GEAR REVIEW – MACPAC PURSUIT 40L CLIMBING PACK
When you are venturing into the mountains or on long multi-pitch climbs, you need a good climbing pack. Something that is lightweight yet durable, big enough to carry what you need without being cumbersome and is easy to manage. The Pursuit 40L climbing pack designed by Macpac fits that bill and has been a key part of the Vertical Year.
I have had a few climbing packs and this one is by far the best I have used to date. One of the features I really like is the removable backing pad. You can use this as a pad to sit on the snow with or part of a bivvy set up, saving you from needing to bring an extra sleeping pad. I have also used this pouch to protect my laptop while transiting which has been very reassuring.
I have used the bag itself as a seat on the snow at ice crags in the Canadian Rockies and while taking a rest on 6,000m peaks in the Cordillera Blanca. The bag is constructed from EcoAzTec 8oz fabric which not only makes it super lightweight, but weather resistant. I never had any dramas with the pack getting wet or frozen.
The ice tool attachments are super easy to use meaning there is no faffing about when it comes time to get among the action.
In terms of storage there is more than enough space to store your rock shoes, a double trad rack, draws, jacket, water and food and the external straps make attaching a rope secure to ensure it won’t get unexpectedly snagged on trees.
The hood opens right up as well which makes access easy however, if you have heavy items stored in the top compartment, you will have to hold it in place to zip it back up. That is about the only shortfall of this amazing pack.
Most importantly it climbs well. Whether on steep ice, long mountain routes or seconding a pitch of flawless granite, the Macpac Pursuit 40 performs spectacularly. It contours well to your body and doesn’t impair your head movement in any way. A problem I have experienced with other climbing packs.
At belays, it is easy to manage if you need to quickly grab a drink or snack or offload it to your partner.
When you are halfway up the route of your dreams you don’t want something like your pack to hold you back. The Macpac Pursuit 40L climbing pack ticks all the right boxes and won’t let you down. It’s no surprise really when it has been designed and tested in collaboration with the New Zealand Alpine Team!