The Salewa Ascent 42 blends the comfort of a day sack with the functionality of a mountain sack. The back system has a precurved alloy frame to hold the pack away from the body with a perforated moulded panel in contact with the user’s back, and this combination creates masses of airflow to reduce the build-up of sweat. The shoulder straps and waistbelt aren’t perforated, though, so they’re clammier than some other designs; but the back system does twist well to allow reasonable freedom of movement when scrambling. Compared to some other designs the Salewa Ascent 42 doesn’t sit quite as close to the user and the airflow back system impinges on the internal space of the main compartment more than some other packs. The main compartment has a top opening plus zipped entry to the base, where a removable divider is available, so the sack can be used as a single or twin compartment design. There’s a good lid and front zipped pocket, but you don’t get the bigger stretch stash pocket that some packs feature. The side mesh wand pockets are quite small as well, so not quite as useful as the larger ones on other sacks. The compression straps don’t get quick-release buckles either, so again they aren’t quite as useful for stashing items to the side. There isn’t a great deal really wrong with the Salewa Ascent 42, but others have some slight advantages. A great pack at this price though.
Capacity 42 litres
Internal compartments 1
External zipped pockets 3
Wand pockets yes
Compression straps yes
Men’s (unisex) back length one size
Women’s back length none
The Salewa Ascent 42 is a good general hillwalking pack at a great price with good airflow across the back, but other rucksacks have slightly better features that you may prefer.
Review by Graham Thompson
First published in Trail magazine September 2013