Gregory Alpinisto Pack Review


The original Gregory Alpinisto was my go-to ice climbing pack for several years, so I was excited when I saw a redesigned version was coming out. I eagerly got one in the fall, thinking I’d have plenty of time to use it this winter. Alas, we had one of the worst “winters” in recent memory. I spent a grand total of zero days ice climbing, maybe for the first time in twenty years. On the bright side, a bad winter generally means good climbing conditions, and the rock climbing was excellent into December, and then for much of the “winter” as well. I’ve been using this as my main cragging/guiding pack for the last six months, and have been impressed with its performance. A few highlights for me:

The side zip allows easy access into the interior of the pack, and most packs I use these days have a similar feature. Digging through a pack in the traditional manner just feels so archaic! The bright color means it’s easy to see inside the pack and makes finding things quick and simple.

The FusionFlex suspension is supremely comfortable, even when carrying heavier loads. The top compartment is adequately sized to hold things like sunscreen, a guidebook, even your lunch if you want to keep it from getting squashed.

The crampon pouch doubles as a holder for water bottles, sandals or a guidebook, the ski strap holders can also be used to attach your trekking poles. The side pocket on the waist belt is great for keys and cell phone, things you want to keep track of and not get lost in other parts of the pack. In fact, I was out climbing with a friend the other day who also has this pack, and when we got back to the car, he couldn’t find his keys. After rummaging around, it hit him that he had put them in the most sensible place, the little hip pouch.

As far as capacity goes, 50 liters is the magic number for me. I’m honestly not sure how people get away with smaller packs. That being said, I don’t like things hanging outside my pack, like my helmet, or carrying a rope in a separate rope bag dangling off my neck. I like everything on my back, easy to carry, keeping my hands free for the approach.

For those who want to take it to the mountains and shed some weight, the framesheet is removable, along with the built in lightweight bivy pad and hipbelt padding. This means comfort on the approach and no extra weight on the climb.

Bottom Line

The Alpinisto is a versatile bag that excels at a variety of uses. You can take it sport climbing, you can take it on long approaches in Red Rocks, you can strip it down and take it up a peak climb. The Alpinisto does it all, and is built strong enough to take the abuse of whatever you decide to do with it. If I was going to only have one pack, this would be it.

Retail: $239.95
Volume: 35/50 L
Access Point: Top/ Panel
Weight: 3.4 lbs.
Body Dimensions: 36.0″ x 15.0″ x 9.0″

More info can be found on the Gregory website.

Disclaimer: Wait! Before you go handing over your credit card number, ask yourself, do you really need to buy more new stuff? If so, this product is worth a look. In the spirit of full disclosure, it was provided to for the purpose of reviewing. Don’t worry, though, our integrity can’t be bought!

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