The Alpiniste has been a classic rucksack for about 20 years. This latest incarnation is as good as it ever was. The pack has a stiff ‘Fformat’ padded back system with airflow chimney that takes a little of the heat out of the carry. The shoulder straps are just wide enough and padded enough to make the carry comfy without unnecessary weight and bulk. It is a single compartment sack, with a snow-lock extension and a lid that can extend to add 10 litres of extra capacity. There is also a bellows panel linking the lid to the body to help keep water out of the main compartment. On the sides you get wand pockets and side compression straps, a system that is ideal for stowing trekking poles. The fabric is very durable. All that at a reasonable weight makes this ideal for mountain walking, scrambling and mountaineering. But there are lighter options, while other sacks have more airflow around the back, so this model is not for everyone. If you prefer side pockets then this will not be ideal either. I’d be keen to see this sack with a single-clasp closure on the lid rather than the twin buckles provided.
Fabric nylon ripstop
Features Fformat back system; removable hipbelt; top tensioning straps; compression straps; external lid pocket; twin ice axe/pole attachment points; hydration system-compatible
Made in China
Stores in the UK 50Verdict
This is a classic rucksack that is virtually as good as it ever was and ideal for hill and mountain walking, scrambling and mountaineering.
Review by Graham Thompson
First published in Trail magazine October 2008