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At 35 liters, this pack is on the small side for big days in the alpine, but our Northeast tester found it had just enough space for rack, rope under the lid, layers, first aid kit, headlamp, and ice tools secured outside. After a ski-in approach to climb ice in the Adirondacks of New York, he said, “I was surprised how much I could load it down—up to 35 pounds—without an uncomfortable carry. The seemingly simple foam and mesh waistbelt supported almost all of the weight with no problems.” The waistbelt is also removable, so testers didn’t have to wrestle with a harness underneath. A full polyester body stood up to rock abrasion and several weeks of regular abuse, and heavier siliconized polyester on the bottom and side panels kept high-wear areas ding-free. The V-Flex suspension system puts padding in contact with your back in a V-shape: More contact where you need more support and less contact up high for added breathability and freedom of movement. “It’s clearly designed for technical climbing; I could move freely with no pressure on my spine.”
A leader’s bullet pack on steroids. True fast-and-light climbers will dig the weight, size, and simplistic design of the Minimalist. If you like your packs to be “what you see is what you get,” then this is for you.
$115; 1 lb., 13 oz.; libertymountainclimbing.com