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Summit pack opinions

Original Post
Alex Burton · · Colorado Springs, CO · Joined Jul 2006 · Points: 185

Thinking about getting a lightweight pack for summiting alpine routes from an advanced camp. Thinking about the OR…
which allows you to use it for your sleeping bag on the way to camp and then converts to a summit pack.
Rei has this one:
that does the same, but isn't a dry bag.

Anyone else have a summit pack they would recommend?

JBaker Baker · · Belmont, MA · Joined Aug 2010 · Points: 15

Also very curious about what people are carrying! I hadn't seen the OR bag and really like those.

Chris Plesko · · Westminster, CO · Joined Oct 2007 · Points: 485

I have a BD Magnum, a 20L Cilo and one of the REI Flash packs. I like the Magnum overall the best, the Cilo 2nd and the REI last. However they are all fine for the purpose. The REI and the Cilo are most "stuffable" and least comfortable. The REI is the least durable but it's still pretty tough as long as you aren't hauling it.

EDIT: Weight duh! The REI is the lightest, the BD is the heaviest but there is only 5 or 6 oz between them depending on if you mod them at all.

Derek W · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2008 · Points: 20

Just to be clear, are you backpacking in to your advanced camp and then pulling this pack from your larger frame pack for summiting? I too am looking for a pack that is compressible enough to get shoved inside my big pack but has enough shape to carry a few pounds comfortably up the last push.

Also, Alex, did you intend to post the Summit Sack for what REI carries also?

Auto-X Fil · · NEPA and Upper Jay, NY · Joined Aug 2010 · Points: 50

I have this pack for super-light summit runs. It packs down to the size of a lime and weighs 2.4oz.…

The downside is that there is no padding on the straps. It has quite a large capacity, but can't hold over 5lb for any amount of time without becoming uncomfortable.

I like the look of the CCW Ozone and the Cilogear 20L, but had some fabric around so I made my own version (…). That thread has a lot of good discussion.

iceman777 · · Colorado Springs · Joined Oct 2007 · Points: 60

I have the OR drysac/pack

All I can tell ya is it works fine for it's intended purpose, it's not much of a freight hauler
So beyond the snickers bars /water/ couple extra layers ect ect you would prolly be better off with a pack that has a light weight frame BUT as a flash summit pack there's
Not too many that beat it.

I've used it as a sleeping bag stuffsac and it's kept my bag nice n dry

Alex Burton · · Colorado Springs, CO · Joined Jul 2006 · Points: 185

Wehling...yup. Looking for something to stuff in my frame pack, that I can pull out for a summit push. Example: Looking at doing the Casual Route this August. Would probably bivy at Chasm Lake then climb the next morning. Probably would take 1 summit pack between me and my partner and swap it between leads.

Thanks for the catch on the rei link. Fixed it in the main post.

jack roberts · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2002 · Points: 0

The ONLY pack to get in this category is the Jet Stream pack

It's light, carries extremely well and is just the right size. About $110.oo

Derek W · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2008 · Points: 20
jack roberts wrote:The ONLY pack to get in this category is the Jet Stream pack It's light, carries extremely well and is just the right size. About $110.oo
$110 really? For a summit pack??
jack roberts · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2002 · Points: 0

Yep. I've had two in about 15 years........gonna get my third. check them out.
They look like the old Klye Copeland A5 Alpine pack but Mountain Gear makes them and they carry better than any other sack of its type I've tried. No affiliation with them BTW.

Gerald Rice · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Sep 2007 · Points: 0


I have the Marmot Kompressor, and like it. 10 ounces, serves as a compression sack, and is a nicely constructed day bag. I can let you look at it the next time we climb (for a price).

I also like the specs on the REI Flash pack. It is slightly larger than the Marmot, and for $29 I was actually thinking about picking one up to use on my Teton trip this year.

But, heck - you're so strong, you could easily pack in two full sized packs into the backcountry.

Eric and Lucie · · Boulder, CO · Joined Oct 2004 · Points: 140

+4 on the Jet Pack. My partner and I have had four of these and used them for everything longer than one pitch in the last 15 years. By far the best design out there for a technical climbing day pack IMO.

Jet Pack

A bit more substantial (and a bit heavier) than the minimalist stuff, but it has a padded back (no frame) and will carry some weight. I also love the waist belt, which uses Velcro instead of a buckle: doesn't interfere with your harness.

I also own a Stealth pack: roughly the same design, but lower volume, and with a really nifty zippered partition inside that keeps the pack from bulging.
Stealth Pack

Our standard setup for long alpine routes (unless I chicken out and let Lucie carry it all... in her Jet pack, BTW): leader carries the Stealth (pair of approach shoes/boots, some Gu, 1 to 2 quarts of H2O, and a jacket), second carries the Jet (same plus more food and water, 1st aid kit, etc). The jet will easily carry a rope strapped to its top on approach/descent. Both the Jet and the Stealth will also carry a small ice axe (two on the Jet).

bearbreeder · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2009 · Points: 3,065

there's no way im paying $139 for a 700g pack…

for that much weigh you could almost strip down a 30+L alpine pack

or buy 4+ rei flash 18s ... and return everyone to REI for whatever reason

paintrain · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2007 · Points: 75

Petzl makes the Bug which is similar to the jet stream (and less expensive). It is only really for rock routes as it does not have an axe attachment, but it sits nicely above a harness and has some nice features. The back is lightly padded.

I have a REI flash I have used in the tetons. If you put hardware or +20lbs in it, you will regret carrying it more than 10 minutes. It is no nonsense. Osprey made something similar for awhile also out of silnylon.

Osprey has their talon series packs, but they start to have more substance but carry better (like the petzl or jet stream). I have played with the Talon 22 and like it, but you would have to pack more carefully.

You are in a compromise situation. The lighter pack, the less comfortable it is with with weight or hard objects. You could go for a lightweight alpine climbing pack like the Osprey mutant. This replaced my old TNF slip stream (which I thought would never happen- I still think it is one of the better packs ever made). These can strip down and compress into a summit pack, but will not carry everything but the kitchen sink on your approach. You have to be a little more spartan in your packing (which is a good thing). The slipstream and mutant are improvements to the old Andenista.

I would take the mutant or carefully stuff someting with a little more substance if you have to carry much or very long.


Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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