October 30, 2021

5 Best Climbing Backpacks

October 30, 2021

5 Best Climbing Backpacks

Climbing is a pursuit that challenges the endurance and grit of a person. At the same time, it also challenges one's preparation, especially in assembling their gear. 

The best climbing backpacks are among the equipment that can help you prepare for the trip. Regardless if you are just doing a fast alpine mission or doing a multi-day cragging, there is a backpack for you. However, keep in mind that factors such as durability, performance, and capacity are among the essential aspects that you need to look for if you want the ideal pack for you. 

In the meantime, you should check out some of the top-rated climbing backpacks that you can get in the market today. Each of them is designed to perform in specific climbing types. Nonetheless, all of them are worth taking in high altitudes!

5 Best Climbing Backpacks

 CapacityDimensions
Mountain Hardwear Scrambler 25 Pack 25 liters21.3 inches x 11 inches x 6.3 inches
Osprey Mutant 38 Pack 36 liters / 38 liters29 inches x 13 inches x 12 inches 
Black Diamond Nitro 22 Pack 22 liters14.17 inches x 4.72 inches x 9.45 inches 
Ultimate Direction Scram Pack 20 liters19.6 inches x 9.4 inches x 7.8 inches
Cotopaxi Tarak 20L Del Dia Pack 20 liters20 inches x 12 inches x 7 inches

1. Mountain Hardwear Scrambler 25 Pack

PRODUCT LINK REI

PRODUCT LINK AMAZON

If you are looking for a highly dependable climbing pack for peak and trad expeditions, then you should get the Mountain Hardwear Scrambler 25 Pack. It is both lightweight and durable, which lets you use it on cragging and alpine climbs. The pack features a sturdy four-layer Dimension-Polyant X-Pac fabric, which is almost impervious to punctures, abrasion, and even the constant wear-and-tear brought by age. It is also interesting to note that this pack has a contoured back panel which is highly breathable. Integrated on it is a lightweight framesheet that provides efficient weight distribution and ventilation. 

The compression strap of this pack has been combined with a removable floating lid. As a result, it provides sufficient exterior rope carry that you can also use for overloads. With its flat base construction, you will be able to load and unload your stuff easily. In fact, the bag can stand unassisted once you put it down. Meanwhile, its dual-density shoulder straps guarantee ample support and a convenient ride while you are on the top.

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS:

  • Fabric material - Polyester/nylon
  • Frame type - Internal frame
  • Frame material - Aluminum
  • Capacity - 25 liters
  • Weight - 1.87 pounds
  • Waist size - 28 inches to 39 inches
  • Torso length - 16 inches to 22 inches
  • Pack access - Top/panel
  • Dimensions - 21.3 inches x 11 inches x 6.3 inches
  • Fit - Unisex

2. Osprey Mutant 38 Pack

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PRODUCT LINK AMAZON

The Osprey Mutant 38 Pack is alpine-oriented. It has an optimized construction for long and high expeditions. It is both lightweight and narrow, which makes it ideal for multi-day climbs in cold and perilous conditions. The pack includes aluminum stays and an internal framesheet, which, in turn, enabled a convenient suspension system. Overall, the pack can handle loads of up to 50 pounds. You can also detach some of its parts to reduce its weight, such as the aluminum stays and framesheet. 

The detachable top lid of the bag has the patented FlapJacket underneath it. If the rain or snow pours in, you can use that to cover your gear and prevent them from getting soaked. You can also attach a helmet either to top or front of this bag. With its reinforced A-frame loops, the pack is compatible with ski-carry. There are also side compression straps that help draw the weight close to your body. 

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS:

  • Fabric material - Nylon
  • Frame type - Internal frame
  • Frame material - Aluminum
  • Capacity - 36 liters / 38 liters
  • Weight - 2.68 pounds / 2.8 pounds
  • Waist size - 26 inches to 45 inches / 28 inches to 50 inches
  • Torso length - 16 inches to 19 inches / 18 inches to 23 inches
  • Pack access - Top
  • Dimensions - 29 inches x 13 inches x 12 inches
  • Fit - Unisex

3. Black Diamond Nitro 22 Pack

PRODUCT LINK REI

PRODUCT LINK AMAZON 

One of the top-rated climbing backpacks that you should check today is the Black Diamond Nitro 22 Pack. It has an impressive construction, which lets you take it on any terrain--from the highest point on the ridgelines down to the vast expanse of deserts. This gear includes the patented OpenAir back panel and hipbelt, which ensure breathability and comfort while you are ascending and conquering terrains. Its SwingArm straps guarantee that the pack won't obstruct or restrict your movements. 

There are also zippered panels throughout the pack. They keep your items accessible and highly secured. Whenever you are climbing, these pockets will protect them from accidental falls. There are also pockets installed on the pack's hipbelt so that you can reach important essentials whenever you need to. A dedicated rain cover pocket will keep your rain covers readily available at all times. Aside from these perks, the Black Diamond Nitro 22 has an external-access hydration sleeve and attachment loops for your trekking poles and ice axes.

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS:

  • Fabric material - Ripstop nylon
  • Frame type - Internal frame
  • Frame material - None
  • Capacity - 22 liters
  • Weight - 2 pounds
  • Waist size - Unspecified
  • Torso length - Unspecified
  • Pack access - Top
  • Dimensions - ‎14.17 inches x 4.72 inches x 9.45 inches
  • Fit - Unisex

4. Ultimate Direction Scram Pack

PRODUCT LINK REI

PRODUCT LINK AMAZON

The Ultimate Direction Scram Pack is a versatile pack that you can use for skiing, climbing, and hiking. In fact, you can also use it on your daily commutes, which is something that you can't do with other climbing packs. This top-loading pack comes with a quick-to-access pocket on its right shoulder strap where you can store your phone, maps, and other small essentials. On its left shoulder strap, you can store a regular-sized water bottle. It lets you access it whenever you need to, which is pretty convenient. 

Meanwhile, the back panel of this pack has a compression-molded construction. It adds an ergonomic structure to the gear. Every time you haul this pack, you'll feel its superb comfort and support. It is also notable that its lid system provides superb security to the equipment you store inside the pack. It also doubles a cinch for climbing ropes. There are also lash points that can carry two ice axes; you can also configure them to carry skis. 

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS:

  • Fabric material - Polyethylene
  • Frame type - Frameless
  • Frame material - None
  • Capacity - 20 liters
  • Weight - 1 pound
  • Waist size - 7 inches to 54 inches
  • Torso length - 25 inches to 40 inches / 30 inches to 48 inches
  • Pack access - Top
  • Dimensions - 19.6 inches x 9.4 inches x 7.8 inches
  • Fit - Unisex

5. Cotopaxi Tarak 20L Del Dia Pack

PRODUCT LINK REI

With the Cotopaxi Tarak 20L Del Dia Pack, you'll be able to ascend to even greater heights. This pack is tailored for backcountry skiing and multi-pitch climbing. It has an ice tool system, which includes a rugged fabric on its bottom and a secured strap on its top. Because of this design, the pack effectively removed quirky loops and toggles, which, in turn, lets you use it efficiently even under the elements. You can utilize the bag while your hands are covered in gloves!

Its compression and lash points on its back have configurable construction. They let you organize your gear depending on your needs and preferences. The zippered top lid gives you convenient access to your small essentials. You can also use this lid as a lash point if you are bringing a climbing rope. Interestingly, this pack is compatible with a hydration reservoir, but you have to purchase it separately. Its detachable hipbelt and comfortable shoulder straps guarantee that you can utilize it for any over-the-top adventure.  

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS:

  • Fabric material - Ripstop nylon
  • Frame type - Frameless
  • Frame material - None
  • Capacity - 20 liters
  • Weight - 1.24 pounds
  • Waist size - Unspecified
  • Torso length - Unspecified
  • Pack access - Top
  • Dimensions - 20 inches x 12 inches x 7 inches
  • Fit - Unisex

How To Choose The Best Climbing Backpacks

It is essential that you know the technicalities in choosing climbing backpacks. As much as possible, you would want these packs to help you sustain your trip. They should serve as an asset, not a burden that you have to endure throughout your ascents. 

Here are those considerations that you should take into account:

Type of Pack 

Crag Backpack 

Essentially, cragging is defined as walking between five minutes to twenty minutes, then staying in a particular location throughout the day. Hence, you will need a pack that can stuff all your items. At the same time, they should help organize your equipment, too. Crag packs are tailored to do these things. They excel in convenience, durability, and hassle-free access. 

Some of these packs have haul style for simplicity in loading, while other crag packs have access points on their front and back, allowing you to get your items anytime that you want. In choosing a crag pack, get those that have organizers, pockets, and ergonomic suspension systems. Specific features for cragging such as gear loops and rope tarps might be necessary. 

Follower Backpack

With a follower backpack, you will be able to bring supplies that can help you last a day. They are a suitable company while conquering a multi-pitch route. However, keep in mind that the term "follower pack" can be used in different applications. A follower can carry a pack with a capacity of up to 30-liter, but the party leader will also haul a smaller pack when ascending on alpines. Other free-climbing parties will tend to carry their own "follower pack" instead of hauling a larger load. 

You see, follower packs are distinct in their own right, given that they are compact and can handle only small amounts of load. Specifically, they only range from 16 liters to 30 liters. Furthermore, they share similar features such as exterior organizers and pockets, webbing hipbelts, and rugged haul loops. They are also equipped with top drawstrings for hassle-free retrievals while belaying. 

Alpine Backpack

When it comes to alpine climbing, you have to keep in mind that comfort is no longer the primary consideration. Instead, it is the safety of the climbers, as well as their gear. An alpine pack, for instance, doesn't have a cozy suspension system and intuitive features like pocket organizers. But at the same time, they have streamlined weight and exceptional versatility. 

Because these alpine packs are designed to cater to both hikers and climbers, they should possess adjustability in their construction. This means that some of their components, such as the hipbelts and lids, are removable. These alpine packs are also equipped with shock cords where you can affix your axes, crampons, and other large gear that you can't store inside your pack.

Most of these alpine packs range from 30-liter to 60-liter models. But of course, it is not surprising that climbers opt to get small alpine packs to reduce the ordeal that they have to deal with. 

Weight Of The Backpack

Since we are talking about climbing, weight does matter--whether you like it or not. It is not a problem if you are just cragging a short distance. But once you decide to ascend thousands of feet, you'll realize that carrying bulky and heavy stuff isn't ideal. 

Surely enough, you can bring both crag and follower packs in your alpine expedition. But at the same time, you should pick those that can be streamlined to adapt to the occasion. This means that the crag and follower packs must strip off some of their features (i.e., heavy-duty fabrics) so that they can be lightweight and easy to carry. 

But then again, shaving the features of a backpack is a serious matter, especially if it can sacrifice your convenience and safety. Hence, you should only do this if you think that weight is your utmost priority. Otherwise, go for a feature-studded, heavy-duty model.

Capacity

Needless to say, the capacity of a climbing pack matters. It determines the volume of load that you can stuff inside. 

Based on our categorizations crag packs have the highest capacity because they don't emphasize streamlining their weight. These packs have a capacity of 40 liters to 50 liters. Meanwhile, follower packs have a capacity that ranges from 15 liters to 30 liters. 

Meanwhile, many alpine backpacks are designed to cater to specific trips. For instance, for a day mission, you may only need up to a 30-liter pack. But for a week of alpine climbing, you should get at least a 60-liter pack. 

Surely enough, it is also crucial that you know what you should store inside the pack so that you will be able to maximize its space. As much as possible, you should only bring the essentials. Interestingly, you should avoid stuffing the pack with only half of its actual capacity. Doing this would prevent the efficient weight distribution that the pack should possess. 

Durability

At the same time, you should never dismiss checking the durability of the pack. When it comes to climbing, you are more exposed to rugged and harsh conditions. Hence, it is easy for your pack and gear to get in contact with rough and sharp surfaces. There are even instances where you have to drop them. If the construction of the backpack is quite shabby, you should never expect that it can last multiple uses. 

You should be keen on the type of fabric being used in the pack. Specifically, you must check the denier--or the thickness--of the fabric. The higher the denier, the more rugged and durable the gear is. As much as possible, you shouldn't make any compromises in this particular aspect. Otherwise, you'll never have a good trip. 

In Summary

The best climbing backpacks can give you utter convenience in each of your ascents. They will help you carry your stuff as securely as possible, even while you are focusing on your route. I just have to remind you that there are different packs and types of climbs out there. Pick a pack that can match the expedition you are going to take. 

And since you are here, why not pick from the climbing packs that I've listed here! 

That's it for now. If you have inquiries, feel free to ask me in the comment section below.

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