Keeping it in alphabetical order this time… nothing revolutionary, but some cool updates.
Arc’teryx is updating their Cierzo lineup for 2016. New, tougher fabrics should be more tear and abrasion resistant while retaining the packs’ light weight (375g for the 18L, 550g for the 28L). A large, glove-friendly top closure system cinches tight over the opening, and looks like it will seal out most snow from entering the pack. A lightweight ‘SwiftCord’ compression system is custom-configurable, and the excess cord gets stored in a dedicated pouch in the front pocket. The packs now definitely feel tougher, and look much more streamlined and purposeful.
Minimalist ice axe tabs secure ice tools with the proven aluminum-tab-through-head method.
The new closure system localizes the opening off to the side, and with less stuff inside, it looks like it will protect/cover most of the opening, too.
Redesigned shoulder straps for increased comfort. I like the look of the wrap-around padding.
The 18L will make for a great summit, or leader, pack.
Black Diamond is adding a 35L and 20L to their Creek series of packs. With a haul-bag inspired design, the packs feature tough, waterproof fabrics andhuge, durable zippers for side access. I really like the looks of the 20, and its tough fabric should make for a great leader pack, especially when you might be hauling it.
The BD Speed Zip 33 and 24 look like great, lightweight packs. My only concern is the main zipper opening (I don’t trust zippers on packs.)
Love the look of these, though… nice and sleek.
The Speed Zip 24 doesn’t have a frame to keep weight down — 540g claimed weight.
The Osprey Shuttle duffels come in 130L and 100L sizes, and aren’t technically new but they sure impressed with a ton of thoughtful features like extra pockets on the underside (typically a dead space), protective plastic guards on the side and super-long compression straps and multiple attachment points. They’re pretty light, too: 4kg for the 130L, and 3.7kg for the 100L. They’re not inexpensive ($320 & $290 respectively) but with typical Osprey construction they’re sure to last for dozens of years of gear-intensive trips.
The solar panel does not appear to be removable…
The Crux AX series will be a more price-conscious line with the same attentive design as their AK packs, but without the welded construction and Kevlar fabrics.
The AK-37 I reviewed is one of the best-carrying packs I’ve ever used. The suspension system and straps on the AX look identical.
Petzl is updating their Bug leader pack with more pockets, redesigned shoulder straps and new fabrics. Looks great!