Review: Osprey Mutant 38L Climbing/Mountaineering pack 2015+ model

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
  • Harness
  • Hydration
  • Removable top pocket
  • Reverse wrap hybrid hipbelt
  • Suspension/Backpanel
  • 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!)

Important features:

  • 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:

mutant 38L side

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