I was cruising through the interwebs looking for a climbing pack. I have previously only used lightweight daypacks or big, heavy 4000+ci expedition packs for hiking, climbing, & backpacking. I stumbled upon the Osprey Mutant series- and one pack had all of the features I was looking for: ice tool carry, ski straps, removable lid, removable wait belt padding, removable framesheet, helmet carry, side straps to compress main body down, small internal pocket for *importants*, & relatively lightweight.
Osprey Mutant 38L Climbing/Mountaineering Pack, 2015+ model
Here’s the full readout:
- Integrated FlapJacket™ closure system
- Removable helmet carry system
- Removable side compression
- A-frame ski carry
- Removable top pocket
- Reverse wrap hybrid hipbelt
- Tool carry
My gear list has been honed towards UL and I thought I’d be able to get away with a 35-40L pack for both day trips and superlight overnights. I can say with certainty that this pack is one of the most versatile lightweight packs out there, I have used it for 5+ day summer backpacking trips, 5+ day skimo trips, 5+ day snow traverses, UL peakbagging, mixed climbing daytrips, alpine overnighters, 30+ mi thru-hiking days. It’s been to Oregon, California, all through the Cascades in Washington, BC interior ranges, BC Coast mountains, Olympics, Chugach, Kenai, & Talkeetna ranges. It’s been in 60+mph driving snow, -15F cold, & over 90F hot days. Buried as a beacon search exercise, dropped as a simulation of crevasse fall pulls, & overloaded to the max (“Where can I strap more stuff on the outside of this thing?”). Osprey doesn’t tout this pack as a do-it-all’er, but to a dirtbag it can be. It’s relatively inexpensive compared to the price of a cuben fiber pack (and you can repair this with tenacious tape!)
- Red internal strap helps keep body of pack supported when filled with low bulk, high mass items.
- Side compression straps are not affixed to pack, ensuring ease of replacement when ski edges slice through.
- Most buckles have locking blocks on the tag end of the strap. Never lose your preferred length.
- Removable bucket-top, features helmet carry and valuables clip inside the pocket.
- Intelligent ice tool carry- axes stay close to pack body and do not interfere with ski carry.
I highly recommend the Osprey Mutant 38L 2015+ Pack.
Deflated, everything out:
Fully loaded, stuffed to the brim: