waist and wanted the ability to really tighten it down.

    You should definitely be fine with the S/M as long as you're not super tall.

    Shoot me an email anytime you have questions!

    Jared D.

    Expert Gearhead


    How does this pack do in the rain? Is the material waterproof?
    Secondly, does anybody know how well that ice tool loop holds up i.e. does it get cut to shreds in two weeks? Cheers

    Is the bag material a super lightweight nylon or is it more of a cordura? Translation: can the bag take a fair amount of abuse and over-stuffing? I want to use it for a camera bag, not it's intended use. Thanks to all who take the time to answer. Peace.

    Craig, the bag can take some abuse but, after about a year of use I am seeing some tears on the side from where my skis were being held in an A-Frame (Patagonia will fix this). I almost always over-stuff it too which hasnt been an issue, I would just put the camera towards the top stacked on top of all my layers in there. Maybe even wrap the camera up or use some sort of stronger stuff/dry sack to put the camera in. I wouldnt use it as a straight up camera bag as its not water proof.

    Feel free to hit me up at or 801-736-6398.