Testing the F10 Alpine 35
I've had this pack since February of this year, and it has since been put through its paces. From Scottish winter climbing to carrying loads on alpine climbs.
The first thing I noticed was how light the overall pack is, coming in at under 1KG is an advantage when you're winter climbing in Scotland as you tend to carry a lot of gear for mixed climbing, not to mention food, spare layers and all the other bits that add up in weight. Head torches, goggles, food, water etc. Now when a bag is this light you can sometimes loose on things like comfort and the ability to carry BIG loads with enough support so your shoulders and hips are battered by the time you get to the base of a climb.
I think people who're looking to use the 35L are already in the mindset of going 'light and fast' which is carrying just the bare essential kit and moving fast through the mountains. I found 35L to be a perfect size for a solo day out. When I set out intending to solo some easier winter climbing I would carry an insulation layer, waterproof jacket, harness, crampons, axes, helmet, food and water. This fits in perfectly and as the weight is kept to a bare minimum the weight doesn't make the bag uncomfortable on the hips, being that the belt it is just a single webbing strap. This isn't a problem when you have a light load, but if you're going for a full no winter day then I find it doesn't offer much in the way of support and after an hour or so the pack tends to pull directly on your shoulders as this is really the only point of contact.
The design of the bag has been well thought out. A really nice clean design with no excess tat hanging from every point. Bungee cords hold axes in place securely. From your tradition walking axes to your super aggressive ice climbing tools now widely available. The side compression is handy being as you can move the straps between different lashing point.
The one feature on the bag that has been used for a range of different things is the rope strap that secures over the top of the bag. Obviously design as a rope carrier but I have found it to be super useful when you're just looking to get off the mountain as quick as you can as this can involve stashing layers so you have them to hand quickly, either taking off a layer or storing a waterproof in case the conditions change, crampons are another good example. Sometimes having to wear them all the way down to the snowline and instead of opening your pack and sorting through gear you can just tuck them away securely under the strap. Efficient and time saving when conditions are becoming worse are you're in the mind set of just getting back to the car.
Overall I have been impressed with the bag and have found it as my go to for Scottish winter climbing and even general cragging.
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