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Any experience with the Mammut Neon 45?
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By Ian Stewart
Aug 8, 2011
I've been wanting a new pack for a while and have been eying the Miura 50, but it's price keeps turning me away (and the used ones that have popped up aren't my size). I recently stumbled across the Mammut Neon 45, however, and it's compelling in it's own right, especially since it's $85 less than the Miura. Some things don't seem that great though...the lack of compression straps and the poor excuse for a waist strap seems like it might make it less suitable for longer approaches. I haven't seen either in person...partly because I've been busy to track them down, and partly because I'm lazy.

Also, in case it matters, I'd be using it for both sport and trad climbing w/ full rack. Approaches up to however long some of the approaches get around here (probably not much longer than Sundance at Lumpy, though I've only been living in CO for <3 months so maybe something longer?). I've never done alpine and might be interested in that soon, but for now we'll just assume no alpine.

For those of you that haven't seen this pack at all, there's a decent little video on REI's website (link under the pictures): rei.com/product/798183/mammut-...

So, anybody have any experience with it? Even better would be if somebody has used the Miura too and can compare both, but I'll take what I get.

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By Rob Warden, Space Lizard
From Springdale Ut
Jan 9, 2012
blah
I have on and I like it, its a tough functional rival of the Miura 50. it loads great carries well and hold my whole rack and a rope plus all my other stuff. the waist strap...yep garbage. as is the racking loop on the inside, too small. it looks like an after thought. I am not going to lie though the Miura is a way better pack, much more thoughtfully designed. I personally Like my Neon Gear but if i had the money I would have bought the Miura. the neon has some nice features its lighter the straps are nicely contoured and the the rope tarp it comes with is a tad small but works well. all in all you could get whatever and it really wouldn't matter

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By Robert Buswold
From Longmont, CO
Jan 9, 2012
Clear Creek Canyon, Capitalist Crag
Looks sleek, also check out the Mammut Trion Guide. A partner of mine has it, and I'm jealous!

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By Ray Pinpillage
From West Egg
Jan 9, 2012
Middle
Put a double rack, a rope, a gallon of water, clothes, and food in that Mammut pack and let me know how that works out for you.

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By NorCalNomad
From San Francisco
Jan 9, 2012
Seems to me it's more of a Gym/ Sport bag than a mountaineering/ climbing pack. That being said if I had the cash I probably would get one to compliment my Mammute Guide (which I love).

My friend owns the "previous generation" of this bag and he really digs in. He doesn't do much trad stuff but it works for him.

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By Alex Swan
From West
Jan 9, 2012
Rather Grand
I have the Miura 30 and I love it. Honestly 95% of reviews on REI are complete shit. I think the pack looks pretty slick but the gear loop inside of the pack is completely ridiculous. You could maybe hold 8 draws at the most.

+1 for the Miura Series

Completely bomber durability and design

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By climbskihike
From Bay Area, CA
Jan 11, 2012
I'd get something with a better suspension and maybe more capacity if you are going to be carrying a rack and rope plus food and water, raingear, etc for long trad days. The Neon pack looks pretty small for a 44L pack and looks to be designed for gym/sport climbing where all you need is a rope, draws and a pair of shoes. You will want a bigger pack with a better suspension, compression straps, etc for longer approaches with more gear. Some sort of external rope carry system is nice too. I like top-loaders as you can carry more if you need to overstuff them.

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By Edwin Rowan
From Vancouver, BC
Jan 11, 2012
Made it! Great payoff to a long hard day!
I got the Spindrift by Mammut, for both climbing & skiing and it's a great pack, very comfortable and roomy. I've had it on a few trips and it stands up well to abuse, carrying a full rack, rope, food etc. It's also got a handy side-access zipper. I got it from Backcountry - tinyurl.com/2af4q7n

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By Rob Warden, Space Lizard
From Springdale Ut
Jan 15, 2012
blah
i woud say this would work pack will work for about 90% of the rock out there. i have put my 60m 9.8 a double rack from 0-3(BD) with a 4 thrown in, with water and food in there and still had some room left for odds and ends. that being said this will not work well for Multi-pitiching, big walling or alpine, and would probably be a huge pain in the ass on a long approach. (read several days) but for an average climber its going to work great and cost less. its a win in my book and way better than my last pack a BD 50 cal which annoyed the living shit out of me. it has almost the same space with much more usable space. I even use the gear loop thing, to hold a few small items that are easy pushed to the bottom. such as my GriGri. I have only used it for single pith climbing so far so I cant speak as to its pros and cons on larger walls. who knows it might be great.

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By Heather V.
Jun 18, 2012
I got this pack to replace my old CiloGear pack that was a POS. In general I like it. I looked at the Miura, but could not justify spending more on my pack than any other single piece of gear that I own. The Mammut Neon was reasonably priced, and not too heavy (important for me b/c I'm pretty small -- I also considered the Mountain Hardware Splitter, but it was too heavy).

90% of the time I've used it for cragging -- but I've hiked it up steep 10 mile approaches on alpine type climbs. The waistbelt is sort of crap (more on that later...) and it's not really made for super long approaches, but it did just fine. I've also climbed some easy (5.8/9) multipitches with it -- again not great, and not really what it's intended for, but it works. My major problem with multipitching with this pack is that it's a bit too big for me, so my head hits the pack when I look up. I'd say that it probably wouldn't be a big deal for the average size climber. 99% of the time that I'm climbing I'm one of the shortest people around (sucks getting beta from all you tall folk!!).

Last weekend my climbing partners all screwed me by leaving the crag early one by one and I got stuck packing out a 60m rope, AND an 80m rope, plus 20 draws and an entire trad rack (pretty much doubles of everything BD makes up to the #3 and a set of nuts, assorted slings and random biners), an extra harness and 3 pairs of shoes. It sucked to carry that much and I had to use the rope catch to put the 2nd rope on top and clip the shoes to the outside, but I made it out with all my gear. I'm not going to lie and pretend it was comfortable carrying that much gear, but I was shocked that I got it all in.

My major complaints with this pack are that the sternum strap doesn't cinch down enough, but I'm pretty small (5'4", 115#), so I'd say for 99% of the population that would not be an issue. As a female climber, I'm used to getting screwed with men's gear (or fake unisex gear) that doesn't really fit women. At first glance the waist belt does look like a POS, but I discovered when wearing a harness that the minimalist waistbelt was actually quite a bonus. It doesn't provide all that much support, but does stabilize the pack enough so it's not swinging around, and doesn't conflict with my harness.

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By Rob Warden, Space Lizard
From Springdale Ut
Aug 7, 2012
blah
I take back all the nice things I said about this pack. Has fallen apart and been nothing but a pain in the ass...

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By NorCalNomad
From San Francisco
Aug 7, 2012
Have gotten a 45 guide and it's doing great :P

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By iceman777
From Colorado Springs
Aug 7, 2012
0
I have the Mura 50 and I'm not that impressed with it

It does cary nice but if you unlucky enough to load it to the gills and cant close the fold over
lid the required three times be warned it will drop gear like a flower girl spreading rose pettals at a wedding .Also the side zippers tend to unzip themselves at the most inconvenient times.

Lucky for me I bought it on sale . Would I buy one again ....not a chance

I know a lot of people like this pack and the build is really nice I'm just not a fan of the closure
system I think for the price it could have been made more secure for the few times you have to load it up .

Just my .02

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By Rob Warden, Space Lizard
From Springdale Ut
Aug 8, 2012
blah
Ice man you interested in getting rid of that miura 50 your not into?

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By iceman777
From Colorado Springs
Aug 9, 2012
0
Hey Rob

Ive beat the crap out of that Miura getting my money's worth out of it and don't think mine is the one your looking for.


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By Steven Groetken
From Durango, CO
Mar 23, 2013
On top of Hitchcock Pinnacle.
Mammut Neon 45
Mammut Neon 45



Hip belt issue solved. I was able to cannibalize an old North Face pack that my dog chewed up. The Neon carries super comfy now. I'll check it's durability this weekend. If it holds up, I'll be set. Not bad for $30. (Rei dividend + a return)

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By Merritt King
From Long Beach, Ca
Mar 6, 2014
Jtree
I bought the Neon 45 when it first came out...prior to knowing about the Miura 50. At first I did not like the pack, no real hip belt, no compartments. Fast forward 6 months and I love it. I have ZERO problems using it for my trad outings. Shoes, double rack, harness, 2 water bottles, food, helmet, guide book and a 70m rope on top. I have not had any issues carrying around this with the wimpy hip belt it came with. I've learned to really like this pack. Once again I use this as my trad climbing pack and it works great.

I have had a full load in it and hiked 11 miles...no issues at all.

  • EDIT. Also the more you climb the more you realize inside gear loops are useless.

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By Jason L.
Aug 7, 2014
I am looking for an approach bag and am assuming by most accounts posted here that this would be perfect for me, please correct me if i'm wrong.

1. I can only climb (Pacific Northwest) once per month or so, with an approach rarely over 2 miles. Almost soley sport climbing and don't own any trad gear.
2. I'm not using it for multi-pitch climbing
3. Mostly need a bag to keep my days climbing gear stored and ready to go in garage and getting to the rock.

A couple of questions for those who own one.
1. Is there a better bag that I should consider of better value? More money but worth the cost is certainly ok.
2. Does the bag hold up to normal wear and tear?
3. How water resistant is the bag?
4. Can I store my rope in a Metolius rope bag inside the rope storage section of this bag?

Thanks for any additional info and replies.

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By teece303
From Highlands Ranch, CO
Aug 7, 2014
Aiding.
Mine was super convenient: it stands up on it's own, and the top and back zippers and inner gear loops were cool.

Alas, I would not recommend it for heavy loads. The waist belt doesn't really do anything, the shoulder straps are super skimpy, and the the worst: In less than 8 months of use, it blew a frame stay out of the bottom of the pack, which has proven really hard to fix, and the aluminum frame stabs me when I wear it.

The rear zipper was also very annoying in use.

I was in love at first, but it is under-suspended for it's size and mine didn't last.

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By Gary Bernstein
From Johannesburg
Aug 7, 2014
I'm currently using a Kelty Redwing 50. It is about $25 less than the neon, 50 liters. It's a slightly unusual dimensions in that it is a wide pack which actually works out perfectly. And has proper support and waist belt. And has a 3 quarter front panel opening

I'm currently caring a 60meter 10mm rope rolled up in a trango cord trapper tarp, this fits perfectly in the bottom of the pack like it was made for it, sport rack, shoes, harness, helmet, rain and cold layers, 1 litre water, and ample space for snacks, guide book and other smaller items. Carries like a dream even on a very steep 2 km approach.

Would definetly buy again over a mammut neon anyday.

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By SketchySam
Aug 7, 2014
I climb mostly trad and was looking for a good crag pack for Gunks approaches less than one mile. I bought a Mammut Neon Gear 45 but I didn't like it so I returned it. I found it too small to fit my rack and other gear, thought the back zipper was wimpy and got stuck to frequently, and didn't like the thin waistbelt. The rope tarp seemed cool at first, but I found it much too small to be practical, and there is no way I could have fit both my rope and trad rack in that little pack.

Instead I bought the Osprey Porter 65 at REI. It's much bigger with enough room to fit a huge rack, rope, helmet, shoes, water, etc. I also love the front panel zip which makes it easy to access everything inside. Previously I had the Osprey Atmos 65, which is a great pack, but it's a top loader which was a pain for cragging with trad gear - anytime I wanted to get something out of the bottom I had to dump everything out of the pack.

I suppose the Osprey Porter 65 isn't meant for schlepping loads to the crag, but I think it works great for that. It's plenty comfy & has enough support to carry a 30+ lb load for a mile. I'm 6' tall but even so I think the load lifter straps still allow for a good distribution of weight to the hip-belt. The panel zip is the huge kicker for me - it makes it so easy to sort through a pile of trad gear. It's also got compression straps to keep the gear from lumping at the bottom.

For a pure crag bag, I would like to see a few improvements on the Porter 65 - outside water bottle holders (currently I stick one liter of water in the small top zip and the rest in the main compartment), a large elastic pouch on the outside for carrying extra clothing layers (similar to the one on the Osprey Atmos), a slightly stiffer back panel, and a slightly bigger waistbelt. Above all, these are minor issues and the Porter 65 is my favorite crag bag that I've found.

I looked at the new Arcteryx Muira and it looked really nice, just a little small for carrying everything I need. I think it's always nice to have extra room - my pack always seems to fill up quickly with ropes, trad gear, ice gear, clothes, guidebooks, water, headlamp, slings, sunblock, lunch, and everything else in the kitchen sink. And let's not forget the "Theory of Gear Expansion," which states that the volume of gear when repacked at the end of the day is exponentially proportional to the amount of time you spent packing it at the beginning of the day.

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By Ian Stewart
Aug 7, 2014
So I did actually end up buying a Neon 45, though a couple years after this thread since I found one on sale for <$100 and figured why not.

I've had it for about a year now and so far it's worked out great for me. I only use it for sport climbing or trad when the gear carrying is shared, as there's definitely no room for a full rack in there. Approaches are all less than a couple miles. Anything longer or with a notably heavy load and I'd probably whip out a different pack with more support, but so far I haven't had to.

I didn't think I'd use the included rope tarp or chalk bag thing, but I do actually use the rope tarp and have used the chalk bag thing, too. They're not completely useless freebies!

The good:
  • Full back zipper makes getting the rope in and out really easy, and with the included tarp you kinda just cinch it down and drop it in. I then put my draws on top of the rope and clip them into the gear loop, which just helps them not drop down to the bottom of the pack. This makes them easy to get from the top, too.
  • It holds everything you need for a day of sport climbing inside the pack. The only thing I ever strap to the pack is my helmet, and the top cinch strap works perfectly for this.
  • It packs very cleanly. The hip belt can be stashed inside the pack (I don't think they advertise this as a feature since it's a pain to do, but once it's stashed in there it's like it's not even there). And then of course the straps can be attached together to turn it into a duffel bag. This is nice because there are virtually no loose straps and it packs into a very square shape, which makes packing it or travelling with it awesome. I took the bag with me for a climbing trip to Thailand and I'd do it again. Nothing like getting thick, loose hip belts caught in the airport conveyor or a plastic clip smashed in a car door.

The bad:
  • The hip belt is pretty stupid. If you're hiking long enough to want the hip belt, you'd probably want a better one than the stupid webbing it has. I leave mine tucked in all the time and never use it (though it does carry quite well without it).
  • The zippers are a bit sticky. Especially the back one around the top corners. It's slightly annoying, but you eventually figure out how to open them so it doesn't suck as much.
  • There aren't any external water bottle pockets. (Though this helps with keeping it a "clean" pack)
  • I don't know how durable the plastic gear loop things really are on the outside of the pack, but I don't trust them. I've clipped empty water bottles to them, but other than that they seem to have limited use.


And direct answers to a couple of Jason's questions:
  • Does the bag hold up to normal wear and tear? For me it has, but for others I guess it hasn't. I've probably taken mine out for 50 days of climbing plus a 2 week trip to Thailand.
  • Can I store my rope in a Metolius rope bag inside the rope storage section of this bag? There's only one main section in the bag. The pouch on the inside of the back flap will protrude into this space if there's anything in it, which is why I just keep my rain shell in there which is relatively flat. There's definitely room for a metolius rope bag, but I actually like the included rope tarp (or any other tarp for that matter) because it doesn't restrict the rope to a certain shape. I find this makes it pack down into the bag a little more and gives more space to squish other things in. Whenever I throw an actual rope bag into a backpack I find that the fit usually isn't perfect, but maybe you'll get lucky.

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By Max Forbes
From Burlington, VT
Aug 11, 2014
I have the Mammut Neon Gear. So far I really love it. Its a massive bag, organizes well, swallows gear and stands up to a beating. You should have no problem fitting you stuff. I do find it to not be very comfortable. I recently made an approach that totaled 800+ of vertical gain over about a mile. I had no issues with the bag comfort wise and I was loaded to the brim.

One of the things I don't like about the bag is the pocket systems. There is an external pocket on the outside top of the bag, that I usually put wallet, keys, chapstick and a few bars in. On the inside of the bag, there is a mesh pocket on the underside of the lid, I find that if you stuff this pocket first, then the top pocket becomes unusable because its so full. But thats really my only complaint. It defiently does not adjust well at all, but its a seriously awesome crag bag, keeps me organized, and stands up well. Unless you plan on hiking in for over an hour, I would highly recommend the bag.

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