Packs

Review: Multi-Pitch Chalk Bag

Review: Multi-Pitch Chalk Bag

This ingenious innovation from Mammut is always met with excitement from anyone I show it to and skepticism from anyone I describe it to… “it’s kinda like a rock climbers fanny pack, but really cool!”.  All kidding aside, the multi-pitch chalk bag is a very functional piece of equipment that […]

Review: CiloGear 30L Guide Service pack

Review: CiloGear 30L Guide Service pack

CiloGear’s 30L Guide Service pack is hard to put away. I’m a gear reviewer and a hopeless pack rat, so the selection of 30L-something packs around here is abundant (eight, by last count). Yet, time after time, I find myself reaching for the 30GS more often than not when I’m […]

Comparison Review: Mid-size Ski Packs

Comparison Review: Mid-size Ski Packs

The Alpine Start has done a lot of pack reviews over the years but usually these reviews are of ice, rock or alpine oriented packs.  This year we decided to take this expertise and apply it to a comparison review of some newer mid-size ski packs.  We chose this size […]

Long Term Review: TNF Ice Project

Long Term Review: TNF Ice Project

With winter finally here, I dug through my pile of packs to put the more useful ones on top and came across a favourite from last winter — The North Face’s Ice Project. After a few months of use I’ve come to like this pack even more than I initially did. […]

Field Tested: Osprey Shuttle 36” / 130L

Field Tested: Osprey Shuttle 36” / 130L

Many of the most exciting and memorable trips, expeditions and vacations include a flight or two requiring heavy, gear laden bags to be hauled though airports.  While most travelers have color coordinated suitcases that strap together into a tidy package that is easily rolled around airports, almost eliminating the requirement […]

Long Term Review: Mammut Trion Nordwand pack

Long Term Review: Mammut Trion Nordwand pack

One of these days I will find the perfect pack. That is not today, however, because as much as I like the Mammut Trion Nordwand, it is not perfect (though keep in mind that perfection is subjective). The Trion Nordwand is the flagship of Mammut’s alpine oriented packs, and it […]

Field Tested: Patagonia Crag Daddy Pack 45L

Field Tested: Patagonia Crag Daddy Pack 45L

Spring is here once again and many of us are taking our rock gear out of the dark corner that we threw it into after our fall climbing trip and getting ready to hit the crag.  To cart all that lightweight but surprisingly heavy gear around most outdoor companies have […]

Field Tested Review: Gregory Denali 100 pack

Field Tested Review: Gregory Denali 100 pack

Around a decade ago I spent a few summer months wandering around Europe, living out of my backpack. That pack, a Gregory Palisade 80, went with me everywhere, often times fully loaded with tent, cooking gear, clothes, all the other usual life stuff, and with more kit strapped to the […]

Comparison Review: Cragging Packs

Comparison Review: Cragging Packs

With spring rock-climbing-road-trip season upon us, and summer just around the corner, I thought it’s time to look at some packs designed specifically for rock cragging. Of course, any backpack, haul bag or even a large grocery bag will do, but these purpose-designed packs make the experience more enjoyable, and […]

Field Tested: Crux AK37 pack

Field Tested: Crux AK37 pack

The Crux AK37 is about as simple as a pack can get. There is one main compartment, albeit with the almost-obligatory hydration sleeve, and a fixed lid with a single, zippered pocket. There’s no key clip, no secondary mesh pocket, no other compartments. It’s basically a super-tough sack with shoulder […]