Ready for a full-on summit assault.
The North Face Phantom 50 Backpack isn't going to top out on that sparkling peak for you, but it sure will make your grueling summit bid a little more comfortable. This technical 50-liter pack has enough space for all your essentials on a multi-day ascent, with ski-specific features that makes this a solid choice for spring mountaineering.
Reinforced ski loops let you quickly throw your skis in an A-frame when you're kicking steps into a steep bootpack up the final ridge, and tool keepers let you stow your ice tools without tearing holes in your softshells. The hipbelt pocket and loops let you keep an uptrack snack or compass nearby and the floating lid can be removed if you're trying to go even lighter.
- A technical pack for multi-day ascents
- 50-liter capacity holds enough for an overnight trip
- High denier nylon construction can handle wear and tear
- Removable floating top lid lets you go minimal
- Tool keepers for your ice axe
- Ski loops for an A-frame carry
- Reflective webbing helps you stay visible
- Hipbelt loops and pocket for easy access
- Item #TNF03YX
- Q & A
- Familiarity: I've used it several times
I bought this pack for the presidential traverse because I will also be able to use it backcountry skiing. The ski loops on the side doubled to be a tool carry compartment. I was able to stache my trekking poles and my tent poles on either side without having to mess with them to keep them in place. The hip pocket is quite small, and there is no side pocket for a water bottle, but that is only because of the loops for your skis so its a necessary tradeoff in my eyes.
I still think the pack needs work, however, CS for the North Face did reach out and correct the issue. I was able to return the item and was refunded. I will give The North Face credit they always make it right.
Chances are, I had a one-off issue and most likely would not have the same problem again. That being said, I stand by my assessment that a little different construction around the seams by the straps would help eliminate this all together. As far as the pack goes, aside from the straps, I don't really have any other complaints. I was light and simple. I didn't spend a lot of time with it though. If it had side pockets, it would make a great ultralight 50L backpack for through hikes. It does take a bladder though.
Needs some work on the ski straps
- Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
I have had this for 1 week and have used it once. It stated to rip on the seem by the top ski carry. I bought this from The North Face directly and when I reached out. I was told I had to send it in for warranty. Hopefully, warranty will offer an exchange. I have had many TNF Summit Series items through the years and for the most part they have all performed great. This, however, clearly has some issues. It needs beefer nylon around the ski strap stitching. I walked roughly 9 miles round trip on both dirt and snow with no technical sections or scrambling. The pack was weighted evenly and the only thing on the outside of the pack were my ski's. If this was ordered through any of the North Faces Retailers, it would be returned and at worst you would be given store credit but most likely, and at backcountry for sure, you would be refunded. I'm sure the North Face Warranty will repair or replace, they are always great with warranty. I would have like to of seen a little more sympathy from their CS considering it was used once and I had had the item for a total of a week.
No frills pack
- Familiarity: I've used it several times
This pack is a great climbing pack for all disciplines. I am not an ice climber but if I were, I would have used it this winter. I took the pack out for its first spring spin as a crag pack for a day of sport climbing. It fit my rope, sport rack, shoes, harness, chalk bag, helinox chair, beer, and wallet with lots of room to spare. For the lighter excursion I took the brain off of the pack. What's nice is the straps that clip down the brain from the front are removable so you don't have these long straps dangling about.
The red/black colors are vibrant but great for visibility. The fabric isn't anything compared to something like the BD Creek bag but if you're not a jerk to the bag it seems like it will hold up a long time.
My Center back length is 17 inches and the Small/Medium is a great fit. The features are pretty minimal.
+zip opening brain (detachable)
+top loading with draws and hook and loop closure
+attachment points for ice axes/trekking poles
+hip pocket that fits a granola bar + candies
+ski carry/side compression sacks
I look forward to using this for more overnight missions and climbing in the Wasatch this summer!