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Patagonia Ascensionist 35L Backpack


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Ascensionist 35L Backpack

The Ascensionist 35 fits into Patagonia’s line of technical daypacks as a lightweight option for swift trail missions in technical terrain. Daisy chain loops accommodate the necessary climbing gear for one-to-two day excursions in the high-alpine.

  • Technical daypack boasts features for hiking, climbing, and travel use
  • DWR finish supplies waterproofing so your extra layers and gear stay dry
  • Padded hip belt and sternum strap fit securely while navigating scree fields
  • Completely recycled construction provides a clear conscious as you explore
  • Durable ripstop materials are abrasion resistant to last for years to come
  • Item #PATZ9HQ

Responsible Collection
Bluesign Approved
[face fabric] 100% recycled nylon ripstop, [lining] 100% recycled polyester
35L (2136cu in)
Waist Belt
Hydration Compatible
Gear Loops
daisy chain
25.5 x 12 x 5.5in
Claimed Weight
1lb 15.5oz
Recommended Use
hiking, sport climbing, trad climbing, travel
Manufacturer Warranty

Tech Specs

What do you think about this product?


>Rating: 3

Solid, but flawed alpine pack

I've used it several times
Runs large
Size Bought
5` 10"
160 lbs

I bought this pack earlier this summer for alpine rock and ice, plus for use as a winter ice pack. I was considering the arcteryx Alpha FL 45, but there were things about it I didn't really like, especially given its price. The new Ascensionist 35 seemed fairly comparable while addressing what I didn't like with the Alpha 45. The pack is well made, typically Patagonia quality. The material of the main pack bag is durable and thickly coated with a water resistant coating. While the pack isn't seam sealed, things inside didn't get wet during an overnight thunder storm. It has a very rigid foam back panel that is removable. It transfers a load from the shoulders to hips quite well for a frameless pack and keeps various objects (crampons, screws, rock gear, stoves, etc...) from poking through and causing hot spots while being carried. The downside of this back panel is that it may be too rigid. It doesn't really conform to the body. It's also quite wide. I'm a fairly wide shouldered guy with typical big lats and the sides of the pack when loaded still stick out. This can be seen in the product photo with the model turned to the side. Given this is on a S/M pack, I'm not sure how women or smaller guys like Kelley Cordes could find the pack a good fit. While it doesn't quite interfere with my arm movement, there is noticeably less clearance than found on other packs. When unloaded for climbing, you don't have the nice body hugging feel of other packs, including the older versions of the Ascensionist. It simply doesn't disappear like the previous models did. My other big niggle is the ice tool attachment. Frankly, it sucks. The pick pockets are huge, technical tools still need to have the picks sticking out the center. And worse is the single strap that secures the tool heads. It takes too much juggling to hold both heads in place while getting the strap around tool heads. You almost need three hands. And you have to take the pack off to get one tool/axe off the pack instead of just reaching around and popping a metal toggle. Or if you have a partner get a tool off your back, they release the buckle and both tool heads fall out! This could be dangerous with straight shafted axes or tools without a pinky rest as they can then slide off the side of a mountain. Added to this, is that when taking out one tool, you have to then tighten up the strap to keep your second tight. Then you have to loosen the buckle to reattach the tool. This is stupidly combersome. Bottomline, the old metal toggles were far more simple, lighter, vastly more functional, much more secure, and easier to use with cold or gloved fingers. What do I like about the pack? The extension collar is nice and large. The pack's capacity without the collar in use seems more than 35L and with the collar is pushing 50L. When empty for a route, I don't get much or any interference with my helmet while looking up. I also love the exterior zip pocket. It's large, but not intrusive and is easy to access when the pack is crammed full or empty. I like not having to open to pack to get snacks, chapstick, or whatever I need. The 3 point rope strap carries more securely and all other straps attach using girth hitches. They can be configured multiple ways, kinda like the old Cilo Gear packs. The hip pads are comfortable and lock in place well. They are kind of a pain to take off or get back on, but as they are so light, I just leave them on. Overall, it's a good pack with some flaws. The thing is durable and can carry a lot while still climbing pretty well. I think it can be more versatile than many other alpine packs, but can be stripped to be simple sack with a very functional front pocket. If they can make an inline change to the tool carry system, it would be much, much better.

I would second everything Jesse has said! I mostly use my pack for multi-pitch rocking climbing and it works well, though I find it does restrict my ability to look up a little bit. There is also a place to place a water bladder which is nice and a hole on the top of the pack for it. I have also used this pack when I've got splitboarding, and the ice axe attachments worked well for my collapsed poles, and the rope attachment points were able to support the 2 sides of my board well during a bootpack. I honestly really love it, though it isn't a perfect pack.