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Mountain Hardwear South Col Backpack

Mountain Hardwear South Col Backpack – For alpinist and climbers.
Climbing is a gear heavy outdoor sport if there ever was one. No matter if you are climbing El Captain in the summer or the Grand Tetons in the winter, both require a large amount of climbing gear and equipment. As I am sure any experienced climber will tell you, not just any old backpack will do when it comes to hauling around alpine and climbing gear. Sure, some packs may be large and have ice axe loops, but that does not mean that they are design for climbers. The Mountain Hardwear South Col Backpack on the other hand was designed for climbers through and through.

As I said before, just because a backpack is large and has ice axe loops does not make it a climbing backpack. The problem with many backpacks that offer ice axe loops is that they don’t offer any protection from the ice axes. Secure or not, ice axes can quickly add some serious wear and tear to your pack in no time unless protected. Good climbing packs like the Mountain Hardwear South Col Backpack take this into consideration. The Mountain Hardwear South Col Backpack features an extremely tough tarp to help protect your pack from climbing gear like ice axes and crampons.

Protection from your climbing gear isn’t the only climber friendly feature on the Mountain Hardwear South Col Backpack though. As one would expect, there is a climbing rope tie down under the lid of the pack. Because climbing gear can be bulky and awkward to pack, its key to have a variety of compression straps in place to be able to better stabilize your load. The Mountain Hardwear South Col Backpack definitely has plenty of those as well. And for all the gear that can’t make it inside the pack, there is a long daisy chain and other lash points on the outside of the pack.

The quick & dirty:

Where you can get one: $270

Why they rock:

  • Dual-density foam padded shoulder straps and hipbelt distribute load evenly for maximum comfort
  • HDPE framesheet with an alloy shaping rod helps transfer load to the hips
  • Compression-molded backpanel balances ventilation, comfort and snow-shedding properties
  • Top-loading main compartment features an under-lid rope attachment
  • High-durability front tarp resists damage from ice axes, crampons and rocks
  • Hide-away, full-wrap compression straps clean up the look of the pack and let you cinch down loads for jostle-free carrying
  • Fully reinforced 3-point haul system and a center daisy chain let you attach alpine gear outside
  • Dual Axe-S toggle holds an ice axe or trekking pole securely, yet releases quickly on demand
  • Hydration-compatible design features a reservoir pocket and twin drink-tube exit ports for on-the-go hydration (reservoir sold separately)
  • For summit pushes and minimalist packing, put pack weight under 3 lbs. by removing framesheet and top pocket and swapping padded hipbelt for 1.5-in. webbing hipbelt (included)

Seat-of-the-pants rating: 9 out of 10

If you are in the market for a climbing backpack that can carry all of your equipment without destroying your pack after just a few outings, then the Mountain Hardwear South Col Backpack should be on your list of packs to check out. From one day excursions, to longer multiday climbs, the Mountain Hardwear South Col Backpack has got you covered.

Looking to Buy? Check out these sites: $270