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Cold Cold World Chernobyl, $165
Clean, smart, and utilitarian, the Chernobyl is a pack designed for climbing. There is no internal frame and the capacity is on the smallish end of the spectrum — but we didn’t mind a pack that reminds us to keep it light. Despite the no-frills suspension, the padded hip and shoulder straps are comfortable without being bulky. There are a lot of useful features built into this pack — a sleeve for a hydration system, daisy chains for lashing and hauling, hipbelt racking/holster loops, and secure tool and
attachments — but everything is so cleanly integrated into the design that they’re almost hidden. There are even a few bivy luxuries from which other manufacturers have moved away, such as a substantial sack extension (less useful for overstuffing due to the lack of a frame) and a thick, folded foam pad (23” by 23”), and yet the Chernobyl still tips the scales at less than three and a half pounds. A few gripes: First, the helmet clearance on the lid is barely adequate. The reversed adjustment buckles on the shoulder straps are less ergonomic than the typical configuration.
Clean, smart design. Hydration sleeve. Removable foam/bivy pad.
No internal frame. Lid clearance too small for some helmets.
Cold Cold World: