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[Review] Mountain Hardwear Multi-Pitch 30 Backpack

Last week I reviewed the Mountain Hardwear Crag Wagon 45 Pack. While the Mountain Hardwear’s Multi-Pitch 30 pack has a lot of similarities, it is it’s own animal. We bought both packs together to have a system of climbing bags between the two of us that met our varied needs, which 90% of the time means quick pitches snuck before or after work, or weekend climbing trips.

I (Greta) had gotten sick and tired of hauling our old rope bag up multi-pithces. My pack had thin webbing straps that cut into my shoulders and no waist belt or chest straps, so I often found it swinging around while I was climbing. I found the Mountain Hardwear Multi-Pitch 30 and instantly decided that I was breaking up with our old pack and upgrading.

This bag is an upgrade in every sense. To start with the straps (which were the biggest selling point for me- they’re awesome. The shoulder straps are made of dual density foam and are just about as thick and padded as you want them to be. Even fully loaded, they don’t cut into my shoulders. The shoulder straps tuck away for hauling with the dual haul points (top handles). The Multi Pitch has a webbing waist belt, perfectly placed to cinch down tight so the pack isn’t swinging as I throw my weight around while climbing.

The Multi-Pitch is made of the same durable three-layer canvas of the Mountain Hardwear Crag Wagon Pack. It was inspired by old military packs and is made using Mountian Hardwear’s X-Ply™ Dimension-Polyant™ fabric. The inside has a polyester film backing that waterproofs the bag in case of inclimant weather. It has a Kevlar base, which is awesome for the additional wear the bottom of the pack recieves being moved around on sharp rocks while loading and unloading gear.

The design is pretty straight forward and streamlined, with just enough pockets to keep you organized. The largest of these pockets is the main compartment, with a U-zip entry that goes around the top of the pack. The main pocket is hydration bladder compatible if you’d like to use a bladder to store your water.

Inside the top flap is another small zipper with a key clip to keep the important things safely stored. Outside on the front is a large, flat pocket, perfect for sliding in a guide book or a couple granola bars.

From a hidden pocket on the side of the bag you can pull out a mesh pocket, made for storing extra water or shoes on long approaches.

While I love the size and look of the bag, my one dislike is the profile of the bag is pretty wide and large. I wore it to climb up a narrow chimney with two or three roofs, and I felt a little like an awkward turtle with the bag. If I’m planning on climbing something that skinny again, I’ll probably try to throw anything I want to bring up with me into a packable daypack with a lower profile.

Otherwise, I love how it fits and feels and stores my gear. I love the climbing specific details, but also how versatile the bag is. You could easily throw your gym clothes in it, a picnic for a day hike, or a load of textbooks for class. I’ve even used it as a pillow while waiting for my turn on the sharp end of the rope, and hey, it wasn’t that bad.

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