Climbing Pack Reviews

Whether you need a crag pack or an expedition-style backpack, Climbing magazine's reviews will help you choose the right one. Bullet packs, crag bags, ice packs—you'll find them all in Climbing's comprehensive reviews.
  • HPECTrad

    Gear Guide 2014: Trad Climbing

    From cams to carabiners to shoes, here are 18 of the best new products for plug-and-chuggers.

  • HPECSport

    Gear Guide 2014: Sport Climbing

  • HPEC

    Gear Guide 2014: Editors' Choice Awards

    Innovative, smart, lust-worthy, and just plain cool: 10 new must-have products that topped our testers’ lists.

  • $59; outdoorresearch.com

    Summit or Bust

    Whether you’re stuffing a five-ounce model into a larger pack or you’re leaving the car with one pack on your back, we’ve got a choice to suit your needs.

  • Camp-Roxback-Pack

    CAMP Roxback Pack

    Drop it right in the dirt, unzip, and go—a full-length zipper against your back (we promise you won’t even feel it) allows the Roxback to lie on the ground in a more accessible and clean position (no more putting the grimy side against your sweaty back). The frameless design keeps the weight minimal at 1 lb., 10 oz., but the 40-liter capacity still easily fits a day’s worth of sport climbing gear and then some.

  • Millet-Prolighter-38

    Millet ProLighter 38 + 10

    Shoulder season in Colorado is an all-around climber’s dream—and this might just be the ultimate all-arounder pack. Whether targeting remote trad lines at Lumpy Ridge on crisp fall days, early-season water ice, or wintercondition alpine in Rocky Mountain National Park, the ProLighter handled every load well and was comfortable and stable to carry. “A rack, helmet, layers, food, and rope easily disappear in this pack,” said one tester.

  • Black-Diamond-Speed-22

    Black Diamond Speed 22

    Somewhere between a bullet pack and a full-sized cragging or alpine sack, the frameless Speed 22 is ideal for stripped-down missions where deftness and agility are more important than pure carrying comfort. “This was my favorite pack for solo scrambles when I needed to carry a rope and harness for the rappels,” said one tester.

  • Marmot-Sphinx-15

    Marmot Sphinx 15

    “I normally loathe taking packs through chimneys, but this one held up really well to abrasion, and the compression straps on either side make cinching it down easy,” our tester said. Hopping from crag to crag in Eldorado Canyon, she comfortably carried water, two jackets, and a guidebook.

  • Millet-Axpel-42

    Millet Axpel 42

    Swiveling waistbelts and “dynamic suspension” are becoming pretty common among packs, but for its new line of mid-sized packs, Millet is doing something unique. The pivot point lies several inches above the lumbar pad, in the middle of your lower back. Our testers said these innovations significantly increased stability and carrying comfort: “It moved with me when I was boulder-hopping on the way to the Petit Grepon in Rocky Mountain National Park,” one tester said.

  • Pieps-Alpinist-Pro

    Pieps Alpinist Pro

    A “workhorse for a variety of climbing” is how our main tester described the burly, 36-liter Alpinist Pro after using it for everything from ice routes in Washington’s Cascades to rock climbs in Arizona’s Cochise Stronghold. Despite weighing only 2 lbs., 10 oz., the pack has plentiful features.

  • The-North-Face-Casimir

    The North Face Casimir

    “I used the 27-liter version for everything: winter gym sessions, ice climbing in Chamonix, bouldering in Joe’s Valley, Utah, and sport climbing throughout the Front Range,” one tester said. “The suspension system is minimalist but a pleasure to wear all day.”

  • Moon-Climbing-Aerial-Pack

    Moon Climbing Aerial Pack

    “Its charm and perfection come from what it lacks,” said a tester who took this 38-liter pack out for multi-pitch days in Eldorado Canyon, Colorado, through the winter. “It’s refreshingly simple with no bottle openers, crampon patches, or ice tool loops. Just functional and sturdy.” Credit a design that’s catered specifically to rock climbing.