Those features combine to make the Descensionist a much better pack for skiers, especially for people (like Sam) who have been using the Ascensionist without the frame. Usually I’d recommend a pack this size to guides who need to carry a lot of gear, or to skiers looking to do overnight trips.

– This pack is the PERFECT size for a Haute Route trip, or other week long euro hut trips. If I used a helmet I’d just wear it, up or down… might start doing so again, as the available helmets have become much better than even a few years ago.
Damage due to wear and tear will be repaired at a reasonable charge. Note that side zippers can be a durability issue and they add a bit of weight, but in my opinion they’re worth those (for me) minor trades. I also wish more packs had closures like this. (doesn’t have any frame).

Patagonia’s technical alpine packs are designed to be in the mountains. I find that the pack seems to carry more volume than you’d expect.
There is a lot of webbing at each adjustment point, so if you’re on the slimmer side of things (like I am), you’re probably going to want to trim the straps once you figure out your fit, or else you’ll have a lot of webbing flapping around. Seems solid, disappointing that it only has a single traditional style ice axe carry rather than a modern duel carry for tech tools. The black hole of alpine packs!

I’ve been enjoying my 30L Patagonia Snowdrifter since last spring; really like access through the back and snow tool/skin compartment on the outside. The removable foam pad is good for cutting weight, or an emergency situation. If you want to go lighter, just remove the pads and you have a simple webbing belt. Atomic Hawx Ultra XTD 115 W Touring Boot — First Look, A Pack for All Days — Gregory Targhee 45 Review, Touring Skis – WildSnow Quiver Picks 2020, Ski Touring Boots — A Few WildSnow Picks 2020, Snoqualmie Classic — Chair Peak Circumnavigation, Expedition Inspiration — Quarantine Reading List from the Trip Report Archives, Bring on the Quiver — Totally Deep Podcast 77, Totally Deep Double Hitter — Super Frenchie, Social Distancing, Buying Used Gear Guide — Skis, Boots, Bindings, Skins, The ‘We’ in Ski Touring — Creating Team Culture, Beyond Tuckerman — ‘Presidential Skiing’ Q&A. (smile) Lou, How does the pack carry loads ? Bill, I ended up here while searching for a helmet carry solution for the Descensionist 32L. Plus, it also cinches down small for summer day hikes, which makes this thing super versatile. This pack is leaps and bounds more user friendly than the Snowdrifter models. While climbing, the pack almost disappears.

Patagonia really nailed it with the new size. $179.95. While it’s not easy to make an ultralight pack, it’s even more challenging to make one that holds up to extensive use.

I could probably wear a well visored helmet in springtime, at least during cooler parts of the day, but I can see the limits. It’s nice to have the pack closed and sealed in a single pull of a cord, and that type of efficiency can translate into drier gear in wet weather.

The other great thing about the Ascentionist is how adaptable it is; I love that there are multiple possible hook-in points for the strap that secures the lid, and it makes it easier to get a rope strapped under no matter how big the rest of the load is.

It’s fast, easy, and secure, and I can operate it with one hand, even in thick gloves. I don’t love the webbing belt that rises from the bottom of the pack to cinch down the lid; it’s already been well-reported that it can fall out, especially if it’s not under much tension. This pocket is large, and fits my wallet, phone, and food with plenty of room to spare, so I’ve found myself stashing my water bottle up there too. Less fond of the lid and top closure system though. Someone may have called you on this but dedicated a year compartment makes more sense to me than external pocket. Watch Steve House, Patagonia Alpine Ambassador, describe how to pack the Patagonia Ascensionist Pack: Watch the Patagonia design crew as they design the first of Patagonia’s Technical Alpine Packs: Additional Photos of the Patagonia Ascensionist 45L Pack: uses affiliate links throughout the site. And I haven’t found a really well ventilated helmet that I like for skiing, although I have a new one I’ll be trying this season.

But my deep winter pack will remain my Deuter Guide 35+ L pack.

Unsure of your size? This is a sharp contrast to the last climbing pack I reviewed, the Gregory Baltoro, which bizarrely couldn’t accommodate most Petzl ice tools. Keep our gear in action longer and reduce your need to buy more over time. I have the Salomon MTN Lab helmet. On the note of versatility, this loop can be either moved to the other side, or removed altogether if you know you’re not a diagonal-carry person.

The issue is basically that the small metal tab at the bottom of the belt isn’t that much bigger than the tab that holds it in place; you could jerry-rig a solution here easily with a little stitching, but it’s a place where Patagonia’s dedication to versatility resulted in a bit of an ill-functioning part.

I agree, that pack has a great shovel/ tool pocket, and the side access zipper is awesome! We may not be emulating skimo style so much, Lou, as taking full advantage of their light, well-ventillated helmets. _________________________________________________. For the size and weight, it carries comfortably and efficiently.

We apologize for the inconvenience, and the noise.

Because the back panel has no actual rigid structure, thoughtlessly loading the pack can result in a curved or misshapen back panel that’s uncomfortable to carry.

The shoulder straps are sewn down deep in the pack to become structural; the fabric is 5.5oz 210D Cordura, which is good stuff but is on the lighter end of what I’d like to see in terms of a climbing pack’s fabric. Is the backboard snow-phobic? Patagonia say: For swift mountain pursuits when every gram counts, the new Ascensionist Jacket offers comfortable, reliable protection in a super-breathable, highly packable shell. Our customer service team is here to help—the less unnecessary shipping, the better. I left the belay only to look down and discover the main strap had fallen out of its keeper tab. If you have any questions about your order, you can reach out to our Customer Service team and we will be happy to help. It’s a unique design, but works well. The fabric also has a lot of natural water resistance, aided by a polyurethane coating. Patagonia Ascensionist 55L. If you feel like you need a helmet and your pack is full put the bucket on at the car and forget about it. As I mentioned above, there are numerous ways to customize the rigging on the pack. Alpha FL 45 Pack (27) 27 reviews with an average rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars. Take a few minutes to tell us what you think. Based on my experiences I do not recommend the Patagonia Ascensionist pack for any ski related adventures where carrying skis on the pack is necessary.

If you are not satisfied with one of our products at the time you receive it, or if one of our products does not perform to your satisfaction, our Ironclad Guarantee allows you to return it for a replacement or refund at no charge. There are times during spring ski touring when it’s so hot during the uphill, with scorching sun, that I need every bit of lightweight sunshade type clothing I can wear, and a helmet would not cut it for me in that regard.

Additionally, there’s a small port for a hydration bladder hose, and it’s waaaaay too tight for a hose nozzle to fit through. An adjustable strap holds the lid in place when you’re on the go. Of course I modified it with a foam visor cut from a camping pad. Anytime I ski 30 degrees or greater, I take my airbag pack. While the minimalist climbing DNA of Patagonia’s Ascensionist pack shines through in their new Descencionist pack, its feature set is much better suited to backcountry skiing and ski mountaineering. Thanks. The exterior of the Patagonia Ascensionist allows for lots of options to lash, strap, and basically gypsy wagon your things to the outside.

This means it weighs practically nothing – saving you time and energy when heading out on a backcountry adventure.

Patagonia really nailed it with the new size. Track orders, save products, easy hassle-free returns & exchanges. Also, you never know when you might really need to be wearing the helmet. I’ve enjoyed the Ascentionist through a variety of different climbing disciplines. Asymmetrical spindrift collar opens wide for easy packing; drawcord simultaneously cinches collar and closes lid for a secure seal, Side zipper for easy access to main compartment, High-density foam back panel gives pack structure and helps to support heavy loads, but can be removed for lightweight pursuits, Padded hipbelt with stretch-woven stash pocket, Snowboard carry straps and diagonal ski carry loop included, Daisy chains on front provide lashing options; compression straps on sides help manage different-sized loads; zippered pocket on lid offers easy access to small items. It makes an absolutely fantastic day pack and its simplicity and carry style allows it to carry more than a lot of 30L+ packs.