CiloGear Pack Review

cilo-packCiloGear is a pack company based in Portland, Oregon that focuses on making high end packs for alpinists, and anyone else who appreciates a good sturdy and versatile rig. I got my hands on one to test out for a month, and I was thoroughly impressed. In fact, I’d probably have to say it’s the nicest carrying pack I’ve ever used.

I tried out the 45L WorkSack, which is designed as a workhorse pack for people going fast and light in the mountains. Apparently it has appeared frequently in Alpinist Magazine, and numerous Patagonia catalog shots. I, of course, prefer my recreation to be, well, a little more recreational, so I simply used it for cragging and route development. I did test it with a bunch of heavy stuff, including a drill, bolts and ropes, and it carried like a dream. The internal frame was light yet sturdy and I was impressed with how well it handled the load every time I went out with all my gear.

I like packs that let me fit everything inside, I don’t like walking around with stuff strapped to the outside or swinging around. The 45L seemed to be a good size for this, and if you extend the collar, you can actually get 75L of space out of it! I generally use a Metolius Quarter Dome as my cragging pack, since I can just throw everything in and it’s good to go, but I found myself reaching for this pack more and more, as it just carried so darn well.

I don’t have much of anything negative to say about this pack, perhaps my only complaint was their adjustable strap system is a little confusing at first. Basically, this pack is set up so that you can add compression straps how you see fit, and use the pack in any configuration that you like. I’m sure the alpine crowd loves this, but for general use, I just went with a standard set up, once I figured out how it worked.

Bottom line, this is an incredibly solid pack. The materials, the workmanship, everything is top notch. Plus, it’s built in Portland, Oregon, so if you buy one, you’re stimulating the economy! Also, the packs are built when ordered, so there is a several day delay between the time you order one, and the time it ships, but that’s a small price to pay for such high quality. Also, the prices are very reasonable, and are comparable to what you’d pay for other high end packs, except these aren’t mass produced by some ten year old in China.

Next time I need a new pack, CiloGear is going to be a the top of my list.

3 Responses to CiloGear Pack Review

  1. I agree, I just recently purchased the 40L WorkSack for a trip to Austria for cragging and Via Ferrata. The WorkSack was amazing, I like the versatility of the strap system, frame sheet/hip belt, etc; it carried many different sized loads incredibly well. The pack is simple, yet very functional. This is by far the best pack I have owned. Mass produced packs don’t compare to Cilo’s depth of design not to mention their direct customer service…a big thanks to Abe and Graham of Cilo Gear.

    John Gemza August 26, 2009 at 8:54 pm
  2. I would have to echo the above praise. I purchased one of the first 40L and have since added the 40B, and 60L to my collection.

    These packs have been through the brutal winters on Mount Washington, have been stuffed below airplanes, dragged accross NEw York Trapp rock and have had to endure some wet weather…and they still hold up and beg for more. I can’t say enough about these packs or the company.

    If you are looking for a killer pack that will carry all the furniture in your living room and then cinch up tight for a quick climb at the local crag…look no further than Cilogear.

    Chris Graham September 15, 2010 at 10:58 pm
  3. I just received my CiloGear Guoide worksack after 3 months of waiting. I live in Australia, and at forst the roder looked good, got an order number and waited for the tracking of the shipment. Some time later I wrote and got a reply that my pack would be started in 7days.My PayPal account is then debited of the funds. More waiting. Then none of my emails are replied to. More waiting. A few months pass. I write about 25 emails in succession to see if they will reply. Then a Faebook bombing campaign so they can see my message everywhere…extreme I know but it cost me over $100 and there was nothing delivered. I then call and when I finally get through they assure me it will be sent to the address on the order. It was May 2013 when I ordered and August 2013 when the goods arrived.
    I know they are small, but I paid money and expected what I paid for. Thats all. Its not my problem how they run their business. I now have my worksack. Nice, yes. Worth the wait? I’m not sure. I needed a small strong light pack and ended up buying a Deuter from the UK which came in 14 days. I’ll keep the CiloGear sack, but I dont think I could cope with buying from them again.

    Chris Wilson August 11, 2013 at 6:06 am
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