“What more could I ask for?” our backcountry ice climbing tester asked. “Enough room for all my layers, dedicated spots for my sharps, easy to carry, and a weight that even Kate Moss would be jealous of; it’s the perfect alpine pack.” The lidless Alpha FL is one large compartment with a small outer sundries pocket. The main structure carries about 32 liters (a sleeve extends upward to hold a maximum of 45 liters). “Loved the option to carry small or large because once I put on all my layers, the pack doesn’t feel or handle like a deflated balloon,” said a Colorado tester. High-density foam in the backpanel provides some support without adding weight, and a webbing-only waistbelt funnels the load to your hips, but caused some pressure points over multiple layers. However, testers were able to avoid this by positioning it correctly and evening out clothing underneath, calling this hauler’s overall feel “surprisingly comfortable for the weight.” Everyone loved the mega-burly N400-AC2 outer fabric that stood up to accidental crampon steps and rough-and-tumble treatment.
Ounce-counters will fall in love with this pack, which is lighter than a single mountaineering boot, with enough space for subzero-temp gear and a relatively comfortable suspension system.
$239; 1 lb., 7 oz.; arcteryx.com