Optimized for fast travel, big days and efficient transitions over any terrain, at any time of year - winter alpinism, spring ski traverses and speedy summer rock assault are all in a day's work for this ultra versatile pack.
• Material: High Tenacity 210d Nylon 6.6
• High performance hybrid carry system, with chest pockets
• Zipped lid pocket with 2L of storage
• Under lid internal valuables pocket
• Full length side access zip
• Stashable waist belt and Hip pad
• Easy access stretch side pocket
• Dual icetool carry
• Quick ski carry system with stainless steel hook
• Removable avalanche tools pouch
• Helmet carry compatible
• Available in two back lengths (S/M & M/L)
• Also available in 28L
• Weight: 980 g and 883 g without ski parts
• Ideal for mountaineering, ski mountaineering
I bought this pack to be an all around mountaineering pack, whether I'm skiing, or climbing ice or rock. I was really excited for the ability to externally carry gear that I'll need on a climb, then start climbing with a fairly small pack.
Rope Carry: The rope carry is awkward, unlike other blue ice rope carry systems the strap starts quite low down the pack, likely to allow more range for compression, but it makes the rope carry basically unusable. You can't place the rope on top of the brain without it wanting to slide down the pack, and you can't put the rope under the brain if you're carrying a lot of gear.
Ice Tool Carry: The upper tool carry isn't good, I had to slide the tools carefully into the strap, feeding it in. Then on the first trip the elastic came out since it's just a knot that holds it in the hole, so now I just have a loop of elastic that leaves tools flopping around. This is another case where Blue Ice could have simply done what they do on other packs like the Dragonfly.
Side Zip: The side zip is a nice idea, but it is quite hard to rummage through the pack or stuff gear with such a small opening.
Positives: I like the frame, avy gear carry, and skimo style chest waterbottle holder. It is a pretty good volume while not being too bulky or uncomfortable to climb with.
Great pack, but the waist buckle is pretty awful. Doesn't snap, sometimes comes undone on it's own and gard to get it to stay together. Such a simple thing, yet such a big problem. Also, my shovel doesn't fit in the shovel sleeve sadly. Both pretty key let downs. Lastly, the side zip to access the contents of the pack should be on the opposite of the quick carry system. I really like everything else so far. Great design overall outside of a few significant misses. Please excuse my blunt nature.
Great pack - have used it backcountry skiing this winter in New Hampshire. Great for long days - depending on your helmet, probably too narrow to stuff your helmet inside so don't forget to buy the helmet holder for outside the pack portage. It's too big for short fast days but if the weather is dicey, nice to have room for all the what if's. The pockets on the shoulder straps are great for both a short flask on one side and your phone on the other. Has made it my go to pack.
I've only had the opportunity to use this pack for an overnight mountaineering trip for work as a guide, and it worked so well! I was able to fit a tent, sleeping kit, alpine gear, and layers, in addition to 2 liters of water and all the essentials. The front pouch for water is awesome, and I enjoyed not having my phone jiggling around in my pants pocket. I was dismayed to find there was no outside crampon attachment, but I decided to rig up my own with shock cord, and it worked perfectly. Excited to use this pack for rock and ski missions in the future. Super happy Blue Ice makes a S/M torso option, most packs are too long for me, but this one fit well and didn't cut into my boney hips. 10/10 would recommend.
This pack has so far been working out well for me, but there are a few things I would see changed.
First the ski carry system seems like it was designed for the smaller pack and not modified for the larger. I find the hook to be too short to carry well and I will be changing it out for a strap and buckle system shortly.
Second the hipbelt and sternum buckle don't handle snow particularly well. They both got snow packed in them recently and were unable to buckle securely until I cleared the snow. A pain while booting a couloir.
I would like to see either gear loops or a small snack pocket on the hipbelt, but that's not a dealbreaker.
The left zippered pocket on the shoulder strap seems designed for a phone, but mine in its case is too large to fit. However a 500ml flask fits perfect in the right pocket.