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Douglas K.

Douglas K.

Douglas K.

Douglas K.wrote a review of on August 28, 2008

4 5

Bought the 45L pack over 4 years ago. Use it for most daily excursions into the mountains in CO and UT. Mostly for Backcountry Skiing and climbing. I break almost everything I touch, and this pack has held up very well. Only area of visual wear is on the inside where the wire frame is taught against the fabric (on the sides of the bladder pocket.) Wear is probably due to jamming my climbing rack in their a thousand times.
Best advantage backcountry skiing: While the pack is on, undue the chest strap and pull the pack around so it is in front of you. It will lie there perpendicular to you like a little table. Best used for: taking off a layer and jamming it in the pack, oppisite when pulling your shell out when the wind picks up, quick water/snack break without taking your pack off, Also for reading a map, etc.
Best advantage climbing: The pack will sit relatively upright and the wrap around zipper allows easy placement of the rack into and out of the bag (compared to a stuff sack style where you can't see anything inside the abyss. (same for skiing)
Otherwise it is relatively high riding and narrow for climbing. Good set up but not the ideal climbing pack.

Best for climbing or skiing? Skiing or winter climbing

Other advantages:
Rides high and close so you can ski and climb with out the weight shifting issue.

-The climbing axes don't stand straight up as in the picture when the pack is full due to the hold downs being of bungy cord. I guess you could change it out with 3mm cord or something.
-The upper pocket is big. I would like to add a zipper on the outside so you can get in from the outside without opening the pack and letting the snow get in. (not a big deal)
-If you are carrying a heavy rack and gear for a long time, you will definatly feel the load on your shoulders.

If you are a minamalist and don't mind stuff hanging on the outside via your own ingenuity, then go for it.
Would be a great pack to pull a sled. It has the hooks for it behind the hip pockets.

I looked at a thousand bags before I bought this one. It has worked very well for me but doesn't have everything I want, like everything else, but otherwise a great bag. If they redesign the top pocket to be a little more user friendly like the dakine bags, and add the snowboard cross carry like on the Dakine heli pro2 so you can use it as a seat in the snow, that would make it perfect bag in my world. (Remember I have owned this bag for 5 years and new stuff is probably on the market)

Practical breakdown of what fits in the 45L:
Main compartment:
Inside side pockets deep in there: med kit (approx: 3x6, and headlamp on other side)
Full rack with at least doubles of all gear up to #4 camalot
15 long trad draws
Big Nalgene
All of this is a tight fit
Top pouch:
Keys, powerbars, junk
Little Mesh pouch (on opening from the back)
Windproof Lighter
Power Jelly beans
Shovel Pouch :
Suntan Lotion
(depending on what is in the main compartment this can be pretty small or pretty large(ie: listed amount up to a couple nalgenes)
Outside lashings:
Ice axes
Jacket, etc.
Hip pockets:
Shot blocks or jelly beans (Pretty tiny. You can't fit a camera in there!)

Main compartment:
Inside side pockets deep in there: med kit (approx: 3x6, and headlamp on other side)
Very bottom sometimes 8mm 30m rope
Super poof down jacket (Mountain Hardware baffled Subzero, hood and all)
Small tall thermos
Extra layer
Nalgene and Platapus Bladder
Old Ordovox snow pit saw
Helmet and goggles
Sometimes a stove
Sometimes food
Sometimes skins if I'm lazy.

Top pouch:
Keys, powerbars, other food, junk
Little Mesh pouch (on opening from the back)
Windproof Lighter
Power Jelly beans
Shovel Pouch :
Voile flat handle extendable shovel (the old yellow ones) ( the full handle one does not fit)
The flat handle fits in one of the long slots
G3 12 food probe (the other slot slot)
30 foot plastic 1/8 inch cornice cutter jammed into the bottom
Skins (If lazy I throw them in the main compartment)
Outside lashings:
Sometimes shell
Skis for hiking (depending on binding placement, you may want to use a starp to tie the tips. ( you can rig it to have the skis on an angle with a little practice. Not like a dakine though)
Crampons lashed to top
Sometimes 8mm 30 m rope
Hip pockets:
Shot blocks or jelly beans