Review: The North Face Ice Project Backpack

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The North Face Ice Project

The best designs come from experience and creative thinking. This Conrad Anker–influenced pack has got that in spades. It’s the first we’ve seen specifically tailored to ice cragging (which is what most ice climbers do, as opposed to big backcountry ice routes). Features we love: A partitioned crampon pocket on top keeps spikes contained; a U-shape zipper provides access to the pack’s entire interior; and ingenious organization options—removable ice screw organizer, puffy jacket pocket, and interior ice axe attachments—keep everything in its place. The 45-liter capacity holds a rack, helmet, axes, ’pons, ropes, layers, water, and food with relative ease. “I was skeptical about putting my ice tools inside a pack,” said one tester. “But everything was safe, and picks won’t catch on anything.”